Wait, Is Camilla Going to be the Next Queen — or Is Queen Kate a Thing? Here's What to Know

Katherine Stinson - Author

May 5 2023, Published 6:11 p.m. ET

Catherine, Duchess of Cornwall in a red blouse, grins during a visit to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Source: Getty Images

Cue the dramatic Tyra Banks voice: "I hold in my hands only one photo, a photo which belongs to England's Next Top Monarch." OK, so royalty definitely isn't decided via reality television, but it is the royal question on everyone's minds!

Forget King Charles for a second — who will be the next queen of England?

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It seems like the obvious answer, of course, is King Charles's wife, Camilla. But But after Charles's coronation, will Camilla actually be the queen or still considered the queen's consort? Will Kate Middleton be the actual next queen of England?

Here's what to know about the British royal family.

(L-R) King Charles in a tan suit, stands next to his wife, Camilla, in a blue and black suit
Source: Getty Images
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Who will be the next queen of England?

According to LBC, the coronation itself isn't just for King Charles — it's also for his queen consort, Camilla.

But while Camilla won't actually be the next queen, she will still be called queen. (Say what now?)

OK, let's clarify this whole coronation thing. Yes, Camilla herself will have a personal coronation ceremony the same day as her husband Charles (the Camilla coronation will follow Charles's).

So after the queenly coronation is complete, Camilla will be known as Queen Camilla. But – she's not technically an actual queen, given that she's not descended from the royal blood line, per the LBC.

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So why are we even mentioning this rather nitpicky detail? It's because Camilla could never actually become queen of England, should Charles pass away before she does. That's why it's important to note the distinct difference between a queen of England by marriage, and a queen of England by birth, like Queen Elizabeth II.

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OK, so will it be the same for Kate when William is crowned king?

Princesses — they're just like us! No, seriously. While Kate is officially the Princess of Wales by virtue of her marriage to Prince William, she is still considered a "commoner" (seriously, if she's a commoner what does that make the rest of us?) in terms of the British royal bloodline.

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So while William and Kate are, in fact, next in line for the throne after King Charles and Queen Camilla, Kate herself would also not be able to reign as queen should William pass away before she does.

So in the unfortunate event that the king's death occurs, what would the queen be called?

So basically, if King Charles were to pass away before Camilla, William would be crowned king, with Kate as his queen. As a result, Camilla would be granted a different title befitting of her new rank.

So the bottom line is this — someone with royal blood must always be sitting on the English throne. Yes, they can marry "commoners" without a drop of royal blood in their veins now, but when it comes to the actual monarch of England, family is literally everything.

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