So I was thinking, about the next king of England, Prince Charles. When he becomes king and if he decides to name Camilla the queen consort in due time, could he decide and does he have the power and authority to grant her the crown matrimonial, thus naming her his equal and they would co-reign? If he were to die before her, could she refuse Prince William the throne until she wants to grant him it? Also, is the crown matrimonial something that even still exists.

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    As it's written this is a question of law rather than one of history, therefore, it seems off-topic here – Steve Bird Feb 26 '18 at 7:32
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    As with suo uxoris in general, this is something historically demanded by the husbands of queen regnants, not vice versa. Even if it was still a thing, it wouldn't apply to Camilla. – Semaphore Feb 26 '18 at 9:55
  • Technically Camilla could become Queen regnant without a coup or changing the laws. She had some descent from British nobles, therefore she almost certainly has some descent from British royalty. Therefore if enough descendants of British royalty die, Camilla will become the rightful Queen regnant. Of course if uncounted (by me, at least) thousands of British and foreign royals and nobles die, making Camilla the rightful Queen, and Camilla doesn't die along with them, everyone will suspect her of arranging the deaths to become queen. – MAGolding Feb 27 '18 at 4:22

No, impossible. There is a big difference between a queen regnant and a queen consort. Camilla can, as Maxima Zorreguita did, become queen consort. You do that by marrying a crown prince or king (Edward VIII tried that). As consort of course she'll wield huge influence on the king. All wives do.

It is impossible for Charles to appoint his wife co ruler. Parliament will never accept that. They already have some beef about her becoming queen consort, as I understand. (They probably worry about the above influence.) Let alone co-ruler or take up the throne herself, supposing Charles would die first. The rules simply don't allow for it. No matter what happens, Camilla can never ever become Camilla I of England. Not unless she commits a coupe.

Here's a nice short clip how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUY6HGqYweQ

The United Kingdom together with most other European monarchies are parliamentarian monarchies. What you describe comes close to an absolute monarchy. In a parliamentarian monarchy the king carries the title and little else. That 'little else' can be quite a lot, I admit. But the king needs approval for it in parliament.

Here's an example: In Belgium king Baudouin refused to countersign an abortion bill, already passed by parliament. Without his signature that bill was not valid. That could have been a real constitutional crisis. Parliament had approved. The government would have to resign. New elections. The next government would face exactly the same problem. Thus, new elections. Ad infinitum.

The solution was that the king was declared temporarily incapable of governing for 24 hours. In his absence the government became regent, and countersigned the bill. Everybody happy.

King Baudouin was very devout Roman Catholic and as such refused to countersign that bill, as the law required. His conscience wouldn't allow it. That means a different solution had to be found. This is the heaviest weapon a constitutional monarch can yield. They normally don't use it, unless it is very important, very often for themselves.

Example: Queen Juliana of the Netherlands refused to accept 'A' and 'B' princes. (That royal family breeds faster than bunnies do, they have a lot of princes/princesses not in line for the throne. The government wanted to reduce royal costs by creating 'A' princes; in line for the throne with more benefits and 'B' princes; the remainder, with less benefits.) She would rather abdicate than countersign. The government gave in. All princess and princesses receive lots of state benefits today.

They run a serious risk that the government refuses a compromise or to give in. In that case, they have to abdicate. That includes the possibility of a republic. In case no heir is available, or the heir supports the monarch.

To get back to your question; suppose Charles would insist on it? Well, he wouldn't be the first one to be mad. George III was. Parliament would not accept it. Very likely he would be declared insane, a regent appointed, end of story.


I stressed the countersign, because kings and queens do no longer sign laws first. The government does. Only then they countersign that law, and after their signature the bill becomes law.

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    Good answer, but I'd like to point that under parliamentary sovereignty, Camilla (or anybody else) doesn't need a coup to became regnant queen; they just need an act of parliament. However, it's so unlikely (with or without a coup) that your answer that she can't be regnant queen is right for any practical purpose. – Pere Feb 26 '18 at 9:31
  • Agree with what you've written, but I would suggest that you explicitly mention that after the Glorious Revolution, Parliament is supreme. – MCW Feb 26 '18 at 9:39
  • The bit about Dutch Royalty is incorrect. There are 2 groups of princes; those in the "Royal Family" and a subset of those are also in the "Royal House". All are theoretically in line for succession. – MSalters Feb 26 '18 at 11:29
  • @MSalters : incorrect. Some members and their descendants are not in line for the throne. As we have a shitload of royal brads, not even theoretically. – Jos Feb 26 '18 at 11:32
  • @Jos: I disagree with your last comment there, but I am glad that you agree with me that there are two classes. Whether you call them "A" versus "B" princes, or " Royal House" / "Royal Family", either way it contradicts your idea that Queen Juliana could prevent such a split. Not that your statement about benefits is even close to correct - even princes in the direct line of succession do not qualify. Currently only the King, his wife and his mother get any benefits - so not a single prince. – MSalters Feb 26 '18 at 14:31

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