10 Rules That Camilla Parker Bowles, Queen Consort, Has to Follow

After Queen Elizabeth's historic 70-year reign, the U.K. has found a new queen—but it’s only by title.

Formerly known as the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles has been upgraded to queen consort after her husband, King Charles III, ascended the throne. Although the new title doesn’t grant her the queen’s powers, it does affect her responsibilities. So, what rules does she have to follow now that she’s queen consort? Keep reading for answers.

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1. She must serve as a counselor of state

Per the royal family’s official website, the queen consort must serve as a counselor of state, in addition to Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice—the next four royals in the line of succession. This means that Bowles can take her husband’s place for certain duties if the king is unable to perform them himself, typically due to illness or traveling abroad. Among those duties are “attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom.”

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2. She must curtsey to monarchs around the world

The queen consort is no longer required to curtsey to royal family members, thanks to her new title. However, per Hello! magazine, she’s still expected to curtsey to other monarchs when she travels abroad because it’s considered a sign of respect.

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3. She no longer controls the Clarence House social accounts

If you recall, the queen consort and the king used to share updates on the official Clarence House Instagram account. But after the queen’s passing, they moved to the royal family page. Following the transition, a note was added to the Clarence House account bio that reads, “This account is no longer being updated. Please follow @theroyalfamily for updates on His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort.”

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4. She must walk a few steps behind King Charles

Prior to their deaths, Prince Philip walked a few steps behind Queen Elizabeth out of respect. And now, the same rule applies to King Charles and his wife. In September 2022, Bowles was spotted walking behind His Majesty when they were seen outside of Buckingham Palace.

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5. PDA should be avoided

Although Kate Middleton and Prince William have broken this protocol on quite a few occasions, it’s no secret that the royals aren’t allowed to show affection at public events. His Majesty and Bowles aren’t ones to show much PDA, so we imagine this rule won’t become an issue.

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6. She isn’t allowed to use certain terms

According to Kate Fox’s book Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior, there are certain words that the royal family can’t say. For instance, instead of referring to their evening meals as "tea," they opt for "dinner" or “supper.” And you probably won't ever hear the queen consort utter the word "toilet," thanks to its French descent. Instead, the proper term is the "lavatory," or even the "loo."

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7. Camilla must carry a black outfit when she travels abroad

Royal family members are expected to pack an all-black ensemble every time they travel abroad. Why, you ask? It’s so they’re prepared to dress in funeral attire, should there be a sudden death during their trip.

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8. And like the king, she can’t sign autographs

If you’re lucky enough to meet her one day, you should think twice before asking the queen consort for an autograph. Royal family members aren’t allowed to sign autographs because it increases the risk of their signatures getting forged.

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9. She must accept all gifts

And yes, this includes gifts she may not like. Whether they’re greeting crowds or attending official engagements, the royal family must accept all gifts graciously as a rule of thumb. 

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10. And she can’t vote

According to the U.K. parliament website, it isn’t illegal for the queen consort to vote, but it’s still "considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election." This is why the royals tend to steer clear of politics—although it hasn’t stopped King Charles from sharing his opinions on political matters.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...