Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Platinum Jubilee on Feb. 6, marking the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the British throne. Amidst rumors that she is soon planning to stand down and allow her son Prince Charles to become king, she also released a statement on Saturday that took some by surprise. In a move that will definitely ruffle some feathers, the queen announced that Charles became king, she wanted his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, to take on the title of Queen Consort.
“I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me,” the Queen said in a statement from Sandringham. “And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Charles and Camilla married in 2005 after being engaged in an on-and-off affair for decades, and she took on the role of Princess Consort. Camilla has long been overshadowed by Princess Diana, Charles’ first wife and the mother of his two sons, and she never uses the title Princess of Wales out of deference to Diana’s memory.
This year’s Ascension Day marks a historic one for the Queen, as it will be her Platinum Jubilee, or the 70th anniversary of her accession, a milestone that no other British royal has ever hit. The milestone is set to be celebrated with Platinum Jubilee celebrations through June. Along with an extended bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2, until Sunday, June 5, there will also be several jubilee celebrations over that weekend, including the annual Trooping the Colour parade, a derby horse race, and a party at the palace. Several members of the British Royal Family will also receive platinum jubilee medals from the Queen, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the dedication and service of those who, like the Queen, tirelessly serve our country,” Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said in a statement. “2022 is an opportunity for us to come together as a nation to celebrate and say thank you to Her Majesty and all those who work so hard to make Britain Great.”