Princess Diana's Legacy Hangs Over Camilla's Fate As Queen Consort

Queen Elizabeth II tore up a 17-year royal policy to pave the way for Prince Charles' succession—setting her at odds with public opinion on Princess Diana.

The Monarch, 95, used the start of her Platinum Jubilee year to announce she wants Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to be known as Queen Camilla when husband Charles becomes King.

The move is controversial because the palace said at the time of their 2005 marriage that the duchess would only be known as princess consort, a decision widely considered to be out of respect for Princess Diana.

However, polling has been clear about the British public's view of the situation.

A survey by YouGov in November suggested 42 percent of the British public would rather she just be known as Princess Consort, while 26 percent think she should actually have no title at all.

On February 5, Elizabeth said in a message marking 70 years since her accession to the throne: "I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me.

"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."

On February 6, Accession Day, Charles issued his own statement: "We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother's wish.

"As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout."

Charles and Diana married in 1981, but their relationship disintegrated in the early 1990s while the prince was having a secret affair with Camilla.

They formally separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996 before Diana died in a Paris car crash in August 1997.

The previous position on Camilla was outlined on the Royal Family's website, in a statement taken down around October 2017: "As was explained at the time of their wedding in April 2005, it is intended that The Duchess will be known as HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales Accedes to The Throne."

Camilla's role in the break up of the marriage was preserved for the ages by a set of tapes Diana recorded for her secret biographer Andrew Morton and smuggled out of Kensington Palace.

In them, the princess said: "[I met her] very early on. I was introduced to the circle but I was a threat. I was a very young girl but I was a threat.

"We always had discussions about Camilla though. I once heard him on the telephone [to Camilla] in his bath on his hand-held set saying: 'Whatever happens, I will always love you.'

"I told him afterwards that I had listened at the door and we had a filthy row."

Diana told Morton she once confronted Camilla at a party in 1989 and asked her about the affair.

She said Camilla replied: "You've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world falling in love with you and you've got two beautiful children. What more could you want?"

The princess said she replied: "I want my husband."

Princess Diana and Charles and Camilla
Princess Diana, seen during a banquet on April 29, 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand. Prince Charles and Camilla at Windsor Castle following their marriage on April 9, 2005. Anwar Hussein and Hugo Burnand/Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images