Camilla ‘very pleased’ with honour from Queen cementing her position in the future of Firm

Canada: The Duchess of Cornwall reads to schoolchildren

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Camilla, 74, was seen alongside the Queen and Prince Charles as she was formally invested into the Order of the Garter. It is the oldest order of chivalry in the UK and Knights of the Garter are chosen by the monarch to honour those who have held public office, contributed to national life or who have served the sovereign personally.

On Monday, the Duchess was featured in a new portrait alongside her husband and the Queen.

The ceremony was conducted in private in the Garter Throne Room in Windsor Castle and the portrait features the Queen standing between the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall wearing her Sovereign of the Garter Sash and using a walking stick.

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were dressed in the traditional dark blue velvet robes and the traditional hat featuring a white ostrich plume. 

Speaking to PEOPLE, a royal source said that the Duchess was “very pleased” with the honour and will now formally be recognised as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter.

 

The portrait signals Camilla’s future role in the monarchy after the Queen previously expressed her wish of the Duchess to be Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King, an honour that was initially not guaranteed for Camilla. 

With the Prince of Wales taking on more roles from the Queen as she struggles with her physical health, and Camilla taking on the supporting role, it is important to the Queen to try and aid the transition while she is Queen. 

Royal historian Robert Lacey told PEOPLE that the Queen “sees this as a great opportunity for the transition to be visible” and the portrait of the trio will help cement this.

Sally Bedell Smith, the author of ‘Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch’ said: “She is in the saddle, but this gets people accustomed to [Charles’s] future role as King. 

“There was a feeling of celebrating the past and anticipating the new era.”

With Her Majesty’s recent mobility issues which came to the fore over the Platinum Jubilee weekend and once again showed in the portrait, the Queen did not accompany the royals for the public portion of the royal ceremony on Monday.

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However, the monarch did host and attend the private meeting and a lunch inside the castle where she is currently residing. 

The procession of the knights is an annual event held at Windsor Castle every June with a marching band and Officers of the Order in their ceremonial dress. 

Joining the royal couple for the procession to St George’s chapel were Prince Edward and Prince William with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex watching from the side.

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