A quiet arrangement. King Charles III and the late Queen Elizabeth II had an “unspoken” deal about naming Camilla as Queen Consort — and it involved Prince Andrew.
“You may recall that Prince Andrew was enmeshed in the Jeffrey Epstein [case],” royal expert Christopher Andersen exclusively told Us Weekly in an interview on Tuesday, November 1, while talking about his new book, The King: The Life of King Charles III. “Charles was instrumental in making sure that, with [Prince] William’s backing, that Andrew was more or less drummed out of the family.”
The 62-year-old Duke of York, whose association with the late, disgraced financier made headlines in the fall of 2019, took a step back from his royal duties later that year after being accused of sexual assault. He was stripped of his royal patronages and military titles in January, months after his accuser filed a lawsuit against him for alleged sexual assault and emotional distress. One month later, Andrew settled the lawsuit — allegedly with financial help from his mother.
Elizabeth, who died in September at age 96, “was going to dip into her personal pocket” to help pay the settlement fee, Andersen tells Us, explaining that Andrew was Her Majesty’s “favorite.”
“Now, that meant, really — because Charles just was going to be the heir — that this was also money that would’ve come to him eventually,” the royal expert explained.
The author noted that while “Charles could have objected,” the timing was off: the settlement coincided with the beginning of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Therefore, the royal expert explained, Charles, 73, thought that the event would be the “perfect time” to “endorse Camilla as a Queen Consort.”
“And so in a kind of an unspoken implicit deal, this was the tradeoff,” the royal author told Us. “And that announcement was made … it was very abrupt, you may recall, it was something [that took] everybody by surprise, … she was so against Camilla ever becoming queen for decades and decades, that it, it was a complete about-face, [and] that I think [it] shocked a lot of people.”
Elizabeth announced her daughter-in-law’s title in a statement on February 6.
“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,” the sovereign, 95, wrote in a statement, released on Saturday, February 5. “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.”
Camilla immediately received the title after the queen’s death at age 96 on September 8. When Buckingham Palace announced the late monarch’s passing, Camilla was referred to as the “Queen Consort” in the official statement, while her husband was dubbed king.