Duchess of Cornwall

Duchess of Cornwall is a courtesy title held by the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. The Dukedom of Cornwall is a non-hereditary peerage title held by the British monarch's eldest son and heir. The current Duchess of Cornwall is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (formerly Camilla Parker Bowles), since her 9 April 2005 marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales.[1]

Duchess of Cornwall
Coat of arms of the Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla Parker Bowles

since 9 April 2005
StyleHer Royal Highness
ResidenceClarence House
Inaugural holderJoan of Kent

Prior to their marriage, the title was historically used only in Cornwall, since customarily the monarch's eldest son and heir is created Prince of Wales and his wife is styled as Princess of Wales, and those titles are typically used to refer to them. In Scotland, the titles of Duke and Duchess of Rothesay are used instead.

Since the title of Duke of Cornwall can be held only by an heir apparent who is also the eldest son of the monarch, no woman can be Duchess of Cornwall in her own right. However, this may change now that proposals to change the rules of succession are completed.


The first Duchess of Cornwall was Joan of Kent ("The Fair Maid of Kent"), who, in October 1361, married Edward, the Black Prince. Catherine of Aragon was also Duchess of Cornwall through her marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales, who was the Duke of Cornwall.

Prior to the current holder of the title, the most recent Duchess of Cornwall was Diana, Princess of Wales. During her marriage, she was usually styled as Princess of Wales (except in Scotland, as noted above), as have been most Duchesses of Cornwall.

Before the present Duchess, the only Duchesses of Cornwall to be styled as such were Caroline of Ansbach, wife of the future King George II, who was styled as "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge" from 1 August to 27 September 1714, and Mary of Teck, wife of the future King George V, who was styled as "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall and York" from 22 January to 9 November 1901. In both cases, they were known by the title for only a few months between their respective father-in-law's accession to the throne and their respective husband's creation as Prince of Wales.

Style and title

Prior to the marriage of Camilla Parker Bowles with the Prince of Wales, it was stated that she would be styled as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. She does not use the title of Princess of Wales, because it is still popularly associated with Diana, Princess of Wales, the former wife of the Prince of Wales. Upon her husband's accession to the throne, it was intended that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be styled as Her Royal Highness The Princess Consort,[2] although she would legally be entitled to the title of Queen. However, in 2018, the press release to that effect was removed from the Clarence House website.

Duchesses of Cornwall

Person Name Birth Marriage Became Duchess of Cornwall Spouse Ceased to be Duchess of Cornwall Death
Joan, 4th Countess of Kent 19 September 1328 10 October 1361 Edward of Woodstock 7 June 1376
Husband's death;
became Dowager Duchess of Cornwall
7 August 1385
Lady Anne Neville 11 June 1456 13 December 1470 Edward of Westminster 4 May 1471
Husband's death;
became Dowager Duchess of Cornwall;
later became Queen Consort as the wife of Richard III
16 March 1485
Infanta Catherine of Aragon 16 December 1485 14 November 1501 Arthur Tudor 2 April 1502
Husband's death;
became Dowager Duchess of Cornwall;
later became Queen Consort as the wife of Henry VIII
7 January 1536
Princess Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1 March 1683 22 August 1705 1 August 1714 Prince George 11 June 1727
Husband acceded to throne as George II;
became Queen Consort
20 November 1737
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg 30 November 1719 17 April 1736 Prince Frederick 31 March 1751
Husband's death;
became Dowager Duchess of Cornwall
8 February 1772
Duchess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel 17 May 1768 8 April 1795 Prince George 29 January 1820
Husband acceded to throne as George IV;
became Queen Consort
7 August 1821
Princess Alexandra of Denmark 1 December 1844 10 March 1863 Prince Albert Edward 22 January 1901
Husband acceded to throne as Edward VII;
became Queen Consort
20 November 1925
Princess Mary of Teck 26 May 1867 6 July 1893 22 January 1901 Prince George 6 May 1910
Husband acceded to throne as George V;
became Queen Consort
24 March 1953
Lady Diana Spencer 1 July 1961 29 July 1981 Prince Charles 28 August 1996
assumed the style of Diana, Princess of Wales
31 August 1997
Camilla Parker Bowles 17 July 1947 9 April 2005 Incumbent

Literary references

See also


  1. "House of Commons – Royal Marriage". parliament.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  2. "The Royal Family — The Prince of Wales — Background". Retrieved 2011-08-21.
  3. The press secretary to the Queen. "DIVORCE: STATUS AND ROLE OF THE PRINCESS OF WALES". PR Newswire. Buckingham Palace. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
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