That was two weeks ago. The horse might've talked since then. :P
I knew when the Prince of Wales first said that she would only be the
"Princess Consort" [sic] that this would be a problem.
Unless there is intervening legislation that receives Royal Assent
before the Queen's death, then the wife of the Prince of Wales is
automatically, instantly the Queen Consort on the death of the Queen
just as the Prince of Wales is instantly, automatically the King.
However, I believe that the minister is incorrect when he speculated
that legislation would be required by all realms of the Commonwealth in
this particular case, because the legislation could be passed before
the Queen's death.
A Queen Consort, although her title is a constitutional one embodied in
ancient law, does not form a part of the succession to the Crown.
The government of the United Kingdom is required to seek the counsel of
the other realms of the Commonwealth only on issues that affect the
actual succession to the Crown, the single body of the sovereign
So the British Parliament could very well pass a law changing the style
and title of the consorts of the sovereigns, without actually altering
the succession, style and title of the Crown, and thereby averting the
need to take the counsel of and obtain the consent of the other realms
of the Commonwealth.
An alternative, of course, would be for the Court of St James to simply
ignore the legal reality and establish the precedent of calling the
wife of the soverign the Princess Consort. If that's what the King
wants to call his wife, then I doubt even the most offensively
republican media would offend him by ignoring his wishes.
She would still legally be the Queen, but to no harm since nobody would
call her that.
It's an idea.
They've already made tentative headway by publicising and gaining
acceptance for the wife of the Prince of Wales to style herself, Her
Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall even though centuries of
precedent and a couple of statutes seem to indicate that the wife of
the Prince of Wales is the Princess of Wales and nobody could actually
deny her that title.
The public, however, are already evidently accepting that the reality
of life and the reality of the law must not necessarily coincide to
gain their acceptance and, as we have proved for a thousand years in
Britain, (1)the voice of the people is the voice of God, and
(2)tradition and acceptance sometimes make the law.