Charles's wife, Camilla, will be crowned alongside him as queen consort. (...) This will be the first coronation of a consort since that of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) in 1937.

In addition to this, wives of Kings of England are styled as "queen consort", while husbands of Queens of England are styled as "prince consort" - and it seems that Philip of Edinburgh even had to be specifically made prince by Elizabeth II, i.e. it wasn't automatic due to their marriage (prince of Britain I mean, since he was already prince in other monarchies).

What are the rules when it comes to the coronation of a consort in the UK, and what are all the differences relating to the sex of said consort? Where do there these differences come from?

  • 2
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    – Dale M
    Feb 14, 2023 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


There has only been one Prince Consort

Albert, the husband of Victoria, was the only Prince Consort in post-conquest English/UK history. It was a title created specifically for him because the establishment and the country didn’t like him very much.

The titles of the five pre-Victorian male consorts varied widely. Mary I of England's husband Philip was declared king jure uxoris and given powers equal to his wife while she reigned, but Queen Anne's husband Prince George of Denmark received no British titles other than the Dukedom of Cumberland (his princely title being Danish). Meanwhile, the official title of the three husbands of Mary, Queen of Scots was never fully resolved. At least one (Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley), was declared king consort, and both he and his predecessor Francis II of France sought recognition as king jure uxoris (under a proffered theory of the "Crown Matrimonial of Scotland"), but the title and powers of the consort were a constant issue during Mary's reign and remained unresolved when Mary was captured and executed.

Philip was not Prince Consort, he was made a British Prince - the same title held by his sons.

The only legal requirement is the oath

The Coronation Oaths Act 1688 requires the oath to be taken by the Monarch and specifies its form. This is the only thing required to make the coronation legal.

Everything else is due to religion, tradition, and choice.

It is not true that all Queen consorts have been crowned

In general, when the King was married at the time of the coronation, the Queen consort was also crowned. However, there have been exceptions.

When the King married after the coronation, sometimes there was a coronation for the Queen consort but often there wasn’t.

  • I think "This is the only thing required to make the coronation legal." is not quite right, since there are (many) laws about liturgical forms of the Church of England. The paved path is Canon B4(3) which allows special ceremonies to be used by permission of the local Ordinary, if they are in keeping with Anglican doctrine and are "reverent and seemly". Westminster Abbey is a royal exempt jurisdiction and so it is up to the King to determine the form within these boundaries; in practice there is a lot of consultation with the Bishop of London and others.
    – alexg
    Feb 14, 2023 at 11:56
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    Possibly there are reserve powers of the King as Supreme Governor (and see the Submission of the Clergy Act 1533) but these are untested in the modern era. In any case, there is plenty of legislation and caselaw about church ritual.
    – alexg
    Feb 14, 2023 at 12:01
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    "Crowned" please, not "coronated" - a terrible back-formation. Feb 14, 2023 at 14:32
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    @MichaelKay if back formation was good enough for Shakespeare then it’s good enough for me. You understand the word which makes it perfectly cromulent and embiggens the language.
    – Dale M
    Feb 14, 2023 at 20:18

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