With Queen Elizabeth stepping down, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker Bowles is getting ready for a major promotion. At least, that’s the claim by a tabloid this week. Gossip Cop has looked into the allegation.
In the latest issue of OK!, the tabloid asserts that “amid rumors that Queen Elizabeth will soon hand over reigning duties to her eldest son,” the Duchess of Cornwall is “prepping for an exciting new reality.” The unreliable outlet maintains that Parker Bowles will “likely ascend to princess consort, rather than queen,” but quotes a supposed source as saying she will “still get to enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities of a co-ruler.”
The dubious source also says the duchess will “accept whatever title she’s given without making a fuss.” We’ll admit, on that point, the publication is at least not playing on the common trope that Parker Bowles is a power-hungry vulture, which is the usual tactic tabloids use in phony stories like this. Still, there isn’t anything else that approaches the truth in this story.
It’s also a rare occurrence when the tabloids publish a somewhat flattering story abou the duchess. The tabloid also quotes its so-called “source” as saying, “She goes out of her way not to ruffle any feathers,” adding, “and she’s done a lot of work for worthy causes while respecting the monarchy as a whole.” That also goes against the typical tabloid takedown of Camilla Parker Bowles, who is usually falsely portrayed as ruining the monarchy.
The biggest problem with the phony report is that there is no actual indication that the queen plans to step down. Gossip Cop has covered this subject extensively, in fact. The queen has always maintained that she would serve as queen for her whole life. There is only one example in British history of a sovereign stepping down: Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, the former King Edward VIII. The impact on the queen’s life of that abdication is well-documented, and it’s impossible to see any scenario where she would abdicate anyway.
In fact, this very same tabloid seems to be echoing an early story it ran claiming the queen was stepping down amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the 94-year-old ruler into isolation. Gossip Cop debunked that bogus story at the time, and in the weeks since, nothing has changed. Queen Elizabeth remains in isolation in Windsor Castle, but she's not giving up the throne.
OK! is hardly alone in its faulty reporting. Its sister publication In Touch reported in February that Queen Elizabeth was stepping down as well. It maintained that the queen was naming Prince William and Kate Middleton king and queen instead of Prince Charles. Gossip Cop corrected that story at time, of course, and again, nothing else has changed in the months since. It’s very likely Camilla Parker Bowles will one day be princess consort, but that’s unlikely to be before Queen Elizabeth’s death.