Queen Camilla has received criticism for her choice of ivory sceptre during her coronation ceremony next month. Although King Charles has made efforts to be seen as a modern monarch, Queen Camilla’s decision to use the three-foot-long sceptre made of ivory may stir up controversy.
Camilla has confirmed her decision to carry the rod with dove along with the orb. This is despite her husband’s previous criticism of the ivory trade. It was held by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Palace sources have confirmed that the sceptre was originally made for Mary of Modena in 1685. The sceptre will be presented to Queen Camilla during the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. It is part of the Crown Jewel collection of the British royals.
Controversy over Queen Camilla’s choice of sceptre
Queen Camilla’s decision to carry the ivory sceptre during her coronation ceremony has sparked controversy. It is noted that King Charles has taken pains to ensure he is seen as a modern monarch.
With her husband’s previous oft-expressed criticism of the ivory trade, it was widely expected that the sceptre, made of ivory, would be shelved at next month’s ceremony.
However, Palace sources have confirmed to The Times that the new Queen will be brandishing the three-foot-long sceptre. It was originally made for Mary of Modena in 1685.
Eyebrows will certainly be raised when Camilla is presented with the sceptre at the coronation in London’s Westminster Abbey. Both the new King and both his sons’ concern at danger to wildlife around the world well known.
The ivory sceptre has already attracted criticism from animal rights activists, who are concerned about the impact of ivory trade on elephant populations.
However, a Palace spokesperson told The Times that a Crown Jewel collection of the size held by the British royals would inevitably include gems belonging to a previous era.
Camilla’s decision to drop the word ‘consort’ from her title
In a separate development, Buckingham Palace released King Charles’ coronation invitation on Tuesday, which has given royal watchers much to discuss.
The invitation, printed on recycled cards with gold foil detailing, features symbolic flora, fauna, and coats of arms.
It refers to the king’s wife as “Queen Camilla” for the first time, officially dropping the word “consort” from her title.
The palace argued that it made sense to call Camilla “queen consort” before Queen Elizabeth died to more clearly distinguish between the two. However, the invitation confirms that won’t be the case going forward.
The dropping of the ‘consort’ label may represent a significant change in the royal family. Camilla’s royal upgrade has been awaited and debated by some for as long as she’s been married to Charles.
After Charles and Camilla got married, many wondered whether the mistress-turned-duchess could be a future queen. At the time, royal agreement stipulated that she would eventually be known as “princess consort” instead.
Camilla’s approval ratings and the broader shift in monarchy
Camilla’s approval ratings have steadily increased over the years. Many Britons seeing her as a warm presence and a calming influence on her husband.
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth appointed Camilla a “Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter,” the most senior order of knighthood in the British honors system.
And the following year, on the eve of her 70th anniversary on the throne, she said it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla be known as queen consort “when the time comes.” Camilla went on to adopt that title after Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022.
The dropping of the ‘consort’ label may seem symbolic. It represents an important change in the royal family’s perception of gender roles and the modernization of the monarchy. For centuries, the British monarchy has been steeped in tradition and hierarchy, with strict rules governing every aspect of royal life.
The title of ‘consort’ for the spouse of a monarch was just one example of how gender roles were entrenched in this system.
The decision to drop the label of ‘consort’ for Prince Philip reflects a broader shift in the monarchy towards a more modern and inclusive approach.
This has been exemplified by the leadership of Prince Charles. He has championed issues such as sustainability, conservation, and community engagement, as well as supporting a more diverse and inclusive society.
It remains to be seen whether the title of ‘consort’ will be dropped for future spouses of monarchs. However, the move to drop it for Prince Philip is certainly a positive step towards greater equality and progress in the royal family.
It sends a message that the monarchy is willing to adapt and change with the times. It also recognizes the importance of modernizing its traditions and practices to remain relevant and connected to society.