The Queen

The Queen Consort

About

Her Majesty The Queen (formerly HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) supports her husband, formerly The Prince of Wales, now His Majesty The King, in carrying out his work and duties. She also undertakes public engagements on behalf of the charities that she supports.

The Queen was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on 17th July 1947 at King’s College Hospital London, the daughter of Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand and the Hon Rosalind Maud Shand (nee Cubitt).

Major Shand and the Hon Rosalind Cubitt, the daughter of 3rd Baron Ashcombe, married on 2nd January 1946 at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge.

Her Majesty has a sister, Annabel Elliot, and a brother, Mark Shand. Mark Shand, a conservationist, died on 23rd April 2014.

The Shand family lived in East Sussex from 1951 onwards. Major Shand, MC and Bar, was Vice Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex and Master of the South Downs Hounds for 19 years. He died aged 89 on 11th June 2006 at his home in Dorset.

Mrs Rosalind Shand was 72 when she died in 1994 as a result of osteoporosis. The Queen's grandmother had died from the same condition eight years earlier. The Queen has served as President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society since 2001, having supported the charity since 1994.

The Queen was first educated at Dumbrells School, in Sussex, and then at Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington. She also attended Mon Fertile school in Switzerland and studied at the Institut Britannique in Paris.

On 9th April 2005, The Prince of Wales and Ms. Camilla Parker-Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, Windsor. They were joined by around 800 guests at a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Service was followed by a reception at Windsor Castle hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen was previously married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles and the marriage was dissolved in 1995. The couple had two children, Thomas Henry and Laura Rose, born in 1974 and 1978 respectively.

Since her marriage to The King in 2005, The Queen has become Patron or President of over 100 charities. Her Majesty’s charity work is varied but several themes prevail: health and well-being, promoting literacy, the arts, animal welfare and supporting survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.

On 9th April 2012, Buckingham Palace announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had appointed The Duchess of Cornwall, as she was formerly known, to be a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).

In 2016, The late Queen appointed Her (then) Royal Highness as a member of the Privy Council and more recently, in 2022, a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter.

Since the change in reign, His Majesty The King has conferred a number of honours to The Queen, including Lady of the Thistle in 2023, and Grand Master and First and Principal Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2024.

Her Majesty has five grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.

Work as The Duchess of Cornwall

The Queen supports over 100 charities as Patron or President.

Her Majesty’s charity work is varied but several themes prevail: health, literacy, supporting those in need; the elderly, victims of rape and sexual abuse and domestic violence, empowering women; food; animals, dance and heritage and the arts.

In 2016, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed on a number of Patronages to other members of The Royal Family. As part of this, The Duchess of Cornwall assumed new patronages at charities Barnardo's, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and The Royal School of Needlework. In June 2018, The Duchess took on The Royal Society of Literature.

Charities and Patronages

Following His Majesty The King’s Accession, the Royal Household is conducting a review of Royal Patronage.  The review will cover the organisations of which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was Patron and those organisations to which The King and The Queen were connected through Patronage or Presidency as Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Related content

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at the Charleston Festival 2024

Books and gardens are faithful friends to whom we can always turn to. They both have the ability to comfort, to cheer and to connect us with people and nature, reminding us...

16 May 2024
Press release 04 May 2024

Royal Patronages Review

Read more

A speech delivered by The Queen at a Reception to recognise those who support survivors of sexual assault and to relaunch of the Washbags Project

Thank you for sharing your stories, thank you for your kindness, thank you for not remaining strangers to those enduring the darkest of times, and, most of all, thank you for...

01 May 2024

The Queen's speech at a reception to recognise those who support survivors of sexual assault

Your stories and your experiences are vital tools as we seek to bring about change: to forge a world in which people, whoever and wherever they are, do not live in fear of...

01 May 2024

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen on her first visit to The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own), having been appointed as Colonel-in-Chief

My father described the Regiment as a “highly efficient entity, highly skilled, and full of personalities”, I have no doubt that your upcoming deployments will be...

23 April 2024

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at a reception to celebrate International Women’s Day and to mark the end of the WOW Girls Festival Bus tour

Let your lives be the stones that will shatter glass ceilings everywhere and inspire generations to come.

12 March 2024
News

Commonwealth Day 2024

11 March 2024
Commonwealth Day Service 2024

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at the Grand Final of BBC's 500 Words, Buckingham Palace

Between you, you have created more than a million stories of thought-provoking adventure for future generations to study and enjoy. Thank you to everybody who has taken part...

28 February 2024

The Queen's Introduction to Queen Mary's Dolls' House's Modern-Day Miniature Library

It has continued to enchant generations of children and adults who come to marvel at its perfect proportions, extraordinary attention to detail and, perhaps above all, the...

30 January 2024
News

The Queen visits Swindon

22 January 2024
Queen Camilla smiles after unveiling a plaque during a visit to the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service's (SDASS) in Wiltshire, to mark the charity's 50th anniversary and highlight their work in support, prevention, education and early intervention, including work with perpetrators of domestic abuse.