Prince Charles praises 'remarkable achievement' of Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign

Future king expresses deep gratitude to mother for resolving issue over Camilla becoming Queen Consort

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Prince Charles has led tributes on the “remarkable achievement” of his mother Queen Elizabeth II becoming on Sunday the first British monarch to rule for 70 years.

On the day of her platinum jubilee he also expressed deep gratitude to his mother for resolving the difficult question of a title for his wife Camilla once he becomes king.

On Saturday the queen let it be known that it was her “sincere wish” that her son’s second wife be known as Queen Consort on his accession to the throne.

In an emotional response Prince Charles, 73, stated he was “deeply conscious of the honour” bestowed on his wife of 16 years.

The queen’s request removes doubt over Camilla’s future title following years when she was criticised by the tabloid press for the breakdown of Prince Charles’ marriage to his first wife, Princess Diana who died in 1997.

That bitterness appeared to have passed on Sunday as the British press gave broad backing to the decision as Prince of Wales led the tributes from a raft of leading figures.

Queen Elizabeth II at Sandringham House, in Norfolk, for the start of her Platinum Jubilee Year. PA

“We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother's wish,” Prince Charles said.

“As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout.”

Camilla, who currently has the title of Duchess of Cornwall, 74, has become a popular member of the royal family and regularly appears at official duties, alongside her husband and the queen.

“The year of this unprecedented platinum jubilee brings an opportunity for us all to come together in celebrating the service of the queen, by whose example we will continue to be led in the years to come,” Prince Charles said.

Prince Charles with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall who will now become Queen Consort when he accedes the throne. Reuters.

During her seven decades on the throne, the queen has overseen huge social, economic and political change, including the end of the British Empire.

She became the queen of Britain and more than a dozen other realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952, while she was on an international tour in Kenya.

The news was broken to her by her husband Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99 after more than 70 years by her side.

The queen said on Saturday that she wished to renew the pledge she had made in 1947, when she turned 21, that her life would be one of devotion to the country.

Boris Johnson was among many politicians and members of the public to praise the queen for her dedication to public service.

The British prime minister paid tribute to her many years of service and said he did “look forward to coming together as a country to celebrate her historic reign in the summer”.

Former prime minister Theresa May said the queen was “an extraordinary woman, who has dedicated her life to the service of her people and our family of nations”.

The queen’s reign has stretched from the post-war years through a new millennium and into a radically altered 21st century.

She has served as a symbol of stability as the world has changed in countless social, cultural, political and technological ways over the intervening decades.

Her time on the throne has seen 14 prime ministers from the Second World War leader Sir Winston Churchill to the present embattled leader.

There are now three generations of future monarchs, Prince Charles, Prince William and the queen’s great-grandson Prince George.

Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt described the queen’s message on Camilla as “ensuring the transition, when it comes, to her son as king is as seamless and trouble-free as possible”.

He said the queen was “future-proofing an institution she’s served for 70 years” adding that for Camilla “the journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting, is complete”.

Queen Elizabeth, who came to the throne when she was 25, is spending her Accession Day privately on the Sandringham estate in remembrance of her father George VI.

While she has continued to carry out official duties well into her 90s, she has been seen much less regularly of late after spending a night in hospital in October last year for an unspecified ailment and was then instructed by doctors to rest.

On Sunday the palace released a new photo of the queen, smiling broadly near a red dispatch box that contained official government paperwork.

National celebrations marking her record-breaking service on the throne will be staged during a special four-day bank holiday weekend from June 2 to 5.

Updated: February 07, 2022, 11:41 AM
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