Queen Elizabeth Had a Poignant Reason to Give Her Blessing to 'Queen Camilla,' Says Royal Historian

Royal historian Robert Lacey said Queen Elizabeth "was acknowledging her own mortality and looking to the future"

Queen Elizabeth is "looking to the future" as she shares her wish for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.

In a message released on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her becoming monarch, the Queen, 95, said that "when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."

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Royal historian Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE, "In the message, she was acknowledging her own mortality and looking to the future. As she thought about her father George VI, she would have also thought about her mother and the importance she played as a partner to him."

Lacey also noted the April death of the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 after 73 years of marriage.

Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla
Queen Elizabeth and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Chris Jackson/Getty

"And then, of course, with the passing of Prince Philip, she is considering the sacrifices and difficulties of being a consort."

Queen Elizabeth Sporting the Crown Through the Years
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. getty

The clues that the Queen would want Camilla to be known as Queen Consort have added up in recent years. In 2016, the Queen made Prince Charles' wife a member of her Privy Council and Camilla was made a member of the Order of the Garter late last year. The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honors system.

"This was the big remaining question mark and it has now been resolved, and any consent from the Prime Minister of the day for the title is a formality," Lacey says.

He adds, "Some people might have thought she would look backwards over her reign with this message, but she was in fact looking forwards in a positive way."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England
Prince Charles, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty

The title had long been open to question. When Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, it was said that she would be known as Princess Consort when the time came for Charles to take the throne. However, the Queen's intervention now indicates that Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband.

Prince Charles, 73, said in a statement celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee on Sunday, "We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother's wish. 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."

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Charles's spokesman told PEOPLE late on Saturday that the couple was "touched and honored" by the Queen's statement.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks to members of the West Norfolk Befriending Society as she celebrates the start of the Platinum Jubilee at a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth attended a Sandringham House event with representatives from local community groups to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee on Saturday.

The Queen "was on sparkling form and in good spirits. Her sense of humor was there and we had a good chat," Yvonne Browne, vice president and chairman of the Sandringham Women's Institute, tells PEOPLE.

The weekend also marked the anniversary of her father King George VI's death 70 years ago.

"It is a bittersweet weekend for her. Anyone who's lost a parent knows what that feels like and then all of a sudden she went from being a princess one day to being Queen," Browne adds. "And in the last year, she has lost His Royal Highness Prince Philip. But she certainly wasn't down yesterday – she was on sparkling form and we were pleased to see her looking so well."

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