When Camilla Parker Bowles married the Prince of Wales, she wasn't allowed to use the Princess of Wales title, and Buckingham Palace additionally clarified that she will be called Princess Consort instead of Queen Consort when her husband takes over the throne. However, a recent gesture by Queen Elizabeth II suggests that her eldest daughter-in-law might get to be called the Queen Consort after all.

The British monarch has appointed the Duchess of Cornwall to be a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter, which was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system. The queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, personally chooses the knights to honour among those who have held public office, contributed to national life, or personally served her.

Apart from the monarch and 24 knights chosen in recognition of their work, the order may include several senior members of her family. She has bestowed the honour to her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William, her direct heirs to the throne.

A royal expert believes that the 95-year-old bestowing the honour to Camilla is a unifying gesture and leaves no room for doubt that the latter will become Queen Consort by name as well when Prince Charles succeeds his mother as the British monarch. Hugo Vickers wrote in Mail Online, "That is surely what will now happen. And with this latest announcement, there is no greater honour – or better indication of the respect in which she is held by the Queen."

The royal expert added that it also proves Camilla is central to the future of the British monarchy, as she will get an elevated position in her own right in case she outlives her husband. He said that the Queen's gesture "is the latest in a long line of advancements for the Duchess, who changed from hated mistress to supportive wife more or less overnight when she married Charles in April 2005."

Royal expert Robert Jobson had previously claimed that Buckingham Palace said they "intended" for Camilla to use Princess Consort only so they could buy some time for a hostile public still upset about Princess Diana to warm up to her replacement.

Prince Charles Camilla Parker Bowles and Queen
Prince Charles Camilla Parker Bowles and Queen Elizabeth II Chris Jackson/Getty Images