London: Queen Elizabeth II has appointed Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to the highest female rank in the Royal Victorian Order, Buckingham Palace has revealed.
The announcement that Camilla has been made a Dame Grand Cross comes on the day of her seventh wedding anniversary with Prince Charles, the queen’s son, Fox News reported.
Awards under the Royal Victorian Order, which was founded in 1896 by Queen Victoria, are given by the queen to people who have served her or the monarchy in a personal way. They are bestowed independently of the prime minister’s office.
Once vilified as the old flame who poisoned Charles’ first marriage to Princess Diana, Camilla has become an integral member of the royal family since she married the prince on April 9, 2005 - eight years after Diana’s death.
Since the couple’s civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor, the 64-year-old has carried out hundreds of royal engagements and taken on a wide range of patronages.
She also has travelled extensively with the prince on official visits, including a recent tour of Scandinavia with stops in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.
Lately, Camilla was seen stepping out with the queen and the former Kate Middleton - who married Prince William - for an appearance in London.
Camilla will be invested with the insignia of her rank at a later date, according to the Buckingham Palace.