In a candid interview with an American TV show, Prince Charles reveals that his long-time girlfriend Camilla “could be Queen”.

The Prince looked stunned after interviewer Brian Williams asks if the Duchess of Cornwall will become Queen.

‘That’s well… perceivably. We’ll see won’t we? That could be,’ he said.

Previously, Prince Charles had only said that Camilla would become Princess Consort when he ascends to the throne. The title was created at the time of their wedding in 2005.

Royal aides advised him that the British public, still enamoured with the late Princess Diana, would not take kindly to Camilla receiving the title of Queen.

A spokesman for the Prince said: “Nothing has changed. The intention absolutely remains that the Duchess be known as Princess Consort when the Prince becomes king.

“However we have always made it clear that when the day comes, whatever the circumstances are at the time, the Government would have the final say on the title the Duchess uses.”

Charles also spoke about ascending to the throne in the interview. Controversy over whether Charles should abdicate in favour of his son William has arisen since the royal wedding was announced.

“If it comes to it regrettably it comes as a result of death of your parent which is not too nice to say the least,” he said. “Obviously if it comes then you have to deal with it.”

The programme is due to be screened in the States later tonight.