Prince Philip was the UK's longest serving consort - but what does the role involve?

  • Queen Rania of Jordan describes life as a Royal consort

At the point of his death, Prince Philip was the longest serving royal consort in British history. Elizabeth II gained power in 1952 - which means that as The Queen, she was married to Philip for almost seven decades.

In 'A Royal Salute', a special ITV News programme dedicated to the Duke, Queen Rania of Jordan gave a rare insight into life as a Royal consort.

Alongside the likes of Monaco's Princess Charlene and Spain's Queen Letizia, Queen Rania is a Royal consort. Her husband is King Abdullah II - the king of Jordan.

What is the role of a consort?

According to Queen Rania, a consort is a role that is both specific and indefinable.

"You define it as you go along, based on where you can make a difference, where you are needed and where your passions lie," she said.

"Because you are in the public eye, you very often aren’t forgiven for the errors."

She added that the position changes with the time, labelling it an "evolving role".

Queen Elizabeth II with King Abdullah, Queen Rania and the Duke of Edinburgh at a State Banquet at Windsor Castle. Credit: PA

What should a consort do to support their spouse?

Queen Rania said a Royal consort must make every effort to alleviate pressure from their spouse, "even if that’s by being a distraction".

She said they must "provide an environment at home which takes [the monarch's] mind of the heaviness outside the house."That’s instrumental because the wellbeing of your spouse eventually has an impact on how well they carry out their duties.

“Being a partner, there is the private role you play to support your spouse who is under the limelight, who is held accountable for everything."

Jordan's Queen Rania and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Windsor Castle at the start of her State Visit to the UK Credit: PA

The Duke became a consort at a time when men were seen as heads of households - did this impact how he carried out the role?

“There must have been times when it wasn’t easy for him," Queen Rania said.

"At the same time he was a constant anchor for Her Majesty. I think she probably wouldn’t have been able to carry on her journey they way she did without him by her side.”Are the Jordanian Royal family and the British Royal family similar in any way?

“We’re similar in the way that many other families are similar. We share the same love for our children and concern for the future,” Queen Rania said.