Consorts and Consorting

Queen Consort of England

Queen Elizabeth, 95 years old and Queen of England for seventy years, has just announced who will replace her. It was no surprise that her son Charles will become king, but maybe a small surprise in this part of the announcement as reported on CNN World.

Definitions as of 2022

Google “consort meaning” and get these current definitions of consort, the noun, and consort, the verb.
So, while the definition of the verb has a negative slant, the noun is neutral in slant, just a statement of fact. So it is quite reasonable that Camilla be known and honored as Queen Consort.

Consort of George Boland

The reason for this blog post is that one person buried in the Graveyard at the Basilica of St Peter is identified as “Consort.” We are pretty sure the person whose consort she was, George Boland, was not a reigning monarch.  Her marker is listed alphabetically as Elizabeth, but that is probably a mistake due to lack of understanding how the title was used in the 19th century in the USA.

Below is a photo of the marker. Given its 174 year age, it is understandable that legibility is poor. Thanks to the 1936 WPA workers for the typed engraving as read at that time.

So, what did that title mean in 1848. A helpful explanation is included in this post  at Here is the pertinent excerpt from the interesting article, “Women’s History in the Cemetery.”

So, “consort” had a different meaning in 1848, and the conclusion is that Elizabeth was probably the wife of George Boland who was still living when she died. In that case, she should be listed as Boland, Elizabeth in the alphabetical listing on this website. Her listing is being edited to reflect this information.

It’s a shame we don’t have her maiden name and could list her as Boland, Elizabeth Maiden Name.

The term “relict” was not found on any markers in this graveyard. The clip from the article above implies that its use was not common in the 19th century.

What About George?

There is no marker in this graveyard for George Boland so he must have moved on after the death of Elizabeth. Another opportunity for a little research on Such research might even reveal the maiden name of Elizabeth.


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