why is prince philip not king philip
When nearly 70 years ago, he was forced to renounce his Greek and Danish royal titles in order to become the Duke of Edinburgh; however, a decade later, then-Queen Elizabeth II officially named him a British Prince. It's a ceremony that, judging by the promotional photo below, we're going to see in the
The Crown. On February 22, 1957, the palace issued the following statement: The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date 22nd February, 1957, to give and grant unto His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, K. G. , K. T. , G. B. E. , the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Whitehall. The Queen has been pleased to declare her will and pleasure that His 'Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. But why isn't he King Philip? The wives of British monarchs tend to receive the ceremonial title of queenвor, more specifically, queen consort. For example, the Elizabeth's mother (also Elizabeth) became queen consort when her husband, George VI became King.
Duchess Kate will likely become Queen Catherine when William ascends to the throne. Camilla could become queen consort, though for now Clarence House that "It is intended that Mrs. Parker Bowles should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne. " However, the reciprocal is not true. Men married to the British monarch are known as prince consorts, not king consorts. As with many royal traditions, you can chalk this one up to a very old and powerful patriarchy. Kings always reign, whereas Queen can be a symbolic title. AВ lot of comments we receive on Royal Central raise the question of why Prince Philip isn t king, despite the wife of a king being a queen. On the face of it, it seems bizarre, almost sexist, though in this post I ll explain exactly why Prince Philip isn t king and why the wife of a king is always a queen. Under English common law, a wife traditionally takes her husband s name and rank upon marriage and as a title legally forms part of one s name in most cases, titles within the Royal Family work in much the same way as if an untitled couple were to marry and the wife took her husband s name as her own.
Perhaps the best example of this in action is with Prince Michael of Kent and his wife. Upon his marriage to the then Marie Christine von Reibnitz in 1978, she assumed the female form of his title and became Her Royal HighnessВ Princess Michael of Kent. Other titles in the Royal Family work on a similar basis. For example, the wife of The Duke of Cambridge is known as The Duchess of Cambridge. Had Prince William not been granted the Dukedom for his marriage, she would have become Princess William of Wales. On the other hand, when a female Royal marries, the case is much different. If the woman s title ranks higher than her husband s already, she retains this title. This is the case for Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. If she didn t hold her own title, she would be styled as Lady Laurence as her husband is a knight though because knights rank (way) below the Royal Family, Princess Anne retains her title. The instance of Princess Anne also demonstrates how the use of titles by marriage is very much a one-way-street.
A husband cannot generally take the male form of his wife s title on marriage, whatever her rank. It s a quirk of common law that goes right the way to the top. В Prior to acceding to the throne, The Queen held the titleВ HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh В which was the female form of her husband s title, though as the title of Queen ranks higher than Duchess (and because the Sovereign cannot hold peerages and the like), she no longer used the title of Duchess of Edinburgh, whilst The Duke of Edinburgh to whom the title was issued continued without any change to his own title. Whilst this is not the only reason why the husbandВ of a Queen isn t a King, it is certainly the main one. There is also the issue of rank. Queen Victoria thought thatВ the title of Duke was the proper title for a holder of a title,В which isВ why Her present Majesty is known as Duke of Lancaster and not Duchess. Whether or not the status quo should be maintained in terms of titles is a matter which has reached right into Parliament on numerous occasions.
A bill in the House of Lords at the moment, the Equality (titles) Bill seeks to give husbands of female peers their own courtesy title, though interestingly not one in parallel with their wife s rather they will receive the title of The Honourable as things stand. The issue of making the wives of Kings, Princess Consorts to equalise the issue was discussed during the Succession to the Crown Act readings in the Commons though never made it into the final bill. As things stand, The Duchess of Cornwall will automatically become Queen when Prince Charles accedes to the throne with Clarence House still pushing forward with the idea that legislation will be passed to reduce her to the title of Princess Consort. The matter of titles and how the use of them is regulated is, however, ongoing and new questions are being raised over their use all the time. Who s to say future consorts of Queens might not end up as Kings? Give your view in the comments box below. Should the wife of a king be a queen? Or even, should the husband of a queen be made a king? photo credit: via
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