Tuesday, October 20, 2015

No Family Order for Catherine











In the past few weeks, there has been intense speculation from a certain quarter in the British press that the Duchess of Cambridge received the Family Order, and would be seen wearing it at the State Banquet in honor of the Chinese President's State visit.

The Family Order is the personal gift from the Sovereign to female members of the family.  Princesses of the Blood used  to receive it automatically, but wives of Princes of the Blood Royal have to earn it.   The Princess of Wales received the Order within the first few months of the her marriage to the Prince of Wales in 1981.   The  Duchess of Cornwall,  Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Kent and Gloucester are also recipients of the Order.

I have been told by a very reliable authority that Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have not received the Royal Family Order.  

The Duchess of York did not receive the Order during her marriage to the Duke of York.

Princess Michael of Kent has not received the Order.  She has been married to Prince Michael since June 1978.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given the highest precedence after the Queen and Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh, taking the positions of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

No announcement is made when the Queen bestows this gift.  Perhaps the Queen is waiting for Catherine to realize that it is time to be a full time royal, and start taking on new patronages, and other duties.  When Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott married the Duke of Gloucester in November 1935, she acknowledged that marrying into the Royal Family meant she would become a servant of the country.  

At some point in the not-too-distant future,  Catherine will wake to find that she is the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, the wife of the heir apparent.  (Prince of Wales is not a hereditary title, but reserved for the heir apparent.  It will be up to Charles III to bestow the titles Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on William.)   At that time, she will have run out of excuses because the wife of the heir to the throne is a full time position.  No ifs. ands, or buts about it.




23 comments:

mypiecedlife.com said...

I think it is totally appropriate that Catherine doesn't have the Queen's family order. If she did at this point, it would only be because she has given birth to the future monarch and a spare. As for being a full time royal, I think there is plenty of time for that. Plus there are plenty of royals clamoring for the tasks. Why not allow her to raise her children? Is she expected to be a full time royal while her husband is off flying helicopters?

emily said...

I agree. I also don't think we'll see Catherine receive the family order within the Queen's lifetime. I believe that unless the Queen lives another 15-20 years (possible, but unlikely), it will be Charles who bestows this honor on Catherine. While I don't believe Catherine has earned the honor yet, I also think that it would be too early for any royal wife to receive the honor this early in her marriage. Catherine is a mother of very young children. I also think there is plenty of time for her to increase her workload as her children get older.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Emily, Charles will have a separate family order for the female members of the family. Diana received it in the first year of marriage. Sophie got it within 5 years but she works hard. Camilla received a few years into the marriage, but now has the Royal Victorian order as well.

emily said...

I still say Catherine won't receive it from the Queen. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

k said...

I don't understand this. I thought the Dss. Cambridge curtsies to Dss Cornwall unless HRH Pr. William is present?

Is The Queen so disappointed with Dss Cambridge because she wants to spend time with her children? This makes little sense to me because HM was seemingly supportive when Charles and Diana were young parents.

mypiecedlife.com said...

Clarification: I think Catherine will receive Elizabeth II's royal order at some point. The time isn't yet though.

Wymanda said...

I think HM learned a lesson in bestowing honours too early. I would say that William & Catherine will have to make it to seven years marriage and take on a lot more royal work before the family order is given to Catherine.
Having said that I think it is right that Catherine is given the chance to raise her family before the role of wife of the heir falls to her with its accompanying duties. HM did not have that luxury due to the death of her father when she was only 26 and Charles & Anne were very young.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

K, the information about Catherine curtseying to other HRHs is incorrect. One does not curtsey to someone of the same rank. HRHs do not curtsey to other HRHS. I have seen curtseys to Philip, but thats probably more out of respect to his position and age. Precedence and curtseys are not intertwined. Precedence goes from the sovereign to the children of a life baron ... it is not a social ranking or a pecking order. Normally a grandson of the sovereign comes after the sons of the sovereign, but William is second in line. Succession and precedence are also not linked. William is more important than Andrew and William has ties to China so made sense to have William and Catherine following the queen. They were (in effect) replacing Charles and Camilla. As for raising family, Catherine has help. She can take on more (perhaps 3 days a week). There are millions of single mothers who have no help and work three jobs. She needs to begin the preparation, the activity now. So does William. This will avoid being overwhelmed when the time comes ..

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Emily, it won't be a positive and good thing, if the future Queen Consort does not have ERII's family order. It does say a lot that the Queen is not ready to give the wife of the second in line to the throne her personal order. One is not rewarded for pushing out the heir and spare, but for service to the Crown. Princesses of the blood get it automatically.

emily said...

Where does the assumption come from that the Queen is shunning Catherine? For all we know, the two have already had discussions about when and if she will get the order - or what she needs to do to get it. I just don't necessarily believe that the Queen is withholding the order simply to force Catherine to increase her workload.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The queen does not discuss with the possible recipient. Don't think she is withholding it as it is her gift. There is no requirement that the wife of a prince of the blood royal receives it. It will when the Queen decides to bestow it. But I do think that the wife of the second in line would receive in less time than the wife of a prince further down in the line of succession. Most likely. the queen has decided Catherine has not earned her gold star.

Spoelstral said...

Marlene, you say that "princesses of the blood get it (the RFO) automatically." Do you think that Beatrice and Eugenie (and possibly Louise and/or Charlotte) already have it, but just haven't had the opportunity to wear it? I actually hope that they do, as that means that Louise and Charlotte could possibly, eventually, have FOUR RFOs: EII, Charles, William, and George, and Beatrice and Eugenie with at least three. How cool that would look.

Janice Seto said...

The unfolding of Prince William's career was appallingly handled. His leaving the search and rescue in Wales was spun as a segue to full time royal duties after a year's transition period. Then it became clear he was going to train for another helicopter job and thus postpone the 'day of reckoning' to full time royal duties as long as possible.

Since his wife is content to let him take the lead, her following his example really does not go hand in hand with the family honour.

Janice Seto said...

The unfolding of William's career plans post-Wales search and rescue speak to poor planning. The announcement he would take on full time royal duties after a year in transition segued into sticking w flying helicopters. This boy so does not want to do full time royal work! He's pushing the 'day of reckoning ' as far away as a kid would his plate of vegetables.


His wife follows his example so it is no wonder the Duchess is still awaiting the family order.

John said...

I guess we'll never know if the two Yorkies got their QEII order automatically as Princesses of The Blood, because they're not working royals who attend the dressy events where one would wear an order. I like to think they both have one, in a beautiful satin lined box, a treasure from granny. Maybe we'll see them wearing it in the future, at Charles and Camilla's coronation.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I was told yesterday that the York princesses have not received the family order. The Queen appears to have changed this too - that princesses get it automatically.

Wymanda said...

There was a thought expressed on some message boards that Catherine will not wear the order because the portrait is painted on Ivory. Given Prince Williams' stand on the ivory trade it would make sense.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

that is absolute nonsense. If you receive an Order, you wear it at state occasions. The Order is an honor, and given by the Sovereign. To not wear it would be a real insult to the queen. Sophie got hers after 5 years of marriage.

Wymanda said...

Actually the suggestion was that William & Catherine had requested that she not be given it by the Queen on those grounds as it would, as you say, insult HM if Catherine were not to wear it when awarded.
The discussion went on along the lines that William (and probably Charles before him) will change the material on which the Family Orders are painted. Probably to porcelain.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Utter, utter trash. what nonsense. William and Catherine have no say in rejecting an order for the female members of the family. More like someone trying to come up with an excuse to cover why Catherine, who is not a full time royal, has not received the Order. it has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual order.

Janice Seto said...

She has kept her maiden name of Middleton, it appears. In the Closer.fr magazine legal action, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, whereas he is Mountbatten -Windsor.

Wymanda said...

Marlene; you clearly dislike Catherine and William. This makes me wonder why you continue to send them letters and/or cards of congratulations. Maybe because you like the kudos of the replies on your mantel shelf???

HM has obviously agreed to the part time status as working royals. Where she not in agreance with the scenario it would not be happening. I think we all need to keep in mind that, at the present time, William is not the Heir; his father is. When, in the fullness of time, he becomes Duke of Cambridge & Cornwall things will need to change & he and Catherine will have to take up a full round of royal duties. Given the age of the Queen, it is likely that George & Charlotte will be under 10 years of age & they may well have other younger children.

Let them enjoy the time with their young family while they can.

I'm pretty certain you will not publish this comment but I felt I had to have my say.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Wymanda, I do not dislike them at all. The cards do not go on a mantel but in albums. They are in the their mid-30s. They need to do more ... they have a nanny, staff, Catherine can do more each week, and see her kids.

Janice ... Royals do not keep maiden names The French court system used it.