Please, please do not read Mail online articles about the British royal family! The writers of these articles have no expertise in the how the British monarchy works: from family relationships to how someone is titled.
Last week, the Mail online ran a poorly written and researched article about how William and Catherine will be styled as heir, wife of the heir, sovereign, and wife of the sovereign.
The article neglected to mention that when Charles becomes king, William succeeds as Duke of Cornwall (in England) and Duke of Rothesay (in Scotland). The latter title was used by the heir apparent to the throne of Scotland prior to the 1707 Act of Union.
The Duchy of Cornwall is the oldest of all English Duchies, It was created in 1337 for Edward, the Black Prince, the eldest son of King Edward III. As the Black Prince died before his father, the title was re-created for his son, the future Richard II.
A royal charter, established in 1421, further defined the inheritance of the dukedom. The succession is limited to one person: the eldest son of the sovereign. When George II's eldest son, Frederick, the Prince of Wales, died in 1751, his eldest son -- George II's grandson-- the future King George III became the heir apparent.
But the young George was unable to become the Duke of Cornwall as he was not the eldest son of the sovereign.
I am sure some of my readers will ask -- so when William becomes the Duke of Cornwall. what happens to the title Duke of Cambridge? Does George become the Duke of Cambridge?
In a word, no. The only way George can succeed to the Cambridge dukedom is for his father to die before his grandfather.
William will remain as Duke of Cambridge until he becomes king, when his peerages revert to the Crown. George, as the heir apparent, will become Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. Cambridge will remain with the Crown until the Sovereign decides to create a new peerage for a male member of the royal house.
It is possible that after William is the heir apparent, he will be styled as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. This means Catherine will be styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. Their children will be "of Cornwall and Cambridge."
There is a modern precedent for this double ducal style. When Queen Victoria died in January 1901, she was succeeded by her eldest son, Albert Edward, who became King Edward VII. His only surviving son, George, was the Duke of York.
George's new title was HRH The Duke of Cornwall and York. His wife, Mary, became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and York. Their four children, Princes Edward (David), Albert and Henry and Princess Mary, ceased to be styled as "of York." After their grandfather became king, their new title was "of Cornwall and York."
I can hear your next question? Marlene... why doesn't William get to be Prince of Wales?
The title Prince of Wales is NOT HEREDITARY. The title is given to the heir apparent at the discretion of the Sovereign. It was not until November 9, 1901 (King Edward VII's birthday) that the King announced he was creating his son, George, the Duke of Cornwall and York, as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
Within days, the Book of Common Prayer was amended, changing the prayers for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to prayers for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The children of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York also saw a change in title. Edward, Albert, Henry, and Mary were now styled "of Wales."
George did not stop being Duke of Cornwall or Duke of York. He was styled as Duke of Cornwall when he visited Cornwall.
The present Prince of Wales is styled as Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, when he visits his duchy. When he visited Scotland, he used to be styled as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Rothesay. He is now styled in Scotland as The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.
|Change of style came in the late 1990s.|
Charles will confer the titles of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on his eldest son, but the announcement will unlikely be made within the first weeks of his accession. Queen Elizabeth II did not name Charles as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester until July26, 1958, nearly 60 years ago.
When William is named as Prince of Wales, his wife -- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge -- will become HRH The Princess of Wales. She will not be HRH Catherine, Princess of Wales. George, Charlotte and Louis will stop using "of Cornwall and Cambridge," as their new style will be "of Wales."
HRH The Princess of Wales. Just like Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and so on.
Following her divorce from the Prince of Wales, Diana was styled as Diana, Princess of Wales. A widow or a divorced wife of a peer is styled by her first name, followed by the title.
What about Camilla? She is HRH The Princess of Wales, but she is styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. I believe the decision to use Cornwall was done to appease the Dianamanics. I think it is silly to not style Camilla as HRH The Princess of Wales.
William will be King William V. His wife will be styled as Queen Catherine. The silly Mail Online stated she will be styled Queen Catherine VI.
Er. No. The sovereign, not the consort, gets a regnal number. Catherine will be the sixth woman with a variant of the name Catherine to be a consort.
Officially, the style is The King and The Queen. No names. The informal use will be King William V and Queen Catherine.
William will sign his name as William R. Catherine will sign as Catherine. The R is for Rex, Latin for King. Queen Elizabeth II signs as Elizabeth R. The R is for Regina, Latin for Queen.
As a Queen consort, Catherine will be able to use the R after her name. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth (consorts of George V and VI) did sign their names with the R. Queen Alexandra (the consort of Edward VII) did not.
Duke of Cornwall: inherited by the eldest son of the Sovereign.
Duke of Rothesay: inherited by the eldest son of the Sovereign (used in Scotland)
Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester: conferred on the male heir apparent at the discretion of the Sovereign. George II named his grandson as Prince of Wales, a month after the death of his son.
The revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall funds the heir apparent and his family. In 2011, the status of the Duchy of Cornwall changed. Prior to this change, the duchy (and its monies) reverted to the Crown, if the heir apparent was not the eldest son of the Sovereign.
There was no Duke of Cornwall from January 20, 1936, until February 6, 1952, when Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne and her son, Charles, became the Duke of Cornwall.
In 2011, Parliament passed the Sovereign Grant Act. One of the changes to the law will allow the revenue from the duchy to be inherited by the heir apparent even if the heir apparent is not the eldest son, and not eligible to be styled as Duke of Cornwall.
Until the change in the succession law, the eldest son was automatically the heir apparent. Now the eldest child will be the heir apparent. A female heir apparent or a male heir apparent who is not the eldest son of the sovereign (future George III), cannot inherit the title, but will benefit from the revenues.
As titles are a part of the Sovereign's position as "fountain of all honours," the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act did not change how Cornwall can be inherited, if the eldest child is a daughter. I expect that the royal charter will be amended to allow for the inheritance of the eldest child of the sovereign.
It will be up to the Sovereign to also decide if the female heir apparent will receive the titles of Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester.
The official investiture of the Prince of Wales is a modern invention. King George V named his eldest son as Prince of Wales on the latter's 16th birthday, June 23, 1910. It was the Welsh politician and Prime Minister David Lloyd George's idea for a formal investiture ceremony in Wales. This took place on June 13, 1911.