Wednesday, October 17, 2018

To Be Royal or Not to Be Royal ... that is the question

Embed from Getty Images

 I am sure everyone knows that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring.  The new little sprog will be 7th in line to the throne, pushing Great Uncle Andrew down one notch.

There have been discussions on both sides of the Pond about how the couple's children will be styled. Will the child be royal or will he or she be styled as a child of a duke. It is a conundrum that will be answered before the Duchess gives birth.

The style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom are not governed by legislation, unlike Succession laws.   It is the purview of the Sovereign who is the fountain of all honors.   The Sovereign does not decide on the day of birth to grant royal status.  Elizabeth II did not give royal titles to the Duke and Duchess of York's daughters.  The reason why they are Princesses is due to the Letters Patents of Queen Victoria (1864) and King George V (1917.)

Victoria clarified who was a royal highness and who was a highness (a lower style).


The full Letters Patent

How it was published in the London Gazette

Embed from Getty Images


Victoria's Letters Patent gave children of the sovereign and grandchildren in the MALE of the sovereign the rank of Royal Highness.  Great grandchildren (and further on) were given the rank of Highness.

The title of Prince of Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland would continue in the male line with no end.   Only the children of the sovereign and the grandchildren in the male line of the sovereign were entitled to the HRH.

Fast forward to 1898.  Queen Victoria has three great-grandchildren in the male line, the children of the Duke and Duchess of York, who, from birth, were styled  HH Prince Edward of York, HH Prince Albert of York and HH Princess Mary of York.

With the stroke of Victoria's pen,  Edward, known as David, Albert, known as Bertie, and Mary, became royal highnesses.   David succeeded to the throne in January 1936 as King Edward VIII.  Eleven months later, he abdicated "for the woman he loved" in favor of his brother, Albert, the Duke of York, who became King George VI/

The only other male-line grandsons to have issue were HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, only son and second of three children of HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and HRH Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, who succeeded his paternal uncle, HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in August 1900.   His children were HH Prince or Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke or Duchess of Saxony and HH Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

 Prince Arthur and his wife, HH Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, were married in 1913.  Their only son was born a year later.  For the first three years of his life, Alastair was styled as HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught.  The little prince was heir to the Connaught and Strathearn and Fife dukedoms.

Alexandra and her younger sister, Maud, were the children of HRH Princess Louise, eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.  On the same day in November 1905 that Edward VII created Louise as Princess Royal, he gave the rank of Highness and the title of Princess to Louise's children.  She was married to the Duke of Fife.  The two girls were styled from birth as Lady Alexandra and Lady Maud Duff.   Following her marriage to her mother's first cousin, HH The Duchess of Fife was styled as HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught.





 The King's decision to bestow royal status on his two granddaughters was not supported by his son, George, the Prince of Wales, the future George V. He did not think that his sister's daughters should have royal status.   HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught was a respected and hard-working member of the Royal Family, championing a number of charities.  She became a registered nurse and ran her own nursing home.  Her younger sister, Princess Maud, sought a more private life and did not carry out official duties.   George V's 1917 Letters Patent did not affect her directly as the warrant did not rescind Edward VII's decision to give his granddaughters the rank of Highness and title of Princess.


Embed from Getty Images 

Maud remained styled as HH Princess Maud until November 12, 1923, when she married Charles Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, styled as Lord Carnegie, heir apparent to the Earl of Southesk.  King George V discreetly informed his niece that he wished for her to relinquish her royal title and style.  She agreed.  She was styled as the Lady Maud Carnegie until 1941 when her husband succeeded to the earldom. From that date, she was The Countess of Southesk.

Lady Southesk was 13th in line to the throne when she died on December 14, 1945.  Because of her closeness to the throne, she served as a Councillor of State form 1941 until 1945.

Embed from Getty Images

This brings us to November 30, 1917 when George V issued a Letters Patent that further defined those who are entitled to the HRH and the title of Prince or Princess.




This Letters Patent superseded the two Letters Patent issued by Victoria in 1864 and 1898, respectively, and is still in effect.

The HRH and title Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now Northern Ireland) is limited to the following categories of people.

Children of the sovereign.

Grandchildren of the sovereign in the MALE line.
The eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, but not any other grandchildren in the male line, including the other children of the eldest son of the eldest son.  Weird.  Victoria's 1898 Letters Patent covered all of the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

Great-grandchildren in the male line would be styled as younger sons of a duke and daughters of a duke with the exception of the eldest sons of the male grandsons who also had peerages.

So let's look at the present Royal Family to understand how the 1917 Letters Patent works.

Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Margaret - grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line. HRH and Princesses from birth.

The Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York & Earl of Wessex - children of the sovereign in the male line. HRH and Princes and Princess from birth although the 1917 Letters Patent did not apply to Charles and Anne, who would not have been royal at birth if not for George VI issuing another Letters Patent before Elizabeth gave birth to Charles.  More on this later in this post.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Mountbatten Windsor, and Viscount Severn.
Grandchildren in the male line of the Sovereign.  HRH and Prince or Princess.  

An announcement was made on the day of Prince Edward's wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones (June 19, 1999) that he would be created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn.  The announcement also included information about the titles and style of future children.  No Letters Patent was issued to change the style, however.  Lady Louise and Lord Severn are technically HRH and Princess and Prince.  This was acknowledged by the HRH The Countess of Wessex in an interview several years ago.

The decision to use the style of children of earl was made largely due  -- in my view -- to scandals (three divorces, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales) in the 1990s.  The Way Ahead group, which included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, other members of the Royal family, courtiers and others, made a number of decision that affected the royals, then and now.

One decision was to recommend that Edward's children not be styled with the royal titles. The Way Ahead group also decided that the Duke of York's two daughters,  Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, would not become working royals. There were reports in the late 1990s that the two princesses would lose their royal titles and be styled as Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie Mountbatten-Windsor, but this recommendation was tabled.

This decision has been a source of contention for the Duke of York, but it must stated that he has known since the late 1990s that his daughters would need to have their careers.  It is understandable that the Duke, who loves his daughters, would want them to be working royals.  It is a decision that is supported by the Queen.  If she wanted the princesses to be full-time member of the firm, she would make that view known.

Embed from Getty Images 

 It is my opinion that if the Duke and Duchess of York had not divorced and got involved in numerous shady or sketchy projects,  they would be among the senior royals and their daughters, princesses of the blood royal would be full-time members of The Firm.  If you take a look at the British Monarchy's official website, you will discover that Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are the only adult members of the Royal Family who do not have their own profiles.  Their patronages and charities are not included in the Royal Family's charities database nor do they appear in the Court Circular when they carry out their engagements, with the exception of when they are asked to do an official engagement or they attend state and official events.

https://www.royal.uk/charities-and-patronages


The Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent.  Grandchildren in the male line of the sovereign.  They are HRH and Princes and Princess.


Embed from Getty Images

The first male line descendant to be affected by the 1917 Letters Patent was three-year-old HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught, the only child of HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught.  He was a great-grandson in the male line  As his mother was a duchess in her own right,  it was decided that he would be styled by the Fife dukedom's secondary title, Earl of Macduff.   When Prince Arthur of Connaught died from cancer in 1938,  Lord Macduff became the heir apparent to his grandfather's dukedom as well.  He succeeded as the second Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1942 and died unmarried a year later in Ottawa, Canada.  The Connaught dukedom reverted to the Crown.

Alastair's maternal first cousin, James, Lord Carnegie, the only child of the Countess of Southesk, succeeded to the Fife dukedom in 1959, following the death of Princess Arthur of Connaught.

Embed from Getty Images 

 The children of the present Dukes of Gloucester and Kent and Prince Michael of Kent are great-grandchildren in the male line.  The children of Prince Michael of Kent, who does not have a peerage, are styled as Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor -- younger son of a duke and daughter of a duke, as stated in the 1917 Letters Patent.

The Duke of Gloucester's only son, Alexander, is the Earl of Ulster, and his two daughters are Lady Rose and Lady Davina.

Lord Ulster is married and has two children,  Xan, who bears the courtesy title, Lord Culloden, and Lady Cosima.

Lord Ulster is the heir apparent to the Duke of Gloucester.  When he succeeds, he will be styled as Your Grace.  The Gloucester and Kent dukedoms will cease to be royal dukedoms.

The Duke of Kent has two sons.  George, the Earl of St. Andrews, and Lord Nicholas Windsor and one daughter, Lady Helen.   Lord St. Andrews, heir apparent to the Kent dukedom, has one son,  Edward, styled as Lord Downpatrick, and two daughters,  Lady Marina-Charlotte and Lady Amelia Windsor.

The children of Lord Frederick and Lord Nicholas have no title:  Miss Maud and Miss Isabella Windsor (Frederick) and Master Albert, Master Leopold and Master Louis Windsor  (Nicholas.)

The succession (male line) for both dukedoms is secure, especially the Kent dukedom, which has eight males in the line of the succession.

George V created the Gloucester and Kent dukedoms for his third and fourth sons, Princes Henry and George, in 1928 and 1934, respectively.

The Duke of York's peerages will revert to the Crown upon his death as the titles for his male descendants.  His daughters or their children cannot inherit the dukedom.

The Earl of Wessex's son, James, is the heir to the Wessex earldom.   After the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and Charles is king,  Edward will be created Duke of Edinburgh.  He is in line for his father's dukedom, but if Philip dies before the Queen, Charles succeeds to his father's peerages.  This is made clear in George VI's Letters Patent.  Philip was created His Royal Highness on November 19, 1947.  The morning of the wedding to Princess Elizabeth on November 20, George VI issued another Letters Patent, creating him as Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, with the succession of peerages reserved for his male heirs.

I expect that Edward will receive the title Duke of Edinburgh without secondary titles and the earldom of Wessex will be used as the courtesy title for the heir and Viscount Severn for the heir's heir.

Princesses cannot pass their titles to their children, even if the Princess is the heir to the throne.

Less than a month before, HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, gave birth to Charles, her father, King George VI issued a Letter Patent that gave the HRH and title Prince or Princess to her children.



If this Letters Patent had not been issued,  Charles and Anne would not have had royal status until Elizabeth succeeded to the throne.  They would have taken their rank from their father.  The two children would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth and Lady Anne Mountbatten.

There have been seven blood princesses since George V.  He had one daughter, Mary, who married Viscount Lascelles, in 1922.  Lord Lascelles succeeded as the 6th Earl of Harewood in 1929.  Two years later, King George V named Mary as the Princess Royal.  The 8th Earl of Harewood is their grandson.

The Duke of York, the second son of George V, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon a year after Princess Mary's wedding.  Lady Elizabeth had been one of Mary's bridesmaids.  They were the parents of two daughters,  Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, who in 1960, married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.  He originally turned down a peerage.  It was not until October 6, 1961, that Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley of Nymans.  This announcement came less than a month before Margaret gave birth to their first son, David, now the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.    Princess Margaret chose not to be styled by her husband's name after the wedding. She remained HRH The Princess Margaret, until after the peerage was granted.  A few days later came the announcement that Margaret would now be styled as HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

Margaret's children would have the style and status of children of an earl.

In April 1963,  Princess Alexandra of Kent married the Hon, Angus Ogilvy, younger son of the Earl of Airlie.  The Queen did offer an earldom to Angus, but he declined.  In an interview years later, he said he regretted the decision because it set a terrible precedent for Anne and Mark Phillips.  Angus believed that the Princess Anne's children -- the Queen's grandchildren -- should have titles.

Anne married fellow equestrian Mark Phillips in November 1973.  The Princess and Mr. Phillips were interviewed on British TV before their wedding and Mark said that he had not been offered a peerage.  Other sources say that he and Anne turned down an earldom but this has never been confirmed.   Anne's children would never have been royal as she could not pass her rank or title to her children.

Thus, the children of Princess  Alexandra and Princess Anne take their rank from their fathers, who are not titled.   It will be the same for Princess Eugenie's children.  They will be Master or Miss Christian name Brooksbank.



Embed from Getty Images

This brings us back to the status of the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, who would be HRH and Prince, but his siblings would be styled as younger sons and daughters of a duke.  What were George V and his advisers thinking when this clause was considered.   His grandmother, Victoria, upgraded his children to the rank of royal highness in 1898.  David was the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (George's father).  He and his siblings and royal rank, but were highnesses rather than royal highnesses.

Did King George V not consider the future where the possibility of three direct heirs and the sovereign be alive at the same time.   Apparently not.  Queen Victoria's longevity was perhaps, seen as an anomaly in royal life.  King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI did not live long enough to see their grandchildren marry and have issue.

George VI's daughter, Elizabeth II, has seen now seen five of her grandchildren marry.  She has seven great-grandchildren, three in the male line.   The eighth great-grandchild, also in male line, will be born next spring.

Embed from Getty Images

Fast forward to 2013.  The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her first child.  A boy would be the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. The new gender-equal succession law had recently been approved.  What if the Cambridges' first child had been a girl.  She would have been styled as the Lady Charlotte Mountbatten-Windsor and if George had been born second -- he would have been HRH Prince  George of Cambridge.    The youngest child would be known as Lord Louis Mountbatten-Windsor.

This could have been awkward.  A future queen who does not have royal style but brother does.

Queen Elizabeth II solved that problem by issuing a new Letters Patent that extended the HRH and royal title to all of the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.


 The 1917 Letters Patent makes it clear that Harry's children -- great-grandchildren in the male line -- will be styled, at least for the immediate future, as the children of a duke.  The eldest son will be the Earl of Dumbarton, daughters will be styled as Lady Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor and younger sons will be Lord Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor.

I do not think George V considered this scenario  - the Prince of Wales having more than one grandson in the male line.   When Victoria died in January 1901, she had three great-grandsons in the male line:  Princes Edward, Albert, and Henry of York, the three eldest sons of the Duke of York.

When Charles succeeds to the throne, his grandchildren will become royal, unless it is made clear before he succeeds that Harry's children will remain styled as children of a duke.

As I have said many times, I don't make predictions anymore because my crystal ball is broken and the manufacturer can no longer get the parts to fix it.

I do think that Charles will want his grandchildren - Cambridge and Sussex - to be equal. Moreover, in 25-30 years, the Royal Family will be a lot smaller, through death and attrition.   None of the current working royals apart from Charles, have successors to take on royal duties.  The Duke of Kent is 83.  Princess Alexandra will celebrate her 82nd birthday on Christmas Day.  Prince Michael of Kent is 76.  The Duke of Gloucester is 74.   The Princess Royal turned 68 last August.  The Duke of York will be 59 next February, and his younger, the Earl of  Wessex is 54 years old.  Most will not be alive when William is on the throne,

Embed from Getty Images 

 The Prince of Wales is approaching his 70th birthday on November 14.

The Royal Family will have been whittled down to William and Harry and their families.   Harry's grandchildren will not be royal and the 3rd Duke of Sussex (if Harry has a son who has a son) will be His Grace.   The Sussex dukedom is for Harry's male-line descendants only.

Several writers have pointed out that Harry's children will be in the same position as the York princesses.  Yes, in terms of being the children of the second son of the king.  But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not royal pariahs and are unlikely to get involved in less than wholesome dealings as have both the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York.

The Duke of Sussex does not share his Uncle's fondness for self-indulgence.  He understands what his current role is within the royal family, and he is certainly aware that he will be the son of the king, and, in the fullness of time, the brother -- the only sibling of the king.

I will not be surprised if the Queen issues another Letters Patent, perhaps toward the end of this year, that extends the royal rank to Harry's children.

Other Royal Musing posts that may be of interest to you:

https://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2018/07/so-how-will-william-and-catherine-by.html

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2013/08/british-titles-etc-rules-are-hard-and.html

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2015/05/why-catherine-is-princess-redux-with.html

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2016/10/what-to-do-about-york-princesses.html

https://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2012/04/titles-deprivation-act-of-1917.html

20 comments:

www.maltagenealogy.com said...

How about those of the Hannover dynasts, they continue to style Prince and Princess of GB, etc..

The only male line that still exist other then KEVII is the Same Coburg and Gotha line. They completely cut all ties with UK.

Matthew Plooster said...

Fascinating history of the titles, as always, Marlene. Would you happen to have the link to the Countess of Wessex interview that you referenced? I would be very interested in reading or watching it.

1971 said...

You make a good point about all Charles's grandchildren be HRH from birth, though y think it would be unfortunate to repeat the limbo situation of the York Princesses - not working royals but limited as private individuals because of the HRH. But that couldn't have been forseen when the York sisters where born.
I for 1 was disappointed by the wording of the HRH extension for the Cambridge children, that it specified elder son of the prince of Wales rather than elder child - which didn't seem in keeping with the new succession law.
Though in the British way I suppose the Letters Patent are unlikely to be updated until absolutely necessary. To far off to be concerned with the status of the sposes/children of Charlotte and Louis, which will hopefully be equal.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Hannovers continue to use Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (not Northern Ireland), but are not real titles/ The Coburgs did not continue the farce of using the UK titles but also their marriages were not approved according to the RMA, although most of the Hanover marriages were approved, which was done out of tradition.

1971, when the York princesses were born there were no questions of not growing as working royals. That discussion came about in the late 1990s, after the divorces, scandals, death of Diana. If the Yorks were a happy married couple and had not gotten involved in sketchy projects, the princesses would be working members of the Firm. The 2012 Letters Patent corrected the 1917 problem with the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales - that only the eldest son of the eldest son of POW would be royal but not siblings. The new succession law law is separate as it is an Act of Parliament, legislation. Titles are not gender equal. A princess cannot pass rank to her husband or children without a Letters Patent. Prince Harry's dukedom is for his lawfully begotten MALE heirs.

Matthew, I would have to check the clip file on the Wessexes and find a citation.

May Loo said...

Wow. As a non-Brit, I appreciate the explanation. Why does everything still get passed down from the male heir though? How many titles will die out because the current heir has no sons?

Paul Harten said...

Great article Marlene & totally agree about the daughters ‘exclusion’ as it were being due to their parents’ divorce, Andrew’s dubious business interest & friendships & Sarah’s behaviour. IF they had remained married & conducted themselves differently then I believe too the girls’ positions would have been different (& they seem likenlovely fiels too).
I think the RF recognize that rims have changed & the populace will not tolerate a large family of ‘hangers on’ (not my words) so in line with other RFa are limiting the core members. In any event they would argue do we want a plethora of princes & princesses far rrmoved from the sovereign who do not have the means etc to maintain the style & dignity of a prince or princess of the UK. - vide Liechtensteins, Habsburgs etc. Lors Nicholas has 3 sons & I sorr believe he is that well off so imagine his progeny continuing the princely title

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

May, numerous peerages have gone extinct in the past few decades because of a lack of male heirs. If a peer has only daughters, but a brother or male cousin, next in line, the peerage passes to the next eligible male. If there are no male left, then the title becomes extinct.

Maora JFB said...

How come some of the decision regarding titles are dealt by the Sovereign/Crown and other by Parliament ? Also, how titles like the Mounbatten or Fife ones were transmitted through women but only for one generation if I understand it well ?

Maora JFB said...

Forgot to ask : so none of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha princes are in the UK line of succession ? I understood from some of your previous articles that as rulers of another kingdom, they were exempt from requesting permission or it was only for princesses marrying in another ruling/royal family ? If so, do you know why they did not pursue the tradition like the Hanover ?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Coburgs have succession rights but are not close to the throne, but before the Hannovers as they descend from Leopold but the Hannovers's descend from Victoria (Empress Friedrich)through her son, Kaiser Wilhelm II. They were not exempt, but what hindered them is that Carl Eduard's eldest son, Johann Leopold married without his father's permission so he and his male descendants are not Coburg dynasts. This happened in the early 30s.Second son killed in the second world war. Carl Edward a Nazi as well, served time after the war. Third son Friedrich Josias succeeded him. The Hanovers, on the other hand, have the straight male line from George III. The two kingdoms were once ruled by the same monarch. A different view, conscious of their position. But marital permission was not always granted. In 1946, Prince Georg married Princess Sophie of Greece, widow of Christoph of Hesse. Georg's father contacted the appropriate authorities in the UK but George VI would not grant permission according to the Royal Marriages Act because it was soo soon after the war. Little did they know that a year later, Sophie's younger brother would marry George's daughter. All titles are created by the Sovereign. Hereditary peerages are no longer created, just life baronies, except for members of the royal family.
But it was the sovereign who created a peerage, but each peerage is different, although most are heirs male. Some peerages go back to the 1300s. Thus, legislation would be needed to allow for all of the extant peerages to have succession changed to first born, regardless of sex. There have been two pieces of proposed legislation in Parliament in the last few years, the last one would be gender equal but also restore any peerage that went extinct since Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne-- if there are females who could now inherit. Nothing passed, and very unlikely to do so. The Duke of Fife was married to King Edward VII's eldest daughter -- they had two daughters so the LP allowed for succession for the duke's two daughters and their male heirs. The Mountbatten earldom was created after Louis arranged for the independence of India and Pakistan as separate countries. He and Edwina were unlikely to have another child, so the letters patent from George VI allowed for the succession of the two daughters and their male heirs.

Kaz said...

I feel a little sorry for the York sisters. I think, with the ageing of the senior Royals, these two would fill a gap and could be a great support to the Queen and Charles now and William in the future. The passing of the senior Royals, ie the Queen and her cousins, will certainly leave a gap which cannot be filled by a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy. A pity not to use them because their parents were idiots.

www.maltagenealogy.com said...

Interesting times ahead, and as you mention in 20 to 30 years time, there will be a lack of royals to fill the many roles. So maybe the York Princesses and the Wessex descendants may play low key roles. Time will see I guess.

One more point, when Princess Margaret married, it was a year later, her husband was created an Earldom. Maybe, possible Earldom is conferred upon Eugenie's pregnancy. But time will tell.

It seems only Dukedoms and NOW Earldoms for Royal sons are announced on their day or marriage.

Maora JFB said...

Ok, thanks Marlene. However, it's not logical for the Queen to create the Sussex dukedom with male succesion only while the rules for succession in the royal family have been change to first born. I know it's not the same thing but it sounds like mixed message to me.

Clara said...

If there is not a Letters Patent, what would be their children's surname? Windsor or Mountbatten-Windsor? Lady Louise's surname is Windsor.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Princess Eugenie's husband will not get a peerage. The Surname will be Mountbatten Windsor. Having a gender equal Sussex dukedom would have caused a lot of criticism because other peerages don't have that luxury.

Heather said...

I echo the concerns about the slimmed down family in the future. The current working royals serve hundreds of organizations and I don’t think the new generation is equipped to fully take that on with just William, Harry and their wives serving as working Royals. I wouldn’t consider Kate to be full time right now either and Meghan hasn’t started working on her own yet. I expect Andrew, Edward and Sophie will be around for a long time but they all have their established interests. So I do wonder if the York sisters and Wessex kids may become working members of the family in the future.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Heather. We are assuming that the royals will be doing the same sort of thing that they have done for generations but that seems to be changing. Looks like Harry's kids will not be royal

The Liberal Conservative said...

Marlene: Where do you stand on the (dubious in my view) opinion of some that Louise and James have never held the title of Prince(ss) because the Queen issued a press release at the Earl of Wessex's wedding that they would be styled as the children of a non-royal Earl and that as the font of honour, the Queen's will is all that is necessary to regulate royal titles/styles. I have had this argument numerous times with editors on Wikipedia (they have no sense of logic or how legal systems actually work). In my view, if the Queen wished to regulate her youngest son's children's titles/styles, she could and should have, easily had Letters Patent drawn up to deny them the title/style of Prince(ss) and H.R.H. and that while they may be styled as Viscount/Lady, legally their title remains Prince(ss) of the United Kingdom. For example, when the Queen deprived the wives of divorced peers of title/style (obviously with the then-Princess of Wales and Duchess of York in mind) she didn't simply send out a press release, which has no status in law; she had Letters Patent issued to that effect, because otherwise they could legally remain such. As for the whole "slimmed down" idea, I think they will have to be very careful. People are grumbling already at how little William, Kate, Harry and Meghan do (slightly understandable perhaps for Meghan as she's new but inexcusable in my view for the 36-year-old Duke and Duchess of Cambridge). When in 20 years, there is only the 90-year-old King and 91-year-old Queen (or "Princess Consort" if they try to go through with that nonsense), the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (maybe only undertaking part-time duties, since their children are not likely to be so-called "working" royals (itself only created in the last few years to provide cover for the 11th generation royals because the Cambridges and Duke of Sussex are doing less than the 10th and 9th generations) the 25-year-old Prince George of Wales and his younger siblings (who will probably take the path of their father and have an extended boyhood), the 88-year-old Princess Royal, 78-year-old Duke of York and perhaps 74 and 73 year old Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (presuming they actually receive the title; I'm skeptical of that given that Charles and Edward are not close and that once James inherits it, it will leave the Royal Family and I can't imagine they will allow that to happen; my guess is that it would be recreated for Prince Louis of Cambridge).

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Edward's children are STYLED as children of an earl and eventually, children of a duke. However, Sophie, in an interview, a few years ago said, she knows that her children are actually royal.

I think there will be a new LP when Charles is king that further limits the the HRH and royal title

The Liberal Conservative said...

Thank you Marlene; Wikipedia doesn't seem to understand the difference between royal title and style, which irritates me to no end. They simply say it's the "Queen's will," and that's that but that's hogwash. If that were the case, she could have simply released a press release in 1996 declaring divorced wives of peers were no longer royal; she couldn't do that though, hence the LP and "Sarah, Duchess of York," which of course, journalists don't respect. No difference than her allowing the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester to style herself as Princess Alice, even though she wasn't entitled to it and no LP was issued.