Monday, December 6, 2010

silliest story of the week

... and it is only Monday --

William knows that his mother was not stripped of her royal title.    The late Diana, Princess of Wales was a royal by marriage, and not by birth.  William's rank comes through his father, not his mother.  He is unlikely to restore Diana's marital HRH when he becomes king.   
It is also a rather moot point to discuss possible baby names at this time.  Diana will certainly be one of the names of William and Kate's first daughter.   Diana's father was known as Johnny, but his first name was Edward.

George V's 1917 Letters Patent, which limited the HRH and the title Prince or Princess to the Sovereign's children, and the Sovereign's male line grandchildren, includes a clause for the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  Thus, if William's first child is a girl, she will bear the courtesy title Lady Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor.  She may be styled as Lady Christian name Windsor but her surname will be Mountbatten-Windsor.  However, the surname and courtesy title will be dropped when Charles becomes king. 
It is possible that the Queen will issue a new Letters Patent to give the HRH and title of Prince and Princess to all of William's children born in her lifetime.  It is a moot point, however,  as the children will be raised automatically to royal status when Grandpappa Charles succeeds to the throne.
Thus, perhaps, in the lifetime of the Queen, we may see HRH Prince George of whatever,  Lady Caroline Mountbatten-Windsor and Lord Philip Mountbatten-Windsor.
In 1948,  George VI issued a Letters Patent shortly before Princess Elizabeth gave birth to her first child.  This Letters Patent gave royal status to Elizabeth's children.  If George VI had not done this,  Charles and Anne would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth and Lady Anne Mountbatten.  The children's rank and title would have come from their father, and not their mother.  

Now what about Prince Harry if he marries and has issue during his grandmother's lifetime.  If he is created a duke, his eldest son would bear the courtesy title, and the other children would bear the title and style of younger children of a duke.  These titles would cease to be used when Charles comes to the throne.  But it is possible that Charles could issue a new Letters Patent that restricts the HRH and title of Prince or Princess to the Sovereign's children, and the Heir's children.

The United Kingdom's succession is male line primogeniture.  This means sons are ahead of daughters and brothers are before sisters.  The Act of Settlement makes no mention of male primogeniture.  It is an accepted tradition in Britain.  But will Parliament change the law if Princess William's first child is a girl. 
Equal rights succession laws have been passed in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.  Spanish politicians have talked about changing the law but it would take several years to effect a change.  Two consecutive Parliaments would have to pass the legislation. The Prince and Princess of Asturias have two daughters, and it seems unlikely that they will try for a son.  Would the Spanish Parliament rush to enact legislation to change the succession of the Princess of Asturias' gives birth to a son? 
Luxembourg officials have also discussed the possibility of adopting an equal rights succession law. I do not think the the discussion has moved to the proposed legislation state.The present law allows for the succession of females but only after all the males.  Thus, Grand Duke Henri's daughter, Princess Alexandra, follows not her brothers, but all of the eligible male heirs. 
Successive Prime Ministers and Members of Parliament have discussed the possibilities of changing the order of succession, as well as the acts of succession.  Discussion is the operative word.   Discussions are undertaken and studied, but with no real move toward legislation. 
Right now changing the succession  laws is a moot point.  The Prince of Wales is the heir apparent.  His son, William, is second in line. 
There may be some discussion of changing the succession should the first child be a girl.   But that's all it will be: discussion, and then tabled, if the second child is a boy.


Skenderbey said...

I think there is also some precedent dating back to when Queen Victoria elevated the children of the future George V to HRH from HH. That is of course, prior to GV's letters patent dropping future HH.

Hopewell said...

Diana's father was Christened "Edward" for his godfather, King Edward VIII. It also doesn't wash that Diana knew nothing of royal life. Her brother is also a royal godchild--of Queen Elizabeth II. Her sister a godchild of the Duke of Kent. While William and his wife should be allowed to choose names for their children like any parents I hope that don't choose "Diana" as the first name--that poor child. It would be terrible burden. Plus all the Di-groopies would insist, regardless of her birth order in the family, that the succession be changed so they could finally have "Queen Diana".....poor kid.