Thursday, December 29, 2016

Redux: when the queen mother was a princess

This post was first published in 2013.   Three years later, it needs repeating.

All this fuss over a title.  So many people cannot grasp that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is a British princess by marriage.

There were a few cardiac arrests yesterday and the need for smelling salts when the Duchess' occupation (on Prince George's birth certificate)  was listed as Princess of the United Kingdom.

Made sense to me.  The Duke of Cambridge's occupation was listed as Prince of the United Kingdom.  Not RAF pilot.  (Same information on Princess Charlotte's birth certificate.)

It has been the norm to put Prince as the occupation of a royal father.  Adding the mother's occupation is relatively new.  The line did not exist on birth registrations when William was born.

In Britain, a wife takes her husband's rank and title, unless her rank is higher.   In 1923, after the wedding of the Duke of York to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, an official statement was released by the palace:

"In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess."

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