Wednesday, March 8, 2023

A Baptism and new titles for the Sussex kids

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 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's daughter, Lilibet Diana, was baptized on March 3, according to a press release from their spokesman:

“I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”

The statement has one mistake.  It is not the use of the title Princess, but the reference to the Right Rev. John Taylor as Archbishop of Los Angeles.  He is the Bishop of Los Angeles for the Episcopal Church's Diocese of Los Angeles, which includes Santa Barbara.

The US Episcopal Church is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.   Succession to the throne does not require baptism in the Church of England.  The Act of Settlement (1701) established the Protestant Succession with the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her "lawfully born" PROTESTANT descendants.  Sophia, who was a granddaughter of King James VI & I, was Lutheran as was her son Georg Ludwig, who succeeded Queen Anne in 1714. 

The Act of Settlement states that the monarch "shall join in communion with the Church of England."  The more recent Succession to the Crown Act maintained most of the Act of Settlement including the bar on Catholic succession. Descendants who lost their right of succession when they married Roman Catholics have had their succession rights restored.  

Lilibet and her older brother are now styled as Prince and Princess.   They have been officially acknowledged as a Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,  although they will be styled as Princess Lilibet and Prince Archie of Sussex.   Prince Archie's baptism took place on July 6, 2019, at the Private Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Neither Lilibet nor her older brother will be able to pass their royal titles to their children.  Archie's eldest son will be His Grace the Duke of Sussex.

The children will not be styled as HRH as their father's HRH is "in abeyance," according to The Times.

Princes and princesses of the United Kingdom do not have a special legal status.  They remain commoners in law.  The only people who are not commoners are the Sovereign and Peers of the Realm.  Herry ceased to be a commoner when he was created Duke of Sussex.   

People magazine was the first to report the news that 21-month-old Lilibet was baptized.   The ceremony took place at the duke and duchess's Montecito home, where the 20-30 guests included Lili's maternal grandmother, Doria Ragland, and American actor Tyler Perry, who offered his California home to the duke and duchess of Sussex after they left Canada in the spring of 2020. 

Tyler Perry is Lilibet's godfather.   He arrived in Montecito before the ceremony from his home in Atlanta.  He brought with him a 10-person gospel choir, who according to People, sang "O Happy Day" and "This Little Light of Mine."  The latter song was performed at Harry and Meghan's wedding.

Guests "were treated to an afternoon of food and dancing — with Archie enjoying a dance with his little sister!," according to People magazine.

Lilibet's godmother was not been named.

Omid Scobie, who is close to the Sussexes, has reported that King Charles III Queen Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to the ceremony.  The invitations were declined.

Archie and Lilibet are grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line, which, according to George V's 1917 Letters Patent, they are HRH Prince and HRH Princess.   The Earl of Wessex's children, Louise and James, are also grandchildren of the Sovereign in the male line, but it was announced on Edward's wedding day in June 1999 that his children would have the style and title of children on an earl.  

It is unlikely that the children will use their titles in the United States as forms (from school to passport to driver's licenses) require a surname which is Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Princess Lilibet is not the first British royal to be baptized outside the United Kingdom.

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* January 1, 1877, HRH Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, second daughter and third of five children of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, was baptized at San Anton Palace in Allard, Malta.

*  October 2, 1878, HRH Princess Alexandra Louise Olga Victoria, the third daughter and fourth of five children of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, was baptized at the Edinburgh Palace in Coburg in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich of  Russia.

Alfred was the second son and third child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who was a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  In 1893, he succeeded his paternal uncle, Duke Ernst II as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  His children retained their British titles but were also styled as  Prince and Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Alexandra was Queen Victoria's granddaughter in the male line.

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* January 9, 1834, HRH Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge, the youngest child and second daughter of HRH Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, was baptized at Cambridge House in Hanover

* August 16, 1822, HRH Princess Augusta Caroline Charlotte Elizabeth Mary Sophia Louisa of Cambridge, the second child and elder daughter of HRH Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and HSH Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassell, was baptized at the Palace of Montbrillant in Hanover, where the Duke of Cambridge was Viceroy of Hanover for King George IV and King William IV.  He served in this position until the death of William IV.  The Duke of Cambridge was the seventh son and tenth child of King George III.

* July 18, 1819, HRH Prince  George Frederick Alexander Charles Ernest Augustus of Cumberland and Teviotdale, was the only child of HRH Prince Ernest Augustus of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Princess Friederike of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was baptized in a Berlin hotel where his parents were living.  The Duke of Cumberland was the fifth son of King George III.     

* March 27, 1819, HRH Princess Charlotte Augusta Louisa of Clarence, eldest child of HRH Prince William, Duke of Clarence, and HSH Princess Adelheid (Adelaide) of Saxe-Meiningen, was baptized shortly after her birth in Hanover.  She lived for only a few hours.  The Duke of Clarence was the third son of King George III.  In 1830, following the death of his older brother, King George IV, William succeeded to the thrones of the United Kingdom and Hanover. 

Charlotte, George, Augusta, and Mary Adelaide were George III's grandchildren in the male line.

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It was on June 18, 1837, that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Hanover, united since 1714 when George I, then Elector of Hanover, succeeded his kinswoman, Anne, as King of Great Britain.   William IV's niece, Alexandrina Victoria, succeeded to the British throne, as Queen Victoria.  Salic law prevented Victoria from succeeding as Queen in Hanover which meant that the Hanoverian throne was inherited by the next male in line.  This was HRH Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland & Teviotdale who succeeded to the Hanoverian throne.  His only son, Prince George, became Crown Prince Georg of Hanover.   Georg succeeded his father in 1851 and was the last sovereign of Hanover.   In 1866,, Georg V sided with Austria in its war with Prussia.  A fatal mistake as the far more powerful Prussia annexed Hanover, forcing the royal family into exile.  The Hanoverians, however, remained members of the British royal family until the first world war.

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Princess Lilibet is a descendant of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge.  She is also, of course, a descendant of Queen Victoria.

Adolphus -  Mary Adelaide - Mary - George VI - Elizabeth II - Charles III- Harry - Lilibet 

Victoria - Edward - George V -George VI - Elizabeth II - Charles III - Harry - Lilibet 

[The Daily Mail is reporting that Meghan was Catholic.  This is not true.  Meghan was not raised in any faith.  She attended a Roman Catholic high school.  The majority of pupils in Roman Catholic schools in the US are not Catholic or even Christian.]

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Andrea said...

Poor Louise and poor James.
They can use the titles, if they want?

It sounds a little bit crazy.
Prince Archie and Princess Lilibeth.

If they will have children, que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, the Future is not ours to see.



SL said...

Great work Marlene - as usual!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Andrea, Louise and James cannot use royal titles -- it was decided before they were born that they would be styled as children of an earl. They were raised out of the royal life -and are expected to have careers.

Kalnel said...

Have to quibble with your statement that the "majority of pupils in Roman Catholic schools in the US are not Catholic or even Christian." In fact, only 17.4% of students in U.S. Catholic schools are NOT Catholic. Here's the source from the National Catholic Education Association via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Clara said...

I had understood that Charles wanted a smaller Royal Family and that only children of the sovereign and the Prince of Wales would be Prince/ss of the United Kingdom. Has this changed now?

Klara5555 said...

I've read several times that Meghan had converted to Judaism by marrying her first husband, do you know anything about it?

But if she wasn't raised under any religious faith why was she allowed to marry in church during her second marriage?

Royal admirer said...

Is this the first official statement released regarding Harry's and Meghan's children since the death of QEII? If so, it makes sense that we are only now learning that Harry and Meghan have moved forward with these titles for their children. I ponder if they accepted (expected?) the new titles for the children immediately upon QEII death. Regardless, I'm pleased KCIII did not create new letters patent depriving the Sussex children of the title of Prince and Princes of the UK and all that. Is this the start of a slow reconciliation between the Sussex's and the monarchy? Also - if Harry and Meghan choose to go to the coronation, I suspect they would want their kids on the same "title" level as their Wales cousins.

Lisa said...

Marlene is there anything LEGALLY preventing say Lady Louise from using "Princess"? I understand it was agreed upon but Lady Louise was then a minor and obviously had no say. Now she is an adult. Can she choose to start using the title Princess if she so wishes?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Lisa, Yes, because it is stated in the announcement on the wedding day. It is not her choice. It stated the Queen decided and Edward and Sophie that their children would be styled as children of an earl as it was made clear that they would not be what would become known as working royals. This was a decision of the then Way Ahead group in the first steps toward a smaller royal family. It is not a birthright, but a gift of the sovereign for titles for the royal family. The Wessex children were raised out of the royal limelight with the notion that they would have careers. Only the king could change LOuise's status, but issuing a statement that she and her brother will be known as princess and prince that is not going to happen.

Royal admirer If Harry and Meghan go to the Coronation, it is unlikely their kids will attend. Too young and not in the direct line of succession. The Sussexes will not be on the balcony after the service.

Klara, you read wrong several times. Meghan did not convert to Judaism. IN fact, her Publicist issued a statement about this at the time They were not married in a Jewish ceremony, the event in Jamaica was not an official wedding, as they married in a civil ceremony in LA the month before. Meghan was baptized and confirmed in the Church of England before the wedding.

Andrea said...

I read, they can use the titles, at the age of 18.

What a decision of Edward.



Andrea said...

Thank you for your answer.
I like it very much.

Have a nice day/evening and your cats too.

They are the Boss, you are the servant.😉



Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Andrea, it is not true that the Wessex children could choose at 18. The announcement on edward's wedding day states that the Queen DECIDED and Edward and Sophie agreed that their children will have the style and title of children of an earl. That is it. It is not Louise and James's choice, but the sovereign's

diddleymaz said...

I was eagerly awaiting your take on this. It’s typical of the Sussexes ‘ come to a christening half way round the world and we want the titles now.’ They could have had Princess Lilibet baptised in the royal family gown while over for the coronation, but this way it’s a dig at the King. Sadly they seem determined to be awkward.

Gunny T. said...

I still don't understand that while Archie and Lillibet are now rank as prince and princess officially but they still use ther dimunitive name as the official. They should be called Prince Archibald and Princess Elizabeth of Sussex?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Gunny, their names are Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana, which are the legal names, listed on their birth certificates. Not Archibald or Elizabeth. Archie is also the name of the son of the Hon Edmund Roche, who is Harry's second cousin, & heir presumptive to the Fermoy Barony. Archie and Prince Archie are third cousins

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

FYI Lilibet could not have worn royal christening gown -she is nearly 2 so it would have been too small for her. The children have had the titles since their grandfather became king.

Lane Kent said...

Have I imagined it, but wasn't Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh both born and batised in Malta?

Royal admirer said...

Regarding the balcony after the coronation - do you anticipate King Charles III will never allow extended family on the balcony again? Not even the family of working royals? I have enjoyed watching the extended family grow and grow up over the years at Trooping of the Colors over the years. So, is this a thing of the past?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The answer will come in June following the Trooping.

Andrea said...

I understand that right?
Charles can decide, that Louise and James can use the titles?



Andrea said...

There are two Archies, really?
I dont know that.

I like your Blog.

Where do you live?



Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

In 2021, Archie was the 9th most popular name for boys born that year 9 Archie 2,928

I live in Virginia

and yes it would be Charles to decide if Louise and James were to have royal titles - but the decision was made in 1999.

Andrea said...

He can change that, if he want.

He is the Boss.

Greetings to Harper and Fleur.