Posts tagged Countess of Wessex
Posts tagged Countess of Wessex
It’s official. The Queen has issued Letters Patent to ensure that if Kate has a daughter she will be a Princess and an HRH. In fact, this will be the case for all children of the Cambridges:
I’m trying to track down a copy of the Letters Patent (not sure if this is even possible) but from how it’s being reported it seems as if the Queen has changed the rule in general rather than just for this occasion.
A few things are interesting about this:
1. The Queen has obviously felt the need to do this through Letters Patent. This could be significant for the Wessex debate as it adds force to the argument that Lord Severn and Lady Louise are entitles to the Princely style.
2. Her Majesty has extended the use of the princely style in general (e.g. all children of the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) rather than just making it gender neutral (e.g. the eldest child of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales).
3. I had wondered if when the Queen did this she would take the chance to streamline the Royal family and restrict the title for others (e.g. have the title follow the direct line of succession but not other male-line grandchildren). She has clearly not chosen to do this.
4. The Queen has also not corrected other ‘inequality’ issues with titles. E.g. it is still only men who can transmit the Royal style. I suspect this will change in the future.
Hopefully more to follow…
I suppose logically, the first article in my ‘titles revealed’ series should centre on the title of King/Queen. It is, after all, the most senior title – currently - in the British system and the only one with any real constitutional significance. But let’s be honest – if logic was a big factor in my life, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog. It’s hardly a good use of time, is it?
So, why, you may ask, am I kicking off this series with Prince and Princess? Well to start with, it’s topical. It’s only a mere few months since the Royal Wedding and the acquisition of a new princess. For the first time in my life, people have actually been asking me questions about Catherine’s title and for a precious few weeks my slightly bizarre hobby seemed to be edging toward mainstream normality. But, I’m afraid, despite the popular hook, there’s a much geekier reason that I’m beginning with this particular titular dignity.
The tile of Prince – and even more so the title of Princess - is without a doubt the most intriguing, ambiguous, inconsistent, elusive and debated in the entire royal and aristocratic collection. In short, it is the most interesting.
There is general agreement amongst royal title fans that the children of Prince Edward are legally a Prince and Princess, whatever they are styled currently. However, when you start to delve into the constitutional complexities of titles, do these arguments really stack up?
It was a bright August day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. All over the country, people were heading out to enjoy a rare taste of good British weather. I however – perhaps unusually for a 17 year old – was plonked firmly in front of the TV in eager anticipation. For that day, 19th of June 1999, was not just one of the first really nice days of the year – it was the wedding of Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son to the beautiful and charming Sophie Rhys-Jones.
Budding royal watcher I may have been, but even I had had second thoughts about exchanging this viewing appointment for a trip to the beach or a walk on the moor. However, within minutes of the television coverage starting, I knew that it was worth the sacrifice. For not only was the wedding itself a beautiful occasion, with Edward’s subtle wink at Sophie as she walked up the aisle and the heart touching kiss on the cheek after the ceremony - this wedding was the wedding for royal title shockers.