For over 60 years now, Elizabeth II has reigned over the United Kingdom as Queen. Most people alive now have known no other Monarch and as a result, have never experienced a succession. Prince Charles, now 65, is the oldest male heir in history and one of the longest serving Princes of Wales – just what will his succession be like, and how will it affect the United Kingdom and the world.
For me, this article has been something long-in-the-making. I have never experienced a succession and because it’s been such a long time since the last one, I have found it very difficult to find the relevant information relating to it, such as people’s reactions and what changed, though using a variety of sources I hope to be able to piece together at least some insight into how the Prince of Wales’s succession may look.
To start with, it is highly unlikely that Her Majesty will abdicate – I think this much is clear to anyone who knows about Monarchy so, like for most successions in the British Monarchy, it will be upon the death of the Sovereign.
The Queen’s accession happened when King George VI died during the night of 5th-6th February 1952 at Sandringham House whilst Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) was in Kenya. He was found by the King’s valet in the morning and the alarm was raised – Elizabeth found out 4 hours later that she was now Queen.
As morbid as it may sound, the Royal Household has plans fully laid out for deaths of members of the Royal Family – The Queen’s is codenamed Operation London Bridge and includes detailed plans for her funeral, laid out by her personally.
After members of the Royal Family, the first people to be informed of Her Majesty’s death would be the Prime Minister and the Government; Parliament is required to return to Parliament (if in recess) and to hold a sitting of the house. During this brief sitting, the house will express its condolences at the death of the Sovereign and also to arrange for oaths of allegiance to be taken to the new Monarch by the house.
The Prince of Wales will be urgently informed of his accession, either directly or through his private secretary. A meeting of the Accession Council will then be called to arrange for the proclamation of the new King’s accession to be made and also confirm the new King’s choice of regnal name (Charles III, George VII or another name).
By this point, the public would have been made aware of the accession through special news bulletins interrupting programmes on BBC and possibly other channels – the BBC, like the royal household, also have set procedures for reporting on royal deaths.
Public reaction will be the most interesting factor in the accession. In 1952, the public found out about the King’s death through radio and newspaper – the reaction was one of shock, disbelief but also interestingly – uncertainty, which one would suppose comes with a Monarchy. Monarchy is supposed to represent continuity and a succession is one of the most bizarre occurrences for all concerned.
The following weeks would consist of the lying-in-state of the Sovereign, beginning planning for the Coronation in a year’s time and reorganising the Royal Household for the new King.
It is worth noting though that the Monarchy will not end at the death of Her Majesty (as republicans would have you believe). Many countries’ Monarchies have experienced successions in recent years and whilst it’s not something you’d say was an easy experience and whilst of course it can come as a shock to nations, it is certainly not something new and the Royal Household and Government will ensure the transition is as careful as possible, however inconceivable it may seem to us now, having only known one Monarch.
If you have any comments or questions relating to the Prince of Wales’s succession, or indeed this article, please leave them in the comments box below.
photo credit: tamara.craiu via photopin cc
I have been fortunate enough to have attended the Ceremony of the Keys at The Tower of London on two separate occasions. I think it must be extremely sad when the participants must change the dialogue from “Queen Elizabeth’s keys” to “King Charles’ keys”.
it will never be king Charles …. he will choose his own name and charles is considered unlucky for a king
He have only had two Charleses. One was beheaded, the other died peacefully in his bed. George could be considered an unlucky name, given that George III went mad, and George IV had his only child die before him; Henry could be considered an unlucky name because Henry VI was deposed, and then died in suspicious circumstances; then there’s Richard I (killed in battle), II (deposed), and III (bad rep, chronic illness, and died in battle ), William II (shot with an arrow) and III (thrown off his horse). In fact, when it comes to Kings of England, and Scotland, and the UK, there aren’t that many names which are unsullied by an unfortunate reign or death.
You’re forgetting Prince Charles’ grandfather, George VI, who led the UK through WWII, as well as his great-grandfather George V. It’s highly unlikely that he would choose Arthur as his regnal name for obvious reasons, just like it’s doubtful he would choose Philip (in addition to there already being a ruling monarch named Philip, aka King Felipe of Spain.) My money is on him becoming George VII.
What makes you think I am forgetting the late King, or George V? I didn’t mention a large number of British monarchs (good, bad, unfortunate) that I am perfect well aware of.
Yokasta Martinez: Re: Battenberg title: Ludwig II of Hesse & Rhine married Wilhelmina of Baden.She had 4 children , Louis, who became the 3rd of Hesse & Rhine and the younger two were Alexander and Marie. Wilhemina had a long time lover with whom she lived called Baron August Senarclens de Grancy her Chamberlain so the last two were not supposed to to his.. When Alexander’s brother succeeded as Louis 3rd, He gave the title of Battenberg to his brother Alexander , who also caused a scandal as he married Julia Hauke, a lady in waiting? to Tsarina Marie, his sister against the wishes of Tzar Alexander
How about King Alfred,(the Great)my hero!! or Phillip,altho not a British King, is another.You are so right Yokasta, King George VI was the monarch who battled against the odds with his stammer etc but lead his country with Churchill and saved us from a fate worse than death.The name, George is what is rumoured. or Llewllyn the Welsh Chieftan ir Owain Glyndwr. High time the Princes of Wales took a good Welsh name Guess they already have being named David or Daffyd in Welsh..
David was one of the last Prince of Wales’ names, the late King Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor. He was always called “David” by his family, too.
What happens say if the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a state visit and HM The Queen dies ????
This is a similar scenario to what happened when The Queen acceded to the throne. She was in Kenya when her father died and she became Queen. Should this happen with the Prince of Wales, he would be informed immediately and return to the UK at the earliest possible time to deal with accession business.
Hope this helps
The same thing that happened when Elizabeth became Queen. Her dad (George VI) died while she was on a State Visit to Kenya with her husband.
The only difference is that she immediately became the head of state of the country she was in at the time, whereas Charles may not be. It would make little difference in reality.
Could the New King move to Windsor Castle ???
It’s been discussed that Prince Charles would like to move the court to Windsor Castle when he becomes King, though I don’t think it’s likely – the court needs to be based in central London for operational reasons really. Not impossible, though highly unlikely.
Really enjoyed the article. I wanted to keep reading and reading. After such a great Monarch, I’m sure this succession will also be a time of uncertainty. I ave a spanish blog about the british monarchy and know the opinion latinamericans have of Prince Charles is not very positive. Of course the opinion that counts is the one of the UK, but I really wish the entire world can embrace him as a new monarch when the time comes (hopefully not soon).
This article http://goo.gl/qEfbEa had very interesting comments in our Fb page. Wanted to share it, if your are interested. Google translate it or something
This really is addictive, isn’t it? When I saw that your comment was the last one on this thread, it made me a little sad, since I enjoy it so much. Thanks for providing the link; I’m going to check it out right now!
“Long may she reign May she defend our law and ever give us cause to sing with heart and voice God save the Queen”
My best thoughts and wishes for the Prince of Wales.
Why does the Royal Household have to stay in central London????
Not that it has to, just it’s unlikely that anything else would work as effectively because London’s where the main business of state is conducted from. It’s accessible and at the heart of the country.
Could the Duchess of Cornwall chance her name when The Prince of Wales becomes King
There’s nothing that says she couldn’t, though it’s unlikely, consorts don’t tend to change their names upon their spouses succession.
Queen Mary did. George V did not like double names so she changed her name from Victoria Mary
Actually I believe she was known by her middle name from childhood, or rather a nickname for it; before her marriage she was known as Princess May of Teck.
Would the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge become the Prince and Princess of Wales ( when HM The Queen dies and the Prince of Wales becomes King???
This title would have to be issued to Prince William at the will of the new King, though there’s no reason why not.
Where would the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also Prince Henry live as ( at the moment the Cambridges live at KP ( also Prince Henry lives at KP ) .The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall live at Clarence House when HM The Queen dies where would the Cambridges and Prince Henry live ???, what would happen to Clarence House?? also KP??. I have heard that The Prince of Wales wants a more smaller Royal Family what would happen to the Duke of York,??, and the other members of the Royal Family ???
They would likely remain at Kensington Palace. There’s nothing that says the heir has to live at Clarence House – Prince Charles has lived at Kensington Palace and St James’s Palace before.
In the ‘smaller’ Royal Family idea that’s supposedly attributed to the Prince of Wales, there’d be less working royals and more focus on the core members of the Royal Family.
It might be that Prince Philip would move into Clarence House, and the Cambridges and Prince Harry would stay at KP. That is what has happened in the past, and what will probably happen in the future. It is also said that Prince Philip might move into Frogmore house, Windsor, if he were to outlive the Queen.
Before the death of King George VI, Prince Philip and then-Princess Elizabeth lived at Clarence House, after having it extensively redecorated. I’ve read that he and his young family were very comfortable there, and that he wanted it to be the royal family’s home. He proposed using Buckingham Palace as “the office,” but that Winston Churchill was quite shocked at the idea, and told him that was out of the question.
Maybe Prince Philip would like the idea of returning to Clarence House?
That’s true, it’s quite possible. The Queen Mother moved to Clarence House shortly after the death of George VI.
Well, if you consider a year to be a short time, then yes The Queen Mother moved from Buckingham Palace to Clarence House shortly after husband’s death. Poor lady, she did not want to leave Buckingham Palace. This story makes me smile because it reminds me how the late Queen Mother lived her life pretty much as she pleased, a few gin and tonics and the racing form!
Frogmore House is being prepped for Prince Philip
Doesn’t Prince Harry live at Clarence House now?
He lives at Kensington Palace.
When would the new King and new Queen crowned ??? a
About a year after acceding.
If Prince Philip never became ‘King’ and Kate would most likely not become ‘Princess’ then why would Camilla be allowed the title ‘Queen’? There is only one Queen and no one can follow in her footsteps. Just sayin’…
Prince Philip didn’t become King because in the UK, a wife takes their husbands style unless theirs is higher, but not the other way around. Kate won’t be a princess because it’s a title reserved for royalty-by-birth and Camilla will be Queen because she’ll take the female form of her husband’s title, though she’ll possibly be known by a different title, like she is now ‘Duchess of Cornwall’.
Wasn’t the elder Duchess of Gloucester given the title “Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester” after her husband’s death?
Forgive me if I’m a bit confused, but then I’m an American and have been wrong about royal titles before.
It was…..one might say “sexist” really; that Phillip was not “King” .
Not sexist its how it has always been in the Uk and will stay like it. if Phillipp became king he would be the highest but a male brought into the family cant over crown their wife because she is Royal by blood
LOL always been that way or not it IS sexist. I do understand the why, but it is because he was a man. Women will be named queen, blood or not, but a man NO. That is called sexist.
King is a higher title than Queen. Phillip is not the sovereign, his wife is. His title can’t trump hers. Not sexist at all.
Might William not proclaim Catherine a princess with that title? The Queen proclaimed Philip a prince in 1957.
Actually, Prince Philip was already a Prince, albeit a Greek one. In order for her to marry him he had to give up his claim to the Greek throne and swear allegiance to the UK and the then-Princess Elizabeth.
Yes, but the point is that he was not a Prince of the United Kingdom, but the Queen chose to make him one, and did it. The new King could, if he chose, make her the Princess Catherine if he chose to do so.
Technically speaking, she is the Princess William via her marriage. If he predeceased her before becoming King, she would simply be the Dowager Duchess of Cambridge. When William becomes King, she will be the Queen Consort, not a Princess.
You should be embarrassed that an American knows more about how the nobility and titles work than you do.
If William was to die whilst Queen Elizabeth II is still on the throne, Catherine would be known as HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The only way she would be the Dowager Duchess of Cambridge would be if Prince George was to marry while the Queen and Prince Charles were still living following William’s death. If that happened, Her Majesty would be at least 110 years old, so this is highly unlikely.
She is not the Princess William, and never could be. Only a child of the sovereign is entitled to the word “the” in front of their name.
p.s.; I’m an American, too! 😉
My point was that titles are at the discretion of the monarch. Nothing that you have said alters that. I am not at all embarrassed for, accurately, pointing out the truth.
You do know Geek throne was taken away from the Greek royal family years and years before he married the Queen
Yes, I DO know that; however, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any living members of the Greek royal family still living and hoping for a restoration of the monarchy there. Prince Philip was also a Prince of Denmark through his mother’s blood too; he also had to renounce ANY claim he may have had too that throne as well, however distant the claim. Didn’t YOU know all the members of the royal houses of Europe are ALL related to each other from centuries of intermarriage and inbreeding with each other???
Hurrah for you YoKasta Martinez you do know your stuff.Prince Phillip was also of the House of Battenberg ,a title his ancestor was given as there was a problem there which was why that title was given. The Prince’s surname was Sonderberg Glucksberg and he is related to the Queen as Queen Victoria had so many children married to European Royals.As you know our present Royal family keep being denigrated for being ‘Germans’ and you may know why that is and why we had Hanoverian Kings?Also I expect that so many ethnic English folk who are so insulting are themselves GERMAN from Saxony and Angeln all in Germania or Deutschland!! The Greek Royal family were NOT GREEK at all as you will know also. I expect to have a lot of hat air blown in my direction soon!!
Of course I do – the Hanoverian monarchs were the monarchs that were restored after Cromwell and the Roundheads were removed from power (unfortunately, those were the Puritans that basically fucked up America from the beginning during colonization.) The Stuart line was exiled previous to that. The House of Windsor was formerly called the House of Saxe-Coburg (isn’t that where Prince Albert came from when he married Queen Victoria?) until World War I, and got changed to prevent anyone thinking they had German sympathies (they also all stopped speaking German too.)
After King Chas. 1st was beheaded as you will know , his bro . King James followed but was found to be too Roman Catholic for most so was exiled to France after which his daughter Queen Anne and her hubby Wm. of Orange were invited to reign and the battle of the Boyne followed in Ireland.Hence the Orange day marches. By coincidence today we saw the TV program, “Who do you think you are” which I rarely miss. The subject was Sir Derek Jacobi the well known actor , who I thought looked of mixed heritage. .I was right as he was surprised to learn that his ancestors were not only French but Huguenots just like mine who were silk weavers who worked long hours in their tiny lofts in Spitalfields pictured. One of them/Armand le Bastide had fought in a Royal regt. in that battle , the other a De La pleigne was a wealthy lawyer who worked for the Sun King and kept his beliefs secret. For this he was bunged in jail and had his food put out just outside the bars , he could not reach .Dead animals were thrown into his cell to rot. Being rich he bribed his way out . Pics of the tortures of the Hugenots were shown a la ISIS. Hugenot babes thrown out of windows and the usual burnings at the stake! Nothing changes!! I note mine took the hint earlier, left Paris and sought refuge in London in 1682!!Their Huguenot chapels became synagogues when the Russians Jews fled the progroms . And this is obviously how Sir Dereks parents met in the East End. His Pa(Jacoby) of Jewish heritage married a Huguenot Protestant!!. Now Brick Lane,Bethnal Green ,where my silk weaver ancestor lived and worked is called Bangla Town after all the Bangladeshi migration.They have turned the synagogues into Mosques!!! Sir Derek himself has noted the mayhem that religions cause and remains neutral .. I don’t know what my 2 G Huguenot Grandma would think , as, altho brought up a Protestant , I feel the same but am an ardent environmentalist. What kind of life will my gt grandkids have if they remain in the UK??Might it be an even tinier island in a great ocean due to rising seas? With this in mind , I am a great admirer of our GREEN Prince Charles( whose Pa , Prince Phillip must have some input re: his env.beliefs ), whatever name he takes. For if we destroy our environment at the rate we are and a great calamity occurs, who will be left to reign or worship?Yes, Queen Victoria’s descendants were of the house of Saxe Coburg Gotha changed to Windsor . After the marriage of the Queen to Pr. Phillip , Lord Louis Mountbattten( changed from Battenburg for same reasons )campaigned to have the present Royals take that surname but was not successful! There is quite a bit of Danish blood in the present Royal family, the lovely Queen Alexandra was Danish and her sis Marie became the Tsarina which is why I think the tragic Tsar Nicholas looked quite a bit like our King George the 5th , his cousin.
Paragraphs are your friends.
Philip had to completely renounce all his non-British titles before his marriage, so he was no longer a prince of any kind until the 1957 Letters Patent.
He never swore allegiance to his wife until her Coronation in 1953; any oath before that would’ve been to his father-in-law, King George VI.
Catherine will always take the female form of William’s title, which is why she’s HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus and Princess William now.
The only way William would give her another title would be if he didn’t want her to be the Queen when he is King, and there’s practically no chance of that.
In the extremely unlikely event of King William V having divorced Catherine, he could give her whatever title he liked through a Letters Patent.
Thank you, Ricky.
I thought Catherine is entitled to the title Princess of Wales because it is the equivalent of what her husband’s title would be. Diana, Princess of Wales was not royal by birth, nor a princess in her own right (house she came from a noble household), yet she enjoyed the title Princess of Wales during and after her marriage. Catherine would be entitled to Princess of Wales by marriage, just as she is entitled to Duchess of Cambridge and eventually Duchess of Cornwall now.
Catherine will be the Princess of Wales if/when her husband becomes Prince of Wales, but until then she will remain Duchess of Cambridge.
When Prince Charles becomes King, it is expected (but not automatic) that he will give William the title Prince of Wales. However, William and Catherine will automatically become the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall when Prince Charles accedes.
Diana became Princess of Wales (and Duchess of Cornwall) when she married Prince Charles because he was already the Prince of Wales.
I agree……Camilla should never be HM The Queen, that is wrong, just wrong.
So my question is about Catherine not becoming Princess Catherine. When HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother passed away, the Garter Principal King of Arms read a list of her titles and started with: “Princess Elizabeth, Queen Dowager and Queen Mother…” Now, we all know that prior to her marriage to The Duke of York (later King George VI), she was Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, youngest daughter of an Earl. Why was she called Princess, if she was never a princess in her own right? Does this change upon her accession as Queen Consort? If so, would not Catherine become, upon her accession as Queen Consort become a Princess of the United Kingdom in her own right? Would not the same hold true for Camilla? Please let us know.
Wasn’t the Duke of York also Prince George? That would be why the Queen Mother was Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of York?
If that was the case, then Catherine would be Princess Catherine instead of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. The Palace was very specific on that issue.
When the Queen Mother married her husband in 1923, he was Prince Albert, Duke of York. She was then known as HRH the Duchess of York. If he had died before he became King at the time of Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936, she would probably been given the title of HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of York.
The Duke of York’s younger brother was Prince George, Duke of Kent, who died in an airplane crash in the early 1940’s.
When Prince George, Duke of Kent died, his wife continued to be known as HRH The Duchess of Kent until her son married in 1961. Conventionally, she would have become HRH The Dowager Duchess of Kent, though The Queen gave her permission to use the title Princess Marina – this is rare and the title was never officially granted. I don’t envisage any sort of situation arising with the present Duchess of Cambridge.
The Dowager Duchess of Kent was born a princess, though – Princess Marina of Greece. Although it was somewhat ubnconventional, the Queen didn’t actually make her a princess, she just allowed her to revert to a former title (which she had actually been entitled to use during her marriage as well, since a wife is allowed to retain her title if it is higher or equal to her husband’s).
The Duke of York’s name was Albert and he was known in the family as Bertie.
Good point. When she married him, she would have been Duchess of York, but if there had been no such title, she would have been referred to as “Princess Albert” (just as Princess Michael of Kent is Princess Michael and not Princess Marie Christine).
Not George , Lorraine Innes!, but Prince Albert, called ‘Bertie He was Duke of York and his wife Elizabeth nee Bowes Lyon was the Duchess. When he became King he took the name George and reigned as King George 6th.
Catherine is already a Princess of the United Kingdom. As a royal duchess, she already carries the rank of Princess, and this was entered on Prince George’s birth certificate has his mother’s occupation.
If William should die now, she would probably be given the title HRH Princess Catherine of Cambridge.
If William died after Prince Charles became King, and if he had not yet given William the title of Prince of Wales (which would be a very short window of time, I’m sure), she would be HRH Princess Catherine of Cornwall and Cambridge.
If William died while he was Prince of Wales, she would almost be known as HRH Princess Catherine of Wales.
However, if he dies while King, which is much more likely than the other situations I listed above, she would be HM Queen Catherine.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
She’s a Princess by Marriage, in other words she is Princess William. This is why she was referred to as a Princess of Prince George’s birth certificate. If William died, she’d formally become HRH The Dowager Duchess of Cambridge.
She would not become Princess Catherine of Cambridge/Wales/Cornwall because she’s not the daughter of the Duke of Cambridge/Prince of Wales/ Duke of Cornwall. Put simply; she’ll never be ‘Princess Catherine’.
She will become Her Majesty The Queen (Queen Catherine) upon Prince William’s accession.
I suppose what confused me were the titles of the dowager royal duchesses of Gloucester (Alice) and Kent (Marina) after their husbands had died.
Didn’t the Queen give them “courtesy titles” that included the word “princess” in their widowhood? Would Catherine not be given a similar title if William was to die now?
I know these situations are very sad, and I don’t mean to dwell on them for that particular reason. I just find the issue of titles very interesting. And thank you for the feedback on the posts I made earlier.
Princess Alice was granted a courtesy title by the Queen after her husband’s death, but Princess Marina’s title is her own (as a princess of Greece).
Princess Marina was a princess by birth. Princess Alice was not, but Queen Elizabeth II granted her the style of princess due to her long years of service. I read somewhere that Princess Alice petitioned HM for the princess style, but I’m not sure.
When foreign-born royals marry into the Windsor dynasty, they can’t use their non-British titles anymore. Princess Marina was known as such after the death of the Duke of Kent in 1942, but it was a courtesy title and not officially bestowed on her by a letters patent. It was the same with Princess Alice, the (dowager) Duchess of Gloucester.
Another example of this is when Prince Philip had to renounce his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark, and take the name Philip Mountbatten. Technically, he wasn’t a prince again until the Queen issued a letters patent in 1957 giving him the title of a Prince of the United Kingdom. From 1947-1957 his title was HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
I’m pretty certain about this, but I’d like Royal Central to comment so we can be sure.
I think Prince Philip had to renounce his Greek citizenship and title because he was a man, marrying the eventual sovereign, and could have no other allegiances before that one. Although he wasn’t in direct line of succession for the Greek throne, there could be no chances taken that the two crowns might be merged. I don’t believe they required foreign princesses to renounce their titles though, particularly prior to WWII, since that was (to put it bluntly) a good part of their worth as royal brides.
As mother of the heir she is legally a princess in her own right, but HRH Princess X is reserved for Blood Royal, even Diana said that.
Her title has nothing to do with her being the mother of an heir and she’s not a Princess in her own right. She is Princess William through marriage, but you’re right that the title of Princess [NAME] is reserved for those of the blood royal.
No The Queen allowed the Royal Standard on her coffin and issues a press release at the Death of Diana stating she was a member of the royal family with all the rights and privileges of the mother of the king. She also received Civil List and apartment at Kensington Palace after the divorce. She was in legal theory a princess of the UK, using transference of logic the same for Kate. However not being Blood Royal she isn’t HRH Princess
I’m not really sure what your point is? Diana was never a Princess in her own right either – when married, she was a Princess by marriage (Princess Charles) and after her divorce, under the 1996 letters patent she simply lost the style HRH, never a princess in her own right, and neither is the Duchess of Cambridge.
Royal Central; Did the Queen issue a press release saying that Diana was a member of the Royal Family at the time of her death? I wasn’t aware of any such announcement.
As far as I’m aware there was no such announcement – her ceremonial funeral was accorded in respect of her popularity, she was divorced from Prince Charles at the time of her death so wasn’t a member of the family.
It’s very vague as to what a “member of the Royal Family” is. Is Zara Phllips (or whatever her surname is now) one? If so, what about her husband? Her children? If so, where is this laid down?
Diana was a Princess twice-over (during her marriage), since Charles was a Prince twice-over. He was born Royal – giving him the title of Prince… but he was also made Prince of Wales via an investiture. I believe these are two different ‘Prince/Princess’ titles. The Duchess of Cambridge is Prince William via her marriage to a blood Royal, but I believe she will still become Princess of Wales when William is invested as Prince of Wales in place of his father.
Yep, I think that’s a fair summary ^
Thank you for the speedy response. This stuff can be so confusing. I really appreciate this website and all of the information I get from it.
Diana retaining the title of ‘Princess’ after her divorce from Charles was done as part of their divorce negotiations. She had HRH stripped, but retained Princess because Charles, Diana, and the Palace felt that as the mother of the future King, she deserved some distinction.
Assuming the marriage lasts.
Thank you for your offer to take questions, and I have one!
You said that upon the Prince of Wales’ accession to the Throne, Prince Harry would become “HRH the Prince Henry/”Harry.”
Isn’t he already HRH the Prince Henry? Or did you mean that the only change would be that he would lose his present designation “of Wales?”
Please forgive a brash American if I have already answered my own question, but I (like many Americans) find the intricacies of all things Royal fascinating! Thanks in advance.
Hello. He is HRH Prince Henry of Wales at the moment. The word ‘The’ in the name denotes a child of the Sovereign, so when Prince Charles accedes he’ll become HRH The Prince Henry and lose the ‘of Wales’ part.
Hope this helps.
I have a question for Royal Central. Is there any truth to the stories that Prince Charles will use the regnal name “King George VII” to honour his grandfather? I know that George is one of Prince Charles’ other names, and that this would be possible. But it sounds like something a tabloid reporter would make up to sell newspapers, IMHO.
Personally, I like the sound of King Charles III. There have already been two Georges and two Edwards in the last 100 years or so, and something different would be nice.
I’d say it’s kind of a toss-up which would be the better choice. Charles II was popular, but Charles I was deposed and executed. On the other hand, Georges 1-4 were disasters, but 5 and 6 were very admiarable monarchs.
Yes, they were! If I was to choose a favourite royal it would be King George VI. He was exactly what his country needed at the time, following the abdication of Edward VIII and during the war. Some historians call him “George the Good,” which describes him perfectly.
http://www.royalcentral.co.uk/blogs/prince-george-king-george-vii-or-viii-12843 here is the article published jsut after Prince George’s birth becuase of such confusion with this.
Thanks for sharing the link, Chloe. I enjoyed reading the article, which I hope will end the speculation.
However, if Prince Charles wanted to take a different regnal name based on one of his other names, I rather like the idea of a “King Arthur.”
I’ve read that when Prince William was born, Charles and Diana couldn’t agree on what his first name would be; hence the long wait before it was announced. Supposedly, Charles wanted to give him the name “Prince Arthur,” but Diana wouldn’t go along with the idea. So they compromised on “William Arthur Philip Louis,” according to the article. So if Prince Charles had gotten his way, there might have been a King Arthur someday!
Another question for Royal Central. The article above mentions the issue of new stamps, coins, and banknotes at the time of an accession.
There has been a change to a more modern image of the Queen on British coins, but the same portrait of the Queen on banknotes for the last 20+ years, and the same Machin portrait on stamps since the 1970’s. Why haven’t the stamps and banknotes been updated with a more contemporary image of the Queen?
Does anyone have any information about this? Thanks in advance.
I think it’s simply a question of whether it’s needed. The overall look of banknotes and stamps has changed little since over the years and it’s not considered necessary really. I doubt The Queen’s image will be changed again now.
In respect of flags would fly at half staff “likely across the world” – that’s a tenuous suggestion. In the U.S., on the death of George, Truman sent a telegram of condolence and the Senate ceremonially adjourned (a formality as it wasn’t meeting to begin with), but only U.S. flags at the U.S.’ Supreme Headquarters in Europe (in Paris), in the occupation zone of Berlin, at Gen. Van Fleet’s 8th Army Headquarters (in Seoul), and at the UN building in New York were lowered. Also, India declared 24 hours of mourning but did not lower their flags. Stalin ordered the lowering of Soviet flags in Berlin, but not in the USSR.
We should expect a similar situation when ERII dies – there will be public displays of official grief and hysteria in states controlled by the ruling family, while others will observe the minimum customs expected on the death of any head of state, whether that of the UK or Bolivia.
I’m sure you’re correct about lowering of flags in the United Kingdom, but I wonder why you’re predicting hysteria?
The past royal deaths, like the old king’s wife, have involved the requisite amount of people rending their hair and sobbing … I mean I know most people shrugged and said “oh, interesting” when the old lady kicked it, but at least the images Auntie Beeb shows are of the required public grief, a la North Korea.
Would the Prayer for the Royal Family at the end of Morning and Evening Prayer in the Prayer Book automatically be updated to “(Philip Duke of Edinburgh(?),) Queen Camilla, William Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge”, or would this require action?
Camilla will never be accepted as queen. On condition of charles being allowed to marry this woman it was stated she would not be queen. She would only be princess consort. Me personally charles should not get to be king as he married a divorcee. it should be given to prince william
Long live the queen.. Long may she reign.. She’s gonna be around for about 20 years, I think.
I also believe that convention dictates that upon announcing the news the GM The Queen has died, and as Charles IMMEDIATELY becomes King, “The Queen is dead, long live the King”
why queen elizabeth does not abdicate
The Windsors see abdication as a shameful thing, and there is almost no chance of it happening again. If The Queen becomes incapacitated and is unable to perform her duties, Prince Charles could be named Regent, but she will never abdicate.
Isn’t Catherine already The Princess William?
One of her titles is Princess William, but only a child of the monarch is entitled to the word “the” in front of their name.
Prince William’s middle name is Arthur, is there any chance that when he becomes King, that he might use the name King Arthur?
He could use any of his names if he wanted to, and the same goes for Prince Charles, since Arthur is also one of his names. I like the idea of a King Arthur; it’s very romantic, but I doubt it will happen.
It’s kind of complicated, the logic, but as a descendant of Sophia of Hanover, Philip was actually technically a British Royal Highness from the moment of his birth.
That might have been possible, but I think that would’ve been nullified by King George V’s Letters Patent of 1917 that renounced all German titles and honours for British royals.
But I admit that’s a very interesting point!
But not a British prince. He didn’t marry the present Queen as Prince Philip. He was Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
Lt. Mountbatten’s name changed the day before his wedding. He knelt before King George VI, who ennobled him with several titles and the style of Royal Highness.
When he and Princess Elizabeth stood before the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
I read that when the King made Philip a Garter Knight on the day before the wedding, he invested Princess Elizabeth into the order first so she’d have precedence over her new husband at the Garter ceremonies.
I have asked the following before but no-one has commented. Apparently when Andrew was born in 1960 (the first of the Queen’s children to be born after the coronation, a minor courtier pointed out that the child would be illegitimate unless the family name was changed to embody Philip’s, thus: Mountbatten-Windsor. Please, Royal Central, or Ricky – or anybody who knows!
There are firm rules for the succession, and no one can be “named” King. Prince Charles will be the next monarch, and William’s time will come in due course; be patient!
The Duchess of Cornwall has converted to the Church of England, so religion is not an issue. The Church of England was originally established so King Henry VIII could get a divorce; he stayed on the throne afterwards. Divorce won’t be an issue that could bar Camilla from becoming Queen.
If Prince Charles dies before his Mother, forget William and Harry. The line of successions goes to his brother Andrew.
Not so, John. If Prince Charles predeceases The Queen, Prince William would take his father’s place in succession to the throne. Her Majesty would almost certainly create him Prince of Wales, but this is not automatic.
Next in line after William would be Prince George, then Princess Charlotte, and then Prince Harry. After them comes Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie.
I would imagine that life peers would invest in a coronet and robe if it meant having a front row seat at the coronation. I understand the costs are exorbitant, but considering the hot ticket the coronation will presumable be they might be willing to shell out the funds. I have heard that the robes can be hired, I would suppose the coronets would not be something available for hire, but I could be wrong. Thank you for your post, this is an interesting subject.
If Charles -> then the public choose to refer to Camilla as the “Queen” I personally would seriously doubt his (Charles) moral compass. Consort is far more then she deserves! Did the Queen make a statement that Prince Philip would not be referred to as a King?
The wife of our monarchs automatically becomes a Queen but not vice versa , unless the husband of the monarch is already a King. Its a long held tradition as far as I know . ‘Royal Central’ Editor . Why then did Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of Edward IV become Queen. She was not Royal??? Perhaps these ‘rules’ you mention came into use after his reign??
The prince of another in another country though
We have ALWAYS referred to the Duke of Edinburgh as a PRINCE and so do many we know..He must have had a sad and traumatic childhood, being sent into exile from Greece.He had no home and was sent from pillar to post amongst his rellies.His Mother , Princess Alice was a very beautiful lady indeed, guess that’s where he got is looks from.
Constitutional Monarchies as we have now , give us a sense of security because of their unchanging nature.We acn sometimes look back to our own family genealogy and trace it back to some monarch’s reign and learn much of life as it was then.. Whereas, so much in our lives have changed we know that one thing has NOT and has endured from generation.
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