To Top

5 things you probably didn’t know about Prince George

As Prince George passes the first major numerical milestone in his life, Royal Central takes a look at some of the royal and constitutional duties and customs the young prince faces in the future!

Prince George has no official place in the Order of Precedence

origin_577037645Yes, since there is no defined place for a great-grandchild of the Sovereign in the Order of Precedence, Prince George is assumed to take the place as a son of a royal Duke – coming after George, Earl of St Andrews (eldest son of the Duke of Kent).

The Order of Precedence traditionally regulates who arrives in what order at royal events. Contrary to rumour, the Duchess of Cambridge will never have to curtsey to her son unless he accedes to the throne whilst she is still alive  (i.e. if she became Queen Mother), though even then she probably wouldn’t be made to do so.

As he becomes older, he will likely be afforded a proper place in the Order of Precedence – either through Her Majesty creating a place, or more likely through Prince George becoming a grandson of the Sovereign when Prince Charles accedes as King.

Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales

medium_8720562281Providing Prince William and Prince George are issued the title of Prince of Wales, and that his father accedes to the throne as expected – Prince George will be the 25th Duke of Cornwall and 25th Prince of Wales (since the title was issued to the heir to the throne). The title of Duke of Cornwall also comes with a vast portfolio of land, known as the Duchy of Cornwall, which funds the heir to the throne’s activities. Much like the Duke of Cambridge is at the moment, Prince George will have to come to learn about these estates and how they’re managed.

Prince George is also heir to the title of Duke of Cambridge, though providing Prince William accedes to the throne, George will probably never hold this title.

Great-grandchild of the Sovereign

medium_7555519578The last time a future King met his reigning great-grandparent was in 1896, when the future George VI met Queen Victoria. 117 years later, Prince George met his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. George has a long way to go before he becomes King yet, with his father and grandfather yet to assume the role, George too could be well into his 40s/50s before he assumes the role.

Prince George’s title was provided for by the 1917 letters patent and it works out that he is the only great-grandchild of the Monarch automatically entitled to the title of Prince and HRH. In 2012, however, The Queen issued a new letters patent to amend this to include all future children of the ‘eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales’ so Prince George’s siblings will also bear the title.


medium_8671833484Prince George won’t receive a coat of arms, monogram or personal standard until he turns 18. His personal coat of arms will be an adaptation of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, designed by the College of Arms – who deal with heraldry in the United Kingdom.

Heraldry is very important in the Monarchy and Prince George will have many heraldic devices in his lifetime, including the arms of the Duchy of Cornwall, then Coat of Arms of England and of Scotland as well as the various flags and standards of the Commonwealth Realms.

He will also have his own personal standard which would be flown on vehicles. The Monarch and the heir to the throne are typically the only members of the Royal Family who fly their Royal and personal standards above their residence, though.

The Royal Surname

medium_9051423080As a titled member of the Royal Family, Prince George holds no legal surname. This goes for all members of the Royal Family who hold the style of HRH, with the exception of Prince Philip whose surname is Mountbatten.

Members of the Royal Family rarely need to use a surname, though when they do they have a variety to choose from. The first and most obvious one is Windsor, the name of the Royal House and has been used many times before by various members of the Royal Family. Mountbatten-Windsor is the surname of untitled descendants of Prince Philip and The Queen, though is often used by all members when a formal surname is needed, such as when marrying.

The most likely and now popular choice of surname for members of the Royal Family is the name of their father’s, or their own, territory. For example, Prince William and Prince Harry both used Wales as a surname in the Armed Forces, with their father as Prince of Wales, while The Duke of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie use York as their surname. Prince George could well use Cambridge at first as a surname, and later Wales if Prince William is made Prince of Wales.

photo credits: hmcotterill, Mikepaws, Birmingham News Room, SilverStack and Mikepaws via photopin cc

  • Zebulon

    “though even then she probably wouldn’t be made to do so”

    So by “probably” it sounds like it is possible, at least, she will be forced to prostate herself before his imperiousness. What penalties will she be made to suffer if she fails to demonstrate obeisance? I’m assuming it won’t involve violence like abdominal quartering (?) but will she have chivalric orders revoked or monetary penalties imposed?

    Also is “heir to the throne’s activities” code for “coke and hookers?”

  • Trip

    When HRH William becomes King, does the title Duke of Cambridge become extinct? As I’m guessing it’s not merging into the crown, so any future monarchs wouldn’t be the King, Duke of Lancaster, Duke of Cambridge. If so, does it become available for William to give out? Finally, when did the Duke of Lancaster become tied to the monarch?

    • Royal Central

      Actually no, it would merge with the Crown – the Sovereign cannot hold the title for himself so it therefore will become available for recreation. The Duke of Lancaster is completely separate to the Crown and actually runs alongside it (thanks to Henry IV) rather than ‘merging’ with it like any other title would.

      Hope this makes sense.

      • Trip

        Thanks it does. How did the Duchy of Lancaster then become part of the Crown? What made that different than when any other successor became King with another Duchy? Henry V was Duke of Lancaster and it seems when he became King it then merged with the Crown. Why doesn’t that apply to Duke of Cambridge? Or was there a decision where the “Crown” would also be known as a Duke too (for personal finance).

        • JMB

          The Lancaster estates came into the Royal Family with John of Gaunt’s marriage to the heiress of the Earl of Lancaster.
          Edward IV though a Yorkist ordered that the Dukedom should remain with the Monarch–but all monarchs since Henry VII are descended from John of Gaunt.

          • Elephant

            In Lancashire people who die without leaving a will and have no relatives have their estates divided and given to the Queens charities.This is unique as in the rest of the country,unclaimed money goes to the Treasury.

        • Royal Central

          The distinction is that the Duchy is in fact not part of the Crown but a separate dignity – a royal proclamation was made by Henry IV to say that the Duchy was to be held by him and his male heirs (as if it were a separate dignity, in much the same way Her Majesty is Queen of the UK, but also Queen of Canada).

          Dignities other than the Duchy of Lancaster merge with the crown because that’s the established course – Duke of Lancaster title is the only exception.

          Duchy is used nowadays for personal finance for the Sovereign.

      • Elephant

        In Lancashire which means the ancient Palatine county and not the revised post 1970s redrawing of the boundaries,the toast to the Queen is.’The Queen,Duke of Lancaster’ and it is said on Lancashire day which is 27th November in all Lancashire town halls.

  • Ricky

    The article states that “the last time a future King met his reigning great-grandparent was in 1896, when the future Edward VIII met Queen Victoria.” But he would have been two years old then, and I thought it odd that the Queen waited so long before seeing her little great-grandson. Does anyone know the reason for such a long wait?

    1896 was also the year the future King George VI was born, and I wonder if Queen Victoria might have first met the baby sometime that year. Their first meeting could be a contender as the last time such an occasion took place.

    • annmarie

      No the article doesn’t state “the last time a future King met his reigning great-grandparent was in 1896, when the future Edward VIII met Queen Victoria.” it clearly says “when the future George VI met Queen Victoria”.

  • Jennifer Clark

    I understood the 1917 act did not call for a great-grandchild of the monarch to styled and titled HRH Prince/Princess, and Prince George was granted this title and style by QEII?

    • Royal Central

      The 1917 Letters Patent gives the style HRH and title Prince/Princess to the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, which works out as Prince George. The 2012 letters patent by Elizabeth II will apply to all other children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      • Ricky

        When Prince Harry marries, would his children carry the title of prince or princess, or would that require a letters patent?

        • Royal Central

          If Queen Elizabeth is still on the throne, it would require a new letters patent, if Prince Charles is then it wouldn’t (it’d be covered by the 1917 letters patent) 🙂

          • Ricky

            So if King Charles III was on the throne, Harry’s children would be styled HRH Prince/Princess X of Sussex (hypothetical dukedom)?

          • Royal Central

            Yep 🙂

    • jennifermavens

      Well you understood wrongly, didn’t you?

  • Ricky

    The article says that it’s very unlikely that Prince George would ever hold the title “Duke of Cambridge.” Would that happen if Prince Charles or Prince William was to die while the Queen is still on the throne? My guess is those are the only possible scenarios.

    • natalie

      he would become Duke of Cornwall and maybe Prince of Wales if the Queen gives it to him.
      if Prince Charles dies William would be Duke of Cornwall, (prince of Wales) and George may become duke of Cambridge but maybe not till me marries as William didnt get the title till then.

      • Royal Central

        If Prince Charles died whilst The Queen was still on the throne, he would have no change in title and wouldn’t hold the Dukedom of Cornwall (though he could be made Prince of Wales) – providing the succession continues as expected, Prince George will never be Duke of Cambridge.

  • adamB1

    Well Prince George is third inline to the throne therefore , in order it goes the queen, prince Philip, prince Charles. His wife, prince William and Kate then Prince George then prince Harry. The order follows the ranking of succession. Nothing needs to be created for him.

    • Royal Central

      You’ll find the Order of Precedence doesn’t follow the line of succession. For example, all sons of the Monarch rank above grandsons in precedence, even though the grandson may be higher in the line of succession.

      There is no predesignated place for a grandson of the sovereign, so we shall have to wait either for precedence to be granted to Prince George (unlikely) or for Prince Charles to accede, thus making George a grandson.

      • adamB1

        Well grandsons come before the sovereigns brothers etc. There is also a different order for official occasions. As well as male, female and when couples are together. For example in public prince William and Harry are above the queens children. Yet in private I do not think that is the case. If you look at the jubilee. The order of arrival prince William and Harry where after prince Andrew and they sat in that order as well.

        • Royal Central

          That’s beside the point, the original point of the succession and precedence being separate (thus, Prince George has no official place in the Order of Precedence) was what I was explaining.

  • adamB1

    Prince George will become duke of Cornwall when his father becomes king. That is automatic. The prince of Wales title is not. They are separate

    • Royal Central

      As is explained in the article: “Providing Prince William and Prince George are issued the title of Prince of Wales”.

More in Insight

Royal Central is the web's most popular source for the latest news and information on the British Royal Family and the Monarchies of Europe.

Subscribe via Email

To receive the latest Royal Central posts straight to your email inbox, enter your email address below and press subscribe.

Join 31,631 other subscribers.

Copyright © 2017 Royal Central, all rights reserved.