Royal titles are something we occasionally touch upon on Royal Central, covering certain types of title in detail in previous posts; we thought we’d give a general overview with degrees of depth to help you understand just who gets what title and what it means these days.
Firstly, all titles and honours come from the crown, that is they’re all issued in Her Majesty’s name and with her authority, she is ‘the font of all honour’ in the United Kingdom. The Queen holds the title of ‘Her Majesty The Queen’ in short, and this title has many variations and long forms, but most people call her The Queen for short or, respectfully ‘Her Majesty’. In order to distinguish sometimes between The Queen of the United Kingdom and other Queens, The Queen of the UK is sometimes referred to as ‘Her Britannic Majesty’, especially on British Passports.
There are certain royal titles which are associated only with members of the Royal Family relating to their proximity to the throne or relation to the Monarch. For example, certain titles are traditionally held by the heir. Here is a list of titles associated in this way and whom they are usually owned by.
The 1917 letters patent determines which members of the Royal Family can hold the title of Prince or Princess and the style of HRH. The instrument was created by George V in 1917 to restrict the privileges held by many people that were no longer closely related to the Monarch. The following chart shows who in a royal family, according to the 1917 letters patent can hold the title of Prince or Princess and style of HRH. ‘X’ on the chart below represents the child’s first name. ‘Y’ represents the respective Royal’s father’s territorial designation, e.g. York. In blue and brackets on each strand, where applicable, is an example of a present holder of this position and title.
Of course, the 1917 letters patent does restrict titles and styles from people in close proximity to the throne, as a result the Monarch frequently will issue ‘letters patent’ to specifically grant titles to members of the Royal Family. For example, The Queen recently issued a letters patent to make all children of the Duke of Cambridge (whatever gender) Princes and Princesses.
Here is a ranking table for British Royal Titles, though this is not how rank is determined in the Royal Family; that is decided by the Order of Precedence.
photo credit: nsub1 via photopin cc
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