We thought we’d clear up some of the most fascinating Royal Oddities that occupy the British Monarchy. From numerals to titles, here’s your guide to the top 5 oddities of the British Monarchy!
1. The Sovereign Never Dies
Even though individual monarchs obviously do die, the Sovereign (that’s to say the reigning Monarch) never dies. Due to the way the British Crown operates, the very moment one King or Queen dies, the next-in-line succeeds them immediately. As a result of this, the Royal Standard never flies at half-mast!
2. Elizabeth II is Elizabeth I & II
Ever since James VI Of Scotland assumed the throne of England until fairly recently, Monarchs have still held separate numerals for both England and Scotland. James VI of Scotland was also James I of England. This union happens to affect the Monarchy today, whereas there has been an Elizabeth I of England, there never has been an Elizabeth of Scotland so The current Queen should be styled as Queen Elizabeth I & II, she is not and as a result all post boxes in Scotland and other items that would usually bear the Royal Cypher actually bear just the Crown Of Scotland with no initials.
3. King and Queen but no Queen and King
Ever wondered why when there is a King, his wife is a Queen but now we have a Queen, her husband isn’t King? This is something that is often subject to misconception and confusion, the reason for this is plain and simple, though. Usually, in a marriage, a wife adopts her husband’s title and surname (e.g. Miss L Jones becomes Mrs L Peters when married to Mr Peters) but the reverse is not true. A title is usually issued to the man in the marriage in order for his wife to adopt the appropriate style, this was particularly relevant in 1947 when the then HRH Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten. In order for Philip to have a title and style, the title of Duke Of Edinburgh was issued to him, otherwise he would have remained Philip Mountbatten (NB: He would NOT have been Prince Philip Of Greece as he had to renounce his Greek titles and religion in order to marry Princess Elizabeth in a CHURCH OF ENGLAND ceremony.)
4. Monarchs Can Choose Their Names
When a new Monarch accedes to the throne, after condolences are given, one of the first questions asked of them is ‘what name would you like to reign under?’, it is not dictated by their first name, it really is their choice. Notable Monarchs who reigned under different names include: Queen Victoria (who was Princess Alexandrina Of Kent), King George VI (who was Prince Albert, Duke Of York) and King Edward VIII (who was Prince David, Prince Of Wales). Different names are often chosen for specific reasons. In 1936, Prince Albert chose to reign as King George VI to stress continuity after his brother Edward VIII abdicated. It is also expected that Prince Charles will reign as King George VII rather than Charles III because of the negative connotations associated with King Charles. The first one had his head chopped off and the second was known for a ‘less-than-austere’ lifestyle. The third one, known as ‘Bonny Prince Charlie’ never got to be King, he would’ve been Charles III.
5. The UK Has No Written Constitution
When I say the UK has no constitution, I am, of course exaggerating. What I mean is it does have a constitution, but not as you’d expect! The United Kingdom has no single written document that forms its constitution. Instead, the ‘constitution’ is formed through various acts of Parliament and also through tradition. This has caused lots of controversy for its lack of clarity and difficulty in deciphering.