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InsightQueen Elizabeth II

The Many Titles of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty The Queen, since her birth in 1926, has been granted the use of numerous official and unofficial titles and styles befitting her position as a child of a royal Duke, the heir presumptive to the throne, the spouse of a royal Duke and as Sovereign. Although The Queen is known as, simply ‘The Queen’ or ‘Elizabeth II’ by her subjects, this is an oversimplified version of her royal title.

In the United Kingdom, the Queen is officially titled ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’, with the style of ‘Majesty’. This title was altered in 1953 in order to reflect more clearly the relations of the members of the Commonwealth to one another and of their recognition of the Crown as a symbol of their free association.

Prior to this, as altered following the independence of India in 1947, the title of the Sovereign was ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Queen, Defender of the Faith’.

In Her Majesty’s other fifteen realms, variations of this title are officially used, reflecting her position as the head of state in these countries. These, in most cases, follow the style of ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of [name of the Commonwealth Realm] and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth’, which applies to most of her other realms.

In the realms of Canada and Granada, Her Majesty’s title denotes her position as Queen of the United Kingdom; in Canada, the title is ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’. In Grenada, her title is ‘… Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Grenada and Her other Realms and Territories…’. New Zealand follows a similar way of referring to the Queen, but include the title ‘Defender of the Faith’.

As well as these official titles, there are many unofficial titles that the Queen has been granted. Her Majesty The Queen was awarded the title ‘Mother of all People’ by the Salish nation in Canada. In Jamaica, Her Majesty is unofficially known in Jamaican Patois as ‘Missis Queen’ or ‘The Queen Lady’. In New Zealand, The Queen is unofficially known as ‘the White Heron’ by the Maori people, a cherished bird rarely seen in New Zealand.

In addition to these affectionate titles, Her Majesty The Queen is also known by various historic but informal titles. In the Channel Islands, consisting of the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey and their dependencies, The Queen is known as the Duke of Normandy. This title reflects the fact that these islands had been part of the Duchy of Normandy since the 10th century. However, The Queen reigns as Queen and is also referred to as ‘The Crown in Right of Jersey/Guernsey’, although sometimes referred to as ‘The Queen, Our Duke’.

From 2010, The Queen has been called ‘Queen of Gibraltar’ in a semi-official way. This title appeared on a Gibraltarian £5 coin and now appears on Gibraltarian and British government documents in reference to The Queen as Sovereign in Gibraltar. However, as a British Overseas Territory, the Rock does not enjoy this as an official title in the same way that the Commonwealth Realms enjoy differing titles.

Even though Fiji abolished their monarchy in 1987, The Queen was still known, unofficially, as ‘Tui Viti’ which translates as ‘Paramount Chief’. The Great Council of Chiefs, a constitutional body disbanded in 2012, recognised The Queen as being the incumbent holder of these titles, although these titles were not recognised by the Fijian government.

For republicans, the unofficial address of ‘Mrs. Windsor’ has entered into circulation as a pejorative title to demonstrate discontent towards the existence of the monarchy. However, this title is not one that will be received with disdain from some and disregard by many.


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