Discussion:
ATR FAQ (part 1: Britain)
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Francois R. Velde
2006-01-01 14:35:07 UTC
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ALT.TALK.ROYALTY

-- BRITISH ROYAL & NOBLE FAMILIES --

SUMMARY:

This regular posting contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs) and their answers and other useful information about the
British Royal Family and British nobility. (The Royal & Noble Families
of the World FAQ can be found at
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/atrfaq.htm). It should be read by
anyone who wishes to post to the alt.talk.royalty newsgroup.

Note: the FAQ contains European characters (accented letters) which
may not show on your browser/newsreader or may show garbled
characters. All characters used here arepart of the ISO Latin-1 set
and are displayable by normal browsers. Ask your Internet Service
Provider for an "8-bit clean feed" if you have this problem.

Last updated on: 08 Dec 2005

For comments, additions, suggestions, please contact the maintainer,
François Velde (http://www.heraldica.org/contact.html).

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
1. What is alt.talk.royalty?
2. How do I access alt.talk.royalty?
3. Welcome to alt.talk.royalty!
4. History of the alt.talk.royalty FAQ
5. Basic newsgroup "netiquette".
6. What kind of postings are appropriate in alt.talk.royalty?
7. Examples of "good" and "bad" posts.
8. Are there archives where I can find older posts on a subject?
9. What other newsgroups and chat groups are there?
10. Can I sell or advertise in this newsgroup?
11. Where can I get the latest version of the FAQ?

Part II: British Royal Family
1. What is the surname of the royal family?
2. Who are the members of the royal family?
3. Who is next in line when a king or queen regnant dies?
4. What is the order of succession to the Throne?
5. Where can I find the complete list of all those in line to the
British Throne?
6. Who is the last person in the line of succession the British
throne?
7. What happens if no one is left in the line of succession the
British throne?
8. If King James II hadn't been overthrown in 1688/1689, who would be
the sovereign today?
9. If Salic Law had applied in Great Britain and Victoria had not
succeeded King William IV as Queen in 1837, who would be the
sovereign today?
10. Who were the monarchs of England?
11. Can the sovereign abdicate?
12. Have there ever been monarchs who abdicated?
13. Can a member of the royal family do as he or she pleases?
14. When a man marries a princess or a queen, does he take his wife's
rank?
15. When a woman marries a prince, why does she use her husband's
Christian name in her title instead of her own name?
16. What are the different types of queen?
17. What type of sovereign is HM The Queen?
18. When did HM The Queen succeed?
19. What type of work does HM The Queen do as sovereign?
20. What are HM The Queen's titles?
21. Why does the queen have so many different titles?
22. Is the queen also separately queen of any territories which are
not independent countries?
23. What are all the countries which have been Commonwealth
monarchies, and when?
24. Why does The Queen celebrate her birthday twice a year?
25. Why is Queen Elizabeth II "HM" and not "HRH"?
26. Why are the children of HM The Queen "HRH" while the children of
HRH Princess Margaret are not?
27. Which members of the royal family are entitled to "HRH"?
28. Who are the relatives of HM The Queen?
29. Is it true that HM The Queen has agreed to allow the Government to
change the laws of succession to the throne?
30. Was Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark a British subject before
he became naturalized in 1947?
31. Did Prince Philip renounce his Greek titles and his succession
rights to the Greek throne before his marriage to HRH Princess
Elizabeth?
32. Which members of the royal family have a ducal title and who
inherits their titles at their deaths?
* Peculiarities of the dukedom of Edinburgh
* Will Edward inherit the dukedom of Edinburgh?
33. What is the difference between an heir apparent and an heir
presumptive?
34. How many Princes of Wales have there been and who were they?
35. Who were the princesses who bore the style "Princess Royal"?
36. Where can I find the Acts, Proclamations and Instruments
concerning the royal succession?
37. What is the Farran exemption?
38. What is the address of HM The Queen?
39. Does Prince William of Wales have an e-mail address?
40. What are some of the royal palaces and places of burial?
41. Mini-biography of Diana, Princess of Wales
42. Is a new king free to choose a new name, or does Charles have to
reign as "Charles III"?
43. What is the title of a Queen's husband?
44. How are sovereigns numbered?
45. What happens when a king dies and his widow is pregnant?

Part III: British Noble Families
1. What is the peerage?
2. What ranks are there in the peerage?
3. Is everyone in a peer's family noble?
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
5. Can a peer renounce his peerage titles?
6. Can a woman inherit a peerage?
7. Can a person buy a title and become a noble?
8. If I buy a coat-of-arms, am I noble?

Part IV: Resources
1. On-line Sources of Information
2. Useful Addresses
3. Magazines and Videos
4. Bibliography

Credits, Copyright, Disclaimer

Part I: Introduction

1. What is alt.talk.royalty?

alt.talk.royalty is an unmoderated newsgroup created for the purpose
of discussion of all aspects of royalty and nobility of any time
period anywhere in the world. There is no mailing list gated to this
group. Please remember that one cannot subscribe to or unsubscribe
from alt.talk.royalty via a mailing list, as is the case, e.g., for
soc.genealogy.medieval.

alt.talk.royalty was first proposed in December 1994 and was created
in February 1995 (according to:
ftp://ftp.uu.net/usenet/control/alt/alt.talk.royalty)

Despite the FAQ compiler's efforts, it has not been determined who
began alt.talk.royalty nor who is responsible for composing its
charter.

The charter states: "The group is oriented to discussion of royalty
and nobility of all nationalities, both present day and historical.
Discussions of the British royal family, the possibility of a restored
Russian monarchy, Henry VIII's foibles, and the forms of address used
in the Spanish court would all be appropriate. Advertising and
commercialism are not welcome, especially since everyone knows that
involvement in retail commerce results in attainder!"

All those who have access to alt.talk.royalty and are interested in
royalty and nobility are encouraged to participate. (Before interested
individuals "discovered" alt.talk.royalty and began posting to it
regularly, they posted their questions in rec.heraldry.) The scope of
the group encompasses topics such as the sovereigns or rulers of
nations, royal and noble genealogies, vital statistics (births,
marriages, deaths), lines of succession, royal residences,
biographies, current events, pretenders or claimants to thrones,
mistresses and illegitimate children, so on and so forth.

alt.talk.royalty is not here for the glorification of royalty. All
views, positive, negative and in-between, are permitted. We are here
to talk about royalty and nobility. You will find, however, most
people who post to alt.talk.royalty talk in favor of royalty and that
they are not anti-royalist. You can express anti-royalist sentiments,
but it is a fair assumption that you will get a heated and vociferous
response. Royalty discussions can bring out the best and the worst in
people; they engender strong emotions and opinions.

alt.talk.royalty has in its midst authors, genealogists, historians,
journalists and other such posters (and lurkers). Some of our members
post to the group while others prefer to lurk. Our members are
international: as of this edition of the FAQ, the majority are from
the United States, while the rest are from Australia, Canada, Denmark,
France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and
the United Kingdom.

Back to Table of Contents
_________________________________________________________________

2. How do I access alt.talk.royalty?

alt.talk.royalty is an Internet (or Usenet) newsgroup. To access it,
you need a "client" (software application) on your computer and access
to a "news (or Usenet) server". The client will connect to the server,
retrieve the posts, and send your own replies. The server will then
disseminate your posts to the rest of the world.

If you have access to the Web, your web browser can serve as client,
and you can access a server over the Web. See Yahoo directory for
"Usenet servers" for a list. Google Groups (http://groups.google.com)
also offers access.

Alternatively, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ask
them if they have a news server and what software they provide to
connect to it. Again, your web browser can serve as a news client to
connect to the news server.

Back to Table of Contents

3. Welcome to alt.talk.royalty!

This purpose of this chapter is to provide useful information for new
members of alt.talk.royalty. First-time users, or even those who've
been here a few times, have found the newsgroup's atmosphere
intimidating. When posting for the first time, some people find
themselves the object of criticism or downright abuse. The
new-to-the-group poster might not understand that that kind of
behavior happens with regularity in newsgroups. And so, at the
suggestion of some alt.talk.royalty regulars, the FAQ compiler and
maintainer has developed this section which will hopefully explain the
personalities of the regular members as well as provide tips on how to
"survive" in alt.talk.royalty.

One of the first things that is noticeable about alt.talk.royalty is
that it has a dual personality. Some days, it has a pleasant, quiet,
stress-free atmosphere, while on other days it can be testy, noisy and
combative. Some days, it can be academic and instructive in tone, yet
gossipy and disruptive on other days. It has been suggested that,
generally speaking, the male members of alt.talk.royalty are
competitive (with some positively thriving on this), while the female
members seem cooperative. For the most part, alt.talk.royalty's
members are pro-royalty/monarchy. What sets us apart are our personal
perspectives and biases.

alt.talk.royalty has quite an interesting mix of people. While we
can't tell you about the lurkers (they obviously prefer to remain
anonymous), we can tell you about those who post with some regularity.
There are authors (Greg King, author of The Last Empress; Marlene
Koenig, author under the name of Marlene A. Eilers, of Queen
Victoria's Descendants; Peter Kurth, author of Anastasia: The Riddle
of Anna Anderson; Ted Rosvall, author of Bernadotte-Attlingar; William
Addams Reitwiesner, author of The American Ancestors and Relatives of
Lady Diana Frances Spencer, Guy Stair Sainty, author of The Orders of
Chivalry and Merit of the Bourbon Two Sicilies Dynasty, Daniel Willis,
author under the name of Daniel Brewer-Ward of The House of Habsburg:
a genealogy of the descendants of Empress Maria Theresia), art dealer
(Guy Stair Sainty), journalist and translator (Grant Menzies), lawyer
(Patrick Cracroft- Brennan), librarian (Noel McFerran), medical doctor
(Sam Dotson), university professors (Stephen Stillwell, Peter
Kurrild-Klitgaard, and Jeffrey Taliaferro, the last two political
scientists), some who share ancestors with royalty or are descendants
of royalty (Frank Johansen and Grant Menzies), and even an aristocrat
or two (Gilbert von Studnitz and Eric von Ehrenberg). Of course, there
are also the average, everyday type of person who posts to
alt.talk.royalty.

If one observes alt.talk.royalty for some time, individual types
become obvious and one finds that they usually view and respond about
royalty/monarchy in a predictable way. For example, there are the
absolute monarchists (Louis Epstein, Noel McFerran), the genealogists
(Sam Dotson, Marlene Koenig, Steven Lavallee, William Addams
Reitwiesner, Darren Shelton, Paul Theroff, Daniel Willis), the
historians (François Velde), the legalists (Paul Johnson, Guy Stair
Sainty), the legitimists (Dimitry Macedonsky), so on and so on. One
can continue to categorize alt.talk.royalty's members into those types
who enjoy the gossip/daily lives aspect of royalty, those whose only
interest is the British royal family enthusiasts (with a subset
focussed on Diana, Princess of Wales), those who view royalty from a
religious aspect, from a political aspect, so on and so forth.

Some of alt.talk.royalty's members use an alias, but most post under
their real names. Some posters have obvious favorite areas and share
willingly their knowledge. Other posters are more generalists, but
share their knowledge with the same generosity. Some posters will only
post or reply when their favorite topic comes up for discussion. Other
posters will reply to just about everything and anything. Some of the
regulars always provide references for their replies which can annoy
some people, while others feel it useful and informative. Other
posters never cite their sources. Some posters reply to questions
succinctly while others provide mini-essays. Some posters will point
out spelling and grammar errors while others never do so. Some
posters reply to others in a light- hearted way while others are
business-like. Some posters will criticize another member's question
for whatever reason, while other posters will reply kindly and
helpfully. Some posters have strong beliefs and won't budge an inch
when discussing a particular topic, while others seem flexible and
willing to see other points of view. Lastly, some of the nastier
posters (and they are only a handful, thankfully) almost always use
foul language, are rude and hurtful and seem to be in alt.talk.royalty
only to disrupt the group.

New members and not-so-new ones will probably realize at this point
that given these types of personalities, it would not be easy to post
with confidence in alt.talk.royalty. The FAQ compiler and maintainer
has received emails from people who feel they've been poorly treated
by the regulars. Because of this, they chose to lurk instead of
posting in the group or vow never to return to alt.talk.royalty. Some
posters almost always behave in a certain way and their criticisms
shouldn't be taken personally because that is how they behave to just
about everyone. It is almost guaranteed that when a person posts to a
newsgroup he or she will eventually be criticized or abused. Please
don't be intimidated by the bad manners of some and leave
alt.talk.royalty too soon. There are lots of us who welcome newcomers
and we appreciate your ideas and input!

Back to Table of Contents

4. History of the alt.talk.royalty FAQ

There was talk in early 1996 of creating a FAQ for alt.talk.royalty
and some work for one had been started by members of the group. It
did not materialize into a finished product, however. A few months
later, in August 1996, another member of the group (Mark Odegard)
posted a titles FAQ to the group. It was called "A Glossary of
European Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles". (It can now be
found on the WWW at:
http://www.heraldica.org/topics/odegard/titlefaq.htm.)

Nonetheless, alt.talk.royalty remained without a general, all-purpose
FAQ until May 1997. At that time, a rough draft version of a FAQ was
posted to the group; it had been created by Yvonne Demoskoff with the
help of several members. A number of additions, corrections and
suggestions were made over the next few months and by November 1997
the rough draft was replaced with an official first version.

In June 1998, the FAQ was posted once again to the newsgroup but this
time it was in two distinct parts: one was called the Brit-FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions for alt.talk.royalty - British Royal &
Noble Families) and the other was called the non-Brit-FAQ (Frequently
Asked Questions for alt.talk.royalty - Non-British Royal & Noble
Families).

In August 1998, François Velde took over the maintenance of the
various alt.talk.royalty FAQs.

Back to Table of Contents

5. Basic newsgroup "netiquette".

Before posting to any Usenet group, please read the introductory
articles in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. There, Emily
Postnews will help you through some netiquette you need to know before
posting.

We highly recommend "lurking", that is, reading messages without
posting anything for a few weeks so that you get an idea of how people
typically phrase their postings. This will also give you an idea of
the flow of the newsgroup, the personalities of the regulars, and the
like. The easiest way to learn how to post in a.t.r. is to watch how
others do it. Start by reading the posts and try to figure out what
people are doing and why. After a few weeks, you will start to
understand why certain things are done and what things shouldn't be
done.

Occasionally, you will see trolls (strong worded postings intended
only to provoke a lot of replies), flames and off-topic posts. The
best way to deal with these kinds of postings is to ignore them. If
your newsreader program allows the use of a kill-file make use of it
to filter out undesirable postings. Alternatively, if you see a
blatantly offensive message, do not respond with another post.
Instead, send a strong complaint to <***@posters.site> and
<***@posters.site>.

One last point to remember concerning inappropriate behavior: our
newsgroup, in common with other newsgroups, has its share of people
who seek to disrupt the group collectively and/or its posters
individually. alt.talk.royalty and its FAQ might not have an official
policy as to how one should deal with such disruptive behavior, but it
can suggest the following: DNFTEC. This stands for "Do Not Feed The
Energy Creature". An energy creature's favorite feeding tactic is to
try to hurt people's feelings or get them angry. The Energy Creature
can then feed off the pain and anger it has generated. Its second
favorite tactic is to hurt one person or the group's feelings while
gathering the sympathy of others. That way, when the injured party
lashes back, others will jump to the Energy Creature's defense. The
Energy Creature feeds off the attention and the negative energy
generated by the people fighting. Newsgroups will never be completely
rid of such obnoxious, offensive and ill-mannered beings, but much can
be done to keep the situation under control by remembering this simple
formula: DNFTEC. If the Energy Creature gets a response, it gets
stronger. If it is ignored, it will eventually weaken, wither and go
away. Remember: do not to feed the energy creatures.

Back to Table of Contents

6. What kind of postings are appropriate in alt.talk.royalty?

We are an unmoderated newsgroup. The only things not allowed here are
things prohibited by Usenet protocol, such as spams (the posting of
off-topic material to many Usenet groups) and illegal postings (e.g.
chain letters, sending non-exportable things, threatening to kill
people). However, inappropriate topics or posts are those which are
completely unrelated to royalty and nobility.

Attachments, whether they are text (batch files, system files) or
binaries (audio, video, pictures such as .JPGs, .GIFs, .TIFs and the
like, programs, and "web" files such as HTML, HTM, SHTML) are also
inappropriate. Binaries must be kept in groups with binaries in the
name; they cannot appear in alt.talk.royalty. If news administrators
find binaries in a.t.r., they could kill the group and move it to the
alt.binaries section. A better way of dealing with binaries is to post
the binary in a binaries group and to write a note in a.t.r. telling
the group where the particular binary can be found. In other words, do
not post anything other than plain text in our non-binary newsgroup.

Posts which refer to royalty and nobility in a negative way (such as
suggesting that one monarchy in particular, or all monarchies in
general should be overthrown), while not off-topic, will usually get
no response. Most of the posters in alt.talk.royalty are fully aware
of the strengths and weaknesses of hereditary systems, and are
participating in this newsgroup to explore the intricacies of these
systems, rather than to engage in flamewars with persons who are
opposed to the idea of these systems.

Patently offensive remarks are inappropriate.

Back to Table of Contents

7. Examples of "good" and "bad" posts.

Let's begin with "bad" posts:

"Please tell me EVERYTHING about Princess Diana."
"I need to know ALL the people in line to the British throne;
my homework is due tomorrow!"
"I'm looking for information about the kings of England."
-- these types of posts are usually met with well deserved
sarcasm or risk being completely ignored

"So-and-so is an idiot and should be shot!"
-- personal comments or attacks on a.t.r. members have no place
in a royalty newsgroup; take it to private e-mail, if you must

"This is a test."
-- there isn't any reason to test alt.talk.royalty, the system
works fine. If you have to test something, do it in a group
with 'test' in it such as alt.test or misc.test.

And now "good" posts:

"Who succeeded King George II?"
"Why does Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her birthday in April and in
June?"

"Where is King Henry VIII buried?"
"Can someone tell me how King George V and Tsar Nicholas II are
related?"

(these "bad" and "good" posts are examples only and will not be
necessarily found in the FAQ)
Points to Remember:
* when the topic in a post has changed, please reflect that in the
subject heading by indicating the new subject and including a
reference to the old subject heading
* we suggest reading all the existing responses to a query before
posting one's own response; maybe the question has already been
answered, and the name of the game is not to show off how much one
knows
* people don't like to read things again and again; therefore, try
to avoid large quotes; quote only what you respond to
* please keep the lines of your messages to under 70 characters;
long lines will overflow when quoted by others and become very
difficult to read
* remember, it is generally considered rude to post private e-mail
correspondence without the permission of the author of that mail
* be careful about infringing upon copyrights and licenses; when
quoting, do not use more of the work than is necessary to make
your commentary; for more information on copyright, read
"Copyright Myths FAQ: 10 big myths about copyright explained"
found at the following URL:
http://www.clari.net/brad/copymyths.html
* posts may be in any language, but will probably be understood by
the largest audience if in English

Back to Table of Contents

8. Are there archives where I can find older posts on a subject?

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not keep posts for more than
one or two weeks. Therefore, to find older posts, head over to the WWW
and check out "Google Groups" (formerly known as Deja News) at:
http://groups.google.com/groups?as_ugroup=alt.talk.royalty

Once there, you will be able to search old posts back to April 1995.

This is also a good starting point to see what questions have already
been asked in our newsgroup. It's possible that your particular
question has already been asked.

Back to Table of Contents

9. What other newsgroups and chat groups are there?

Some newsgroups that deal with royalty and/or related subjects are:
* alt.gossip.royalty
* rec.heraldry (discussions of coats of arms and of the honors they
can depict)
* soc.genealogy.medieval (discussions of genealogy, royal or
otherwise, mainly of the Middle Ages)
* soc.history
* soc.history.ancient
* soc.history.medieval

N.B.: not all ISPs carry "alt." and "clari." newsgroups; however, they
can be accessed by visiting the Google Groups web site at:
http://groups.google.com

We suggest that you find out more about these newsgroups by reading
their FAQs, if available, or by lurking, so that you post your queries
in the appropriate group and not haphazardly cross-post to all of
them.

America Online (AOL) features chat groups about royalty for its
members. The royalty chats meet almost daily and the topics range from
discussions about the late Diana, Princess of Wales to the Romanovs to
the Tudors.

Back to Table of Contents

10. Can I sell or advertise in this newsgroup?

Usenet procedures heavily discourage advertising in newsgroups not
specifically designed for commerce. Having said that, one-time offers
to sell or buy books, and such, about British royalty and nobility,
will be tolerated. Those who wish to regularly advertise should post
their messages in the appropriate newsgroups (for example,
alt.genealogy.marketplace).

Back to Table of Contents

11. Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

You can obtain the latest version of the FAQ by visiting its web site
at:
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/britfaq.html

Back to Table of Contents

Part II: British Royal Family

1. What is the surname of the royal family?

On 17 July 1917, King George V issued a Proclamation which stated that
the male line descendants of the royal family would bear the surname
Windsor:

from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family
shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and
that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother
Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female
descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said
Name of Windsor

A few months later, King George V issued Letters Patent on 30 October
1917 which limited the title 'Prince' and the style 'Royal Highness'
to the children of a sovereign, the children of sons of a sovereign
and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. HH
Prince Alastair of Connaught (1914-1943), grandson of HRH Prince
Arthur, Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria's fourth son), became the
first member of the royal family to use the surname Windsor in lieu of
his princely title. It has been suggested that it was a
misinterpretation of these latest Letters Patent which led to HH
Prince Alastair (for such he was based on practise going back to the
time of King George I's accession in 1714 and which practise was
confirmed in Queen Victoria's Letters Patent of 30 January 1864;
source: "The Princes of Great Britain" article in Burke's Peerage
1963 edition, pp xxvii-xxxii) being denied his princely title.
However, as he was the son and heir of a peeress (Princess Alexandra,
Duchess of Fife), he was allowed the courtesy use of his mother's
subsidiary title and became Alastair Windsor, styled Earl of Macduff.

On 11 December 1917, it was further decided by Letters Patent that:

the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct
male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the
Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the
children of Dukes.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II confirmed her grandfather's decision that
the royal family's surname would continue to be Windsor. Her Majesty
declared on 9 April 1952 that it was:

her Will and Pleasure that She and Her Children shall be styled and
known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that Her descendants
other than female descendants who marry and their descendants shall
bear the name of Windsor.

A few years later, HM The Queen modified this statement by issuing
Letters Patent in February 1960 which stated in part:

while I and my children will continue to be styled and known as the
House and Family of Windsor, my descendants, other than descendants
enjoying the style, title or attributes of Royal Highness and the
titular dignity of Prince or Princess, and female descendants who
marry and their descendants, shall bear the name
Mountbatten-Windsor.

Did this mean that the name of some members of the royal family
changed from "Windsor" to "Mountbatten-Windsor"? Some people contend
that the goal of this declaration was meant to not only change the
surname of the children of HM The Queen but those of her male-line
descendants as well. At Princess Anne's wedding in November 1974, Anne
signed the marriage register 'Anne', without a surname. It was the
registrar who filled in her names as 'Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
Mountbatten-Windsor'. According to a Buckingham Palace statement
issued in October 1975, the specific addition of the surname
'Mountbatten-Windsor' was "the Queen's decision that this should be
done". Further, HM The Queen consulted with the acting Prime Minister
to confirm whether all her children would have the surname
Mountbatten-Windsor. She received the following reply:

"The effect of Your Majesty's Declaration is that all the children
of Your Majesty who may at any time need a surname have the
surnames of Mountbatten-Windsor."

(Prince Philip: A Biography, by Denis Judd, London: Michael John,
1980, page 196)

It would seem that the surname of HM The Queen's children is whatever
HM wishes. Legally and constitutionally, however, the Queen cannot do
as she wishes. The surname of the Queen's children is
Mountbatten-Windsor in practise and has appeared three times: at
Princess Anne's first marriage in 1974, on Prince Andrew's marriage
register in 1986, and when the banns were read prior to Princess
Anne's second marriage to Commander Laurence in 1992. (When the
Prince of Wales married in 1982, he signed the register as "Charles P"
and the registrar filled in his name as "His Royal Highness Prince
Charles Philip Arthur George The Prince of Wales".) Nonetheless, the
family name remains legally Windsor because there hasn't been any
modification or clarification to the Letters Patent of 1960.

Back to Table of Contents

2. Who are the members of the royal family?

The term royal family "has no strict legal definition" (The Royal
Encyclopedia, 1991). "The expression 'royal family' carries no strict
legal definition. However, certain relatives of the monarch possess
special privileges and are subject to special common law or statutory
provisions. Traditionally members of the royal family perform a public
social or ceremonial function by virtue of the legal institution of
the monarchy, and this is reflected in the styles and forms of
precedence which are in existence" (Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th
ed. (Reissue) ((vol 12(1) par. 27). Thus, depending on the purpose one
has in mind (applying the Royal Marriages Act or the Civil List Act),
or the criterion used (those entitled to styles or precedence), one
can come up with different lists.

The Sovereign decides which members of his or her family are accorded
the status of members of the Royal Family. From time to time, Queen
Elizabeth II compiles a list which consists of people who are
considered by Her Majesty to make up her immediate family. In
February 1990, there were thirty-five people on this list, excluding
royal children. The list is circulated privately to members of the
royal family (who refer to it as the 'printed list') and it is not
published elsewhere. The list has no legal or official status.

When one mentions "royal family", the general public usually thinks
the term includes the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
(and spouses) of the Sovereign. For the purposes of this FAQ, the term
royal family includes the following people:
* HM The Queen
* HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
* HRH The Prince of Wales
* HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
* HRH Prince William of Wales
* HRH Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales
* HRH The Princess Royal
* HRH The Duke of York
* HRH Princess Beatrice of York
* HRH Princess Eugenie of York
* HRH The Earl of Wessex
* HRH The Countess of Wessex
* Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor

When speaking informally of the Royal Family, this list of people
could include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following
people: Princess Anne's husband and her children; Sarah, Duchess of
York; Princess Margaret's children, their spouses and her
grandchildren; the Duke of Kent and his wife, their children, spouses,
and children; Princess Alexandra of Kent, her children, spouses and
children; Prince Michael of Kent and his wife and their children; the
Duke of Gloucester, his wife and their children; the Earl of Harewood
and his wife, his late brother's (the Honourable Gerald Lascelles)
wife; the Duke of Fife.

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3. Who is next in line when a king or queen regnant dies?

The right to succeed is determined by statutes, notably the Act of
Settlement. When a king or queen regnant dies, therefore, the new
sovereign is the heir of body of Electress Sophia.

The Act of Settlement, passed by Parliament in 1701, states that after
the death of Queen Anne, the succession would pass to Sophia,
Electress of Hanover "and the heirs of her body, being Protestants".
To be able to succeed a king or queen regnant, one must be a
Protestant descendant of Electress Sophia. This means that those born
a member of the Royal Family, but not those who marry into the Royal
Family, are eligible to be in line of succession. It does not mean
that the late king's widow or the late queen's widower is the new
sovereign. (Marriage to the sovereign does not give the widow or
widower greater precedence over those in line of succession.)

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4. What is the order of succession to the Throne?

An order of succession is a mechanism or algorithm that determines the
new sovereign at the time the old sovereign dies. It usually specifies
a path to follow in the genealogical tree from the deceased sovereign,
and oftentimes additional criteria to be met by the potential
successor. The first person to be found by the algorithm is the new
sovereign. The algorithm is defined by statutes.

At any point in time, there is a sovereign, and the rule of succession
can be applied (as a pure mental game, as long as the sovereign is
alive) in the following way: "if the sovereign were to die this
minute, who would succeed?" The answer to the question is the heir,
either apparent or presumptive.

One can, of course, extend the game a step further, and ask who is the
heir's heir. In other words, the question becomes: "if the sovereign
and the heir were to die this minute, who would succeed?" By extending
the question in this fashion, one creates a "line of succession", in
which the heir is number 1 (or next in line, after the sovereign), the
heir's heir is number 2, and so on. The line of succession is thus
constructed recursively, by asking at each step N: "if the sovereign
and the first N-1 people in the order were to die this minute, who
would succeed?" The answer is person number N on the list.

Because British statutes (such as the Act of Settlement) impose
additional criteria, this process is not purely genealogical. For each
candidate found along the path in the genealogical tree, the criteria
(described below) must be evaluated. Thus an individual may be
ineligible, in which case the individual is treated as if he or she
"were naturally dead", and the search moves on to the next individual.

The procedure is roughly as follows. If individual A is dead or
ineligible: 1. look for A's eldest-born male B (if none were born, go
to 3). 2. If B is dead or ineligible, go to 1 with "B" instead of "A".
3. If no candidate meeting the criteria is found, return to A, find
the the next eldest-born male C; repeat steps 1-3 with "C" instead of
"A", until a candidate is found or all of A's male children are
exhausted. 4. Repeat steps 1-3 with "female" instead of "male". 5. If
no candidate has been found yet, go to A's royal parent D and look for
D's next eldest-born male, repeating steps 1-4 with "D" instead of
"A". 6. If no candidate has been found, go to D's royal parent E and
repeat steps 1-5. 7. Keep going climbing up the royal genealogy. If
you reach step 6 with D = Electress Sophia, there are no candidates
left (this will take a while, because there are about 4360 individuals
descended from her: see the list).

The criteria required of a candidate are that he or she be born in
wedlock, of a marriage contracted in accordance with the Royal
Marriages Act of 1772, and that he or she not be a Roman Catholic or
have married one (according to the Act of Settlement of 1701). More
precisely, the Act recalls that the Bill of Rights of 1689 enacted
"That all and every Person and Persons that then [in 1689] were or
afterwards should be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the
See or Church of Rome or should professe the Popish religion or marry
a Papist should be excluded and are by that Act [the Bill of Rights]
made forever incapable to inherit possess or enjoy the Crown [...]";
and the Act enacts "That all and every Person and Persons who shall be
or may take or inherit the said Crown by vertue of the Limitation of
this present Act [to Electress Sophia and the Heirs of Her Body being
Protestants] and is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold
Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish
religion or shall marry a Papist shall be subject to such Incapacities
as in such Case or Cases are by the said recited Act [the Bill of
Rights]provided enacted and established".

There is a debate over the meaning of this clause. Under one
interpretation, being a Roman Catholic at the time of succession
forever results in an incapacity to succeed at that time. Under the
other, being a Roman Catholic at any time after 1689 ("then or
afterwards") immediately creates a perpetual incapacity to succeed
whenever the succession becomes open. Under the first interpretation,
a Roman Catholic, if he or she converts before the crown comes to him
or her, can succeed (even if he does so the minute before). Under the
second, anyone who is a Roman Catholic no matter how briefly is
forever excluded.

Another source of contention is the phrase "marry a Papist". Although
its meaning seems straightforward, some think that it should be read
as "being married to a Papist". In that case, a man whose deceased
wife was Roman Catholic could still succeed. Under the literal reading
of the phrase, anyone who ever marries a Roman Catholic is forever
excluded. This seems to be the reading of 8(2) Halsbury's Laws of
England par 39, which states: "a person who is a Roman Catholic or
marries a Roman Catholic, is excluded from inheriting, possessing or
enjoying the Crown [...]".

Because of these differences in interpretation, some individuals have
been assigned a "bis" number in the line of succession that follows.
It should be noted, however, that such an expert in Britsh
constitutional law as Vernon Bogdanor has written (The Monarchy and
the Constitution, p. 55): "Any member of the Royal Family who marries
a Catholic becomes ineligible to succeed. Thus when Prince Michael of
Kent [...] married a Catholic [...] and when the Earl of St. Andrews
[...] married a Catholic [...], they lost their rights of succession,
for themselves, though not necessarily for their children."

The following people are in line of succession to the Throne. It is
limited to the first thirty-five or so in line of succession to keep
the list at a reasonable length.

1. HRH The Prince of Wales (b. 1948)
2. HRH Prince William of Wales (b. 1982)
3. HRH Prince Henry of Wales (b. 1984)
4. HRH The Duke of York (b. 1960)
5. HRH Princess Beatrice of York (b. 1988)
6. HRH Princess Eugenie of York (b. 1990)
7. HRH The Earl of Wessex (b. 1964)
8. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2003)
9. HRH The Princess Royal (b. 1950)
10. Peter Phillips (b. 1977)
11. Zara Phillips (b. 1981)
12. David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (b. 1961)
13. Hon. Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones (b. 1999)
14. Hon. Margarita Elizabeth Alleyne Armstrong-Jones (b. 2002)
15. Lady Sarah Chatto (b. 1964)
16. Samuel Chatto (b. 1996)
17. Arthur David Nathaniel Chatto (b. 1999)
18. HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1944)
19. Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (b. 1974)
20. Lady Davina Windsor (b. 1977)
21. Lady Rose Windsor (b. 1980)
22. HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (b. 1935)
bis. George, earl of Saint Andrews (married to a Roman Catholic,
Note 1)
bis. Edward Windsor, Baron Downpatrick, a Roman Catholic (b. 1988)
(Note 2)
23. Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor (b. 1992)
24. Lady Amelia Windsor (b. 1995)
bis. Lord Nicholas Windsor, a Roman Catholic (b. 1970) (Note 3)
25. Lady Helen Taylor (b. 1964)
26. Columbus Taylor (b. 1994)
27. Cassius Taylor (b. 1996)
28. Eloise Taylor (b. 2003)
29. Estella Taylor (b. 2004)
bis. HRH Prince Michael of Kent (married to a Roman Catholic, Note
4)
30. Lord Frederick Windsor (b. 1979)
31. Lady Gabriella Windsor (b. 1981)
32. HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honorable Lady Ogilvy (1936)
33. James Ogilvy (b. 1964)
34. Alexander Ogilvy (b. 1996)
35. Flora Ogilvy (b. 1994)
36. Marina Mowatt (b. 1966)
37. Christian Mowatt (b. 1993)
38. Zenouska Mowatt (b. 1990)

Notes:

1. The Duke of Kent's elder son, George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews
(the father of three next persons in the line), could not presently
succeed because of his marriage to Sylvana Tomaselli, a Roman
Catholic. George's children, however, could succeed as long as they
are not Roman Catholics themselves.

The duchess of Kent converted to the Roman Catholic faith on Jan 14,
1994. This does not affect the rights of the duke of Kent.

2. The Earl of St. Andrews's son, Lord Downpatrick, converted to the
Roman Catholic faith on May 4, 2003.

3. Lord Nicholas Windsor converted to the Roman Catholic faith around
Easter 2001.

4. The father of Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor, Prince
Michael of Kent, could not presently succeed because of his marriage
to Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, a Roman Catholic. Prince
Michael's children, however, could succeed as long as they are not
Roman Catholics themselves.

Contrary to what earlier versions of this FAQ asserted, the line of
succession has a legal meaning. It is referred to (but not defined) in
the Regency Act 1937, by which an eventual Regent is chosen to be the
next in line of succession, subject to the exclusions of section 2 of
the Act of Settlement as recalled above, and other conditions (being a
British citizen of full age, residing in the UK, holding Communion
with the Church of England); and by which the sovereign can
temporarily delegate his or her powers to a group of people consisting
of his or her spouse, and the next four persons in the line of
succession who satisfy the conditions to be regent.
_________________________________________________________________

In general terms, the modern rules for eligibility as an heir or
heiress are (adapted from "The Royal Line of Succession: From William
the Conqueror to Prince William of Wales", compiled by John Butcher,
edited by Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Harmondsworth, Middlesex:
Penguin Books Ltd., 1983):
1. the reigning sovereign's sons (and their sons then daughters),
then daughters (and their sons then daughters), in order of their
birth; if a child dies or is already dead, it passes to that
child's sons then daughters, in order of their birth
2. if the reigning sovereign has no descendants, the line passes to
either his younger brothers (if he's a king), then sisters, in
order of their birth; if the sibling dies or is already dead, it
passes to that sibling's sons, then daughters, in order of their
birth; or, to her younger sisters (if she is a queen), in order of
their birth; if the sister dies or is already dead, then it passes
to that sister's sons, then daughters, in order of their birth
3. if there are no descendants of the sovereign's lineal parent, the
line passes to that parent's brothers or sisters; so on and so
forth
4. no one born out of wedlock or born to an eligible parent whose
marriage contravenes the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 can be in
line of succession
5. no one who is, or becomes, or marries a Roman Catholic (according
to the Act of Settlement 1701) can be in line of succession

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5. Where can I find a complete list of all those in line to the British
Throne?

A list of all of the descendants of Electress Sophia, including
Catholics and arranged in succession order, complete as of Jan. 1,
2001, is at:
http://www.wargs.com/essays/succession/complete.html

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6. Who is the last person in the line of succession the British throne?

The persons who are genealogically last in line to succeed to the
British throne under the Act of Settlement are found among the von
Keudell descendants of Prince Ernst of Württemberg (1807-1868).
(Prince Ernst is a descendant of King George I's daughter, Sophie
Dorothea (1687-1757), wife of Friedrich Wilhelm, King in Prussia,
himself the only son of Sophia Charlotte (1668-1705), last child of
the Electress Sophia). According to the list cited above, the last
three people in the line of succession are Klaus Vogel (b. 1964), his
son Lorenz (b. 1998) and his sister Karin (b. 1973).

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7. What happens if no one is left in the line of succession the British
throne?

What would happen to the British throne if all the descendants of
Electress Sophia disappeared? The answer is that Parliament would have
done something about it in advance. With thousands of people in the
line of succession, Parliament is not likely to ever be taken by
surprise by their complete disappearance.

There is a precedent for such a situation. In 1701, William III was
reigning alone and childless. His heir apparent was Anne, married to
Prince George of Denmark. She had given birth to twelve children
between 1683 and 1700, but only one had survived past infancy, and he
had died at the age of 11 in July 1700. Beside Anne, there was no one
in the line of succession established in 1689. For that reason,
Parliament passed the Act of Settlement "for a further provision of
the succession of the Crown in the Protestant line."

Should Parliament really be caught by surprise, and the throne left
vacant without any successor, a de facto king (chosen somehow) could
call a valid Parliament which would then enact that the king was also
de jure. Such a procedure was used by Henry VII in 1485, and by
William and Mary in 1689.

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8. If King James II hadn't been overthrown in 1688/1689, who would be the
sovereign today?

If King James II hadn't been overthrown in 1688/1689, Europe's history
would have been very different in many ways. At some level, the
question is impossible to answer, because it requires conjectures
about three hundred years' worth of history; in particular, about what
marriages would have taken place and what the issue would have been.
Different people would have been on the throne, and they would have
certainly married differently.

If King James II hadn't been overthrown in 1688/89, and if all births,
marriages and deaths had taken place exactly the way they did in fact
take place, Franz, Duke of Bavaria (b. 1933) would be the sovereign
today. Franz, who is the great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria,
is known as Francis II , King of England, Scotland, France, and
Ireland to his Jacobite followers since the death of his father in
July 1996. Franz finds himself in this position because he is the
senior co-heir general (senior representative) of King Charles I.
Following the death of the last legitimate descendant of James II
(Henry IX, called Duke of York, Bishop of Ostia and Velletri,
Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, Dean of the Sacred College,
Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica) in July 1807, the right to the
(Jacobite) throne passed through the royal families of Sardinia,
Modena and Bavaria. The immediate heirs of Franz (he is unmarried and
childless) are his brother Prince Max, duke in Bavaria (b. 1937) and
his eldest daughter Sophie (b. 1967) who is married to Hereditary
Prince Aloïs of Liechtenstein. Their eldest child, Prince Joseph
Wenzel, was born in London in May 1995.

There are some individuals who question the validity of the
Wittelsbach/Jacobite claim which came through a niece-uncle marriage.
It was raised by W. J. Palmer in "The Jacobite Heir: A Doubt",
published in The Genealogists' Magazine, vol. 12, no. 6 (June 1956),
pp 188-189, and was answered by Philip M. Thomas in "The Jacobite
Heir: A Doubt Allayed" in the same Magazine, vol. 12, no. 8 (December
1956), pp 273-275. The answer is that British law recognizes, as
valid, marriages which would not be valid in Britain if the marriage
was valid in the place where (a) the marriage occurred and (b) where
the person was domiciled. Since the niece, Princess Maria Beatrice of
Sardinia (1792-1840), was domiciled in Sardinia, where her father was
King, and her uncle the Duke of Modena, Francesco IV (1779-1846), was
domiciled in Modena, and the marriage was valid there (Papal
dispensation, etc.), the marriage is then valid in Britain.

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9. If Salic Law had applied in Great Britain and Victoria had not succeeded
King William IV as Queen in 1837, who would be the sovereign today?

If Salic Law had prevailed at the time of the death of King William IV
(r. 1830-1837), and all births, marriages, and deaths had taken place
exactly the way they did since, HRH Prince Ernst August of Hanover (b.
1954) would be sovereign today. In other words, Queen Victoria would
have remained Princess Victoria of Kent (her father was Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent) and the succession would have gone to her paternal uncle
Prince Ernest Augustus of Great Britain (1771-1851). (He became King
of Hanover in 1837.) The reason that HRH Prince Ernst August would be
sovereign today is because he is the senior male lineal descendant of
Prince Ernest Augustus who died in 1851.

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10. Who were the monarchs of England?

This list of kings and queens from Egbert, King of Wessex to Elizabeth
II can be found on the official web site of the British Monarchy at
http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page5.asp.

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11. Can the sovereign abdicate?

Britain does not allow unilateral abdications. "In a monarchy,
succession to the throne is a matter not of choice but of duty." (The
Monarchy and the Constitution, by Vernon Bogdanor, Oxford: Clarendon
Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)

Parliament sets the conditions under which the monarch reigns.
Parliament, when it passed the Act of Settlement in 1701, included
language that states the Throne is to go to the Electress Sophia and
the heirs of her body. Parliament did not say, in that Act, that the
Throne is to go to the heir of the body of the Electress Sophia only
if the said heir of the body wants it. Parliament requires the Throne
to go to the heir of the body of the Electress Sophia and to nobody
else.

In the case of King Edward VIII, he succeeded because he was the heir
of Electress Sophia of Hanover, and Parliament made her the heir in
the 1701 Act of Settlement. Parliament, in 1936, altered the Act of
Settlement by removing Edward VIII and accelerating the succession of
George VI. Up until that point, Edward was the heir of the body of
the Electress Sophia. Not until he died could someone else be the
heir of Electress Sophia. Therefore, to make someone else king before
Edward VIII's death required a modification of the Act of Settlement.
Were Edward VIII to have actually quit, to have unilaterally declared
that he refused to reign, that he was walking off the job, then he
would have been acting in defiance of the will of Parliament, as
expressed in the Act of Settlement. As a constitutional monarchist,
Edward VIII was more respectful of the wishes of the Legislature.

King Edward VIII was the only sovereign in British history (since the
reign of William the Conqueror) to declare he wished to voluntarily
cease to be king. What followed was a very precisely choreographed
dance. In the Instrument of Abdication of 10 December 1936, Edward
VIII did not say "I abdicate", but said it was his desire to stop
being king, and it was his desire that appropriate legislation be
enacted ("I declare [...] My [...] determination to renounce [...and]
that effect should be given to this"). The next day, 11 December 1936
Parliament drew up and passed the "His Majesty's Declaration of
Abdication Act". This Act had four legal consequences:
1. that (after royal assent) there would be a demise in the Crown,
2. that the next person eligible to succeed to the Crown would do so
(this was HRH Prince Albert, Duke of York),
3. that His Majesty and his descendants were no longer eligible to
succeed to the Throne under the terms of the Act of Settlement,
4. that the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 would not apply to His
Majesty and his descendants.

As all Acts, this one required royal assent be become law. Edward
VIII, still king, gave Royal Assent to the Act that same day (11
December 1936). At that moment and not before, he ceased to be king.

Therefore, Edward VIII didn't abdicate on his own. What he did do is
state his wish to voluntary cease being king, and, once legislation
was put into place, be allowed by Parliament to do so. Of course, in
the final analysis, Edward VIII ceased to be king only because he
wished to do so, and did so of his own will. In that sense, he did
abdicate. But the British constitution requires both king and
Parliament to participate in an abdication, and an abdication cannot
take place without either king or Parliament.

The complete text of the Declaration of Abdication Act and of the
Instrument of Abdication can be found at the following URL:
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/abdicate.html

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12. Have there ever been monarchs who abdicated?

Of England's forty-two monarchs since 1066, from William the Conqueror
to Elizabeth II, two were forced to abdicate after they were deposed,
one was deemed to have abdicated, and one voluntarily chose to cease
being king.

Monarchs Forced to Abdicate:
1. Edward II (1284-1327):
- reigned from 1307-1327
- deposed (by an illegally-convened "Parliament") on 20 January
1327
- forced to abdicate in favour of his son Edward (Edward III) on
25 January 1327
2. Richard II (1367-1400):
- reigned from 1377-1399
- deposed on 29 September 1399 by Henry of Bolingbroke who usurped
the throne as Henry IV
- forced to abdicate by Parliament on 29 Sept. 1399

Monarch Deemed to Have Abdicated:
1. James II (1633-1701):
- reigned from 1685-1688
- attempted to leave the country on 11 December 1688 (succeeded on
23 December)
- deemed by Parliament meeting on 28 January 1689 to have
abdicated on 11 December 1688

Monarch Who Voluntarily Chose to Renounce:
1. Edward VIII (1894-1972):
- reigned from January - December 1936
- voluntarily sought to renounce the throne and did so by
instrument dated 10 December 1936, which was confirmed by the
Declaration of Abdication Act passed on 11 December 1936

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13. Can a member of the royal family do as he or she pleases?

It is true that members of the royal family do not have any formal
constitutional functions. They do not, however, have the same freedom
as the rest of the nation's citizens to behave and say in public what
they wish. For example, if they intend to make a speech which could
be considered controversial, it is courteous for them to send a copy
of their speech beforehand to the appropriate government minister.
The Sovereign and his heir do not vote in elections, general or local
ones, because they must remain politically neutral and it would be
considered unconstitutional for them to do so. Until 1999, the members
of the royal family who held a hereditary peerage were subject to a
'legal incapacity to vote', as members of the house of lords. The
House of Lords Act of 1999 has removed that disqualification for all
peers who lost the right to sit in the House of Lords, including the
prince of Wales, the dukes of Edinburgh, York, Gloucester, and Kent,
and the earl of Wessex. Traditionally, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother and HRH The Princess Margaret did not vote because of their
closeness to HM The Queen even though they have always been legally
entitled. Further, the members of the royal family do not stand for
election to political or non-political positions. The royal family's
public role is to stand for unity and neutrality.

The members of the royal family are bound by the Act of Settlement and
the Royal Marriages Act when planning to marry. Since the spouse of a
member of the royal family is instantly in a special position, as the
possible parent or ancestor of a future sovereign, it is indeed
perfectly relevant for the Crown to have a say in whom a member of the
royal family marries. If any member of the royal family refuses to
accept that authority they may act as they wish, but forfeit their
rights and privileges. If they wish to retain the privileges of their
rank, they have a duty of obedience to the law - and it is perfectly
reasonable that permission to marry should be part of the law (every
European royal family and many mediatised ones have "house Laws"
regulating marriage). Even in "ordinary" families, parents indicate
their consent or disapproval of the choice of spouse of a family
member, and the consequence of disobedience may occasionally lead to
alienation in a family. There isn't anything particularly odd or
unusual about this.

In the case of the royal family, Princess Margaret's decision not to
marry Peter Townsend was not least because she was persuaded that as
someone so close to the Throne she had a duty of obedience to royal
tradition and to the teachings of the Church of England (as they then
stood). In both the cases of the Duchess of Windsor and Princess
Margaret, it was not the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 which stood in
the way of their marriages. Rather, it was the laws of the Church of
England, and the impossibility at that time of being married to a
divorced person and being able to receive the Sacraments (a necessary
part of the Coronation service).

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14. When a man marries a princess or a queen, does he take his wife's rank?

When a man marries a princess or a queen, he does not take his wife's
rank and become automatically a prince or a king. In (English) common
law a man retains his name upon marriage. Conversely, when a woman
marries a prince or a king, she becomes automatically a princess or a
queen; this is in keeping with (English) common Law whereby a woman is
entitled to her husband's name. If the husband of a queen were
permitted to be known as king, he would then technically rank higher
than his wife the queen.

The husband of a princess or a queen can have a peerage or a title
conferred upon him by the Sovereign. Three examples when a peerage or
a title was bestowed on the spouse of a princess or a queen:
* 1961: when Antony Armstrong-Jones, husband of HRH Princess
Margaret, was created a peer when he was made Earl of Snowdon on 6
October 1961 (Antony and Margaret had been married since 6 May
1960)
* 1947: when Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, husband of HRH Princess
Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), was created a peer when he
was made Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947 the day of his
wedding (N.B.: Philip received the style Royal Highness the day
before on 19 November, and was made a Prince of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 22 February 1957)
* 1857: when Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, husband of
Queen Victoria, was granted the title Prince Consort on 26 June
1857 (N.B.: Albert received the style Royal Highness on 6 February
1840 four days before his marriage)

It is worth noting that the British Constitution does not make any
provision for the position of a husband to a Queen (see the question:
'What is the title of a Queen's husband?' below). A man who marries a
princess who later becomes queen or who marries a queen regnant, does
not become king. Queen Victoria succinctly summarized the situation:

'It is a strange omission in our Constitution that while the wife
of a King has the highest rank and dignity in the realm after her
husband assigned to her by law, the husband of a Queen regnant is
entirely ignored by the law.'

(Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert, by Stanley Weintraub, The
Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, 1997)

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15. When a woman marries a prince, why does she use her husband's Christian
name in her title instead of her own name?

The wife of a prince takes her husband's Christian name in her title
as do all married royal women. This is because it is the correct style
for any married woman ('Mrs' followed by her husband's Christian name
and then his surname.) When a woman is known as 'HRH Princess [her
Christian name] of [Gloucester, or Great Britain, or Kent, or York,
etc...]', this indicates she is a princess by birth. When a woman is
known as 'HRH Princess [her husband's Christian name] of [Gloucester,
or Great Britain, or Kent, or York, etc...]', this indicates she is a
princess by marriage. That is why it is correct for the former
Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz to be known as 'HRH Princess
Michael of Kent' instead of being known as 'HRH Princess
Marie-Christine of Kent'.

The situation is slightly different when a woman is married to a
prince who happens to be a royal duke or the Prince of Wales. When a
woman is married to a royal duke she is known, for example, as 'HRH
The Duchess of Kent', not 'HRH Duchess [her husband's or her Christian
name] of Kent'. When a woman is married to the Prince of Wales, she is
known as 'HRH The Princess of Wales', not 'HRH Princess [her husband's
or her Christian name] of Wales'.

The ways of addressing royal women change once there is a divorce. In
the case of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Diana was entitled to
'HRH The Princess of Wales' while she and Charles were married.
Following her divorce, Diana ceased to be both a Royal Highness and a
princess because she was no longer married to a Royal Highness and
prince. (These were hers only by marriage not by birthright.)
Accordingly, Diana became known by the name 'Diana, Princess of
Wales'. In the case of Sarah, Duchess of York she was entitled to be
known as 'HRH The Duchess of York' while she and Andrew were married.
Following her divorce, she too ceased to be both a Royal Highness and
a princess because she was no longer married to a Royal Highness and a
prince. (Again, these were hers only by marriage not by birthright.)
Sarah is therefore known by the name 'Sarah, Duchess of York'. This
style is common to divorced wives of British peers which was the
situation in which Diana and Sarah were in August and May 1996,
respectively. (Note, however, that Sarah is not addressed as 'Your
Grace'.)

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16. What are the different types of queen?

There are three types of queen in practise in Britain, but only one of
them is sovereign.

queen regnant
- a woman who actually reigns; a woman in the line of
succession who succeeds as sovereign in her own right
- example: Princess Elizabeth was the first in line of
succession and became Queen upon the death of her father,
George VI, in 1952

queen consort
- the wife of a king; a woman who marries a man who is in the
line of succession who later becomes King or is already King at
the time of their marriage
- example: the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married a man
who was in line of succession, Prince Albert, Duke of York; he
later succeeded as King upon the abdication of his brother King
Edward VIII in 1936
- a Queen Consort is entitled to be called Queen (followed by
her Christian name) for the rest of her life even after her
husband dies

queen dowager
- the widow of a king; a woman who is the widow of a late
reigning king
- example: HM Queen Mary became queen dowager following the
death of her husband HM King George V in 1936
- a particular type of queen dowager is one who uses the
appellation 'Queen Mother'
- example: following the death of her husband, King George VI
in 1952, HM Queen Elizabeth (1900-2002) chose to be called HM
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; as a queen dowager, she is
referred to as HM Queen Elizabeth, while her daughter the queen
regnant is referred to as HM The Queen

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17. What type of sovereign is HM The Queen?

HM Queen Elizabeth II is a queen regnant who is a constitutional
monarch. She took an oath at her Coronation to rule according to the
laws and customs of the people. Her Majesty is the Head of State of
the United Kingdom and is Head of the Commonwealth. She is Sovereign
of the British Orders of Knighthood, Sovereign Head of the Order of
St. John, Lord High Admiral, and, in theory, is all-powerful, the
source of justice and the fountain of honour. However, her power is
limited by the (unwritten) Constitution. The Queen's real power lies
in her being able to deny absolute power to anyone else. For example,
it is in her power to dismiss the prime minister and dissolve
Parliament.

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18. When did HM The Queen succeed?

HRH Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father, King George VI, upon his
death on 6 February 1952. Seventeen months later, she was crowned as
HM Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey.

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19. What type of work does HM The Queen do as sovereign?

The website called "The Working Day of Her Majesty The Queen" will be
of interest to those who wish to gain an insight into HM The Queen's
daily work as sovereign: http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page312.asp

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20. What are HM The Queen's titles?

The full titles of Queen Elizabeth II are:

United Kingdom: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her
other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith

Canada:
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

Australia:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia
and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

New Zealand:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand
and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith

Jamaica:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Jamaica and of
Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the
Commonwealth

Barbados:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Barbados
and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

The Bahamas:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas and of Her other Realms and
Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Grenada:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Grenada
and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Papua New Guinea:
Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Papua New Guinea and of Her
other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Solomon Islands:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Solomon
Islands and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the
Commonwealth

Tuvalu:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Tuvalu and
of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Saint Lucia:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Saint Lucia
and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the
Commonwealth

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines and of Her other Realms and
Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Belize:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Belize and
of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth

Antigua and Barbuda:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Antigua and
Barbuda and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the
Commonwealth

Saint Christopher and Nevis:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Saint
Christopher and Nevis and of Her other Realms and Territories,
Head of the Commonwealth.

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21. Why does the queen have so many different titles?

The transformation from the single imperial crown held by queen
Victoria to the 16 crowns held in personal union today by Elizabeth II
took place as part of the process of the transformation of the British
empire into a free association of independent states. In the 19th
century, many British colonies were granted limited self-government
under the crown, and this autonomy increased with the creation of
Dominions, the first of which was Canada (1867). In the years
following the first world war, a series of "Imperial Conferences" of
Dominion heads of government were held. After the 1926 Conference, a
declaration was issued that the dominions were:

autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status,
in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their
domestic and external affairs, though united by a common allegiance
to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British
Commonwealth of Nations

This declaration of intent was implemented in 1931 by the Statute of
Westminster, which granted immediate legislative independence to
Canada, South Africa and Ireland, and was extended to Australia, New
Zealand and Newfoundland if ratified by the Parliaments of those
countries. Newfoundland reverted from Dominion to Colonial status in
1934 without ever ratifying the Statute; Australia and New Zealand
ratified it in 1942 and 1947 respectively. The key section was clause
4, which stated that:

No Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the
commencement of this Act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to a
Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion, unless it is
expressly declared in that Act that that Dominion has requested,
and consented to, the enactment thereof.

The importance of this for the monarchy was that any future
legislation of the UK parliament affecting the succession to the
throne required the assent of each dominion in order to have effect in
that dominion. This was recognised by the drafters and specifically
called out in the preamble as a convention to be followed in the
future:

. . . it would be in accord with the established constitutional
position of all the members of the Commonwealth in relation to one
another that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to
the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require
the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of
the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The convention was followed in the Abdication crisis of 1936, and the
Abdication Act of that year called out the assent of Canada, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The Irish Free State assented
separately, through the passage of the External Relations Act of 1936.

The Commonwealth thereby became an association of independent nations
linked by common allegiance to a shared monarch. The monarch was
represented in each country by a governor-general appointed by the
Crown on the advice of the government of that country. This convention
was subverted by the Irish Free State, which in 1936 removed all
reference to the monarchy from its constitution and abolished the
position of governor-general, and in 1937 adopted a new constitution
creating an Irish presidency; the only role left to the monarchy was
in connection with the accreditation of Irish envoys abroad.
Nevertheless, Ireland was allowed to remain in the Commonwealth until
1949, at which point it formally declared itself to be a republic,
which it had been in practice for many years. Allegiance to the
monarch as a condition of Commonwealth membership was formally removed
when India secured agreement in 1949 to remain in the Commonwealth
after it became a Republic in 1950. Since 1995, the Commonwealth
consists of 16 independent monarchies under the queen, 6 monarchies
with their own monarchs, and 32 republics. With the acceptance of
Mozambique into the Commonwealth in 1995, even the unspoken
qualification of a common British colonial heritage no longer applies.

These changes were also reflected in the royal styles and titles.
Edward VII was "by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King,
Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India", which in his time described
a single imperial domain. George VI's titles, although superficially
very similar, were still appropriate to describe the major change
which had taken place in the structure of the Commonwealth: "by the
Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and of the British Dominions
beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India."
However, this royal style was not sustainable after the Crown was
transformed from a common allegiance held by all Commonwealth members
to a position as Head of the Commonwealth which included republican
members. Consequently, the Royal Styles and Titles of the queen were
changed on her accession so that she has a separate royal style for
each country, all incorporating the common element: "Her other Realms
and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth . . .", (see question 12).

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22. Is the queen also separately queen of any territories which are not
independent countries?

At first sight the answer is "No". However, there are three cases
where the situation is not entirely clear: the Cook Islands, the six
Australian states, and Scotland. A useful rule of thumb is to test the
ability of government of the candidate territory to affect the royal
succession in that territory. By this test, the Cook Islands is, for
all practical purposes, a separate monarchy, while the Australian
states and Scotland are probably not.

Most of the Commonwealth dependent territories are still governed
through the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand. There are two
states which have maintained a free association with New Zealand the
Cook Islands and Niue. Under the Cook Islands Constitution of 1965,
the queen is head of state "in right of New Zealand". At that time her
representative was appointed by the governor-general of New Zealand,
and the New Zealand parliament retained considerable powers to
legislate on behalf of the Cook Islands. A very similar arrangement
was made for Niue in 1974. However, in 1981 the Cook Island
constitution was amended in two significant respects: (i) the queen's
representative was appointed directly by the queen herself and (ii)
the Cook Islands parliament was granted complete legislative
independence of New Zealand in both internal and external affairs. As
a result, the current relationship of the monarchy to the Cook Islands
is effectively identical to that of any independent Commonwealth
monarchy, even though the queen is still nominally head of state "in
right of New Zealand". In particular, if the royal succession in right
of New Zealand were changed, this would require the separate consent
of the Cook Islands before it applied there.

The second obscure case is that of the Australian states. This arises
because the state governors maintain a direct relationship with the
Crown independently of the Governor-General. The framers of the
Australian constitution deliberately chose to do this in order to give
the states relief against a possibly oppressive federal government.
Under the Statute of Westminster, the preexisting relationships
between the British Crown and parliament and the Australian states
were preserved intact, so that the governors of Australian states
continued to owe allegiance to the UK Crown rather than the Australian
one. Through the Australia Act of 1986, these residual links were
adjusted, so that the governors in the Australian states now represent
the Australian crown, but they remain in direct relationship with the
queen. It has been argued that this direct relationship creates
separate state crowns, but since the states were and are unable to
affect the succession to either the UK or the Australian crowns as it
applies in their territory, it seems difficult to sustain this
position.

Nevertheless, in the debate about whether Australia should become a
republic, decided by referendum in 1999, the possibility was raised by
both monarchists and republicans that the individual states might
decide separately. If different states made different decisions, this
might result in the creation of one or more state monarchies. In
particular, the government of Queensland amended the state
constitution in 1977 to "entrench" the role of the governor as
representative of the Crown -- i.e. it could only be changed by a
referendum of Queensland voters. As insurance, the entrenchment
position was itself entrenched. This persisted until a new state
constitution was adopted in 2001. After 1977, members of the
Queensland legislature swore separate allegiance to "the queen of
Queensland", as well as to the Queen of Australia. In practice, the
queen of Queensland was a symbolic fiction. However, if the Australian
people as a whole had chosen to create a republic in 1999 but the vote
of the people of Queensland had not met the provisions of
entrenchment, it is unclear what the actual effect of this would have
been: whether the governor of Queensland would henceforth have
represented the Australian President, as successor to the Australian
Crown, or whether a successor Queensland Crown, still held by the
queen, would have come into existence. In the event, the circumstance
did not arise.

These considerations do not apply to Canada because the
lieutenant-governors of the Canadian provinces are appointed by the
Governor-General, and always have been. Thus, they can only represent
the monarchy represented by the Governor- General, so the fate of the
Canadian monarchy is automatically reflected in the provinces, unless
special provision is made otherwise. For litigation purposes, the
Canadian crown is said to be divisible, so that, for example, the
Crown "in right of Saskatchewan" might press suit against the Crown
"in right of Prince Edward Island", but this does not imply the
existence of separate provincial monarchies in the same sense as is
proposed for the Australian states.

Finally, there is the case of Scotland. In opening the new Scottish
Parliament on Jul 1, 1999, its Presiding Officer Sir David Steel
stated that it was "constitutionally correct" to refer to the queen as
"Queen of Scots", from which it might be inferred that devolution had
had the effect of separating the Scottish Crown from that of the
United Kingdom. He did not give any justification for this statement,
and it appears to be incorrect. Clause I of the Acts of Union of 1707
united the former Scottish and English crowns "forever" in the crown
of the United Kingdom. The Scotland Act of 1998, which created the new
Scottish Parliament, incorporated the Acts of Union in clause 37, and
in Schedule 5 specifically stated that the Crown, including the
succession, and the Union were among the "reserved matters" that were
defined, in clause 29, to be outside the competence of that
Parliament.

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23. What are all the countries which have been Commonwealth monarchies, and
when?

The following table lists the dates of independence under the monarch
and, where applicable, transformation from Commonwealth monarchy to
republican status for each country, apart from the United Kingdom,
which is or has been a Commonwealth monarchy. There have been 35
Commonwealth monarchies at one time or another, with a peak of 18
between 1983 and 1987. The current count is 16.

Country Monarchy Republic
Canada 1931 -- (a)
Ireland 1931 1936 (a)(b)
South Africa 1931 1961 (a)
Australia 1942 -- (c)
New Zealand 1947 -- (c)(d)
India 1947 1950
Pakistan 1947 1956
Ceylon 1948 1972 (e)
Ghana 1957 1960
Nigeria 1960 1963
Sierra Leone 1961 1971
Tanganyika 1961 1962 (f)
Trinidad and Tobago 1962 1976
Uganda 1962 1963
Jamaica 1962 --
Kenya 1963 1964
Malawi 1964 1966
Malta 1964 1974
Rhodesia 1965 1970 (g)
Gambia 1965 1970
Barbados 1966 --
Guyana 1966 1970
Mauritius 1968 1992
Fiji 1970 1987
Bahamas 1973 --
Grenada 1974 --
Papua New Guinea 1975 --
Solomon Islands 1978 --
Tuvalu 1978 --
St.Lucia 1979 --
St.Vincent & the Grenadines 1979 --
Antigua & Barbuda 1981 --
Belize 1981 --
St.Kitts-Nevis 1983 --

This table is based on a list posted to ATR by Rupert Barnes on 11
December 1997 (the 66th anniversary of the Statute of Westminster),
with confirmation and additional material drawn from various web-sites
and other resources, notably The Commonwealth
(http://www.thecommonwealth.org/)

Notes:

(a) Date of legislative independence through the Statute of
Westminster. Canada had become a Dominion in 1867, South Africa
in 1910, and the Irish Free State in 1922.

(b) The date of the end of monarchy in Ireland is a matter of
controversy -- see the discussion in question (20) above.
Alternate dates which are argued are 1937 and 1949.

(c) Date of ratification of the Statute of Westminster. Australia had
become a Dominion in 1901 and New Zealand in 1907.

(d) The Cook Islands is nominally part of the realm of New Zealand but
has for all practical purposes been a separate realm since 1981
see the discussion on question (21) above.

(e) Name changed to Sri Lanka under the 1972 constitution.
(f) Name changed to Tanzania after the union with Zanzibar in 1963.
(g) Now Zimbabwe. Rhodesia unilaterally declared itself independent,
without agreement from Britain, or recognition from the other
Commonwealth members or from the Crown. While the Rhodesian
Constitution of 1965 nominally created a Commonwealth monarchy
of the normal form, no Governor-General was ever appointed to
represent the queen. Instead, the Rhodesian government
appointed an "Officer Administering the Government" to fill the
role. The last colonial governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, remained
in place till 1969.

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24. Why does The Queen celebrate her birthday twice a year?

HM The Queen was born HRH Princess Elizabeth of York on 21 April
1926. She naturally celebrates her birthday privately on this date.

As sovereign, Her Majesty's official birthday is marked with a
military parade called the (The Queen's) Birthday Parade (popularly
known as "Trooping the Colour"). It is held publicly in early June
(either the first, second or third Saturday) in London in a ceremony
which dates back to the early 18th century.

Trooping the Colour ceremony is based on the days when mounted guards
and sentries kept watch at royal palaces and such in London. These
guards carried or 'trooped' the flags of their battalion which could
be seen and recognised by the soldiers. In 1748, it was decided that
the parade would mark the official birthday of the sovereign with King
George II being the first monarch to attend the ceremony. (Some
sources say the first time the parade marked the sovereign's birthday
was in 1805 for George III.) It became an annual event in 1820 with
the accession of King George IV. Later still, following King Edward
VII's accession in 1901, it became a regular custom for the monarch to
take personally the salute. The parade is followed by the appearance
of the royal family (and their guests) on the balcony of Buckingham
Palace with a fly-past by the RAF. This royal tradition has evolved
over the years and has become a tourist attraction enjoyed not only by
the assembled public but by television spectators around the world.

In 1947, HRH Princess Elizabeth participated in Trooping the Colour
for the first time in her capacity as Colonel of the Grenadier
Guards. Later, in 1951, she took the salute for her father King
George VI who was ill.

This year, Trooping the Colour will be held on Saturday, 12 June,
2004.

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25. Why is Queen Elizabeth II "HM" and not "HRH"?

The style His (or Her) Majesty is reserved for those individuals who
are kings or queens. Elizabeth II as queen is styled Her Majesty. If
she was a princess who was the daughter of a king or queen, she would
be styled Royal Highness (HRH). (HM was "HRH Princess Elizabeth"
during her father's lifetime.)

In the United Kingdom, the style HM is also the style of the wife or
the widow of a king.

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26. Why are the children of HM The Queen "HRH" while the children of HRH
Princess Margaret are not?

The children of HM The Queen (Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward) are
styled HRH because they are children of the sovereign, a queen. Their
style and title are allowed to them as children of the sovereign.

The children of HRH Princess Margaret (David and Sarah) are not HRH
because princesses do not usually transmit their titles to their
children. Instead, David and Sarah's names and titles come to them
from their father, the Earl of Snowdon. As children of a peer, David
is allowed the courtesy use of his father's subsidiary title of
Viscount Linley, while Sarah is allowed the use of the prefix 'Lady'
before her Christian name followed by her surname. The children of HRH
Princess Anne (Peter and Zara) and HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent
(James and Marina) are in a similar situation as those of HRH Princess
Margaret. They are the children of a royal mother but take their rank
from their father.

There has been one exception to this rule in this century. On 9
November 1905, King Edward VII bestowed the style 'Princess Royal' on
his eldest daughter, HRH Princess Louise. On the same day, His Majesty
elevated the daughters of Princess Louise to the rank of 'princess'
with the style of 'Highness'. With this unilateral decision on the
part of their grandfather the King, Lady Alexandra Duff (1891-1959)
and Lady Maud Duff (1893-1945) no longer held their rank from their
father (Sir Alexander Duff, Duke of Fife) but rather from the will of
the Sovereign.

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27. Which members of the royal family are entitled to "HRH"?

King George V issued Letters Patent on 30 October 1917 regulating who
would be entitled to the style of HRH and the title of Prince (or
Princess). Since that date, the style of His (or Her) Royal Highness
is reserved for:
* the children of a sovereign
* the children of sons of a sovereign (that is, grandchildren in the
male line of a sovereign)
* the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales

It is also the correct style for the wives of those who are entitled
to bear the style of HRH. A widow does not lose the style of HRH upon
her husband's death, whereas a divorced wife loses the style of HRH
following her divorce. Before their divorces, Diana was allowed the
style and title of "HRH The Princess of Wales", while her
sister-in-law Sarah was allowed the style and title of "HRH The
Duchess of York". Neither were entitled to such forms of address as
"HRH Princess Diana", "Princess Diana of Wales", or "HRH Duchess
Sarah", "Duchess Sarah of York" despite what was and still is reported
by the media.

Since 1917, there have been three exceptions to this rule:

First: the Duke of Edinburgh. On the day before his marriage to the
present Queen, Lt. Philip Mountbatten was created "HRH The Duke of
Edinburgh". King George VI was seemingly under the impression that
since he had given Philip the style of HRH, it meant he was also
giving him the title of prince, which was not so. It wasn't until 22
February 1957 that HM The Queen corrected this situation and made her
husband a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland.

Second: the Prince of Wales and his sister the Princess Royal. On 9
November 1948, HM King George VI "issued letters patent under the
Great Seal ordaining that any children born to the Duke and Duchess of
Edinburgh would have the title of prince or princess and the style of
Royal Highness." (Prince Charles: A Biography, by Anthony Holden,
1979). Thus, Charles (born less than a week after this decision) and
Anne (born less than two years later) were to enjoy the style of HRH
before they would have been entitled to it upon their mother's
accession as Queen.

Third: On the wedding day of HRH The Earl of Wessex to Miss Sophie
Rhys-Jones, a press release from Buckingham Palace announced the
queen's decision (made with the couple's agreement) that any children
they have should not be given the style His or Her Royal Highness, but
would have courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an earl. While
royal styles and titles have usually been conferred and withdrawn by
way of letters patent or royal warrants, precedents show that such
instruments are not necessary, and there is no reason to doubt that
the press release correctly expresses the sovereign's will, which is
all that matters.

At present, there are eighteen members of the Royal Family who are
entitled to the style HRH:
1. HRH The Prince of Wales (the child of a sovereign)
2. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (wife of a son of a sovereign)
3. HRH Prince William of Wales (the child of a son of a sovereign)
4. HRH Prince Henry of Wales (the child of a son of a sovereign)
5. HRH The Duke of York (the child of a sovereign)
6. HRH Princess Beatrice of York (the child of a son of a sovereign)
7. HRH Princess Eugenie of York (the child of a son of a sovereign)
8. HRH The Earl of Wessex (the child of a sovereign)
9. HRH The Countess of Wessex (the wife of a son of a sovereign)
10. HRH The Princess Royal (the child of a sovereign)
11. HRH The Duke of Gloucester (the child of a son of a sovereign)
12. HRH The Duchess of Gloucester (the wife of a child of a son of a
sovereign)
13. HRH The Duke of Kent (the child of a son of a sovereign)
14. HRH The Duchess of Kent (the wife of a child of a son of a
sovereign)
15. HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy (the child of a son
of a sovereign)
16. HRH Prince Michael of Kent (the child of a son of a sovereign)
17. HRH Princess Michael of Kent (the wife of a child of a son of a
sovereign)
18. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

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28. Who are the relatives of HM The Queen?

The following list should be a help to anyone who has ever wondered if
Princess Margaret is the daughter of HM The Queen or if Princess Anne
is her sister, who were Her Majesty's parents, or how many
grandchildren Her Majesty has.
* Parents:
+ HM King George VI of Great Britain (1895-1952)
+ Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002)
* Paternal Grandparents:
+ HM King George V of Great Britain (1865-1936)
+ HSH Princess Mary of Teck (1867-1953)
* Maternal Grandparents:
+ Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
(1855-1944)
+ Nina Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck (1862-1938)
* Husband:
+ HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip of Greece) (b. 1921)
(son of HRH Prince Andrew of Greece and HSH Princess Alice of
Battenberg)
* Children:
+ HRH The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) (b. 1948)
+ HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) (b. 1950)
+ HRH The Duke of York (Prince Andrew) (b. 1960)
+ HRH The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward) (b. 1964)
* Grandchildren:
+ HRH Prince William of Wales (b. 1982)
+ HRH Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales (b. 1984)
(sons of The Prince of Wales)
+ HRH Princess Beatrice of York (b. 1988)
+ HRH Princess Eugenie of York (b. 1990)
(daughters of The Duke of York)
+ Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2003)
(daughter of The Earl of Wessex)
+ Peter Phillips (b. 1977)
+ Zara Phillips (b. 1981)
(children of The Princess Royal)
* Nephew and Niece:
+ David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (b. 1961)
+ Lady Sarah Chatto (née Armstrong-Jones) (b. 1964)
(children of Princess Margaret)

Surviving Paternal Cousins:
* George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (b. 1923)
(son of late HRH Princess Mary of Great Britain, Princess Royal)
* HRH The Duke of Gloucester (Prince Richard of Great Britain) (b.
1944)
(son of late HRH Prince Henry of Great Britain, Duke of
Gloucester)
* HRH The Duke of Kent (Prince Edward of Great Britain) (b. 1935)
* HRH Princess Alexandra of Great Britain, the Hon Lady Ogilvy (b.
1936)
* HRH Prince Michael of Great Britain (Kent) (b. 1942)
(children of late HRH Prince George of Great Britain, Duke of
Kent)

N.B.: Her Majesty does not have any surviving aunts or uncles; Her
Majesty does have a number of surviving maternal cousins, however.

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29. Is it true that HM The Queen has agreed to allow the Government to change
the laws of succession to the throne?

No, it isn't true. The only thing which Her Majesty has done is to
agree to allow discussion of the issue (whereby the right of
succession passes to the eldest child of the sovereign regardless of
gender, that is, females would have the same right of succession as
males). Neither Parliament nor the Queen have decided to do anything
beyond discussing the issue.

For additional information, see various issues of the "Electronic
Telegraph" (the online version of "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper)
including those of 13 February 1997 (issue 629) and 28 February 1998
(issue 1009).

Back to Table of Contents

30. Was Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark a British subject before he
became naturalized in 1947?

Yes, Prince Philip was a British subject before he became naturalized
in 1947. In fact, he had been from birth because of the Sophia
Naturalization Act . This Act, passed in 1705, gave in perpetuity the
right of British citizenship to Sophia's non-Catholic descendants. At
the time of Prince Philip's naturalization in February 1947, no one
seemed aware that this procedure was unnecessary, not even his uncle
Lord Louis Mountbatten who "worked diligently towards the granting of
Philip's British citizenship" (Prince Philip: A Biography, by Denis
Judd, London: Michael Joseph Ltd., 1980). This fact was discovered
only after the legal victory of his cousin, Prince Ernst August of
Hanover, in which he won his right to British citizenship. In 1956,
HRH Prince Ernst August of Hanover (1914-1987) sought and won his
battle to claim the status of British citizen because of the Sophia
Naturalization Act. Prince Ernst August's claim to this right was
based on the fact that he was a lineal descendant of the Electress
Sophia and a Protestant.

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31. Did Prince Philip renounce his Greek titles and his succession rights to
the Greek throne before his marriage to HRH Princess Elizabeth?

Some alt.talk.royalty members feel quite strongly that Prince Philip
did indeed renounce his right of succession to the throne of Greece in
1944 with permission of King George II of the Hellenes. They also
feel that Prince Philip renounced his titles of Prince of Greece and
Prince of Denmark (he was born HRH Prince Philip of Greece and
Denmark) when he became a naturalized British citizen and assumed the
surname Mountbatten in February 1947.

However, other members of alt.talk.royalty feel just as strongly that
Prince Philip did not renounce either his succession rights or his
princely titles. They believe that since there isn't any documentary
proof showing Prince Philip renounced his titles or his rights these
events did not occur. Their argument rests on the fact that no one
has been able to cite the text of the renunciation, the date it was
executed, the date it became effective, or even the clause in the
House laws of the Royal House of Greece permitting a Prince to
renounce. (Prince Philip is the only Greek prince who is ever said to
have renounced his rights and his titles.) They view it as a case in
which Prince Philip simply stopped using his Greek and Danish titles
and that he never formally relinquished them. (Foreign rules and
regulation such as British Home Office naturalization procedures did
not have any effect on Prince Philip's title or his style of HRH as a
Prince of Greece. As such, those who put forth these arguments say
that he, his children and male-line grandchildren are
Princes/Princesses of Greece and Denmark, in addition to any other
titles they may hold.) Other individuals take this argument further
by pointing out that even if Prince Philip renounced his rights of
succession to the Greek throne, it was not enacted under Greek law.
Lastly, they believe there isn't any primary documentary evidence that
shows this so-called renunciation was accepted (publicly or privately)
by the Greek Sovereign.

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32. Which members of the royal family have a ducal title and who inherits
their titles at their deaths?

At the present time, six members of the royal family hold a ducal
title. The titles and their holders are (in alphabetical order):
* Cornwall (held by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales since 1952)
* Edinburgh (held by HRH Prince Philip since 1947)
* Gloucester (held by HRH Prince Richard since 1974)
* Kent (held by HRH Prince Edward since 1942)
* Lancaster (held by HM The Queen, as Sovereign, since 1952)
* Rothesay (held by HRH The Prince of Wales since 1952)
* York (held by HRH Prince Andrew since 1986)

One member holds a comital title:
* Wessex (held by HRH Prince Edward since 1999)

Cornwall

Since its creation in 1337, this dukedom has been reserved for the son
and heir apparent of the Sovereign. The title was first created on 3
March 1337 when King Edward III bestowed it on his eldest son, Edward
(later known as the Black Prince). When Edward, Duke of Cornwall died
in his father's lifetime in June 1376, "all his peerage dignities
(none of which devolved on his son in consequence of the spec. rems.
thereof) lapsed to the Crown." (source: The Complete Peerage, volume
III, page 437) Edward's younger surviving son, Richard (the future
King Richard II), became heir apparent of his grandfather King Edward
III, but did not inherit the title Duke of Cornwall. A few months
later, in November 1376, Richard was created Prince of Wales, Duke of
Cornwall and Earl of Chester. When he acceded as King Richard II in
1377, all his peerage titles merged in the Crown.

Prince Charles became heir apparent in 1952 upon his mother's
accession as Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles, as the oldest son of
the Sovereign, inherited the title Duke of Cornwall, as well as the
(Scottish) titles Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew,
Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

If Prince Charles dies in the lifetime of his mother the Queen, all of
the peerages he holds (as heir apparent) would revert to the Crown.
No one inherits them, not even his son Prince William. Following
Prince Charles's death, HM The Queen could make her grandson, Prince
William, "Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester" and these would be his
for life or until he succeeded to the Throne. Prince Charles's other
titles (Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, etc...) would not be given
to or inherited by Prince William as these are reserved for the oldest
son of the Sovereign.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh was first created as a dukedom for Prince Frederick
(1707-1751), eldest son and heir of the future King George II. On 26
July 1726, Prince Frederick was created Duke of Edenburgh (as it was
then spelled), Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham, Viscount
of Launceston, Baron of Snaudon (as Snowdon was then spelled). When
his father acceded to the throne in 1727, Prince Frederick became heir
apparent and inherited the title Duke of Cornwall. When Frederick
died in 1751 in his father's lifetime, his titles (Duke of Cornwall,
Duke of Rothesay, etc...) lapsed (reverted) to the Crown while his
title Duke of Edinburgh devolved on (was inherited by) his son and
heir, the future George III. George was Duke of Edinburgh from 1751
until 1760 when he acceded to the throne as King George III and all
his honours merged in the Crown.

Lt. Philip Mountbatten (as Prince Philip was then known), was created
Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich in the peerage
of the United Kingdom in November 1947.

Peculiarities of the present dukedom of Edinburgh

The grant of a hereditary dukedom to a royal consort creates a
peculiar situation, because of the confluence of two factors:
1. the dukedom of Edinburgh is hereditary
(the Letters Patent specify the standard remainder of "heirs male
of his body lawfully begotten");
2. any peerage inherited by the Sovereign ceases to exist, or "merges
in the Crown":
(the Sovereign, being the "fons honorum" or fountain of honour,
cannot hold a peerage him/herself, because the Sovereign is higher
than any peer).

Thus, the present duke may not be the last (because of 1), but the
dukedom is likely to merge sooner or later (because of 2).

Consider the most likely scenario, that the Prince of Wales survives
both his parents (scenario A). At the death of his mother, he will
become sovereign. At the death of his father, he will become duke of
Edinburgh. Either event may happen before the other: in either case,
the dukedom will merge when the last parent dies. A less likely
scenario is that the Prince of Wales does not survive both his
parents. Then: (a) if Charles dies after his mother but before his
father, the dukedom will merge in the Crown at the death of Philip.
(b) If Charles dies after his father but before his mother, the
dukedom will pass from Philip to Charles to William, and merge when
William becomes king. (c) If Charles dies before both his parents,
repeat scenario A with William instead of Charles. Further, even less
likely variations, can be imagined. (One exotic variant has Charles
renouncing his rights to the throne in favor of his son; the dukedom
would then pass to Charles while the Crown passes to William).

Note that the dukedom will not necessarily merge in the Crown. Here is
one scenario where it doesn't: both Charles and William die after
Philip but before Elizabeth II, and William leaves a daughter. In that
case, the Crown passes to William's daughter and her descendants, the
dukedom passes to Henry and his descendants. But, given that the Queen
has a son who has two sons, it is far likelier that the dukedom will
merge sooner or later.
Will Edward inherit the dukedom of Edinburgh?

On the day of the marriage of the Earl of Wessex (June 19, 1999) it
was announced by Buckingham Palace that "The Queen, The Duke of
Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales have also agreed that The Prince
Edward should be given the Dukedom of Edinburgh in due course, when
the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the
Crown."

The announcement makes clear that the grant of Edinburgh to Edward
will only take place after the present title has merged (which, as
discussed above, may not happen but is most likely to do so). What is
slightly less clear, although it is implied, is that Edward will
receive a new grant of the dukedom of Edinburgh. This ambiguity has
been a source of confusion, because the announcement may be read to
say that the present dukedom will be given to Edward. That is not the
case: it cannot be given to anyone, it can only pass according to the
remainder defined in the Letters Patent of creation, unless modified
by an Act of Parliament (which is always possible, but unlikely).

The "agreement" between the Queen, Prince Philip, and the Prince of
Wales, should be thought to be more of a commitment among mother,
father, and son, rather than a legally binding contract. The Prince of
Wales is involved because, in most likelihood, he (as HM King Charles
III) will grant the (new) Dukedom of Edinburgh to his brother, after
the death of their parents, and the reversion of the present title to
the Crown. Prince Philip is involved in the agreement out of respect
for his role as father, and his having been the Duke of Edinburgh for
over 50 years, rather than any sense that he controls the inheritance
of his titles. And the Queen's role is in explaining why she is not
granting a dukedom to her son upon his marriage, as she had done when
she created Prince Andrew as Duke of York.

Gloucester

Gloucester, with its long history as an earldom, was first created as
a dukedom in August 1385 for Thomas "of Woodstock" (1355-1397),
youngest son of King Edward III. In later years, Thomas became
dissatisfied with his nephew the King (Richard II) and sought to
depose him. Thomas was arrested and murdered while in captivity.
Because he had been declared guilty of treason and his estates and
goods forfeited, his son did not inherit his title Duke of Gloucester.

The present creation of the dukedom of Gloucester dates from March
1928 when HRH Prince Henry (1900-1974), son of King George V, was
created Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, Baron Culloden. Henry,
whose elder unmarried son HRH Prince William (1941-1972) predeceased
him in a flying accident, was succeeded by his younger son HRH Prince
Richard (b. 1944) as Duke of Gloucester at his death in 1974. Prince
Richard will be succeeded in his turn by his son because this peerage
is a hereditary one in the male line.

Kent

The first duke of Kent was HRH Prince Edward (1767-1820), son of King
George III. Edward was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Earl of
Dublin in April 1799. At his death, all his honours became extinct as
he had but one surviving legitimate child, a daughter, the future
Queen Victoria.

The present creation of the dukedom of Kent dates to when HRH Prince
George (1902-1942), younger son of King George V, was created Duke of
Kent, Earl of St. Andrews, Baron Downpatrick in October 1934. George
died in a plane crash while on active service in W.W.II and was
succeeded by his elder son HRH Prince Edward (b. 1935) as Duke of
Kent. Just like the dukedom of Gloucester, the dukedom of Kent is a
hereditary one (in the male line) and Prince Edward will be succeeded
in due time by his elder son.

Lancaster

As the dukedom of Lancaster has never been conferred again since the
Middle Ages, it will be dealt with here only briefly. In 1267, King
Henry III's younger son Edmund (1245-1296) received the county, honour
and the castle of Lancaster. Edmund's grandson Henry was created the
first Duke of Lancaster in 1351. King Henry IV, a descendant of this
first duke, declared that the Lancastrian inheritance would no longer
form part of the other possessions of the Crown and would descend to
his male heirs. As such, it is considered the personal prerogative of
the monarch and the title Duke of Lancaster is held by the Sovereign.
Today, the duchy of Lancaster comprises acreage in various counties
and provides a source of income for the monarch.

Rothesay

Robert III, King of Scots created his eldest son, David (1378-1402),
Duke of Rothesay on 28 April 1398. This title and that of Duke of
Albany (created for David's uncle Robert) were the first dukedoms to
be made in Scotland. David's peerage dignities reverted to the Crown
at his death because he died in the lifetime of his father and without
leaving any children of his marriage.

The title Duke of Rothesay and those of Earl of Carrick, Baron of
Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
have been reserved for the eldest son of the king of Scotland since an
Act of Parliament made them so in November 1469. (But as The Complete
Peerage, volume XI, page 209, note "e" points out: "The act of 1469,
however, as far as regards the Dukedom of Rothesay, seems but a
confirmation of the limitation of that title as [...] it was
originally so granted in 1398 [...]").

Since the union of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603, these
traditional titles belong to the Sovereign's eldest son. Just as
Prince Charles inherited the title Duke of Cornwall on becoming heir
apparent in 1952 upon his mother's accession, he has inherited the
titles Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of
the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

York

In August 1385, Edmund "of Langley" (1341-1402), son of King Edward
III, was created Duke of York by his nephew King Richard II. Edmund's
successor as Duke of York, Edward, was killed at Agincourt. The title
eventually merged when Edward IV came to the throne in 1461.

The present creation of the dukedom of York is a recent one and dates
to July 1986 when HRH Prince Andrew (b. 1960), second son of HM Queen
Elizabeth II, was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron
Killyleagh. At the present time, Prince Andrew has two children,
daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, who will not be able to inherit the
dukedom as it was created with the remainder to his heirs male.
Should Andrew die without leaving any sons, his title (or more
accurately, the 1986 creation of it) will become extinct. The title
still belongs to the Crown, however, and the Sovereign is free to
create it anew for another member of the royal family.

Wessex

Wessex has no history as a peerage title. It was last held as a feudal
title by Harald Godwinesson (d. 1066). It was announced on June 19,
1999 (the day of the marriage of Prince Edward with Sophie Rhys-Jones)
that he would receive the titles of Earl of Wessex and Viscount
Severn. It is the first time that a prince receives a title no higher
than Earl. There is, however, a promise to grant him a title of duke
of Edinburgh "in due course" (see above).

Important points
* these peerage titles (with the exception of Cornwall, Lancaster
and Rothesay) are hereditary according to their Letters Patent
which contain the standard remainder "heirs male of his body".
* Once a peerage is granted to a member of the royal family, that
peerage title is not subsequently granted to anyone outside of the
royal family. It is possible, however, for the title to be
created anew for another member of the royal family.
* two possibilities exist which would prevent the legitimate heir
from succeeding to a peerage: death and disclaiming. Even if the
legitimate heir was disqualified from succession to the Throne, he
would not be disqualified from (for example) inheriting Prince
Philip's Edinburgh peerage. For such a disqualification to occur
would require the legitimate heir being declared illegitimate.
Under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, the marriage of a
descendant of the Sovereign which does not receive the prior
written permission of the Sovereign in Council would not be legal
if contracted in England. For example, if Princes William or
Henry of Wales married without prior permission from the
Sovereign, their marriage would be null and void and their
children would be considered illegitimate. (Illegitimate issue
can not succeed to honours or peerages.) Thus, the children of
William and Henry would be bypassed in favor of Prince Andrew and
his heirs.
* just because a member of the royal family entitled to the style
HRH is a duke does not mean his dukedom is a 'royal' dukedom.
There isn't anything fundamental about ducal titles which make
them royal dukedoms - it's a case of whether or not the particular
holder of the dukedom is royal. For example, when HRH Prince
Edward (b. 1935) is succeeded as Duke of Kent by his elder son
George, the dukedom of Kent will not cease to be royal but it will
cease to be associated with royalty because George, as a great
grandson of a Sovereign, is not entitled to the style of HRH.
(This situation applies equally to the present Duke of Gloucester
and his son.)
* a peerage for a member of the royal family isn't any different to
any other peerage. All peerages are now created by letters
patent. It is the peerage that is created, not the title.

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33. What is the difference between an heir apparent and an heir presumptive?

The difference between an heir apparent and an heir presumptive is as
follows:

Heir Apparent

- the next in line to the Throne whose right to succeed cannot be
defeated by the birth of of someone with a superior right to succeed
- the eldest son of the Sovereign is always the heir apparent who
becomes Duke of Cornwall by inheritance as well as becoming by
inheritance Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord
of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
- the heir apparent is normally created Prince of Wales and Earl of
Chester
- Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth
II
- should Prince Charles die while Prince of Wales, his elder son
William would become heir apparent because no other birth of any sort
(male or female) to anyone in the line of succession could displace
him from his place in succession (William is the eldest son of the
eldest son of the Sovereign); also, William would not inherit the
title Prince of Wales, but he could be invested as such, as he does
not have to be the son of a monarch to become Prince of Wales (after
the death of Frederick, Prince of Wales, King George II invested his
grandson and heir, the future King George III, with the title of
Prince of Wales)

Heir Presumptive

- the next in line to the Throne whose right to succeed could be
defeated by the birth of someone with a superior right
- Queen Elizabeth II, when Princess Elizabeth, was heiress presumptive
from her father's accession as king in 1936 until her father's death
in 1952 because it was always possible that her parents King George VI
and Queen Elizabeth might have had a son

It is possible for a woman to be heir apparent, under the following
circumstances. Suppose king X has an eldest son Y, and Y has an only
daughter Z. Suppose that Y dies while X is still reigning: then Z
becomes heir apparent, because no one can ever displace her in the
order of succession.

Also, it happened once that a woman was heir apparent, albeit due to a
peculiarity of the Act of Succession: Princess Anne of Denmark (future
Queen Anne) was heir apparent to her brother-in-law William III after
the death of Queen Mary, because she had priority over his issue.

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34. How many Princes of Wales have there been and who were they?

Since the title was first created in 1301 for the son of King Edward
I, there have been twenty-one English Princes of Wales.

The title is traditionally bestowed upon the heir apparent and he is
usually the eldest son of the sovereign. There have been times when
the heir apparent and Prince of Wales was not the eldest son of the
sovereign but rather the grandson: Prince of Wales number 3 (future
Richard II) and number 16 (future George III).

The title 'Princess of Wales' belongs to the wife of the Prince of
Wales. It is not a title bestowed on a sovereign's daughter.

A Prince of Wales's role is to wait. He has no formal functions and
has no constitutional powers (although he can act as the Sovereign's
deputy). Today's Prince of Wales, however, receives cabinet papers and
gives audiences to cabinet ministers (The Monarchy and the
Constitution, by Vernon Bogdanor, 1995).

The Twenty-One Princes of Wales:

1. Edward of Carnarvon (1284-1327)
Son of: King Edward I
Date of Creation/Investiture: 7 February 1301/7 February 1301
Succeeded: his father as King Edward II on 8 July 1307
Note: the first English prince to be created Prince of Wales

2. Edward of Woodstock ('The Black Prince') (1330-1376)
Son of: King Edward III
Date of Creation/Investiture: 12 May 1343/12 May 1343
Note: died before his father on 8 June 1376

3. Richard of Bordeaux (1367-1400)
Son of: Edward 'the Black Prince', Prince of Wales
Date of Creation/Investiture: 20 November 1376/
Succeeded: his grandfather as King Richard II on 21 June 1377

4. Henry of Monmouth (1387-1422)
Son of: King Henry IV
Date of Creation/Investiture: 15 October 1399/15 October 1399
Succeeded: his father as King Henry V on 20 March 1413

5. Edward of Westminster (1453-1471)
Son of: King Henry VI
Date of Creation/Investiture: 15 March 1454/9 June 1454
Note: died before his father on 4 May 1471 (killed after the
battle of Tewkesbury)

6. Edward of Westminster (also, of York) (1470-1483)
Son of: King Edward IV
Date of Creation/Investiture: 25 or 26 June 1471/
Succeeded: his father as King Edward V on 9 April 1483

7. Edward of Middleham (1473-1484)
Son of: King Richard III
Date of Creation/Investiture: 24 August 1483/9 September 1483
Note: died before his father on 9 April 1484

8. Arthur of Winchester (1486-1502)
Son of: King Henry VII
Date of Creation/Investiture: 29 November 1489/27 February 1490
Note: died before his father on 2 April 1502

9. Henry of Greenwich(1491-1547)
Son of: King Henry VII
Date of Creation/Investiture: 18 February 1504/18 February 1504
Succeeded: his father as King Henry VIII on 21 April 1509

10. Henry Frederick (1594-1612)
Son of: James I, King of Scots/James I, King of England
Date of Creation/Investiture: 4 June 1610/4 June 1610
Note: died before his father ca 6 November 1612

11. Charles (1600-1649)
Son of: King James I
Date of Creation/Investiture: 4 November 1616/4 November 1616
Succeeded: his father as King Charles I on 27 March 1625

12. Charles (1630-1685)
Son of: King Charles I
Date of Creation/Investiture:
Succeeded his father as de jure King Charles II on 30 Jan. 1649
Note: was designated Prince of Wales around May 1638 but was
never formally so created

13. James ('The Old Pretender') (1688-1766)
Son of: King James II
Date of Creation/Investiture:
Succeeded: his father as de jure King James III & VIII on 6
September 1701
Note: was styled, though never formally so created, Prince of
Wales from his birth (10 June 1688) or from 4 July 1688

14. George (1683-1760)
Son of: King George I
Date of Creation/Investiture: 22 or 27 September 1714/22 or 27
September 1714
Succeeded: his father as King George II on 11 June 1727

15. Frederick (1707-1751)
Son of: King George II
Date of Creation/Investiture: 8 January 1729/
Note: died before his father on 20 March 1751

16. George (1738-1820)
Son of: Frederick, Prince of Wales
Date of Creation/Investiture: 20 April 1751/
Succeeded: his grandfather as King George III on 25 October
1760

17. George 1762-1830)
Son of: King George III
Date of Creation/Investiture: 17 or 19 August 1762/
Succeeded: his father as King George IV on 29 January 1820

18. Albert Edward (1841-1910)
Son of: Queen Victoria
Date of Creation/Investiture: 8 December 1841/
Succeeded: his mother as King Edward VII on 22 January 1901

19. George (1865-1936)
Son of: King Edward VII
Date of Creation/Investiture: 9 November 1901/
Succeeded: his father as King George V on 6 May 1910

20. Edward (1894-1972)
Son of: King George V
Date of Creation/Investiture: 23 June 1910/13 July 1911
Succeeded: his father as King Edward VIII 20 January 1936

21. Charles (born 1948)
Son of: Queen Elizabeth II
Date of Creation/Investiture: 26 July 1958/1 July 1969

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35. Who were the princesses who bore the style "Princess Royal"?

There are seven princesses who bore the style "Princess Royal" since
it was first used in the seventeenth century.

Background:

The style "Princess Royal" is usually bestowed upon the eldest
daughter of the sovereign. It is "regarded as a style rather than a
rank or title, as it is purely honorary, bearing no particular
connotation of precedence" (The Royal Encyclopedia, edited by Ronald
Allison and Sarah Riddell, 1991)

The style Princess Royal came into being when Queen Henrietta Maria
(daughter of Henri IV, King of France and wife of Charles I, King of
England) wished to imitate the way the eldest daughter of the French
King was styled ('Madame Royale').

There can be only one Princess Royal at any given time because the
style is held for life. It therefore cannot be bestowed upon the
eldest daughter of the reigning sovereign during the lifetime of a
current Princess Royal. The style is granted by Royal Warrant not
created by Letters Patent. It is not automatically given to the eldest
daughter, but is conferred at the discretion of the reigning
sovereign.

There were two princesses who were eligible for the style but did not
receive it (that is, there were no impediment preventing the style
being bestowed): Princess Mary (the future Queen Mary II), daughter of
King James II, who could have been granted the style between 1685 and
1688, and, Sophia Dorothea, Queen in Prussia, daughter of King George
I, who could have been granted the style between 1714 and 1727.

The granting of this style does not rest on any particular merit and
does not confer any particular privilege to the holder. There isn't
any investiture ceremony nor are there any specific duties attached to
it. The style is not inherited on the death of a Princess Royal.

The Seven Princesses Royal:

1. Princess Mary (1631-1660)
Daughter of: King Charles I
Date Granted: unknown, perhaps 1642
Spouse: Willem II, Prince of Orange (1626-1650)
Note: Princess Mary was the first princess to known as
'Princess Royal'

2. Princess Anne (1709-1759)
Daughter of: King George II
Date Granted: 30 August 1727
Spouse: Willem IV, Prince of Orange (1711-1751)
Note: Princess Anne became Princess Royal in the lifetime of
her aunt, Sophia Dorothea, Queen in Prussia (d. 1757), who had
been eligible for this honour but who did not receive it

3. Princess Charlotte (1766-1828)
Daughter of: King George III
Date Granted: from birth (officially designated on 22 June
1789)
Spouse of: Friedrich I, King of Württemberg (1754-1816)

4. Princess Victoria (1840-1901)
Daughter of: Queen Victoria
Date Granted: from birth (armorial bearings granted 19 January
1841)
Spouse of: Friedrich III, German Emperor, King of Prussia
(1831-1888)

5. Princess Louise (1867-1931)
Daughter of: King Edward VII
Date Granted: 9 November 1905
Spouse of: Sir Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (1849-1912)

6. Princess Mary (1897-1965)
Daughter of: King George V
Date Granted: 15 December 1931 (made public 1 January 1932)
Spouse of: Sir Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
(1882-1947)

7. Princess Anne (b. 1950)
Daughter of: Queen Elizabeth II
Date Granted: 13 June 1987
Spouse: 1st (later divorced), Mark Phillips (b. 1948)
2nd, Timothy Laurence (b. 1955)

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36. Where can I find the Acts, Proclamations and Instruments concerning the
royal succession?

Some Acts , Proclamations and Instruments passed by the Parliaments of
England and Great Britain are online. The selected documents in the
following list feature a brief explanation followed by an URL for
online viewing (except for the Sophia Naturalization Act)

1. Bill of Rights, 1689

The "Bill of Rights" (its official name since the Short Titles Act
1896) was a statute passed in 1689 guaranteeing the rights of
Parliament against the arbitrary rule by the Sovereign. It limited
the Sovereign's power and subjected Him to law, and decided that the
succession to the Throne would no longer be based only on hereditary
right but could be altered by Parliament. Thus, succession to the
Throne was denied to King James II , his heirs general and to those
who were Catholic or married to Catholics. (There isn't any ban on
marriages to atheists, Hindus, Mormons, Muslims, Rastafarians, or any
religion other than the "Popish" religion.) Note that the Bill of
Rights and the Act of Settlement, seen below, refer only to the
disqualification of someone who marries a Papist. No provision is made
for the disqualification of someone who (like HRH the Duke of Kent)
marries someone who later becomes a Papist.

http://www.jacobite.ca/documents/16891216.htm
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/england.htm

2. Act of Settlement, 1701

The Act of Settlement was passed in 1701 in the reign of King William
III. It was designed to ensure a Protestant succession to the
throne. It set the succession as William III (the then sovereign) for
his life, then Princess Anne of Denmark (later Queen Anne), then
Princess Anne's descendants (the last had already died), then William
III's descendants (he had none), then Princess Sophia, electress and
duchess dowager of Hanover, then the heirs of Sophia's body being
Protestants. Note that it doesn't mention who, if anybody, was to
succeed if Sophia's heirs died out. This means that there is a finite
number of persons who are eligible, under this Act, to succeed to the
British Throne, that is, the descendants of Sophia. The non-Protestant
disqualification, which is not actually laid out in the Act of
Settlement but in a previous Act (see the Bill of Rights, above), is a
personal disqualification, namely doing the wrong thing disqualifies
that person for the rest of his life, but does not disqualify his
children.

Noel McFerran has the original text at
http://www.jacobite.ca/documents/1701settlement.htm with modernized
spelling and punctuation. But the Act has been amended several times
since. A scan of the text as currently in force (inclusive of various
amendments made to it since 1701) but with original punctuation and
spelling is at
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/2295/aos1.html.

3. Sophia Naturalization Act, 1705

The Sophia Naturalization Act was passed in 1705. It gave to
Electress Sophia of Hanover and "the issue of her body" the right of
British citizenship in perpetuity, that is "that they [...] should be
naturalized, and be deemed [...] natural born subjects of England".

The Act is cited as "4 & 5 Anne c. 16", and the text is available in
Statutes of the Realm (reprinted Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein, 1993,
vol. 8, p. 487). However, this right of British citizenship is
excluded to Roman Catholics, as can be seen in Article II of the Act
which reads in part:

Provided always and be it further enacted [and declared] by the
Authority aforesaid That every Person and Persons who shall be
naturalized by virtue of this Act of Parliament and shall become a
Papist or profess the Popish Religion shall not enjoy any Benefit
or Advantage of a natural born Subject of England but every such
Person shall be adjudged and taken as an Alien born out of
Allegiance of the Queen of England to all Intents and Purposes
whatsoever Any thing herein contained to the contrary
notwithstanding.

It is worth noting that any foreign royals who have been made British
subjects by this Act (as in, for example, HRH Princess Margriet of the
Netherlands or HM King Constantine II of the Hellenes) are not British
royals. This is correct up to the effective date of the British
Nationality Act of 1948 when the Sophia Naturalization Act was
repealed by name. Any descendant of Electress Sophia born after 1948
cannot claim British nationality under the Sophia Naturalization Act.

4. Royal Marriages Act, 1772

The Royal Marriages Act was an Act of Parliament passed in 1772 by
request of King George III after two of his brothers married without
his permission women he considered unsuitable as wives of princes.
The RMA stipulates that all descendants of George II, other than the
sovereign and the descendants of princesses who have married into
foreign families, are required to obtain the consent of the Sovereign,
signified under the Great Seal and declared in Council, before any
marriage is contracted. The Act contains a clause that states if
consent is refused, those who are 25 years or older can inform the
Privy Council of their intention to go ahead with the marriage; then,
unless within twelve months both Houses of Parliament (the House of
Lords and the House of Commons) show their disapproval, the marriage
may lawfully take place. If the marriage is not approved and still
takes place, it is considered null and void and any children are
regarded as illegitimate. The RMA can determine whether a marriage is
valid or not, but it does not affect the constitutional position of
the individual (that person retains his place in the line of
succession) although it does affect those of his children (they do not
have a place in the line of succession). Further, it would seem that
the RMA applies not only to marriages within Britain but outside of
the country as well. (Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex, son of King
George III, married without permission, in Rome on 4 April 1793, Lady
Augusta Murray. Their marriage was held to be invalid in August 1794
by the Court of Arches, even though it had occurred out of Britain,
because the permission had not been granted.) Lastly, the RMA, which
is still in effect, extends to infinity (it has no cutoff point).

While some might argue that the Royal Marriages Act is a piece of
anachronistic law that has no relation with today's mentality, others
disagree. As long as there is a hereditary monarchy, it is reasonable
to exercise some control sort of veto over the marriage choices of
those in line to the throne. Perhaps the RMA should be revised,
instead, but the principle behind it is no more anachronistic than
hereditary monarchy itself.

http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/rma1772.html

5. July 17, 1917 Proclamation

On 17 July 1917, King George V issued a Proclamation which stated that
the male line descendants of the royal family would bear the surname
Windsor.

http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/windsor.html

6. Instrument of Abdication, 1936

King Edward VIII succeeded his father George V in January 1936. He
was determined to marry Wallis Simpson (they first met in 1931)
following her October 1936 divorce from her second husband. The
government and leaders of the Church of England were convinced that
neither the country nor the Dominions would accept a queen who had
been twice divorced. Despite all advice, King Edward VIII went ahead
with his intention to marry the woman he loved. He had to make a
choice about his future and ultimately chose Mrs Simpson. In early
December 1936, King Edward VIII informed the Prime Minister of his
decision to cease being king. And so, the Instrument of Abdication
was signed on 10 December 1936 and it became law the next day when
Parliament passed the Declaration of Abdication Act.

http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/abdicate.html

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37. What is the Farran exemption?

In the 1950s, a man named Charles Farran found what he considered to
be a loophole in the Royal Marriages Act. He pointed out that since
Queen Alexandra (wife of King Edward VII) was a descendant of a
princess who had married into a foreign family, she was not covered by
the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. (This Act contains a clause which
exempts descendants of all princesses who marry into foreign royal
houses, even those descendants who marry back into the British line
and their descendants, from requiring the Sovereign's permission
before marrying). As descendants of a British princess who married
into a foreign royal family, Queen Alexandra and her descendants were
exempt from the Act's requirements. Therefore, depending on whether
or not Queen Victoria can be considered to be a princess who married
into a foreign royal house (that is, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), everybody
who could be covered by the Royal Marriages Act has a Farran exemption
(*) and so the Act is dead. Farran's arguments do not seem to bother
the present royal family who behaves as if there isn't any substance
to them. After all, there hasn't been any court ruling one way or
another on this point.

It is worth noting that at no point does the Royal Marriages Act
define precisely the word "princesses" or the phrase "into foreign
houses".

The requirements of the Royal Marriages Act were applied when the
present Duke of Fife (a descendant of HRH Princess Louise, daughter of
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) asked for permission to marry a
Roman Catholic and was refused, leading to his subsequent marriage to
a Protestant. This is the only occasion when the Royal Marriages Act
was recently applied. In the cases of HRH Prince Michael of Kent and
his nephew the Earl of St Andrews, both were given permission to marry
Roman Catholics under the Royal Marriages Act. The Royal Marriages
Act is quite explicit about the exemptions and it would be
inappropriate and wrong for a court to second guess what an 18th
century parliament intended but did not say. The only reason the
Royal Marriages Act is applied where it shouldn't be (e.g. to the
current royal family) is that none of those affected have felt the
need to challenge it.

The Royal Marriages Act has not been repealed, and there aren't any
plans at this time to do so. The Farran exemption has never been
applied to a British marriage, it is simply one man's opinion and
carries no legal weight. Members of the royal family, including their
Hanoverian cousins, still seek permission to marry according to the
Royal Marriages Act.

* a list of the individuals covered by the Farran exemption can be
seen in an a.t.r. post called "Royal Marriages Act coverage", by
William Addams Reitwiesner, dated Sep 7, 1996

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38. What is the address of HM The Queen?

The address of HM The Queen is as follows:

Buckingham Palace
London SW 1
United Kingdom

When sending a letter to HM, the envelope should read as follows:

The Private Secretary to HM The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW 1
United Kingdom

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39. Does Prince William of Wales have an e-mail address?

If he does, he certainly hasn't posted it on our newsgroup. We
sincerely doubt that Prince William, or any other royal for that
matter, would want the world to know his e-mail address. We can't
vouch whether he or other royals are lurking in a.t.r. or any other
newsgroup.

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40. What are some of the royal palaces and places of burial?

The following information about palaces and places of burial of
Britain's royal family is an excerpt taken from the "Royal Landmarks
for alt.talk.royalty FAQ" (the remainder of this mini-FAQ can be seen
at:
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/landmark.html)

Palaces:

near Aberdeen Balmoral grounds (& house ?) open to the public. Bought
by Queen Victoria & Prince Albert in 1852 from the Duff family. Prince
Albert rebuilt the castle in 'Scotch Baronial' style the estate now
extends to about 24,000 acres on the River Dee & includes Abergeldie,
Birkhall, Braemar (where the Highland Games are held in Sept.) and
Crathie village church where the Royal Family worships when in
residence in August and September
Edinburgh Palace of Holyroodhouse official residence of The Queen when
she goes to Scotland every year; open to the public
King's Lynn, Norfolk Sandringham House open to the public
London Buckingham Palace (including The Queen's Gallery and The Royal
Mews) official residence of The Queen; open in summer
London Kensington Palace former residence of Diana Princess of Wales.
Several members of the Royal Family have apartments in this palace.
Parts are open to the public
London St. James's Palace closed to the public; residence of some
members of the Royal Family
London Whitehall Palace destroyed by fire in the 17th century; only
Banqueting House survived and can be visited
Castle of Mey (northern tip of Scotland) the gardens open to the
public in the summer months. Acquired and renovated by Queen Elizabeth
the Queen Mother in the 1950s following the death of her husband King
George VI
Windsor, Berkshire Windsor Castle parts open to the public

Places of Burial:

Frogmore, Berkshire Royal Mausoleum Victoria, Albert and a few others
Great Brington, Northamptonshire Althorp Park grave of Diana Princess
of Wales. The Althorp estate belongs to Earl Spencer, but it will be
open to the public from July 1 till August 30 2001
London Westminster Abbey open to the public; mostly medieval royals,
with some Hanoverian kings and family members
Windsor, Berkshire Windsor Castle (St. George's Chapel) Hanovers,
Windsors and others

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41. Mini-biography of Diana, Princess of Wales

A mini-biography of Diana, Princess of Wales in the form of questions
and answers (such as when was Diana born, who are the members of
Diana's immediate family, what was Diana's title during her marriage
and after her divorce, and was Diana stripped of "HRH" following her
divorce) can be found at the website called "Diana, Princess of
Wales". To view the site, please follow the link at this URL:
http://users.uniserve.com/~canyon/diana.html

42. Is a new king free to choose a new name, or does Charles have to reign as
"Charles III"?

This is a matter of tradition. No sovereign has reigned in England
under a name not given at baptism, and only one did in Scotland (John
Stewart reigned as Robert III from 1390 to 1406, because of the
dislike for king John Baillol).

Until the advent of the Hannoverian dynasty in the 18th century,
British princes received only one name at baptism. Since 1714,
monarchs have always had a choice. Several monarchs chose to reign
under a name that was not their first:
* Alexandrina Victoria was known as, and reigned as Victoria;
* Albert Edward was known as, and reigned as Edward VII;
* Albert Frederick Arthur George was known as Albert, but reigned as
George VI.

Only George VI reigned under a name under which he was not known; this
can be explained by the desire to bridge over the unpleasant memories
of Edward VIII's abdication back to the long and stable reign of
George V. (Edward VIII himself was privately known by his last given
name David, but Edward was his first name and the one under which he
was publicly known before he acceded.)

The current prince of Wales has four to choose from: Charles, Philip,
Arthur, George. Tradition suggests that he will choose one of the
four, and that some special reason would have to impel him not to
choose "Charles". Should he choose Philip, he would be the second of
the name (Mary I's husband was proclaimed king). Should he choose
Arthur, he would be the first of the name since the conquest.

43. What is the title of a Queen's husband?

There are too few cases in English or British history to establish a
rule. Here are the precedents:
* Matilda (d. 1167) should have succeeded her father Henry I in 1135
but a civil war broke out and she never effectively ruled,
although the crown ultimately passed to her son. Thus the question
of the style of her husband, Geoffrey Plantagenet, never really
arose.
* Mary Tudor married in 1554 Philip, king of Naples. He became king
of England and Ireland by right of his wife. Parliament was called
in their names, acts are dated from the year of their joint reign.
His reign ended with her death in 1558, as stipulated by the
marriage contract and by act of Parliament (1 Mar I 3 c.2).
* Mary Stuart, queen of Scots, had two husbands who held the title
of king: François, dauphin then king of France, (d. 1560) and
Henry Lord Darnley (d. 1567).
* Mary II and William III became queen and king jointly and each in
his own right, by virtue of the Bill of Rights; after her death,
he ruled in his own name. Thus, his title did not derive from
being the husband of a queen.
* Anne's husband, prince George of Denmark, was created duke of
Cumberland in 1689, before her accession.
* Victoria's husband received the title of Prince Consort in 1857.
He never received a peerage.
* Elizabeth II's husband had been created duke of Edinburgh in 1947,
before her accession. He was also made a prince of the United
Kingdom in 1957.

One can also note a near-miss: when George IV's daughter and heiress
presumptive married prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a dukedom
of Kendall was mooted for him, but he apparently turned it down.

In short, no two husbands of queens were treated alike. However, it is
unlikely that the case of Mary I's husband will arise again.

Back to Table of Contents

44. How are sovereigns numbered?

Scottish and English sovereigns were numbered separately, as long as
the kingdoms were separate. Note that English and British sovereigns
are numbered since the Conquest; also, they are usually numbered only
if that Christian name has been born by more than one ruler (thus one
says "Queen Victoria" and not "Queen Victoria I").

With the personal union of the crowns in 1603 sovereigns used dual
numbers when applicable, e.g., James VI and I (6th of Scotland and 1st
of England). Since the union of the kingdoms in 1707, a single numeral
has been used for each sovereign, and it has been the one consistent
with the English rather than the Scottish sequence of sovereigns:
William IV (rather than III), Edward VII (rather than I). Soon after
the accession of Elizabeth II, it was announced that, henceforth, the
highest numeral from either sequence would be chosen, so that the next
Richard will be the 4th, but the next James will be the 8th.

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45. What happens when a king dies and his widow is pregnant?

The case is interesting only if the king does not already have a son
(who would then immediately succeed). There are two possibilities: (a)
if the deceased king left a daughter, she could be displaced by the
birth of a brother, but not by the birth of another daughter. (b) If
he left no children, the child, male or female, should logically
succeed.

But neither case has ever occurred, nor is either addressed explicitly
in legislation, so any answer is speculative. The case occurred in
Spain in 1883, where a similar succession law existed, and a regency
was put in place (see the ATR FAQ for how other countries handled the
same situation). But the Regency Act has no provision for a regency
without a sovereign (or with an unknown sovereign).

In cas (a) above, the eldest existing daughter could be proclaimed
conditionally. This is suggested by the accession of Victoria in 1837.
William IV had died, leaving Queen Adelaide, a 45-year old widow.
Victoria was proclaimed queen "saving the rights of any issue of his
late Majesty King William IV. which may be born of his late Majesty's
consort". While not a legally binding document, the proclamation hints
at how the matter would be handled.

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Part III: British Noble Families

1. What is the peerage?

In UK law, a peerage is an incorporeal heriditament (a non-corporeal
form of property, a sort of virtual real estate), being one of the
several dignities, including baronetcies and knighthoods, which can be
created by the Crown.

At one time, the term nobility applied to all ranks above commoners
and included earls, barons, knights and esquires. With the
establishment of the House of Lords came a distinction between
hereditary nobility (that is, the peerage) and the lower ranks with
gentry still considered as noble. By the 19th century, however, the
gentry was excluded from the term nobility. (The English and Irish
gentry are not recognized in British law as nobility, but the Scots
are.)

The Peerage is made up of two parts: one part is the separate ranks
in the peerage (see question 2 below) and the other part is the five
separate peerages. These separate peerages are the peerage of
England, of Scotland, of Ireland, of Great Britain, and of the United
Kingdom. Peers were created in the "peerage of England" or the
"peerage of Scotland" up until 1707 when these two kingdoms combined
under what is known as the Act of Union. Peers created after this
date were in the "peerage of Great Britain". Peers continued to be
created in the "peerage of Ireland" until 1801 when Great Britain and
Ireland were combined in a second Act of Union. Peers created after
this date were in the "peerage of the United Kingdom".

Exceptions and interesting points worth noting:
* it is possible to have two peerages with the same title: for
example, one could be "Baron XYZ, in the Peerage of Ireland" and
also "Baron XYZ, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom"; in other
words, it is not the title of the peerage that is important but
the existence of the peerage itself.
* some peerages were still created in the peerage of Ireland after
1801 but these peers were not allowed to sit in the House of Lords
* one could be created a peer of Scotland or Ireland without being
necessarily a Scotsman or Irishman
* the rank of baron does not exist in the peerage of Scotland
because in Scotland a baron means a Barony in land; the equivalent
rank for baron is Lord of Parliament (shortened to Lord)
* a peer is usually known by the highest peerage title he possesses
(there are a few exceptions to this rule); if a peer has more than
one peerage of the same grade (for instances, two or three ducal
titles), he chooses the one by which he wishes to be known
* the Sovereign can create a peerage title regardless of whether the
place named has ever been under British rule or not (example:
Earl Mountbatten of Burma, in which the suffix is a description of
the lord in question; it serves as a reminder of the historical
associations the peer has with the area in question and does not
represent any sort of territorial claim or suzerainty over Burma)
* until 11 November 1999, peers of hereditary titles sat in the
House of Lords, with the exception of life peers and peers in the
peerage of Ireland (unless they held a peerage in one of the other
four Peerages); since the House of Lords Act of 1999 (1999 c. 34)
came into force, the Lord Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal and 90
hereditary peers continue to sit in the House of Lords; the final
state of the House of Lords, and the role that hereditary peers
might play in it, has not yet been decided (as of Sep 2000)
* life peers or peeresses (Barons or Baronesses) are addressed as if
they were hereditary peers or peeresses; their children have the
same style as those of hereditary peers or peeresses; the first
life peer was Sir James Parke, Knight when he was created Baron
Wensleydale in 1856 (life peerages were introduced to help
increase the numbers in the House of Lords and were a way to
ennoble those who did not have the financial means to support a
hereditary peerage)
* peeresses in their own right are women, usually Countesses and
Baronesses, who have either succeeded to a title or have been
created a peer (in Scotland, a baroness would be a Lady of
Parliament, shortened to Lady); peeresses can be holders of
hereditary titles or life titles; the husband of a Countess or
Baroness in her own right is not allowed to use his wife's title
as his courtesy title.

Back to Table of Contents

2. What ranks are there in the peerage?

The five British peerage ranks in order of seniority are duke,
marquess, earl, viscount and baron.

Duke
- the title of duke (from Latin Dux, a leader) was created by
King Edward III in 1337 and is the most senior rank in the
peerage. Edward of Woodstock (later known as the Black Prince)
was created Duke of Cornwall in March 1337 by his father Edward
III.
- the wife of a duke is a duchess
- in correspondence, a duke is addressed either as "His Grace
the Duke of N..." or "The Duke of N..." with the salutation
being either "My Lord Duke" or "Dear Duke N...". When meeting
in social situations, a duke is addressed as "Your Grace".
- the name of the dignity is dukedom
- the adjective is ducal

Marquess
- the title of marquess (from the term Marchio), now ranks
between duke and earl. During Norman times (ca 1066-1154),
marchio was given to earls and barons who guarded the Welsh or
Scottish marches or border territories. It lost its
territorial meaning in the 1100s. The first 'marquess' was
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, when he was made Marquess of
Dublin in 1385.
- marquess is sometimes spelled the French way 'marquis'.
- the wife of a marquess is a marchioness
- in correspondence, a marquess is addressed either as "The
Most Hon. the Marquess of N..." or "The Marquess of N..." with
the salutation being either "My Lord" or "Dear Lord N...".
When meeting in social situations, a marquess is addressed as
"My Lord".
- the name of the dignity is marquisdom, marquisate, or
marquisship
- the adjective is marchesal, marquesal, or marquisal

Earl
- the title of earl, derived from Scandinavian jarl, is the
oldest English title and rank. In the Middle Ages, it was
placed below the rank of marquess.
- the wife of an earl is a countess
- in correspondence, an earl is addressed either as "The Right
Hon. the Earl (of) N..." or "The Earl (of) N..." with the
salutation being either "My Lord" or "Dear Lord N...". When
meeting in social situations, an earl is addressed as "My
Lord".
- the name of the dignity is earldom
- the adjective is comital

Viscount
- the title of viscount (with its origins in Vice-Comes, a
deputy or lieutenant of a Count) ranks between an earl and a
baron. John Lord Beaumont was created Viscount Beaumont (in
England and Viscount Beaumont in France) in 1440 by King Henry
VI
- the wife of a viscount is a viscountess
- in correspondence, a viscount is addressed either as "The
Right Hon. the Viscount N..." or "The Viscount N..." with the
salutation being either "My Lord" or "Dear Lord N...". When
meeting in social situations, a viscount is addressed as "My
Lord".
- the name of the dignity is viscountcy, viscountship, or
viscountry
- the adjective is viscontal, or viscontial

Baron
- the lowest rank of the peerage is the title baron. It was
introduced into England by the Norman kings. The first baron
created by patent was John Beauchamp de Holt who was created
Baron Kidderminster by King Richard II in 1387
- the wife of a baron is a baroness
- in correspondence, a baron is addressed either as "The Right
Hon. the Lord N..." or "The Lord N..." with the salutation
being either "My Lord" or "Dear Lord N...". When meeting in
social situations, a baron is addressed as "My Lord".
- the name of the dignity is barony
- the adjective is baronial.

Note that baronet (which is a hereditary dignity, however), knight,
esquire and gentleman are not titles of nobility and do not form part
of the peerage.

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3. Is everyone in a peer's family noble?

In Great Britain, a peer is a noble. The status of nobility does not
extend to his wife or to his children. Unless they possess a noble
title in their own right, family members are considered commoners. It
is only when a peer dies that the eldest son inherits his father's
title and becomes noble. Daughters do not usually succeed to their
father's titles unless it is specifically included in the creation of
the title.

The eldest son of a duke, marquess or earl is allowed to use one of
his father's (or mother's, if she is a peeress in her own right)
subsidiary peerage titles as a social courtesy, while the eldest son
of a viscount or baron is allowed Honourable before his Christian
name. (Note that while the eldest son and heir might have the use of
his father's secondary title, his father remains the actual holder of
such a title, and that as a courtesy peer the heir is legally not a
peer but a commoner.)

The younger sons and the daughters of a duke or marquess are allowed
the use of Lord or Lady before their Christian names. The younger
sons of an earl are allowed the use of Honourable before their
Christian names while the daughters are allowed the use of Lady before
their Christian names. The younger sons and the daughters of a
viscount and a baron are allowed the use of Honourable before their
Christian names.

If a daughter of a peer marries a commoner (a non-titled person), she
retains her precedence as a daughter of a peer. If she marries a
peer, however, her precedence becomes that of wife of the peer. In
other words, if she marries "down" (a non-titled person), she keeps
her precedence. If she marries "up" (a titled person), she takes on
her husband's precedence.

Children of married daughters of peers do not have any titles or
courtesy styles unless their father is a title holder or their mother
is a title holder in her own right. Also, if a peer marries a spouse
with children from a previous union, those children do not have a
right of inheritance to the peer's titles nor do they enjoy the
precedence of children of the peer.

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4. Who is a commoner in Britain?

Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.

While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.

Back to Table of Contents

5. Can a peer renounce his peerage titles?

Peerages (such as "Duke of Edinburgh") cannot be renounced. The
second Viscount Stansgate tried to do that but it didn't work. As a
consequence, there is now a procedure called "disclaiming" a peerage.
The Peerage Act 1963 allowed hereditary peerages of England, Scotland,
Great Britain or the United Kingdom to be disclaimed for life. (It
also allowed hereditary peeresses to be members of the House of Lords,
and for all Scottish peers to sit in the House of Lords.) In the
example of Lord Stansgate, he has disclaimed his peerage and is now
known as Mr. Anthony (Tony) Wedgwood Benn. The new peer has to
disclaim within 12 months of succeeding or reaching the age of 21,
whichever came last, and once he has applied to sit in the House of
Lords he cannot disclaim.

Once a peerage is disclaimed it is an irrevocable decision and the
peerage no longer exists during the lifetime of the disclaiming peer.
Further, no other hereditary peerage is conferred on the disclaiming
peer. A life peerage, on the other hand, can be bestowed on one who
has disclaimed his hereditary peerages (as in the examples of the
former 2nd Viscount Hailsham and the former 14th Earl of Home). Life
peerages cannot be disclaimed, however. As soon as a peer has
disclaimed his peerage, he reverts to the status held before he
inherited the peerage. The wife of a disclaimed peer also reverts to
the same style as her husband. If the wife inherited any courtesy
style from her father, she may revert to its use. The children of a
disclaimed peer retain their precedence as the children of a peer, and
any courtesy titles and styles borne while their father was a peer.
It is open to any child of a disclaiming peer to say that he or she no
longer wishes to be known by these styles.

Succession to the disclaimed peerage is not accelerated (that is, the
oldest son does not get the peerage as soon as his father has
disclaimed it), nor is it diverted (to a brother or cousin, for
instance). The peerage is in suspended animation until the disclaimed
peer dies. The next person is then eligible to succeed normally under
the terms of the remainder.

Back to Table of Contents

6. Can a woman inherit a peerage?

Some peerages are inherited in the male line, while others can be
inherited by females. Other peerages fall into abeyance when there are
sisters, and others have sliding remainders. Each peerage is (or can
be) different.

The most important piece of information is the exact text in the
patent creating the peerage. There it will usually say what is to
happen to the peerage on the death of the grantee. The usual phrase
in hereditary peerages (not life peerages) is something which means
"and the heirs male of his body legitimately born".

Peerage law determines what is meant by "heirs male", "of his body",
and "legitimately born", but doesn't affect the devolution of the
peerage as defined in the patent. Since the Sovereign in the "fons
honorum" (fount of honour), the Sovereign can issue whatever peerage
he/she wants with whatever remainder he/she wants.

Back to Table of Contents

7. Can a person buy a title and became a noble?

The only titles which can be bought legally in Europe are Scottish
baronial titles. These feudal titles are eligible for purchase and
can change hands by contract between ordinary citizens. Further,
these titles confer heraldic privileges and precedence.

Peerage titles are created by the Crown unlike manor titles which can
be bought from a previous owner or from a firm specializing in the
selling of these feudal titles. (Often, the sale of feudal titles are
held at auctions to the highest bidder.) The purchase of a 'lord of
the manor' title does not make one a nobleman because it is not a
peerage title. It is a feudal title only, although it might carry
some historic association. It does not confer any status, nobiliary
rights or privileges. Possession of such a title (or even a coat of
arms) does not make one a noble, although it does in Scotland.

There isn't anything wrong with buying or selling lordships of the
manors, but it is wrong to refer to them as "British titles". The
holder of a manorial lordship is not styled "Lord (or Lady) of the
Manor", although he/she can describe himself/herself as such, just as
one describes oneself as a "chartered accountant". A lordship confers
no style or precedence whatsoever, nor carries prestige or social
advantage.

More information on this topic can be found at the following web
sites:

The European Nobility
http://www.chivalricorders.org/nobility/index.htm

A Glossary of European Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles
http://www.heraldica.org/topics/odegard/titlefaq.htm

A Glossary of Titles in 35 languages by Alexander Kirschnig
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/titel.htm

Manorial and Other Feudal Titles
http://www.kwtelecom.com/heraldry/manor.html

Back to Table of Contents

8. If I buy a coat of arms, am I noble?

Buying a coat of arms does not make one a noble. Websites that
advertises the selling of coat of arms should be approached with
caution. If the website says something like "a coat of arms is a
pictorial representation of a name", be aware that this is simply
untrue. Further, selling a "coat of arms for a name" is dishonest.
Selling someone with a particular name a coat of arms as if it is
theirs is fraudulent. In some countries, using a coat of arms which
does not rightfully belong to you as an individual is illegal.

A coat of arms is a pictorial form of identification belonging to a
person, a particular family or a corporate body. It does not belong
to a name. For most names, there is more than one coat of arms, but
most people with that name will have no association whatsoever with
the arms, unless they are of proven descent from an individual who
possessed or was granted the arms in the first place.

If you have the surname Spencer, for example, you are no more entitled
to associate yourself with the arms of the Earl Spencer than you are
to claim the earldom itself. Conversely, if you are called Smith and
you do have a coat of arms, you could change your name to Jones and
still use the same coat of arms. The arms belong to you and your
heirs as people, not to your name.

More information about coat of arms can be found in the rec.heraldry
FAQ (especially Question 3: How can I find my coat of arms or my
family's coat of arms?) which can be viewed on the WWW at:
http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/heraldry.faq

Back to Table of Contents

Part IV: Resources

1. On-line Sources of Information

It is amazing what one can find on-line about British royalty,
nobility and related topics. The following sites are but a sampling of
what one can discover while surfing the 'Net. This list is not meant
to be definitive; rather it is a starting point for research. The FAQ
compiler and maintainer does not make any judgements as to the
contents or opinions found at these sites. If you are using the World
Wide Web (aka WWW, W3, Mosaic, Netscape, Lynx), you can reach these
pages at the following URLs:

I - Official Website:

United Kingdom:
http://www.royal.gov.uk

II - Websites which predominantly feature British royalty and nobility:

Aaron's Royalty Research Project:
http://www.gilmer.net/royalty

Althorp House (the late Diana, Princess of Wales's ancestral home):
http://www.althorp-house.co.uk/

The Ancestry of HRH Prince William of Wales:
http://users.uniserve.com/~canyon/william.html

The Baronage Press:
http://www.baronage.co.uk/contents.html

Britain's Royal Family and related European Lineages:
http://www.seattleboys.com/royalweb/00.html

The British Heraldic Archive:
http://www.kwtelecom.com/heraldry/index.html

The British system of aristocratic honorifics:
http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/honrific.html British Titles
of Nobility - An Introduction and Primer to the Peerage
http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles01.html#N_7_

Buckingham Palace Press Releases:
http://www.coi.gov.uk/coi/depts/GQB/GQB.html

Diana, Princess of Wales:
http://www.gale.com/gale/cwh/diana-pw.html

Diana, Princess of Wales's BBC Interview:
http://scoop.evansville.net/diana.html

Duke of Gloucester Page (The Most Venerable Order of Saint John of
Jerusalem:
http://www.saintjohn.org/duke.htm

Dukes of the United Kingdom:
http://wwwtc.nhmccd.cc.tx.us/people/crf01/history/duke.html

Hereditary Titles of the British Empire:
http://www.hereditarytitles.com/

The Jacobite Heritage:
http://www.jacobite.ca/

The Lineages of the Royal Princes of England:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/4793/

Manorial and Other Feudal Titles:
http://www.kwtelecom.com/heraldry/manor.html

Monarchs of England:
http://www.britannia.com/history/h6.html

Personal Flags and Standards of the Sovereign and Members of the Royal
Family:
http://canada.gc.ca/canadiana/etiqu/chap3-e.htm#royal

The Prince's Trust:
http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/n2-index.htm

The Princess Diana Chronicles:
http://www.ukfirst.com/diana/links1.html

U.K. Picture Album: The Royal Family:
http://www.neosoft.com/~dlgates/uk/ukspecific.html?pix_windsors

UK-Royalty Mailing List:
http://www.etoile.demon.co.uk/Rmail.html

United Kingdom Parliament:
http://www.parliament.uk

Unofficial British Royal Family Pages:
http://www.etoile.co.uk/Royal.html

Yvonne's Royalty Home Page:
http://users.uniserve.com/~canyon/royalty.html

III - Websites with some British royalty and nobility content:

Brigitte's Royal & Nobility Genealogy:
http://www.genealogy.com/brigitte/index.html

Canadian Monarchist Online:
http://www.interlog.com/~rakhshan

Charlotte's Web: Roots - Noble & Royal Genealogies:
http://www.charweb.org/gen/noblesse.html

Christine's Royal Families Page:
http://wwwedu.cs.utwente.nl/~kersten/royal.html

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet - Royalty and
Nobility:
http://www.oz.net/~cyndihow/royalty.htm

Die Welfen (House of Hanover):
http://www.welfen.de/

The European History Web Page:
http://www.eurohistory.com

The European Nobility:
http://www.chivalricorders.org/nobility/index.htm

European Royal Houses:
http://www.chivalricorders.org/royalty/index.htm

The EuroStamm Home Page:
http://members.aol.com/eurostamm/index.html

A Glossary of European Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles:
http://www.heraldica.org/topics/odegard/titlefaq.htm

Heraldica: François Velde's Heraldry Site:
http://www.heraldica.org/

Manorial and Other Feudal Titles:
http://www.kwtelecom.com/heraldry/manor.html

Marivi's Royalty Page:
http://www.serv.net/~marivim/royalty.html

Monarchy Home Page:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3417/monarchy.html

Paul Theroff's Dynastic Genealogy Files:
http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff

and his Online Gotha:
http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/gotha.htm

Royal Descents of famous people:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/mh10006/FamTree/famous.royal.html

Royal Families of the World:
http://www.royalfamily.com/

Royal & Noble Genealogical Data on the Web:
http://www.dcs.hull.ac.uk/public/genealogy/GEDCOM.html

Royal & Noble Lineages:
http://www.uq.edu.au/~zzhsoszy/index.html

Royal Network:
http://www.royalnetwork.com/

Royalist's Home Page:
http://www.themonarchist.com

The Royalty in History Site:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~kvenjb/kings.htm

Back to Table of Contents

2. Useful Addresses.

I - Associations:

The Monarchist League
BM Monarchist
London WC1N 3XX
United Kingdom
URL: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7993
(you will find addresses of other leagues and associations at
this website)

II - Mail Order:

Hatchards
Attention: Robin Piguet
187 Piccadilly
London, W1V 9DA
United Kingdom
e-mail: ***@hatchards.co.uk

Heraldry Today
Parliament Piece
Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2QH
United Kingdom
e-mail: ***@heraldrytoday.co.uk
URL: http://www.heraldrytoday.co.uk
(specialists for books on genealogy, heraldry and royalty)

International Historic Films, Inc.
Dept. S
P.O. Box 29035
Chicago, IL 60629
U.S.A.
(videos of such categories as 'British Heritage' and 'European
Royals' for sale)
URL: http://www.viamall.com/ihf/index.html

Librairie des Editions Christian
14, rue Littré
75006 Paris, France
URL: http://www.karolus.org/christian/index.htm

Rainy Day Books
P.O. Box 775
Route 119
Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
U.S.A.

Rosemary Bennett Rare Books
1077 SW13th Avenue
Albany, OR 97321
U.S.A.
(specializing in books about royalty; write for free brochure)

Rosvall Royal Books
Enasen-Falekvarna
S-52191 Falköping
Sweden
e-mail: ***@falköping.mail.telia.com
(new and antiquarian royal books in various languages)

III - Commemoratives:

Audrey Zeder
6755 Coralite M
Long Beach, CA 90808
U.S.A.
(write for a 'Commemorative For Sale List' from Queen Victoria
to the present, including ceramics, tins, ephemera, novelties)

IV - Periodicals:

C.E.D.R.E. (Cercle d'Etudes des dynasties royales européennes)
12, allée des Jonquilles
F-60260 Lamorlaye, France
(quarterly bulletins, in French, about various royal and noble
families)

The European Royal History Journal
Art Beeche
285 Van Buren Avenue #5
Oakland, CA 94610
U.S.A.
(six issues per year)
e-mail: ***@slip.net
URL: http://www.eurohistory.com/journal.html

Journal of Royal & Noble Genealogy: An International Journal of the
Augustan Society, Inc.
The Augustan Society, Inc.
P.O. Box P
Torrance, CA 90508-0210
U.S.A.

Majesty Magazine
P.O. Box 301069
Escondido, CA 92030
U.S.A.
(for American and Canadian subscriptions)
Majesty Subscriptions
Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street
Market Halborough
Leicester LE16 9EF
United Kingdom
(for UK and overseas subscriptions)
(a monthly magazine focussing on royal families)

Point de Vue
Service Abonnement
70, rue Compans
F-75019 Paris, France
URL: http://www.pointdevue.fr
(a weekly magazine focussing on British and European royalty
and nobility, in French)

Royal Book News
Marlene Koenig
5590 Jowett Court
Alexandria, VA 22315
U.S.A.
(bi-monthly newsletter for and about royal books)
e-mail: ***@delphi.com

Royalty
P.O. Box 3278
803 Finchley Road
London NW11 8DP
United Kingdom
(a monthly magazine, similar to Majesty magazine)

Royalty Digest
Church Street
Ticehurst, East Sussex TN57 AA
United Kingdom
(a monthly magazine available on subscription)

V - Publishers:

Heraldry Today
Parliament Piece
Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2QH
United Kingdom
e-mail: ***@heraldrytoday.co.uk
URL: http://www.heraldrytoday.co.uk
(specialists for books on genealogy, heraldry and royalty)

Back to Table of Contents

3. Magazines and Videos

I - Magazines:

This section features a selection of electronic (on-line) magazines
that occasionally feature articles about members of British royal and
noble families.

Hola/Hello (Spanish- and English-language)
http://www.hola.es

Paris Match (French-language)
http://www.parismatch.com

Britannia - Gateway to the British Isles:
http://www.britannia.com/

II - Videos:

Notes:

- the following video titles are not available for purchase or rental
from the FAQ compiler and maintainer (please do not email the FAQ
compiler and maintainer asking to buy or rent these videos)
- videos are listed in alphabetical order according to title
- the format shown is: title, brief description, year released,
narrator, running time, format (PAL: for viewing in the U.K., Europe
and Australia; NTSC: for viewing in Canada, the U.S.A. and Japan)

Videos:
* "Annus Horribilis", 1992
* "The Coronation: 2nd June 1953" (narrated by Robert Powell)
52 minutes; PAL & NTSC
* "The Crown Jewels" (narrated by Derek Jacobi)
* "Diana - Queen of Hearts"
approximately 50 minutes; PAL & NTSC
* "Dimbleby Interview with the Prince of Wales"
* "The Divorce: Fairytale Romance, Nightmare Marriage"
approximately 60 minutes; PAL & NTSC
* "Elizabeth R" (BBC's 6-part series about Elizabeth I, starring
Glenda Jackson)
* "The Glittering Crowns"
* "Her Majesty The Queen: 70 Glorious Years"
approximately 60 minutes; PAL & NTSC
* "HRH The Duke of York" (biography of Prince Andrew)
* "Kings & Queens", Vol. I, Vol II (kings & queens of Great
Britain)
approximately 55 minutes each; PAL & NTSC
* "A Prince for Wales"
* "Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: 90 Glorious Years"
* "Queen Elizabeth II: 60 Glorious Years"
* "A Queen Is Crowned"
* "The Royal Family - A Celebration, From Edward & Mrs Simpson to
William and Harry, 80 Years of The House of Windsor"
approximately 65 minutes; PAL & NTSC
* "The Royal House of Windsor"
* "The Royal Wedding", 1981 (the wedding of Charles & Diana)
* "Royal Wedding", 1986 (the wedding of Andrew & Sarah)

Back to Table of Contents

4. Bibliography

The following list of books is divided into four sections:
1. Biographies, Memoirs and Related Works
2. Genealogies and Related Works
3. General and Reference
4. Nobility

N.B.: the selection of titles is not meant to be exhaustive but will
provide a suitable introduction to those seeking more information
about British royal and noble families.

Biographies, Memoirs, Etc...:

Albert, Harold A. Queen Victoria's Sister: the Life and Letters of
Princess Feodora. London: Robert, 1967

Alice, Princess, Countess of Athlone. For My Grandchildren. London:
Evans Brothers, 1965 [Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1966]
[rep. 1979]

Alice, Princess, Duchess of Gloucester. The Memoirs of Princess Alice,
Duchess of Gloucester. London: Collins, 1983

Aronson, Theo. Grandmama of Europe: the crowned descendants of Queen
Victoria. London: Cassell, 1973

-----. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. London: Cassell, 1981

-----. Princess Margaret: a biography. London: M. O'Mara Books, 1997
[Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub., 1997]

Ashdown, Dulcie M. Princess of Wales. New York: Scribner, 1979

-----. Queen Victoria's mother. London: Hale, 1974

Baker-Smith, Veronica P. M. A Life of Anne of Hanover, Princess Royal.
Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1995

Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen Alexandra. London: Constable & Co., 1969
[Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969]

Bennett, Daphne. King Without a Crown: Albert, Prince Consort of
England, 1819-1861. London: Heinemann, 1977 [Philadelphia: J.B.
Lippincott, 1977]

-----. Queen Victoria's Children. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980

-----. Vicky: Princess Royal of England and German Empress. London:
Collins, Harvill, 1971 [New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971]

Boothroyd, Basil. Philip: an informal biography. London: Longman,
1971 [alternate title: Prince Philip: an informal biography.
New York: McCall Publishing Co., 1971]

Bradford, Sarah. Elizabeth: a biography of Britain's Queen. New York:
Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1996 [New York: Riverhead Books,
1997]

Cathcart, Helen. Anne and the Princesses Royal. London, New York, W.
H. Allen, 1973

Crawford, Marion. The Little Princesses. London: Cassel, 1950 [rep.
ed. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., Ltd., 1993]

Dimbleby, Jonathan. The Prince of Wales: a biography. London: Little,
Brown and Company, 1994 [Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited,
1994]

Donaldson, Frances. Edward VIII. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1974
[Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1975]

Duff, David. Edward of Kent: the life story of Queen Victoria's
father. London: Muller, 1973

-----. Hessian tapestry: the Hesse family and British royalty. Newton
Abbot, England; North Pomfret, Vt.: David & Charles, 1979

-----. The Shy Princess: the life of Her Royal Highness Princess
Beatrice, the youngest daughter and constant companion of Queen
Victoria. London: Muller, 1974

Erickson, Carolly. Her Little Majesty: the life of Queen Victoria. New
York: Simon & Schuster, 1997

Frankland, Noble. Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. London: Weidenfeld
and Nicolson, 1980

-----. Witness of a Century: the life and times of Prince Arthur, Duke
of Connaught, 1850-1942. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1993

Fryer, Mary Beacock, et. al. Lives of the Princesses of Wales. Dundurn
Press, 1983

Fulford, Roger, ed. Darling Child: private correspondence of Queen
Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia, 1871-1878. London:
Evans Bros., 1981 [New York: Evans Brothers Ltd., 1976]

Hoey, Brian. HRH the Princess Anne: a biography. Feltham: Country
Life, 1984

Holden, Anthony. Prince Charles. New York: Atheneum, 1979 [New York:
Atheneum, 1983]

Hough, Richard. Louis and Victoria: the first Mountbattens. London:
Hutchinson & Co., Ltd., 1974

Judd, Denis. King George VI, 1895-1952. New York: Franklin Watts,
1982

-----. Prince Philip: A Biography. London: Michael Joseph, 1980 [New
York: Atheneum, 1980]

Lacey, Robert. Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor. London:
Hutchinson, 1977 [New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977]

Longford, Elizabeth. Elizabeth R: a biography. London: Weidenfeld and
Nicolson, 1983 [Toronto: Musson, 1983]

-----. The Royal House of Windsor. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1974 [New York: Knopf, 1974; New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.,
1984]

-----. Victoria R.I. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964 [alternate
title: Queen Victoria: born to succeed. New York: Harper & Row,
1964]

Marie-Louise, Princess. My Memories of Six Reigns. London: Evans
Brothers Limited, 1956 [New York: Dutton, 1957]

Morton, Andrew. Diana: her true story. London: Simon & Schuster, 1992
[New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992]

Nicolson, Harold. King George V: His Life and Reign. London:
Constable, 1952

Noel, Gerard. Princess Alice: Queen Victoria's forgotten daughter.
London: Constable, 1974

Packard, Jerrold M. Victoria's Daughters. St. Martin's Press, 1998

Palmer, Alan. Princes of Wales. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979

Pope-Hennessy, James. Queen Mary, 1867-1953. London: G. Allen &
Unwin, 1959 [New York: Knopf, 1959]

Rose, Kenneth. King George V. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983
[New York: Knopf, 1984]

-----. Kings, Queens & Courtiers: intimate portraits of the Royal
House of Windsor from its foundation to the present day.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1985

-----. Who's Who in the Royal House of Windsor. New York: Crescent
Books, 1985

Salway, Lance. Queen Victoria's Grandchildren. London: Collins &
Brown, 1991

Sarah, Duchess of York. My Story. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996

Seward, Ingrid. Diana: an intimate portrait. Chicago: Contemporary
Books, 1988

-----. Prince Edward. London: Century, 1995

-----. Royal Children. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994

-----. Sarah, HRH the Duchess of York: a biography. London: Harper
Collins, 1991 [alternate title: Sarah: the life of a duchess.
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991]

St. Aubyn, Giles. Edward VII, Prince and King. New York: Atheneum,
1979

Talbot, Godfrey. The Country life book of Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother. [Feltham]: Country Life Books; London; New York:
Distributed by Hamlyn, 1978

Van der Kiste, John & Bee Jordan. Dearest Affie: Alfred, Duke of
Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son, 1844-1900. Gloucester:
A. Sutton, 1984 [rep. 1995]

Warwick, Christopher. Princess Margaret. London: Weidenfeld and
Nicolson, 1983 [New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983]

Watson, Sophia. Marina: The story of a princess. London: Weidenfeld
and Nicolson, 1994

Weintraub, Stanley. Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert. New
York: The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc., 1997

Weir, Alison. The Children of Henry VIII. New York: Ballantine Books,
1996

-----. The Six Wives of Henry VIII. London: Bodley Head, 1991 [New
York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991]

Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John W. King George VI: His Life and Reign.
London: Macmillan, 1958

Windsor, Duchess of. The Heart Has Its Reasons. 1956

Windsor, HRH The Duke of. A King's Story: The Memoirs of HRH The Duke
of Windsor. New York: Putnam, 1951

Ziegler, Philip. King Edward VIII: the official biography. London:
Collins, 1990

Genealogies and Related Works:

Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, London: Burke's Peerage Limited,
1973

Burke's Peerage (various editions) (most recent: 1999 edition)

Burke's Royal Families of the World, Vol. 1, Europe and Latin America,
London: Burke's Publishing Co., 1977

Burke's Royal Families of the World, Vol. 2, Africa and the Middle
East, London: Burke's Publishing Co., 1980

Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (various editions) (most recent: 1995
edition)

Royalty, Peerage & Nobility of Europe, 96th ed. of the Almanach de la
Noblesse de France (in English), 1997

Addington, A.C. The Royal House of Stuart: the descendants of King
James VI of Scotland, James I of England, 3 Vols. London:
Skilton, 1969-1976

Eilers, Marlene A. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Falkoping, Sweden:
Rosvall Royal Books, 1997 [New York: Atlantic International
Publications, 1987]

Given-Wilson, Chris & Alice Curteis. The Royal Bastards of Medieval
England. London, Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984 [London,
New York: Routledge, 1988

Lake, Christopher. European Rulers 1060-1981: a cross-referenced
genealogy with 162 pedigrees. 1981

McNaughton, Arnold. The Book of Kings: a royal genealogy. New York:
Quadrangle, 1973

Marquis of Ruvigny & Raineval. Titled Nobility of Europe: an
international peerage, or "Who's who", of the sovereigns,
princes and nobles of Europe. London: Harrison & Sons, 1914
[reprint ed. London: Burke's Publishing Co., 1980]

Moncreiffe, Iain, Sir. Royal Highness: ancestry of the royal child.
London: Hamish Hamilton, 1982

Mountbatten, Lord Louis. Relationship Tables, compiled for his
children by Earl Mountbatten of Burma. New Delhi: Vice-Regal
Press, 1947

Paget, Gerald. The Lineage and Ancestry of HRH Prince Charles, Prince
of Wales, 2 Vols. Edinburgh: Skilton, 1977

Reitwiesner, William Addams. The American Ancestors and relatives of
Lady Diana Frances Spencer. Silver Spring, MD: W.A.
Reitwiesner, 1981

-----. Matrilineal Descents of the European Royalty: a work in
progress. Washington, D.C.: W.A. Reitwiesner, 1993

Roberts, Gary Boyd & William Addams Reitwiesner. American Ancestors
and Cousins of the Princess of Wales. Baltimore: Genealogical
Pub. Co., 1984

Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families: the complete genealogy.
London: Bodley Head, 1989 [London: Pimlico, 1996]

General and Reference:

Allison, Ronald & Sarah Riddell, eds. The Royal Encyclopedia. London:
Macmillan Press, 1991

Bogdanor, Vernon. The Monarchy and the Constitution. Oxford: Clarendon
Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995

Bryant, Sir Arthur. A Thousand Years of British Monarchy. London:
Collins, 1975

Buskin, Richard. The Complete Idiot's Guide to British Royalty. New
York: Alpha Books, 1998

Cannon, John & Ralph Griffiths, eds. The Oxford Illustrated History of
the British Monarchy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988

Delderfield, Eric R. Kings & Queens of England & Great Britain. Newton
Abbot, Devon: David & Charles, 1994

Duke, Suzanne, et. al. (ed.) Debrett's Handbook 1984. London:
Debrett's Peerage Limited, 1984

Fisher, Graham and Heather. Monarchy and the Royal Family: a guide for
Everyman. London: Robert Hale, 1979

-----. Strange and Fascinating Facts About the Royal Family. New York:
Bell Pub. Co., 1985

Hindley, Geoffrey. The Guinness Book of British Royalty. Enfield,
Middlesex: Guinness Publishing Ltd., 1989 [New York:
distributed by Sterling Pub. Co., 1989]

Louda, Jirí and Michael Maclagan. Heraldry of the Royal Families of
the World. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., Publishers,
1981 [alternate title: Lines of Succession: heraldry of the
royal families of the World. London: Macdonald; New York:
Macmillan; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1991]

Menkes, Suzy. The royal jewels. London: Grafton Books, 1986 [Chicago:
Contemporary Books, 1989]

Montague-Smith, Patrick (ed.). Debrett's Correct Form. London:
Headline, 1992

Montague-Smith, Patrick & Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd. The Country
Life Book of Royal Palaces, Castles & Homes: including vanished
palaces and historic houses with royal connections. London:
Country Life Books; London; New York: distributed by Hamlyn,
1981

Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. Atlas of Royal Britain: palaces,
houses, villages, battlefields, castles, cities, towns - a
complete survey of royal heritage. London: QED Publishing Ltd.,
1984

Palmer, Alan. Kings and Queens of England. London: Octopus Books, 1976
[London: Peerage Books, 1985]

-----. Princes of Wales. London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979.

Pearsall, Ronald. Kings and Queens : a history of British monarchy.
New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1996.

Rose, Kenneth. Kings, Queens and Courtiers: intimate portraits of the
Royal House of Windsor from its foundation to the present day.
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985

Williamson, David. Brewer's British Royalty. London: Cassell, 1996
[New York: Sterling Pub. Co., 1996]

-----. Debrett's Kings and Queen of Britain. Exeter, Devon: Webb &
Bower; London: Michael Joseph, 1986

Nobility:

The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and
the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant. London: The
St. Catherine Press, 1910-1959 [reprint ed. Gloucester: Summon,
1982]

Beckett, J.V. The Aristocracy in England, 1660-1914. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1986

Bence-Jones, Mark & Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd. The British
aristocracy. London: Constable, 1979

De-la-Noy, Michael. The Honours System. London; New York: Allison &
Busby, 1985

Gadd, Ronald P. Peerage Law. 1985

Hey, David. The Oxford Dictionary of Local & Family History. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1997

Leeson, Francis L. A Directory of British Peerages: from the earliest
times to the present day. London: Society of Genealogists,
1984 [Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1985]

Lieven, Dominic. The Aristocracy in Europe, 1815-1914. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1993

Masters, Brian. The Dukes: the origins, ennoblement and history of
twenty-six families. London: Blond & Briggs, 1975

Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. Debrett's Great British Families.
Topsfield, Mass.: Salem House, 1988

Pine, L.G. Guide to Titles & Forms of Address.

-----. The New Extinct Peerage, 1884-1971. London: Heraldry Today,
1972 [Baltimore Genealogical Pub. Co., 1973]

Winchester, Simon. Their Noble Lordships: the hereditary peerage
today. London: Faber & Faber, 1981

Back to Table of Contents

Credits, Copyright, Disclaimer

AUTHORED BY:
Yvonne Demoskoff

CONTRIBUTIONS BY:
Dag T. Hoelseth, Marlene Koenig, Noel S. McFerran, Eric-Jan Noomen,
William Addams Reitwiesner, Mark Anthony Rodriguez, Gilbert von
Studnitz, François Velde, Chris Bennett (questions 2:20-22).

COPYRIGHT:
Copyright © 1998-2006 by François Velde. All rights reserved.

This document may be freely distributed in its entirety without
modification provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It
may not be sold for profit or incorporated in commercial documents
(e.g. published for sale on CD-ROM, floppy disks, books, magazines or
other print form) without the prior written permission of the
copyright holder. Permission is expressly granted for this document to
be made available for file transfer from installations offering
unrestricted anonymous file transfer on the Internet.

If this document is incorporated in a commercial document, a
complimentary copy should be sent to François Velde
(http://www.heraldica.org/contact.html).

This document is provided AS IS without any express or implied
warranty.
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
DKM
2006-01-03 01:44:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?

DKM
c***@paris.com
2006-01-03 02:03:51 UTC
Permalink
It used to be that one could not sit in the House of Lords and have the
right to stand for a House of Commons seat. One could not renounce
one's seat in the Upper House until lord Hume was asked by HM the Queen
to be her Prime Minister. Sitting in the House of Commons was then
considered essential so legislation permitting renunciation was
adopted. Very substantial changes have been made to the Rules governing
the House of Lords.

Have all those hereditary peers who would normally sit in the Upper
House but who may no longer do so (but who have acquired the right to
stand for the Commons) become commoners ?

Chevy
Matt Lavengood
2006-01-03 02:30:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@paris.com
It used to be that one could not sit in the House of Lords and have the
right to stand for a House of Commons seat.
That can't be true; Lords Spiritual are neither peers nor the Sovereign
yet they sit in the House of Lords.
Post by c***@paris.com
One could not renounce
one's seat in the Upper House until lord Hume was asked by HM the Queen
to be her Prime Minister. Sitting in the House of Commons was then
considered essential so legislation permitting renunciation was
adopted.
Actually, the law for disclaimance of peerages was passed before Lord
Home was appointed PM. The first person to disclaim his peerage was
Tony Benn, 2nd Viscount Stansgate, not Lord Home.
Post by c***@paris.com
Very substantial changes have been made to the Rules governing
the House of Lords.
Have all those hereditary peers who would normally sit in the Upper
House but who may no longer do so
Well, they can, but only 92 of them, plus hereditary peers who may have
been given life peerages.
Post by c***@paris.com
(but who have acquired the right to
stand for the Commons) become commoners ?
No.
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-03 06:34:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.

As far as I can see, there is no statute, legal judgement or even legal
definition to that effect. Every time I ask people to point me to any
of these, there is total silence.

The definition given above simply cannot be right. Lords spiritual, and
the clergy of the established churches in general, clearly do not
belong in either category. Furthermore, it appears that to be a
commoner in English Law, one must be able to enjoy rights in common.
Minors, convicts and fugatives are not in a position to enjoy such
rights, and are thus not commoners in a legally correct sense either.
DKM
2006-01-04 01:44:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@virgin.net
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
I'm beginning to believe you.

DKM
DKM
2006-01-07 20:23:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the
monarch and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the
idea of being royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.

Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal'
Higness and titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it
doesn't seem one can be Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am
reading correctly, the "definition" that HRH The Princess Royal is a
commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem there should be a law or
laws to point at which state this. Since there does not seem to be a clear
cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is not making
what looks like such a clear statement of fact.

DKM
Graham Truesdale
2006-01-08 14:01:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the monarch
and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the idea of being
royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.
Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal' Higness and
titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it doesn't seem one can be
Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am reading correctly, the "definition"
that HRH The Princess Royal is a commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem
there should be a law or laws to point at which state this. Since there does not
seem to be a clear cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is
not making what looks like such a clear statement of fact.
*If* we are using 'Commoner' as 'person entitled to vote or stand for the
Commons, then the relevant portion of the Representation of the People
Acts may be what you are looking for. NB that one of George III's HRH
sons threatened to stand for the Commons if he did not get a dukedom, and
George VI pointed out that his abdicated HRH brother could do so if not
given one.
--
Hanlon's Razor - 'Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by
stupidity'

Truesdale's corollary - 'Always attribute to malice that which is not adequately
explained by stupidity'
DKM
2006-01-08 23:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Truesdale
*If* we are using 'Commoner' as 'person entitled to vote or stand for the
Commons, then the relevant portion of the Representation of the People
Acts may be what you are looking for. NB that one of George III's HRH
sons threatened to stand for the Commons if he did not get a dukedom, and
George VI pointed out that his abdicated HRH brother could do so if not
given one.
Thank you.

DKM
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-09 07:49:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Truesdale
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the monarch
and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the idea of being
royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.
Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal' Higness and
titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it doesn't seem one can be
Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am reading correctly, the "definition"
that HRH The Princess Royal is a commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem
there should be a law or laws to point at which state this. Since there does not
seem to be a clear cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is
not making what looks like such a clear statement of fact.
*If* we are using 'Commoner' as 'person entitled to vote or stand for the
Commons, then the relevant portion of the Representation of the People
Acts may be what you are looking for. NB that one of George III's HRH
sons threatened to stand for the Commons if he did not get a dukedom, and
George VI pointed out that his abdicated HRH brother could do so if not
given one.
--
Even if we were to use such a definition, are you saying that we should
conclude that Irish peers were commoners? Similarly, minors, convicts,
fugitives and so on are not commoners?
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-08 17:36:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Truesdale
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the monarch
and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the idea of being
royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.
Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal' Higness and
titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it doesn't seem one can be
Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am reading correctly, the "definition"
that HRH The Princess Royal is a commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem
there should be a law or laws to point at which state this. Since there does not
seem to be a clear cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is
not making what looks like such a clear statement of fact.
*If* we are using 'Commoner' as 'person entitled to vote or stand for the
Commons, then the relevant portion of the Representation of the People
Acts may be what you are looking for.
--
Surely that isn't what we are looking for, unless the FAQ is really
concerned with matters parliamentary rather than royal?

Even if we did use the term commoner to refer to people who are
entitled to vote or stand for the Commons, we would then have to assume
that Irish peers were commoners.

Surely a person who is entitled to vote or stand for the Commons is
merely that - "a person who is entitled to vote or stand for the
Commons". He or she need not necessarily be a "commoner", any more than
a member of the Canadian House of Commons is a "commoner".
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 01:47:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKM
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the
monarch and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the
idea of being royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.
Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal'
Higness and titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it
doesn't seem one can be Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am
reading correctly, the "definition" that HRH The Princess Royal is a
commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem there should be a law or
laws to point at which state this. Since there does not seem to be a clear
cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is not making
what looks like such a clear statement of fact.
Blackstone's Commentaries is considered by some to be a pretty solid authority
(one is free to demonstrate that it is not, with appropriate references).

It is stated therein:

"THE first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and
natural-born subjects. [...]
THE people, whether aliens, denizens, or natural-born subjects, are
divisible into two kinds; the clergy and laity. [...]
THE lay part of his majesty's subjects, or such of the people as are
not comprehended under the denomination of clergy, may be divided into
three distinct states, the civil, the military, and the maritime. [...]
THE civil state consists of the nobility and the commonalty."

To the extent that these categories remain valid (and one is free to demonstrate
that they do not, with appropriate references), their application to the people
called "royals" is fairly straightforward.

Given that the laity and clergy represent a partition of the people, and
nobility and commonalty represent a partition of the laity, lords spiritual are
a complete red herring in this discussion.
--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Stan Brown
2006-01-09 03:53:30 UTC
Permalink
Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:47:21 -0600 from Francois R. Velde
Post by Francois R. Velde
Blackstone's Commentaries is considered by some to be a pretty solid authority
(one is free to demonstrate that it is not, with appropriate references).
Coincidentally, I was just reading about Blackstone in my 1967
Britannica.

It says that Blackstone became a standard more for its pleasant style
than for legal accuracy. "He has only the vaguest possible grasp of
the elementary conceptions of law. He evidently regarded the law of
gravitation, the law of nature, and the law of England as different
examples of the same principle--as rules of action or conduct imposed
by a superior power on its subjects. ... His distinction between
rights of persons and rights of things, implying, as it would appear,
that things have rights, is attributable to a misunderstanding of the
technical terms of Roman law. In distinguishing between public and
private wrongs (civil injuries and crimes) he fails to seize the true
principle of the division. ... By the want of precise and closely
defined terms, and his tendency to substitute loose literary phrases,
he falls occasionally into irreconcilable contradictions. Even in
discussing a subject of such immense importance as equity, he hardly
takes pains to distinguish between the legal and popular senses of
the word, and from the small place which equity jurisprudence
occupies in his arrangement, he would scarcely seem to have realized
its true position in the law of England."

The Britannica doesn't say that everything in Blackstone is wrong.
"Blackstone's defects as a jurist are more conspicuous in his
treatment of the underlying principles and fundamental divisions of
the law than in his account of its substantive principles." I read
that to mean that he's okay on practice but very weak on legal
theory.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Royalty FAQs:
1. http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/britfaq.html
2. http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/atrfaq.htm
Yvonne's HRH page:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040722191706/http://users.uniserve.com/
~canyon/prince.html
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech/faqget.htm
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 16:27:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stan Brown
Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:47:21 -0600 from Francois R. Velde
Post by Francois R. Velde
Blackstone's Commentaries is considered by some to be a pretty solid authority
(one is free to demonstrate that it is not, with appropriate references).
Coincidentally, I was just reading about Blackstone in my 1967
Britannica.
It says that Blackstone became a standard more for its pleasant style
than for legal accuracy.
On this point he is repeating what can be found in many other places.

"The true division of persons is, that everie man is either of nobilitie, that
is, a lord of parliament of the upper house, or under the degree of nobilitie,
amongst the commons, as knights, esquires, citizens and burgesses of the lower
house of parliament, commonly called the house of commons; and he that is not
of the nobilitie is by intendment of law among the commons." (Coke on Littleton 9,
16b).
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-09 19:48:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Stan Brown
Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:47:21 -0600 from Francois R. Velde
Post by Francois R. Velde
Blackstone's Commentaries is considered by some to be a pretty solid authority
(one is free to demonstrate that it is not, with appropriate references).
Coincidentally, I was just reading about Blackstone in my 1967
Britannica.
It says that Blackstone became a standard more for its pleasant style
than for legal accuracy.
On this point he is repeating what can be found in many other places.
"The true division of persons is, that everie man is either of nobilitie, that
is, a lord of parliament of the upper house, or under the degree of nobilitie,
amongst the commons, as knights, esquires, citizens and burgesses of the lower
house of parliament, commonly called the house of commons; and he that is not
of the nobilitie is by intendment of law among the commons." (Coke on Littleton 9,
16b).
And how exactly can this explanation be taken to mean that members of
the Royal Family fall into the latter category?

Coke seems to very clearly state that the status of commons as those
"under the degree of nobility". The Royal family certainly are not
"under the degree of nobility" under any definition. If precedence is
any guide, they are surely "over the degree of nobility" as are the
Primates, the Great Officers of State, and even the Speaker of the HoC.
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-09 07:46:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by DKM
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
I am afraid that the bit about anyone who is not the holder of a
subtantive peerage being a commoner and of royals being commoners seem
to be pure fiction.
From what I'm reading, some people are holding that anyone who is not the
monarch and doesn't enjoy the rights of a Peer is a commoner. However; the
idea of being royal & being a commoner seem to contradict.
Using Princess Anne as an example, how can someone styled Her 'Royal'
Higness and titled The Princess 'Royal' be a commoner? As I said, it
doesn't seem one can be Royal and a commoner at the same time. If I am
reading correctly, the "definition" that HRH The Princess Royal is a
commoner " is legally correct," so it would seem there should be a law or
laws to point at which state this. Since there does not seem to be a clear
cut answer, I wonder if the FAQ should be changed so that it is not making
what looks like such a clear statement of fact.
Blackstone's Commentaries is considered by some to be a pretty solid authority
(one is free to demonstrate that it is not, with appropriate references).
"THE first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and
natural-born subjects. [...]
THE people, whether aliens, denizens, or natural-born subjects, are
divisible into two kinds; the clergy and laity. [...]
THE lay part of his majesty's subjects, or such of the people as are
not comprehended under the denomination of clergy, may be divided into
three distinct states, the civil, the military, and the maritime. [...]
THE civil state consists of the nobility and the commonalty."
To the extent that these categories remain valid (and one is free to demonstrate
that they do not, with appropriate references), their application to the people
called "royals" is fairly straightforward.
Given that the laity and clergy represent a partition of the people, and
nobility and commonalty represent a partition of the laity, lords spiritual are
a complete red herring in this discussion.
--
Except that if one is to follow the quotations given above, one would
have to conclude that any member of the Royal family holding military
or maritime rank was not part of the civil state and thus neither
nobility or commonalty!
Stan Brown
2006-01-03 08:18:04 UTC
Permalink
Please attribute your quotes in future; thanks!

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:44:58 GMT from DKM
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
Google is your friend -- there are several discussions of this in the
archives <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search> and, I
imagine, elsewhere on the Web.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Royalty FAQs:
1. http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/britfaq.html
2. http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/atrfaq.htm
Yvonne's HRH page:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040722191706/http://users.uniserve.com/
~canyon/prince.html
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech /faqget.htm
DKM
2006-01-04 01:42:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stan Brown
Please attribute your quotes in future; thanks!
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:44:58 GMT from DKM
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
Google is your friend -- there are several discussions of this in the
archives <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search> and, I
imagine, elsewhere on the Web.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
Try answering the question.

I have done a google search and came up blank on what the laws, if any,
regulate this. If "there are several discussions of this" maybe the answer
should be part of the FAQ.

DKM
t***@comcast.net
2006-01-04 02:11:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKM
Post by Stan Brown
Please attribute your quotes in future; thanks!
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:44:58 GMT from DKM
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
Google is your friend -- there are several discussions of this in the
archives <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search> and, I
imagine, elsewhere on the Web.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
Try answering the question.
I have done a google search and came up blank on what the laws, if any,
regulate this. If "there are several discussions of this" maybe the answer
should be part of the FAQ.
DKM
At one time it was understood that anyone who was represented in
Parliament - rather than having their own voice in Parliament (i.e.
Peers, monarch, etc)- was a commoner.

Since Blair's "reform" of the House of Lords I'm not sure that those
Peers not elected to the HoL are still noble!!

--
The Verminator
c***@paris.com
2006-01-04 04:12:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
Peter Tilman
2006-01-04 09:51:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone else,
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
Don Aitken
2006-01-04 13:21:20 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:51:45 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone else,
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
I thought of that as a possible criterion, but, unfortunately, it
applies to the spouses of peers as well.
--
Don Aitken
Mail to the From: address is not read.
To email me, substitute "clara.co.uk" for "freeuk.com"
Peter Tilman
2006-01-04 22:56:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:51:45 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone else,
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
I thought of that as a possible criterion, but, unfortunately, it
applies to the spouses of peers as well.
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage. Do they (or did they) have all the other rights
currently and previously associated with Privilege of Peerage (freedom from
civil arrest, right of access to the Sovereign, scandalum magnatum, etc.)?
Could the Duchess of Norfolk demand access to the Queen?

If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact Commoners. If
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm, then it seems silly
not to call them Peeresses of the Realm (by right of marriage) and add a
caveat that only suo jure Peers and Peeresses of the Realm (subject to the
obvious current limitations) can have seats in the Lords by virtue of that
status (although it might be rather amusing to let the wives of Peers into
the Lords, eliminating all the moaning about male bias in one fell
swoop...).
Don Aitken
2006-01-05 00:21:00 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 22:56:16 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:51:45 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone
else,
Post by Don Aitken
Post by Peter Tilman
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
I thought of that as a possible criterion, but, unfortunately, it
applies to the spouses of peers as well.
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage.
The House of Lords seems to think they do. See
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld/ldcomp/hlctso44.htm#a289
at para 11.10.

It would be interesting to know whether it was Lord or Lady Stourton
who invoked the privilege in 1963 (footnote 516).
Post by Peter Tilman
Do they (or did they) have all the other rights
currently and previously associated with Privilege of Peerage (freedom from
civil arrest, right of access to the Sovereign, scandalum magnatum, etc.)?
Could the Duchess of Norfolk demand access to the Queen?
It seems so.
Post by Peter Tilman
If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact Commoners. If
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm, then it seems silly
not to call them Peeresses of the Realm (by right of marriage) and add a
caveat that only suo jure Peers and Peeresses of the Realm (subject to the
obvious current limitations) can have seats in the Lords by virtue of that
status (although it might be rather amusing to let the wives of Peers into
the Lords, eliminating all the moaning about male bias in one fell
swoop...).
I'm coming round to the view that the appropriate group to contrast
with "commoners" is probably not "peers", but "Lords Spiritual and
Temporal", as in the enacting formula.
--
Don Aitken
Mail to the From: address is not read.
To email me, substitute "clara.co.uk" for "freeuk.com"
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-05 07:55:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 22:56:16 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:51:45 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered. Anyone entitled to vote or
to run for office in the House of Commons would appear to me as being a
commoner, which now includes most peers of the Realm ! As a jurist, I
am looking for privileges, advantages, particular duties and burdens
that nobles would have but that commoners would not have. Precedence
matters, but when it remains the only difference between nobles and
commoners, one must admit that it is not much. Of course, snobbish
reverence for titled people will always mean a lot, both for the titled
and for those who wait on them in shops and restaurants...
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone
else,
Post by Don Aitken
Post by Peter Tilman
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
I thought of that as a possible criterion, but, unfortunately, it
applies to the spouses of peers as well.
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage.
The House of Lords seems to think they do. See
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld/ldcomp/hlctso44.htm#a289
at para 11.10.
It would be interesting to know whether it was Lord or Lady Stourton
who invoked the privilege in 1963 (footnote 516).
Post by Peter Tilman
Do they (or did they) have all the other rights
currently and previously associated with Privilege of Peerage (freedom from
civil arrest, right of access to the Sovereign, scandalum magnatum, etc.)?
Could the Duchess of Norfolk demand access to the Queen?
It seems so.
Post by Peter Tilman
If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact Commoners. If
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm, then it seems silly
not to call them Peeresses of the Realm (by right of marriage) and add a
caveat that only suo jure Peers and Peeresses of the Realm (subject to the
obvious current limitations) can have seats in the Lords by virtue of that
status (although it might be rather amusing to let the wives of Peers into
the Lords, eliminating all the moaning about male bias in one fell
swoop...).
I'm coming round to the view that the appropriate group to contrast
with "commoners" is probably not "peers", but "Lords Spiritual and
Temporal", as in the enacting formula.
I don't quite understand why people are so fixated with having just two
categories. In their view one has to be either a noble or a commoner.
Very clearly we have at least two other classes. Their existence is
beyond dispute, the "spiritual class" and a "convict/fugitive class".
So at the very least, we have four.
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 16:39:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 22:56:16 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
[wives of peers and privilege of peerage]
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage.
The House of Lords seems to think they do. See
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld/ldcomp/hlctso44.htm#a289
at para 11.10.
It would be interesting to know whether it was Lord or Lady Stourton
who invoked the privilege in 1963 (footnote 516).
It was Lord Stourton. She had applied for leave to issue a writ of attachment
against him for contempt of Court consisting in his failure to comply with part
of an order made by a registrar, subsequent to a decree of separation, to pack
and dispatch to the wife, at his own expense, certain identified items of
property. (notice in the Times, Nov 22, 1962).
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 16:14:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Don Aitken
On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:51:45 -0000, "Peter Tilman"
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by c***@paris.com
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
The question is still very much unanswered.
The Privilege of Peerage applies to Peers (obviously) and not everyone else,
and so would seem to be a rather important legal difference between Peers
and Commoners.
I thought of that as a possible criterion, but, unfortunately, it
applies to the spouses of peers as well.
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage.
Coke, 2 Inst 50, says: "It is provided by the statute of 20 H. 6 that dutchesses,
countesses, and baronesses, shall be tried by such peeres as a noble man, being a
peere of the realme ought to be; which act was made in declaration, and affirmance
of the common law: for marquesses, and viscountesses not named in the act shall also
be tried by their peeres, and the queene being the kings consort, or dowager, shall
also be tried, in case of treason, per pares, as queene Anne, the wife of king Henry
the eight was termino Pasch. anno 28 H. 8 in the towre of London before the duke of
Norff. then high steward."
Post by Peter Tilman
Do they (or did they) have all the other rights
currently and previously associated with Privilege of Peerage (freedom from
civil arrest, right of access to the Sovereign, scandalum magnatum, etc.)?
Could the Duchess of Norfolk demand access to the Queen?
If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact Commoners. If
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm
Including the right to sit in the house of Lords?
Post by Peter Tilman
, then it seems silly
not to call them Peeresses of the Realm (by right of marriage) and add a
caveat that only suo jure Peers and Peeresses of the Realm (subject to the
obvious current limitations) can have seats in the Lords by virtue of that
status (although it might be rather amusing to let the wives of Peers into
the Lords, eliminating all the moaning about male bias in one fell
swoop...).
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Peter Tilman
2006-01-09 18:57:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Are we absolutely sure of this? I can find many statements of it as fact,
but none particularly definitive. They certainly seem to have had the right
to be tried by the Lords, but Wikipedia suggests this was under statute,
rather than as of right, and so might not necessarily mean they have
Privilege of Peerage.
Coke, 2 Inst 50, says: "It is provided by the statute of 20 H. 6 that dutchesses,
countesses, and baronesses, shall be tried by such peeres as a noble man, being a
peere of the realme ought to be; which act was made in declaration, and affirmance
of the common law: for marquesses, and viscountesses not named in the act shall also
be tried by their peeres, and the queene being the kings consort, or dowager, shall
also be tried, in case of treason, per pares, as queene Anne, the wife of king Henry
the eight was termino Pasch. anno 28 H. 8 in the towre of London before the duke of
Norff. then high steward."
Excellent. Thanks for that. I suppose I can now add Queens Consort to the
category I've just invented...
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Do they (or did they) have all the other rights
currently and previously associated with Privilege of Peerage (freedom from
civil arrest, right of access to the Sovereign, scandalum magnatum, etc.)?
Could the Duchess of Norfolk demand access to the Queen?
If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact Commoners. If
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm
Including the right to sit in the house of Lords?
But that's never really been an indication of whether or not someone is a
Peer of the Realm - many people have at various times been clearly
acknowledged to be Peers of the Realm and yet not Lords of Parliament (those
whose only titles are in the Peerage of Ireland (except those who were
Representative Peers before elections for such ceased), before 1963 those
whose only titles were in the Peerage of Scotland (again, except those
elected Representative Peers), again before 1963 all female holders of
hereditary peerages, those holders of peerages who are not British or
Commonwealth citizens, after 1999 holders of hereditary peerages (except the
EM and LGC and the 90 elected), and I'm sure there are more categories I've
left out), and there are Lords of Parliament who are not Peers of the Realm,
such as the Bishops and Archbishops (and formerly Abbots and the like).

Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must find
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems to
me as good as any.
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 20:02:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
If they do (or did), then I'd suggest that they aren't in fact
Commoners. If
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
they have all the legal rights of Peers of the Realm
Including the right to sit in the house of Lords?
But that's never really been an indication of whether or not someone is a
Peer of the Realm - many people have at various times been clearly
acknowledged to be Peers of the Realm and yet not Lords of Parliament (those
whose only titles are in the Peerage of Ireland (except those who were
Representative Peers before elections for such ceased), before 1963 those
whose only titles were in the Peerage of Scotland (again, except those
elected Representative Peers), again before 1963 all female holders of
hereditary peerages, those holders of peerages who are not British or
Commonwealth citizens, after 1999 holders of hereditary peerages (except the
EM and LGC and the 90 elected), and I'm sure there are more categories I've
left out), and there are Lords of Parliament who are not Peers of the Realm,
such as the Bishops and Archbishops (and formerly Abbots and the like).
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must find
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems to
me as good as any.
The traditional definition of nobility (and hence, by complement, of commonalty)
seems to revolve around the seat in the Lords: see the quote from Coke I posted
elsewhere. The exceptions you cite all have a well-defined statutory source,
the of union of 1707 and 1800, the HoL Act 1999, and standing order no. 53 of
1685 excluding minors and women from the House.

Wouldn't it be seem logical to start from the common law view of what a noble/peer
is, including the right to sit and vote in the HoL, as limited by various acts or
rules, just as the other privileges of peerage have been restricted by various
acts over time?

The clergy is irrelevant to the discussion: they are neither noble nor commoner.
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-09 21:17:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
The clergy is irrelevant to the discussion: they are neither noble nor commoner.
Not really, because their inclusion in the discussion serves to
emphaise that the legal world isn't restricted to merely a division
between nobility and commoners.

Indeed, if Blakstone's definitions are to be taken seriously, there are
at least six:
The King
Clergy
Military
Naval
Nobility
Commonality

Given the six, they do not necessarily seem to me to be exhaustive.

At the very least, if Blakstone is meant to be a justification for the
information given on the FAQ, it clearly does not seem to support it.
The King is clearly not his own subject and therefore cannot be part of
the nobility. So that, at least, needs to be corrected.
Peter Tilman
2006-01-09 23:17:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
But that's never really been an indication of whether or not someone is a
Peer of the Realm - many people have at various times been clearly
acknowledged to be Peers of the Realm and yet not Lords of Parliament (those
whose only titles are in the Peerage of Ireland (except those who were
Representative Peers before elections for such ceased), before 1963 those
whose only titles were in the Peerage of Scotland (again, except those
elected Representative Peers), again before 1963 all female holders of
hereditary peerages, those holders of peerages who are not British or
Commonwealth citizens, after 1999 holders of hereditary peerages (except the
EM and LGC and the 90 elected), and I'm sure there are more categories I've
left out), and there are Lords of Parliament who are not Peers of the Realm,
such as the Bishops and Archbishops (and formerly Abbots and the like).
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must find
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems to
me as good as any.
The traditional definition of nobility (and hence, by complement, of commonalty)
seems to revolve around the seat in the Lords: see the quote from Coke I posted
elsewhere. The exceptions you cite all have a well-defined statutory source,
the of union of 1707 and 1800, the HoL Act 1999, and standing order no. 53 of
1685 excluding minors and women from the House.
Certainly in Coke's time the link would have been strong, since there still
was a very strong correlation between Peerage and Parliament, but Parliament
itself is a relatively recent invention (as British history goes) - there
were "Peers", or at least "nobles" (particularly Earls), long before the
"hereditary seat in the Lords" principle evolved, and even in the late 13th
century Parliament was a rather slap-dash affair, with the King generally
just summoning whoever he wanted, with no apparent notion either of a
summons creating a peerage or a restriction of summonses to "nobles". Surely
the principle of "nobility" in Britain cannot be said not to have existed
before this time? (I mean, obviously the principle itself goes back to Roman
time, but I mean the peculiarly British interpretation of it.) Must it not
therefore have an independent existence, and not simply be a (now minor)
side-effect of our legislative system? Surely the House of Lords is a place
for the nobility to be represented, rather than an Upper Chamber that needs
members whom we happen to call "Peers"?

I just get the feeling we're all approaching it from the wrong view - taking
Parliament as the central feature of the country and making everything flow
from that - which works well with most things, but "nobility" as a concept
is so old that it doesn't really fit into our conventional modern
interpretation of how things should work.
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-10 04:28:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Certainly in Coke's time the link would have been strong, since there still
was a very strong correlation between Peerage and Parliament, but Parliament
itself is a relatively recent invention (as British history goes) - there
were "Peers", or at least "nobles" (particularly Earls), long before the
"hereditary seat in the Lords" principle evolved, and even in the late 13th
century Parliament was a rather slap-dash affair, with the King generally
just summoning whoever he wanted, with no apparent notion either of a
summons creating a peerage or a restriction of summonses to "nobles". Surely
the principle of "nobility" in Britain cannot be said not to have existed
before this time? (I mean, obviously the principle itself goes back to Roman
time, but I mean the peculiarly British interpretation of it.) Must it not
therefore have an independent existence, and not simply be a (now minor)
side-effect of our legislative system? Surely the House of Lords is a place
for the nobility to be represented, rather than an Upper Chamber that needs
members whom we happen to call "Peers"?
I don't think we need to go back to Roman times, or the Conquest. On the
Continent, the concept of nobility evolves a lot over time, and to understand
what it might mean in the modern period (post-1500) there is no need to go back
before the 13th c. I don't see why it would be different in England. Whatever
nobility might have been before the 13th c. will not be more relevant to our
time than Coke's 16th c. or Blackstone's 18th c. definition..

Whereas, on the Continent, nobility came to be a status transmitted in male line
to a broad class of people represented in an assembly (estate, diet), in Britain
the equation was reversed, and nobility was defined by membership in the
assembly itself, cutting out all the agnates. Very peculiar, but that's the way
it is.
Post by Peter Tilman
I just get the feeling we're all approaching it from the wrong view - taking
Parliament as the central feature of the country and making everything flow
from that - which works well with most things, but "nobility" as a concept
is so old that it doesn't really fit into our conventional modern
interpretation of how things should work.
The "modern" interpretation dates back to the 16th c. at least. There is simply
no analog in Britain of the continental nobility: the analog, in terms of a
class of people defined by inherited privilege, is the peerage which is much
smaller than continental nobilities. Conversely, the English gentry, which
would numerically be equivalent, is not defined in any way like continental
nobility (a gentleman is someone who lives like a gentleman) nor does it possess
any kind of legal status or privilege (aside from the tautological privilege of
calling oneself a gentleman).
--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Guy Stair Sainty
2006-01-10 11:08:19 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@4ax.com>, Francois R. Velde
says...
Conversely, the English gentry, which
Post by Francois R. Velde
would numerically be equivalent, is not defined in any way like continental
nobility (a gentleman is someone who lives like a gentleman) nor does it possess
any kind of legal status or privilege (aside from the tautological privilege of
calling oneself a gentleman).
Even though the Visitations do represent an attempt to regulate this, by
defining the class as having the right or possessing coat armour. That those
who did so define themselves, but did not have a right to coat armour, were
forced to either stump up for a grant or suffer the humiliation of being
publicly denounced for having presumed to the title of gentleman or esquire, was
apparently for a while an effective penalty. Of course cynics might consider the
whole exercise a license for the heralds to collect fees.
--
Guy Stair Sainty
www.chivalricorders.org/index3.htm
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-10 14:44:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guy Stair Sainty
says...
Conversely, the English gentry, which
Post by Francois R. Velde
would numerically be equivalent, is not defined in any way like continental
nobility (a gentleman is someone who lives like a gentleman) nor does it possess
any kind of legal status or privilege (aside from the tautological privilege of
calling oneself a gentleman).
Even though the Visitations do represent an attempt to regulate this, by
defining the class as having the right or possessing coat armour. That those
who did so define themselves, but did not have a right to coat armour, were
forced to either stump up for a grant or suffer the humiliation of being
publicly denounced for having presumed to the title of gentleman or esquire, was
apparently for a while an effective penalty. Of course cynics might consider the
whole exercise a license for the heralds to collect fees.
And cynics did, at the time (e.g., Sir Thomas Smith, in 1584: "(and if need be) a
king of heraulds shall also give him for money armes newly made and invented, the
title whereof shall pretend to have beene found by the sayd Herauld in perusing
and viewing olde registers, where his auncestrors in times past had bin recorded
to beare the same").

This attempt at regulation was relatively short-lived: it starts in earnest under
Henry VIII and the Visitations grind to a halt after the Glorious Revolution, by
which time they were being largely ignored by the gentry anyhow.
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Guy Stair Sainty
2006-01-11 22:30:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Guy Stair Sainty
says...
[re Visitations]
Post by Francois R. Velde
This attempt at regulation was relatively short-lived: it starts in earnest under
Henry VIII and the Visitations grind to a halt after the Glorious Revolution, by
which time they were being largely ignored by the gentry anyhow.
It was still a good 175 years, which is a short time in the span of British
history but in comparison with the rapid changes in society of the last 175
years quite a long time. During this last period it would be hard to find
many government inspired actions begun then which still continue (income tax
being a rare and gloomy example of one that has).
--
Guy Stair Sainty
www.chivalricorders.org/index3.htm
Guy Stair Sainty
2006-01-10 11:39:13 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@4ax.com>, Francois R. Velde
says...
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Certainly in Coke's time the link would have been strong, since there still
was a very strong correlation between Peerage and Parliament, but Parliament
itself is a relatively recent invention (as British history goes) - there
were "Peers", or at least "nobles" (particularly Earls), long before the
"hereditary seat in the Lords" principle evolved, and even in the late 13th
century Parliament was a rather slap-dash affair, with the King generally
just summoning whoever he wanted, with no apparent notion either of a
summons creating a peerage or a restriction of summonses to "nobles". Surely
the principle of "nobility" in Britain cannot be said not to have existed
before this time? (I mean, obviously the principle itself goes back to Roman
time, but I mean the peculiarly British interpretation of it.) Must it not
therefore have an independent existence, and not simply be a (now minor)
side-effect of our legislative system? Surely the House of Lords is a place
for the nobility to be represented, rather than an Upper Chamber that needs
members whom we happen to call "Peers"?
I don't think we need to go back to Roman times, or the Conquest. On the
Continent, the concept of nobility evolves a lot over time, and to understand
what it might mean in the modern period (post-1500) there is no need to go back
before the 13th c. I don't see why it would be different in England. Whatever
nobility might have been before the 13th c. will not be more relevant to our
time than Coke's 16th c. or Blackstone's 18th c. definition..
Whereas, on the Continent, nobility came to be a status transmitted in male line
to a broad class of people represented in an assembly (estate, diet), in Britain
the equation was reversed, and nobility was defined by membership in the
assembly itself, cutting out all the agnates. Very peculiar, but that's the way
it is.
The "modern" interpretation dates back to the 16th c. at least. There is simply
no analog in Britain of the continental nobility: the analog, in terms of a
class of people defined by inherited privilege, is the peerage which is much
smaller than continental nobilities. Conversely, the English gentry, which
would numerically be equivalent, is not defined in any way like continental
nobility (a gentleman is someone who lives like a gentleman) nor does it possess
any kind of legal status or privilege (aside from the tautological privilege of
calling oneself a gentleman
But I think that is all a matter of dates, and peculiarities of British history
in the 15th century and later. Certainly we see that in the 13th
century there were probably around 200-220 families of the greater baronage
(those would have been considered to have held at least half of a maiores
barony). These would generalle have ranked as the highest level of society, but
by no means all of them were summoned to parliament. Then there was a
larger number of holders of minor baronies, small parts of baronies or knight's
fees, who would have mingled and intermarried with the former, wealthier class,
and were still considered at this time, and well into the end of the 14th
century, nobles. At the end of the 13th and beginning of the early 14th century,
this lesser noble class numbered about 2,500 to 3000 families,
of whom the heads of perhaps half had received the accolade. By the 14th
century, lineage and life style graduallty came to be factors which defined who
could be admitted to the knightly class; this in due course led to
the limitation of a right to coat armour to those so considered and the
establishment of regulation by the crown thereof. In the 14th century, this
class would have composed the majority of the military and church leadership,
royal councillors, etc and would have in appearance have seemed virtually
identical to the French nobility, for example.

What is interesting in English history is to see what happened later, and why
this class never established itself as a formal, privileged and restricted
estate. Much has been written on the subject and there are no easy or quick
answers.
--
Guy Stair Sainty
www.chivalricorders.org/index3.htm
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-10 06:08:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Surely the House of Lords is a place
for the nobility to be represented, rather than an Upper Chamber that needs
members whom we happen to call "Peers"?
I just get the feeling we're all approaching it from the wrong view - taking
Parliament as the central feature of the country and making everything flow
from that - which works well with most things, but "nobility" as a concept
is so old that it doesn't really fit into our conventional modern
interpretation of how things should work.
Indeed.

Nobility would obviously have come before parliament, and surely the
intention was for them to be represented in it. Not the other way
round. An undefined class of people meant to be represented in
parliament, who thereby became the nobility.
Guy Stair Sainty
2006-01-10 11:21:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by Peter Tilman
Surely the House of Lords is a place
for the nobility to be represented, rather than an Upper Chamber that needs
members whom we happen to call "Peers"?
I just get the feeling we're all approaching it from the wrong view - taking
Parliament as the central feature of the country and making everything flow
from that - which works well with most things, but "nobility" as a concept
is so old that it doesn't really fit into our conventional modern
interpretation of how things should work.
Indeed.
Nobility would obviously have come before parliament, and surely the
intention was for them to be represented in it. Not the other way
round. An undefined class of people meant to be represented in
parliament, who thereby became the nobility.
These two sentences seem to contradict each other.

I do not think that is at all the correct view of why certain people were
summoned to Parliament; there are plentiful cases of great landowners who held
their land from the crown, and who had enjoyed their status for generations but
did not receive a summons which would later come to be interpreted as the
creation of an hereditary peerage.

The doctrine of creation of a peerage by writ evolved much later than the
time of the first peers being so summoned and those who were summoned did
not initially enjoy any particular privileges or rank - other than a seat in
parliament - different from those great landowners who did not get summoned.
Even those great nobles created by patent or charter as Earls did not
necessarily receive summons to every parliament and initially were probably
not entitled to demand a summons upon presenting proof of the creation of their
peerage (even though the King would have usually summoned them, becasue of
course he wanted them close).

Certainly the class of person summoned was not defined; it was a combination of
royal whim, convenience and necessity without anyone fussing about the status of
the individual's ancestors.

By the time peerage and nobility had been defined as synonimous (in England),
several centuries had passed since the practice of summoning peers had been
initiated. In Scotland we see a different development, with holders of baronies
being entitled to sit in parliament until the end of the 16th century. By that
stage all peers had estbalished that they were entitled to and could demand a
summons to their respective parliaments. But the Scottish
barons continued to be considered noble, even when not also peers.
--
Guy Stair Sainty
www.chivalricorders.org/index3.htm
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-09 20:16:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must find
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems to
me as good as any.
It seems that the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 (7 Edw. VII, c. 23, s20) said that
the court of Criminal Appeal which it was establishing had no jurisdiction
"in the case of convictions on indictments or inquisitions charging any peer
or peeress, or other person claiming the privilege of peerage". Who could
these "other persons" be?
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Peter Tilman
2006-01-09 23:02:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must find
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems to
me as good as any.
It seems that the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 (7 Edw. VII, c. 23, s20) said that
the court of Criminal Appeal which it was establishing had no jurisdiction
"in the case of convictions on indictments or inquisitions charging any peer
or peeress, or other person claiming the privilege of peerage". Who could
these "other persons" be?
A Queen Consort?
Francois R. Velde
2006-01-10 04:29:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must
find
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems
to
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
me as good as any.
It seems that the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 (7 Edw. VII, c. 23, s20) said
that
Post by Francois R. Velde
the court of Criminal Appeal which it was establishing had no jurisdiction
"in the case of convictions on indictments or inquisitions charging any
peer
Post by Francois R. Velde
or peeress, or other person claiming the privilege of peerage". Who could
these "other persons" be?
A Queen Consort?
And a Prince Consort. The wording appears in a 1859 Act as well.
--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-10 16:25:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tilman
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
Thus, in my view, seats in the Lords just confuse the issue. We must
find
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
some more reliable way of distinguishing, and Privilege of Peerage seems
to
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Peter Tilman
me as good as any.
It seems that the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 (7 Edw. VII, c. 23, s20) said
that
Post by Francois R. Velde
the court of Criminal Appeal which it was establishing had no jurisdiction
"in the case of convictions on indictments or inquisitions charging any
peer
Post by Francois R. Velde
or peeress, or other person claiming the privilege of peerage". Who could
these "other persons" be?
A Queen Consort?
Or perhaps a former Queen Consort or former peer who had been
convicted, had yet to undergo his punishment. Presumably, between
conviction and dispatch both had ceased to be what they once were, but
may have enjoyed the procedure meeted out to nobles.

Anne Boleyn, for example, wasn't technically even a former Queen
Consort at the time she was executed. Her marriage to Henry having been
annulled shortly before.
c***@virgin.net
2006-01-04 07:53:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by t***@comcast.net
Post by DKM
Post by Stan Brown
Please attribute your quotes in future; thanks!
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:44:58 GMT from DKM
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
Google is your friend -- there are several discussions of this in the
archives <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search> and, I
imagine, elsewhere on the Web.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
Try answering the question.
I have done a google search and came up blank on what the laws, if any,
regulate this. If "there are several discussions of this" maybe the answer
should be part of the FAQ.
DKM
At one time it was understood that anyone who was represented in
Parliament - rather than having their own voice in Parliament (i.e.
Peers, monarch, etc)- was a commoner.
Understood where and in what context?

Even in strictly parliamentary terms, as opposed to the wider legal
status, this explanation isn't as easy as it appears.

Parliament consists of two houses, one of which includes Lords
Spiritual, neither noble nor common, as far as one can see.

Under current arrangments, only some bishops of the Church of England
have seats in the HoL. What does this make those who do not? Are they
noble, common, or something else? Who do those who have seats in the
HoL represent, only themselves, the whole rank of bishops and
archbishops, the entire clergy, or the entire Church of England?
Graham Truesdale
2006-01-07 21:47:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@virgin.net
Post by t***@comcast.net
Post by DKM
Post by Stan Brown
Please attribute your quotes in future; thanks!
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:44:58 GMT from DKM
Post by DKM
Post by Francois R. Velde
4. Who is a commoner in Britain?
Anyone who is not the sovereign or the holder of a substantive (as
opposed to courtesy) peerage. This includes all members of the royal
family who are not peers, and all members of peerage families except
the actual peer: for example, Prince William of Wales, the Princess
Royal, the earl of Arundel (son of a duke) are all commoners.
While this definition is legally correct, it seems counter-intuitive
to many, in part because it is so different from the continental
usage. This tends to generate confusion and debates, and use of the
word should perhaps be avoided where possible.
My memory being what it is, can someone remind me which laws regulate this?
Google is your friend -- there are several discussions of this in the
archives <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search> and, I
imagine, elsewhere on the Web.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
Try answering the question.
I have done a google search and came up blank on what the laws, if any,
regulate this. If "there are several discussions of this" maybe the answer
should be part of the FAQ.
DKM
At one time it was understood that anyone who was represented in
Parliament - rather than having their own voice in Parliament (i.e.
Peers, monarch, etc)- was a commoner.
Understood where and in what context?
Even in strictly parliamentary terms, as opposed to the wider legal
status, this explanation isn't as easy as it appears.
Parliament consists of two houses, one of which includes Lords
Spiritual, neither noble nor common, as far as one can see.
Under current arrangments, only some bishops of the Church of England
have seats in the HoL. What does this make those who do not? Are they
noble, common, or something else? Who do those who have seats in the
HoL represent, only themselves, the whole rank of bishops and
archbishops, the entire clergy, or the entire Church of England?
As you say, under current arrangements. Before the Bishopric of Manchester
Act 1833 (I think) all CofE Bishops could sit in the Lords. And before the
House of Commons (Clergy Disqualification) Act 1801, CofE clergy who were
not bishops could sit in the Commons. Anyone know of any who did?

Did Bishops before 1948 have the right to a trial before the House of Lords?
Who tried Laud? Not altogether clear from
http://8.1911encyclopedia.org/L/LA/LAUD_WILLIAM.htm
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