Who has one? Who doesn’t? When did the royal family receive them and why? And, of course, why would some give them up or lose them? Questions like these come up all the time and to be honest, with all the traditions and historical context involved, we don’t blame you if it’s a bit confusing.
Obviously, going up to the British monarchy, you are sovereign, and when you address them, it’s “Sir” or “Your Majesty”. In addition, most titles are gifts from the monarch.
With the children of a monarch, there are automatic titles used. The eldest son always becomes the Duke of Cornwall. Traditionally, he was also given the title Prince of Wales – a role in which Charles was invested in 1969.
Apart from the firstborn son, all descendants of the monarch are born as princes or princesses.
It is worth noting here that royal parents can refuse to give the title the Queen’s daughter, Anne, has chosen to do for her child. Alternatively, royal parents may want their children to have a similar look to themselves. So, in the case of the Queen’s youngest son, Edward, Earl of Wessex, and his wife, Sophie, their children are styled like the children of an Earl and are called Lady Louise Mountbatten- Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
Great-grandchildren only obtain the coveted title if they are direct heirs to the throne, like the eldest of the Cambridges, Prince George.
You will also notice that senior members of the family are often referred to as “HRH” or “His” or “Her Royal Highness.” With HRH comes the expectation that you will perform duties on behalf of the monarch. However, there are a few family members who hold HRH but do not represent the Queen, such as Princess Eugenie and Beatrice.
Spouses of princes also often received polite titles. So when Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, she became Princess Henry of Wales – although she rarely does, she opted for the bestowed title of Female instead. Duke of Sussex.
If you’ve got all that figured out, let’s move on to the entertainment system. This dates back to the Middle Ages and was designed to ensure the king was surrounded by a stable group of nobles to assist in running the kingdom. The unique rank is that of a duke, followed by a marquis, an earl, a viscount, and finally a baron. These can be gifted to anyone – royal or non-royal.
If the precedence of the ranks is not confusing enough, it is further complicated by the fact that an individual can hold multiple ranks with different ranks. Wives of the same age also received courtesy titles, but husbands in general did not.
Most titles are treated as a ritual. But there are also hereditary fathers – duke or baron – who can give you the chance to sit in the House of Commons, one of the two houses of Parliament, and vote on legislation. Since the royals are supposed to be politically independent, they do not claim any seats themselves.
Then, finally, there are knighthoods, bestowed by the king for exceptional achievement and awarded on the advice of the government. The men who were knighted were called “Sir” and the women were called “Dame.” Other hereditary awards that may be awarded by the monarch include a Commander, Officer or Member of the Order of the British Empire (better known as the CBE, OBE or MBE). The sovereign may also choose to award the Order of the British Empire or invest an individual in the order of Garter or Thistle.
Phew, ok, that summarizes our overview of the complex title system at play. It’s a complex arrangement rooted in centuries-old tradition. There are some who consider it obsolete and continue to maintain the British caste system. But whatever your point of view, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
The Queen welcomes to Balmoral privately.
The 96-year-old monarch was welcomed to Balmoral Castle in Scotland by an honor guard on Tuesday, but the event was held privately. The palace told CNN the event was adapted for the Queen’s “comfort”. Traditionally, the king inspected a military unit at the gate of the estate to mark her return to the residence. British news agency PA Media reported that the Queen arrived in Scotland at the end of July but is believed to have been elsewhere on the estate before moving to her main holiday home in Balmoral this week. The Queen is usually joined in the summer by family members at her Scottish residence, but she is expected to take a break from September to return to England briefly for an audience. with outgoing Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and his successor.
Prince Edward ends the Commonwealth Games with a message of hope.
The Earl of Wessex ended the 2022 Commonwealth Games by praising the athletes for inspiring future generations of competitors. Taking to the podium at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham for Monday’s closing ceremony, the Queen’s youngest son told the crowded crowd: “Every four years we try to celebrate together the Commonwealth of Nations. Thank you for your style, style and enthusiasm with which you compete, run, support, organize and volunteer, you have, once again, carried the spirit and values of Commonwealth to life.” The Prince added, “You have inspired us and hopefully future generations. You have also demonstrated what unites us.” Edward – who has been a patron of the games since 1990 – is a frequent visitor to various sports, often bringing his wife, Sophie and children, James and Louise with them.
Harry and Meghan to receive the humanitarian award.
The Sussexes and their Archewell Foundation will be honored at a charity event next week for their work advocating for Afghan refugees. The award from the Human First Coalition will be presented to the couple during a beneficial event in New York City on Monday. Archewell CEO James Holt is expected to accept the honor on their behalf. The event will feature traditional Afghan food, music and a market. US Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut will also accept an award for his services to Afghan refugees at the ceremony, coinciding with the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
DO YOU KNOW?
Irish artist and illustrator PJ Lynch, who designed each £5 coin, reveals her inspiration, saying: “Initially I focused on the Queen’s hands; she very often captured hand – it’s how she greets and communicates with the people she makes me consider her signature, symbolic, a status tool when she signs official documents, but also her personal promise and commitment.”
The Prince of Wales marked International Youth Day on Friday with a call to action to support the next generation while acknowledging the challenges they have faced in recent years. In his video message, Charles noted that “from the impact of the public health crisis, and now the cost of living challenge, to the threat of climate change, there has been much erode the hopes of the young generation.”
ONE FINAL THING…
Quick, Royal News readers – we wanted to let you know that we’re taking a short two-week break as summer is coming to an end (god, that’s over, hasn’t it?). But don’t worry, we will resume regular weekly service from September 2nd.
Take care and see you soon,
Max and Lauren