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  #221  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:06 AM
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Part 1

I shall attempt, based on what I have read here so far, to defend the view that the Duke of Edinburgh can still be correctly described as a Prince of Greece and Denmark.

Firstly, a distinction must be drawn between the right to a given title and the right to use it under given circumstances. These two rights may be, but are by no means necessarily or always, governed by the same authority. The right of a person to use in the UK a British or foreign title and and to use styles attaching thereto is subject to such limitations as the British Sovereign may impose, being the Fount of Honour. The possession of a dignity is altogether a different thing from the right to be accorded generally the forms of address to which it gives rise, and still more distinct from the right specifically to be accorded those forms of address in the UK. Over the possession of a given dignity the British Sovereign has the power of limitation only where the dignity is itself of British origin, that is, where its existence depends on the British Crown as the Fount of Honour. The British Sovereign cannot limit the dignities that foreign Sovereigns may regard as pertaining to a UK citizen, even though the British Sovereign can control their use within the UK.

From 1932 onwards, the Crown has seen fit to impose such limits on the use in the UK of foreign titles as to withhold from any person who should thereafter have been naturalised as a British citizen the right to be accorded the form of address consistent with the foreign dignities that they might hold. The wording of the advice given by the Home Office to applicants for naturalisation is, “…if your client becomes a British subject, his (her) foreign title will not receive official recognition in this country and that in accordance with the established practice it will be omitted from the certificate, if granted.” Clearly, what is envisaged by this formula is that the naturalised person will continue to possess “his (her) foreign title”, but that they will not derive certain benefits, namely, official recognition and in particular the addition of the title to the full name, that would otherwise attach to the possession of such a dignity. To support this reading, it is worth considering that the limitation cannot deprive any British citizens of their foreign dignities as this would be beyond the competence of any British authority including the Fount of Honour, seeing as the dignities being considered are specifically foreign. Moreover, though naturalised British citizens cannot be accorded their traditional forms of address as of right, we know that this does not prejudice anyone’s ability to accord them those forms as a courtesy. Certainly the Palace itself has been amenable to extending those courtesies, as its website gives Princess Michael of Kent’s full title as “Her Royal Highness Baroness Marie-Christine Anne Agnes Hedwig Ida, Princess Michael of Kent”, despite the fact that, having no Royal Licence, she cannot have insisted as of right to be accorded her baronial title since the time when she became British.

I suggest that this applies to the Duke of Edinburgh in the following way. When he was naturalised as a British citizen on 18 March 1947, in accordance with the Royal Warrant of 1932 regarding foreign titles, he lost the official recognition by the British Sovereign of his foreign titles. While an alien, his use of foreign titles in the UK was unimpeded. However, it does not follow that, simply in losing the official recognition of the British Sovereign for his foreign titles, his foreign titles ceased altogether to pertain to him. I submit that in fact those titles do pertain to him to this day and that they have been transmitted moreover to his spouse and his issue, but that neither he nor his issue have any right to be accorded those titles in the UK. There has never been any need to accord the Duke or his issue their Greek or Danish titles as a courtesy, since they all have their own British titles. It is worth wondering then what the difference is between the renunciation of foreign titles and the loss of the right to use them in the UK. It is perhaps illustrated in the following scenario. If the Duke or his descendants should take a holiday outside the jurisdiction of the British Crown, perhaps wishing as in former times to be incognito, each could still properly insist on being accorded his Danish, and in some places Greek, titles, instead of his British ones. To put it crudely, their foreign titles are rather like an asthma that is dormant in the British climate but that may flare up abroad.
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  #222  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:07 AM
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Part 2

It has been argued that the Duke of Edinburgh was not in fact naturalised at all, since he had been born a subject of the British Crown under the terms of the Sophia Naturalization Act, 1705. On this basis, it might be suggested that by not having been naturalised, the Duke was not subject to the limitations imposed by the Crown as Fount of Honour on the use of foreign titles by naturalised British subjects. To this it must be responded that the foreign titles of British subjects did not have any status in English law even prior to the limitations observed beginning in 1932. Again, the distinction must be drawn between the possession of titles and the right to various forms of recognition thereof. Where foreign titles were accorded to British subjects, it can only have been strictly speaking a courtesy. This is probably the most appropriate construction to place on the fact of the accordance to Prince Philip of his Greek and Danish titles in the UK before 18 March 1947, though at the time, when the implications of the Sophia Naturalization Act were not widely known, most people likely imagined that they were simply according an alien the only legal form of address that he had, no differently to when a visiting monarch is accorded his title as a matter or right rather than of courtesy. If then the accordance to Prince Philip of his foreign titles during his time in the UK until 18 March 1947 was a courtesy, then his rights clearly did not change at any point. He has never been entitled to use his foreign titles in the UK. What has changed then is the accordance of them to the Duke by courtesy, which was logical and welcome before his engagement to the present Queen, and which has since been forgotten by the public and abandoned by himself. Crucially though, it is the accordance of those titles by courtesy in the UK that has been abandoned, not their appertaining to his person in such a way as would allow him to claim their accordance as of right in places outside the jurisdiction of the British Crown.

Since it seems difficult to see how the Duke of Edinburgh would have been deprived of his Greek and Danish titles whether he was naturalised on 18 March 1947 or whether he was born British, given the sequence of legal events that we know to have taken place, though we know that from that date at the latest, he had no right in the UK to the forms of recognition that attach to those titles, it remains to be seen whether there was some legal step taken by him to renounce the titles themselves. No one has been able to identify a document that attests to such a step. Some posts have referred to the letter of 19 November 1947 of the then Garter Principal King of Arms, who writes, “There is I think a general idea that the Duke by virtue of his H.R.H. has become a Prince of the United Kingdom, but in fact I believe he remains a Prince of Greece and Denmark though naturalized here.” I do not see where he states, as has been claimed, that there is no written evidence of the Duke’s renunciation of the foreign titles, and so that is probably an inference of the posts that have advanced the view, though on balance a well-founded inference. The letter was written the day before the wedding and in the same year as the naturalisation. That is, the Duke had been using, even if by courtesy rather than by right, the titles “Prince of Greece and Denmark” earlier that very year, so that surely Garter could not have been unaware of a formal renunciation of the possession of those dignities had one taken place in the intervening months. If he had been aware of such a renunciation, he could not have then implied that those titles did in fact continue to pertain to the Duke. On the other hand, people have pointed to the Styles and Titles section of the Duke’s page on the official website of the Monarchy. This was, however, written decades after the events of 1947, by persons probably not nearly as intimately connected with the process as Sir Algar Howard. I have found a mistake on that very page before, which until last year stated that the Duke was only the second person ever to hold the title of “Duke of Edinburgh”. It was amended in 2012 so as to add “…in the Peerage of the United Kingdom”. On that basis, the biography pages of the Monarchy website may not always be the best source of information, even though other sections, such as the Press Releases and the Court Circular, may well be reliable, having passed under the scrutiny of more senior members of the Royal Family’s staff if not of Royal persons themselves.

Therefore, all things considered, it would not appear from the evidence that we have, which is not to say that other evidence will not later come to light, that the Duke of Edinburgh had actively divested himself of the dignities of “Prince of Greece” and “Prince of Denmark” to which he had been born. Insofar as he as his issue are British citizens, clearly their right in the UK to the recognition that derives from those dignities is subject to the will of the Crown as Fount of Honour, and for reasons that are probably obvious no attempt has ever been made to petition for that right, and at the same time, there has arisen no custom of according them that recognition by courtesy in spite of their lack of right since it would always have been superfluous next to their native, British titles.
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  #223  
Old 04-22-2013, 02:24 AM
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Coat of Arms

So why is Prince Philip using the Hellenic flag as part of his coat of arms?

Most probably to emphasize his direct lineage as a Prince of Greece on his paternal side?

This fact appears to strengthen your aforementioned argument.
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  #224  
Old 04-22-2013, 07:35 AM
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Philip's coat of arms reflects a lot about him:

The Greek and Danish emblems because he was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark
The Mountbatten emblem because his mother was from that family (although she never did use that name having married before the name change was forced on the family)
The castle for his Dukedom of Edinburgh
The Garter because he was named a KG at the same time as getting his dukedom - I think the same day
The naval collar due to being in the navy

etc etc etc
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  #225  
Old 04-22-2013, 01:07 PM
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  #226  
Old 08-04-2013, 09:35 PM
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^^^^
Certainly wrong on at least one point. The style of HRH in Denmark is limited to the children of the monarch and the heir to the throne, others arre styled HH. We see this today in the children of Prince Joachim, and in HH Princess Elizabeth of Denmark.

Curious as to why a poster who claims Reading UK as their home would correspond with the Danish Embassy in Ottawa and not with the Danish Embassy in London when asking a question about the titles of Prince Philip?
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  #227  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:00 PM
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Do we see this with King Constantine's family? Certainly, Annemarie fits the bill, but where do the rest of them cull their titles from? Greece? Not in their lifetimes. It is like being the prince of Virginia. I agree with you on the former. I am sure it matters little to Philip, but to the non-existent Greek Royal family it is an outlet for a royal title.
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  #228  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:25 PM
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You are up rather late for someone in Reading since it is 3:15AM at home.
I am questioning why someone in the UK would write to the Danish Embassy in Ottawa instead of writing to their embassy in London or directly to the court in Copenhagen. Ottawa does not seem a logical place to reach out to from Reading, more reasonable perhaps for someone in Cape Breton.
I also question the style of HRH that the embassy accorded Philip in the email. While he may have been an HRH in Greece and is in the UK, as a Prince of Denmark who is not the son of the Danish monarch or the Danish heir he would only be an HH. I would also have expected the Enbassy to make reference to the court list of who is a member of the DRf which does not include Philip or any other member of the former Greek royal family. I also wonder why the respondent did not go into the explanation of the Danish titles Prince to Denmark and Prince of Denmark. Perhaps an embassy "intern" is not aware of such differences.
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  #229  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:43 PM
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Or maybe regarding the HRH issue as Philip was born as HRH Prince of Denmark and the styles changed later - his didn't and he retained his birth styling, particularly as he was already the Consort of the British Crown by the time the change occurred.
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  #230  
Old 08-04-2013, 11:40 PM
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If you can get someone at the Danish Court, like the Queens Chamberlain, to confirm it in writing then I will believe it. An intern at the Danish embassy in Ottawa I take with a large grain of salt.
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  #231  
Old 08-04-2013, 11:49 PM
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There is the argument that as a citizen of Britain, the DoE does not hold any foreign titles. Therefore regardless of whether or not he would hold titles in Denmark (or Greece for that matter) as a British citizen they are not recognized - and as titles that are not recognized by the monarch do not exist within Britain then Philip cannot at this point in his life continue to be a Prince of Greece and Denmark.
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  #232  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:05 AM
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I suspect another argument would be that when he became a Naturalized citizen in 1947 he renounced his foreign citizenships and foreign titles on becoming plain Lt Philip Mountbatten. I am still unclear why people seem to want to load him up with titles which he clearly believes he rid himself of nearly 66 yrs ago.
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  #233  
Old 08-05-2013, 01:03 AM
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The fact that he was born a citizen of the UK as well as a Prince of Greece and Denmark confuses the issue as he never actually had to be naturalised only they didn't realise it at the time. Hence any renouciation or naturalisation is moot as he was already a UK citizen AND a Prince of Greece and Denmark - by law in the UK - the Sophia Naturalisation Act.
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  #234  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:02 AM
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Can someone please explain to me the exact reason why the Duke officially surrendered his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark? It doesn't make sense to me that I prince would have to give up his title to marry an heir to the British throne. What was wrong with him being a prince of Greece? He wasn't ever going to be king, so I just want to understand.

Thanks for answering.
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  #235  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:49 AM
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Timing - at the end of WWII the British weren't too keen on Europeans as a group and it also remined them that he had European relatives some of whom had just fought against Britain for 6 years. By renouncing his European titles and becoming British he was simply Lt Philip Mountbatten - a reminder of his war service and connection to Lord Mountbatten, another war hero.

In addition he wished to continue his career in the British navy and they preferred that he was a British citizen rather than a foreign national.
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  #236  
Old 08-05-2013, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by USCtrojan View Post
Can someone please explain to me the exact reason why the Duke officially surrendered his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark?
He had strong rights to the greek throne, so he could not marry the future Queen of England (then British Empire) without provoquing dunastic and legal problems.
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  #237  
Old 08-05-2013, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fandesacs2003 View Post
He had strong rights to the greek throne, so he could not marry the future Queen of England (then British Empire) without provoquing dunastic and legal problems.

He didn't lose his place in the line of succession to the Greek throne by giving up his Greek titles so that line doesn't fly.
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  #238  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by USCtrojan View Post
Can someone please explain to me the exact reason why the Duke officially surrendered his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark?
It was 1947 only 2 years after the end of WWII which had devastated most of Europe and of course the UK had been hard it as well. Foreigners were not entirely welcome and of course Germans least of all. Philip's family name Schleswig Holstein Sonderberg Gluckberg is decidely German, so they did everything possible to make him seem as British as possible. He became a naturalized British citizen, renouncing foreign citizenship and titles, assumes his mothers families name as Lt Philip Mountbatten, and emphasis was placed on his British education and his service in the British navy during WWII.

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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
The fact that he was born a citizen of the UK as well as a Prince of Greece and Denmark confuses the issue as he never actually had to be naturalised only they didn't realise it at the time. Hence any renouciation or naturalisation is moot as he was already a UK citizen AND a Prince of Greece and Denmark - by law in the UK - the Sophia Naturalisation Act.
Yes but the fact remains that he did go through the naturalization process, signing all the relevent documents and taking the relevent oaths to do so in 1947. Just because he did not have to does not IMO negate the fact that he actually did do so.
Also by that point in time it had already been made clear that foreign titles could not be used in the UK, even when held by British citizens, without Royal Warrant and no RW was issued after 1932, so if he was living in the Uk and claiming his British citizenship he could not legally call himself a Prince of Greece and Denmark in the UK.
Still unsure why people want to load him up with foreign titles which he seems to believe he gave up 66 years ago.
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  #239  
Old 08-05-2013, 01:24 PM
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He didn't lose his place in the line of succession to the Greek throne by giving up his Greek titles so that line doesn't fly.
One has nothing to do with the other. Philip did formally renounce his right of succession to the Greek throne with consent from George II. He later relinquished his Greek and Danish titles upon naturalization and became Lt. Philip Mountbatten, RN as a British subject.
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  #240  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:19 PM
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Then why not shout it from the rooftops? If Philip wanted to appear more British, he adopted a very quiet approach to the whole manner.
Tactically, it would be a good idea not to mention anything about his nationality. As soon as someone shouts out "look at me I'm British", the press would wonder why. Sensible approach to my mind. Emphasis on WWII naval duty, mentioned in despatches, loved by the princess.... happy ever after!
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