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  #1  
Old 11-23-2010, 07:39 AM
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A Commoner as royal bride? Catherine Middleton and who else?

I was looking for royal brides in the UK, that are not of noble birth, but commoners.

I'm just interessed in those who were very close to the thron and married to No. 1 to 5 in the succession (e.g. not Autumn Kelly or minor royals)

Commoners:
Sarah Ferguson
Wallis Simpson
Sophie Rhys-Jones
Mark Phillips
(Catherine Middleton, when married)

Was Anne Hyde noble?
What about the wifes of Henry VIII?

Maybe someone can help me with the list. Thank you!
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:00 PM
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I believe Anne Hyde was of noble birth, daughter of Sir Edward Hyde and later 1st Earl of Clarendon, but still a commoner. Of course, when Wallis Simpson married the Duke of Windsor, he was no longer in the line of succession by virtue of his abdication as King. I don't believe Jane Seymour's father was of noble blood but instead he was a member of the English gentry. Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard were both of noble blood but I am not sure about Catherine Paar. The last certainly married well before marrying the King.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:02 PM
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Under a legal point of view, also Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott and Hanry Lascelles, Viscount Lascelles were commoners when they married respectively to the Duke of York, the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Mary, since their titles were "mere" courtesy titles.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:19 PM
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Lady Diana Spencer was also a commoner when she married Charles.

Nobles in Britain are the holder of the title only - not their spouse or children.

They were aristocrats but not nobles. Lord Lorne who married Queen Victoria's daughter Louise was also a commoner as was almost the husband of Edward VII's daughter Louise. The reason I say almost was that Victoria created him Duke of Fife for the wedding thus raising him to noble status.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:34 PM
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^ What is the difference between an aristocrat and a noble?
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:52 AM
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The Hannovers had their fair share:

prince George, duke of Cambridge (1819-1904) a 1st cousin of Queen Victoria and uncle of Queen Mary, married to the actress Sarah Fairbrother.

King George IV married Sarah Fitzherbert and his brother prince Augustus Frederick, duke of Sussex, married 1stly Lady Augusta Murray and 2ndly Lady Cecilia Underwood (later created Duchess of Iverness). Both marriages were considered legally void as they were against the royal marriages act of 1772 (in which it says that they need permission of the monarch).

The two brothers of king George III both married commoners. Prince William Henry, duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh married Maria Walpole in 1766. Prince henry, duke of Cumberland and Strathern married Anne Horton (ne Anne Luttrell) Her father was ennobled 3 years before her wedding, though the wedding was still declared legally void.

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More recently: princess Patricia of Connaught married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, 3rd son of the earl of Dalhousie.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Pam View Post
^ What is the difference between an aristocrat and a noble?

The noble is the holder of the noble title. The rest of the family are aristocrats so Diana's father was noble but she and her siblings were aristocrats.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:07 PM
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Ohhh... So a title is the difference. So Charles Spencer, her brother, is now a noble because he holds a title.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
I believe Anne Hyde was of noble birth, daughter of Sir Edward Hyde and later 1st Earl of Clarendon, but still a commoner. Of course, when Wallis Simpson married the Duke of Windsor, he was no longer in the line of succession by virtue of his abdication as King. I don't believe Jane Seymour's father was of noble blood but instead he was a member of the English gentry. Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard were both of noble blood but I am not sure about Catherine Paar. The last certainly married well before marrying the King.
Anne Hyde was not nobly born. Her father came from a gentry family and was only created a Baron three months before her marriage to James, Duke of York (later King). Her mother was the daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, who became a baronet in 1627.
-------------------------------

The Wives of Henry VIII

No need to address Catherine of Aragon here, as she was obviously royal by birth..

I suppose you could say Anne Boleyn was of noble birth, being the granddaughter of the Duke of Norfolk. Her father, Thomas was in turn the grandson of the Earl of Ormonde. But Thomas didn't become an earl himself until 1529, while Henry was planning to marry his daughter.

Jane Seymour's family were not nobles, but through her mother she could trace her descent from Edward III, who was her 6th great grandfather. They were a landed gentry family, whose most recent brush with nobility was Jane's great-great grandfather, Lord Clifford.

Anna of Cleves, of course, was the noble daughter of the Duke of Cleves. His ancestral line were all dukes for the 5 generations before him. Her mother was also the daughter of a German duke, the Duke of Jlich-Berg, whose ancestry were dukes for at least 6 generations. Technically, Anna was princess of Cleves before her marriage (a ducal princess in the German nobility)

Katharyn Howard was also a nobly born granddaughter of the Duke of Norfolk, but her mother came from the knightly Culpepper family of Oxenheath.

Katherine Parr was from a knightly family. Her father was Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, and her mother was the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Green of Boughton and Greens Norton. Her father was Comptroller of the Household to Henry VIII and Sheriff of Northampton and Lincoln.

Apart from Henry's first and fourth wife, they were all commoners. And yet they were all descendants of Edward I -

Catherine of Aragon and Katherine Parr through John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; Anne Boleyn, Anna of Cleves and Katharyn Howard through Thomas of Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk; and Jane Seymour through Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:06 AM
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Thank you all for these long informations!

In summary: If Catherine Middleton will become Queen consort, she will not be the first Queen consort, who was a commoner before the marriage. Commoners, who became Queen consort or Princess of Wales, were also Camilla Shand (legally Princess Charles of Wales), Diana Spencer, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Anne Hyde, Katherine Parr, Katherine Howard, Jane Seymour, Anna Boleyn.
Several of those where of noble birth or aristocratic: Diana Spencer, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Anne Hyde, Katherine Parr, Katherine Howard, Jane Seymour, Anna Boleyn.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:57 PM
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Antony Armstrong-Jones can also beadded to the list as Princess Margaret was third in line of succession at their marriage.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2010, 01:17 PM
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Well Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke in her own right prior to her marriage to ensure that any illegitimate children born to her and Henry would be of noble birth.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:17 PM
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Don't forget Lady Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV and maternal grandmother of Henry VIII, since her daughter, Elizabeth of York, married Henry VII. I believe Lady Elizabeth was the first commoner to marry into the royal family. And Joan of Kent, wife of Edward, the Black Prince (eldest son of Edward III; he predeceased his father) is worth mentioning, though she was a king's granddaughter. She was the mother of Richard II.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:11 PM
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Isn't anyone who is not royalty considered a commoner, whether or not they are members of the aristocracy?
That is what I was always told.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Isn't anyone who is not royalty considered a commoner, whether or not they are members of the aristocracy?
That is what I was always told.

A better way of looking at it by asking whether or not the person could have a seat in the old House of Lords. If they could they weren't a commoner but if they couldn't there were so Diana was a commoner but believe it or not so is Princess Anne.

The difference was commons or lords and anyone who couldn't take a seat in the House of Lords was a commoner so the Queen, until she became Queen technically was a commoner - although a royal commoner. Yes the Queen could have stood for election to the House of Commons after she turned 21 (as can Anne, William, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie, Peter and Zara today but not Charles, Andrew or Edward).
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:18 AM
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Elizabeth Woodville, married to Edward IV. A great beauty, but their marriage upset courtiers like the Earl of Warwick who expected a royal match as part of European political diplomacy. Most of Henry VIII's wives were commoners. Although of aristocratic descent from the Howards, Anne Boleyn was also descended from a London merchant (Geoffrey Boleyn) from Norfolk who became lord mayor of London.

Ms Middleton may well be descended from the fifteenth-century gentry family of that name. Although one would generally hope that one's country's princes marry fellow royalty who have been brought up to the job, marriages for love are always preferable. The country can rightly rejoice.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:49 AM
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Elizabeth Woodville, married to Edward IV. A great beauty, but their marriage upset courtiers like the Earl of Warwick who expected a royal match as part of European political diplomacy. Most of Henry VIII's wives were commoners. Although of aristocratic descent from the Howards, Anne Boleyn was also descended from a London merchant (Geoffrey Boleyn) from Norfolk who became lord mayor of London.

Ms Middleton may well be descended from the fifteenth-century gentry family of that name. Although one would generally hope that one's country's princes marry fellow royalty who have been brought up to the job, marriages for love are always preferable. The country can rightly rejoice.

It seems to me that marriages for love have no higher success rate than those for other reasons and surely having a compatible companion who understands the pressures and the politics of the households etc is preferable to having someone thrown to the wolves?
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:22 AM
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I do understand your point. In earlier times princes entered into marital alliances with another royal house and produced heirs. Job done. Sometimes they would later find themselves widowered and would then marry for love - this tended to work and the marriages lasted.

Love matches, which really are true love do work as mutual devotion can produce the patience and diligence required as long, of course, as the spouse realises that duty to the country and the royal house to which they both now belong is all. The spouse should, however, expect the support, not only of her husband and his family, but also HM Government and the people, and treated respectfully by the press.

We must wish them well. God bless them.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:34 AM
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Sorry, this all started, because i didn't know, that the daugther/son of a peer is not noble. I found out through this thread.

I first measured nobility from a german point of view. A Earl and his wife, all of his children and his male-line grand children are noble persons. In Germany the system of "grading" courtesy titles is unknown. The son of a Earl/Graf is an Earl/Graf, as well as his younger brothers and male-line grand children.

Obviously, it is just a historic point of view, because nobility was abolished in Germany (=republic) in 1918.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteAmalia View Post
I was looking for royal brides in the UK, that are not of noble birth, but commoners.

I'm just interessed in those who were very close to the thron and married to No. 1 to 5 in the succession (e.g. not Autumn Kelly or minor royals)

Commoners:
Sarah Ferguson
Wallis Simpson
Sophie Rhys-Jones
Mark Phillips
(Catherine Middleton, when married)
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:14 PM
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I'm a bit confused. If only the holder of a title is a noble, then Anne Boleyn was not born a noble, right? I'm just trying to understand.
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