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  #301  
Old 07-21-2008, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Monika_ View Post
Interesting point about the Duchess of Windsor. I think that was one of the questions that arose when it was announced that Camilla would be styled 'HRH.'
Different women, different times.

Wallis was alleged to have passed information to von Ribbentrop at the beginning of German invasion into France.
This more than anything was probably the deciding factor in denying her an HRH.

BBC NEWS | UK | Simpson's 'Nazi past' led to abdication
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  #302  
Old 07-21-2008, 03:43 PM
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That must be it. Lol! The truth of the entire matter summed up in one link. I'd add a few of my own if this was the Wallis thread.
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  #303  
Old 07-21-2008, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Monika_ View Post
Interesting point about the Duchess of Windsor. I think that was one of the questions that arose when it was announced that Camilla would be styled 'HRH.'
The reason those questions arose because the situation had obvious similarities in terms of why anyone marrying into the royal house should have the equivalent style of their husband. Consistency is everything, some will make you the lame excuse that "the times" had something to do with it but it had nothing to do with it. The law and custom had not changed whatever else had happened in time.
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  #304  
Old 07-21-2008, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Monika_ View Post
That must be it. Lol! The truth of the entire matter summed up in one link. I'd add a few of my own if this was the Wallis thread.
Reliable links are always the best way. I'm pretty sure somewhere on here there is a thread for you to put any links you may have.

It would be interesting to read the FBI files that were available to those who apparently forced the abdication and made the decision to withhold the HRH, which according to the evidence released, was nothing to do with her divorces or her being American, contrary to popular belief.
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  #305  
Old 07-21-2008, 04:04 PM
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I very much doubt that the withholding of an HRH from Wallis was really to do with her alleged Nazi activities. Anybody can allege anything, but the presumption of innocence is still enshrined in British law. The sad thing is that "alleged" tends to not get remembered and people just go around saying "but she was a Nazi spy" when there's no proof of it. IMO this is as much as anything else an attempt to divert attention from the fact that this withholding of the HRH was basically an act of vindictive snobbery on the part of Queen Elizabeth and the senior royal advisors. It doesn't sound as though the King was very happy about it, from various official biographies.

Having said that, I think the precedent of withholding the HRH title on the somewhat nebulous grounds that someone isn't "fit" for it is a very dangerous one. Royalty isn't some sort of meritocracy where people get promoted on the grounds of suitability, it's a hereditary system which has some rules about who's where in the line of succession, what styles and titles are held by the sons of various royal princes and dukes, and who does and doesn't get an HRH. The more this is mucked about with on the rather dubious grounds of whether someone deserves it or whether someone is popular enough, the more the system of monarchy becomes irrelevant. If we're going to have popularity contests to decide who gets what, we should just ditch the whole thing and become a republic, because that's basically what's going on anyway.

I don't understand what the royal family think they're doing with this Princess Consort business. It's still there on both the royal family official website and the Prince of Wales website, and on at least one of them the wording is that she WILL be Princess Consort, not just the weasel wording of "it is intended that..." She's already getting flak for not doing enough public engagements and not having enough patronages and whatever; if she becomes Princess Consort rather than Queen it'll give a load of potent ammunition to the forces in the press and elsewhere who are queuing up to accuse her of being a freeloader and shirking her responsibilities.

Also, at the moment Charles is getting his income from the Duchy of Cornwall, whereas when he's King he and Camilla will get money from the Civil List, which is basically taxpayer money (and yes, I know about the Crown Estate, but people tend to look at the Civil List as the money they pay the monarch to do the head-of-state stuff). Certain elements in the press will be very quick to whip up the ire of Middle England by claiming that Charles is getting the full whack of Civil List funds for a married monarch, yet Camilla isn't Queen Consort, isn't doing her part, so why is she getting paid as though she was. I don't see any advantages in the Princess Consort charade but I do see a load of potential pitfalls.

The only scenario that seems to make sense is for them to maintain this charade right up until Charles becomes King and then to have their spokesmen say that according to legal experts, and WHAT a surprise it is and it couldn't have been foreseen etc etc, but it turns out that Princess Consort isn't an option as a title for the Queen Consort to hold without complicated legislation etc etc, so it has been decided that as long as she's Queen Consort and the world hasn't come to an end, she might as well remain so.

And I hope TRF is still in existence when that happens so we can show them that their legal experts could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by simply reading our threads since 2005.
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  #306  
Old 07-21-2008, 04:06 PM
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I have to agree with Skydragon - my thoughts when Wallis was mentioned -times have changed.

In those days you would never have seen a member of the royal family divorced or marry a divorcee (or even a non-virgin). Now that happens- in the UK one in three marriages end in divorce. It was hardly heard of in the 20/30/40's
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  #307  
Old 07-21-2008, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I very much doubt that the withholding of an HRH from Wallis was really to do with her alleged Nazi activities. Anybody can allege anything, but the presumption of innocence is still enshrined in British law. The sad thing is that "alleged" tends to not get remembered and people just go around saying "but she was a Nazi spy" when there's no proof of it. IMO this is as much as anything else an attempt to divert attention from the fact that this withholding of the HRH was basically an act of vindictive snobbery on the part of Queen Elizabeth and the senior royal advisors. It doesn't sound as though the King was very happy about it, from various official biographies.
Yes the QM probably had a hand in it, but with the evidence supposedly given by the FBI, there wouldn't have been any possibility of the HRH.

The presumption of innocence died the moment war was mentioned, hence the camps set up by the British for 'Aliens'.
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  #308  
Old 07-22-2008, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
He had the choice to grant it. Or at least the choice to say that it was automatically hers, which it was. If the HRH title had been a reward for good behaviour, certain HRHs by birth should have had it removed. As it is, it's simply a style that sons of monarchs, and their wives unless the marriage is morganatic, are entitled to.
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But I think one should not forget that the souverain is the fount of all honours. He can grant titles and styles, he can withhold them and he can declare titles, honours and styles forfeit. Henry VIII. for example had Thomas Cranmer declare his marriage to Catherine of Aragon invalid and she was stripped of her title as queen. Same happened to Anne Boleyn after she was tried and sentenced to death, thus she died not a queen. Later in 1541 he stripped Catherine Howard of her title as queen, even though the marriage was still considered valid and led to her being tried for treason on the grounds of adultery by the queen.

So if the king can strip his wife of the title of queen, he surely can withhold the title of HRH from a Royal prince's wife. I just found a document about it. From: The drafting of the letters patent of 1937
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The drafting of the letters patent of 1937: documents from the National Archives
This page contains transcripts of documents relating to the drafting of the letters patent regulating the styles and titles of the Duke of Windsor, his wife, and his issue (27 May 1937). They come from a file in the National Archives (HO 144/22945) that was only released to the public in January 2003.

An excerpt:

Sir Granville Ram to Lord Wigram (21 Jan 1937)

I have looked further into the question raised in your letter of 15th January and as a result I cannot escape the conclusion that if the Duke of Windsor marries Mrs. Simpson she will automatically become Her Royal Highness.

For practical purposes it seems to me that the question is settled by an announcement which was made at the time of the marriage of His present Majesty. “The Times” of 28th April 1923, contains the following:-

HRH the Duchess of York.
Status of Princess.
It is officially announced that, in accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York, with the status of a Princess.”

I have not been able to discover from what quarter this announcement was given to the press, but from the fact that it appears to be based on a letter from Boyd to Stamfordham it seems likely that the announcement was made from the palace.

When I first got your letter I thought that the well settled legal rule that a woman on marriage takes rank and precedence according to those of her husband might not necessarily apply with regard to the style of “Royal Highness”, because I know that the use of that style had on several occasions been regulated separately by the Sovereign. In view, however, of the way in which successive Letters Patent have dealt with this matter it seems clear that they must have been framed upon the assumption that the same rules would apply as in the case of peerages. The use of the style “Royal Highness” is now governed by Letters Patent / dated 30th November 1917, and I enclose a copy of the notice in the London Gazette of the 14th December, 1917, which summarizes the effect of these Letters Patent: from this you will see that they (like former ones on the same subject) made no mention of the wives of any of the sons, grandsons and greatgrandsons of the Sovereign who were thereby declared to be entitled to by styled “Royal Highness”, so that, except upon the assumption that a wife would automatically derive from her husband the right to be so styled, none of them would be entitled to that attribute. Obviously that result cannot have been intended.

Unless, therefore, the King’s eldest brother is willing himself to relinquish the style of Royal Highness when he is created the Duke of Windsor, as was done by Lady Patricia Ramsay on her marriage, it seems to me that his wife must automatically become Her Royal Highness.

(sgd.) J. Granville Ram

(End of quote)

And another quote:

A. undated memorandum by Home Secretary (late March 1937)

Style and Title of Royal Highness

1. The question has been raised if the Duke of Windsor should marry, his wife would necessarily become a Royal Highness. The answer hitherto given has been that this result would automatically follow by the application of the principle that a lady of lower degree acquires by the fact of marriage the style and title corresponding to the rank of her husband. But it still remains to be considered whether a different consequence could be secured by any form of express action by the Sovereign.

2. The abdication of Edward VIII creates a condition of things entirely without precedent, for the Duke of Windsor by his own declaration, confirmed by Statute, has not only himself renounced the Throne but has barred his descendants from the succession. The eldest son of George V is neither Sovereign nor Prince of Wales - a situation hitherto never conceived of as possible and never contemplated in the Letters Patent of 1917. As the style and title of Royal Highness has hitherto invariably attached to members of the Royal Family who were within the line of succession, or their wives, there would be a remarkable anomaly if persons outside the succession equally enjoyed it. Even if the Duke, in view of his former position, retained the title by express direction from the King as the fountain of honour, it is presumably within the legal powers of the Sovereign to direct that no other person shall derive such style and title from the Duke, whether by tie of marriage or descent. Why should ladies curtsey to a Duchess who cannot possibly be Queen?

(End of quote)

Much more information about the process of stripping Wallis of her right to the title as wife of a HRH is to be found under that link.

Interesting for me was the last sentence:

"Why should ladies curtsey to a Duchess who cannot possibly be Queen?"

For me, that makes a lot of sense: but then they still curtsey to HRH The Duchess of Kent, who as a Catholic never can be queen... And Camilla can possibly be queen...

Oh, I wish I could see the documents that were exchanged before the PoW's marriage to Camilla. For I personally doubt his experts were not able to see the problems of the situation.
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  #309  
Old 07-22-2008, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
Divorce was a social disgrace and unacceptable to the Church of England in 1936. It was unthinkable for a twice-divorced woman to marry The King or become a member of the royal family, never mind Queen. So, Edward had no choice but to abdicate the throne due to his own selfishness and refusal to do his duty. What choice did George VI have but to deny her royal rank as a consequence?
From this link: The drafting of the letters patent of 1937
Note of Conference held in the Home Secretary’s Room at the House of Commons at 5.0 p.m. on Tuesday, 6th April, 1937.

"The Home Secretary said that he understood that Their Majesties felt strongly on the question whether, if the Duke of Windsor married Mrs. Simpson, she would necessarily become “Her Royal Highness”".

So this was a starting point for the courtiers and politicians: "Their Majesties felt strongly...." and the gathered experts had to find out if it was possible at all to fulfill the wish of Their Majesties.

So I think one thing is clear: Queen Elizabeth and King George did not want Wallis to have that style and she didn't get it, because they found a solution which sounded as if the position of the abdicated king was the problem, not his choice of wife. Consequently the letters patend conferring the title of HRH on Edward and denying it to his wife was passed in general in May 1937 but Edward only married Wallis the next week, already in June.
So if Wallis had died and Edward had married let's say a princess of Greece and Denmark as his second wife, she wouldn't have had a right to his style as well. But I guess in that case the Letters patent would have been revised...

And here's the draft of a letter from king George VI. to his brother dealing with this problem: as you can see he is blaming others for the fact that Wallis didn't get the title and uses an explanation that we can see from the documents is made up in order to cover his own intentions:
undated draft of a letter from the King to the Duke of Windsor

I feel bound to write to you about a matter which has been giving me great trouble and concern. All sorts of people, both official and private persons, are asking whether, when you marry, your wife will be made a "Royal Highness". It has never happened in all history that a woman who married a man who cannot succeed to the Throne has been so described; indeed, it is pointed out to me that, strictly speaking, you yourself lost the right to this title by the fact of abdication. As long ago as the time of Queen Victoria it was laid down that no one could be a "Royal Highness" who was not in the line of succession.

Now, as you can well believe, I don't want to do anything which would interfere with the continuance of your right to the title though, in order to secure it for you, I am advised that I ought to issue Letters Patent declaring that notwithstanding Queen Victoria's rule etc. you, as my brother and as former occupant of the Throne, are by my express direction to be so styled.

This must be strictly personal to you for the reason that a lady marrying outside the Royal Succession is never so styled and of course the same would apply to any children of the marriage. But I want you to understand that a great deal of trouble has been taken about all this and, apart altogether from the views of the lawyers, there is a great deal of concern that the situation should be made plain before your wedding. The Dominion Prime Ministers, who are here at the Imperial Conference, have been informally consulted and they all take the strongest view that what I am now advised to do is the proper course and that this is the only way to remove misunderstanding and heartburning hereafter. The necessary document will be issued later in the week but I am sending you this personal letter at once because of course I want you to understand that I have thought of this matter over from every point of view and I am satisfied that what has been decided is in the best interests of everybody, not forgetting your own future happiness."

On reading the discusson about Wallis and her title it's clear that the king was not honest with his brother and used an invalid argument: otherwise HRH Princess Michael of Kent would never have been granted the title of HRH, as she is not eligiable to become queen one day. And Skydragon is right: those were different times as Princess Michael was a divorced commoner as well as Wallis when she married Prince Michael. So it is absolutely clear that the denial of HRH to Wallis was a very personal act, aimed at her and her alone. And now come and explain that denying Charles' wife the title of queen when the day comes would not be such a personal act as well.

I really wonder about the position of Camilla: what is it that Her Majesty feels strongly about and what is it HRH the lady's husband feels strongly about, so that the experts started thinking about pre-wedding in 2005? I agree with Elspeth that if they really wanted to reduce the Queen Consort to Princess Consort in general they would have already started to pass legislation in order to be spared the problems of having to strip Charles' queen of her rightful title.But nothing happens, so I guess this is not what the Royals "feel strongly about".
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  #310  
Old 07-22-2008, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I very much doubt that the withholding of an HRH from Wallis was really to do with her alleged Nazi activities. Anybody can allege anything, but the presumption of innocence is still enshrined in British law. The sad thing is that "alleged" tends to not get remembered and people just go around saying "but she was a Nazi spy" when there's no proof of it.
Mmmmhhh....true, but then again you seem to allow a great deal that has no substance in fact nor does it reflect our "times" very much if "times" has anything at all do with anything--although I suppose eccentric opinion will forever be around us. So again, I see the so-called "times" as having nothing whatsoever to do with it of any relevance. It had to do with the King intervening in a way which flouted common law and custom. This was why he had anxieties about Walis's status, although he seems unsure of his own brother's status as well at the moment of abdication. So the times had clearly nothing to do with it, that is a fallacious excuse that doesn't become any truer no matter how many times people repeat it. Otherwise, when did "times" change? 1945? 1960? 1970? And where is the evidence of that in any meaningful way if you point to a date and time? Different women? mmmmmhhhh....someone said she stayed with him honorably to the end of his days and so forth? On the other hand, I've read that the RF was horrified during ensuing years at hearing the ways she treated him in company. Sort of like the fights we're hearing of now between the present PoW and Second Wife. Then there was the Jimmy Donahue Affair. So you see, this is one reason why I think particular times and people should be irrelevant, and just the governing rules applied. Once you remove the controversies and prejudices surrounding particular people and times, then you have a clear slate on which to apply the rules -- in this case, either the monarch's assent through LP or other warrants, or the common law of the land, or even act of parliament. Those are the only relevant criteria I see.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:36 PM
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I was just thinking about Wallis's situation.

I wonder if Edward had given any thought to marrying Wallis, briefly making her Queen Consort, and then abdicating almost immediately after. Or perhaps he could have issued a Letters Patent granting her an HRH while he was still king and had the power to do so before his abdication. (The reason I'm wondering is that in The Netherlands wasn't Maxima created an HRH before her marriage? To the best of my knowledge, that's never been done in the U.K., though.) Yes, I know it's a rather sneaky idea.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by iowabelle View Post
I was just thinking about Wallis's situation.

I wonder if Edward had given any thought to marrying Wallis, briefly making her Queen Consort, and then abdicating almost immediately after. Or perhaps he could have issued a Letters Patent granting her an HRH while he was still king and had the power to do so before his abdication. (The reason I'm wondering is that in The Netherlands wasn't Maxima created an HRH before her marriage? To the best of my knowledge, that's never been done in the U.K., though.) Yes, I know it's a rather sneaky idea.
From what I have read, Edward was not even allowed to appeal to the British people on the BBC.
BBC NEWS | UK | King's abdication appeal blocked
Quote:
Mr Baldwin suggested the respective leaders agreed a constitutional line that there was "fundamental difference" between the position of the King and that of a private person. In the King's case, his every utterance had to be approved by ministers because of his constitutional position as the figure uniting the nations, Empire and Commonwealth
Therefore, sneaky or not, they would have found a way to stop it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by iowabelle View Post
I was just thinking about Wallis's situation.

I wonder if Edward had given any thought to marrying Wallis, briefly making her Queen Consort, and then abdicating almost immediately after. Or perhaps he could have issued a Letters Patent granting her an HRH while he was still king and had the power to do so before his abdication. (The reason I'm wondering is that in The Netherlands wasn't Maxima created an HRH before her marriage? To the best of my knowledge, that's never been done in the U.K., though.) Yes, I know it's a rather sneaky idea.
I think it's clear he was determined not to do anything in defiance of the Government, which marrying Wallis would certainly have been. Legally, he did not need permission of his Ministers to marry and was free to marry whomever he wished. However, a precedent would have been created making the Crown an independent source of political power that was contrary to a constitutional monarchy (assuming the Government promptly resigned in protest).

As The Sovereign and fount of all honours, he can create anyone a Peer or a Royal Highness, but again, questions would have been raised as to his intention in doing so.
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  #314  
Old 07-23-2008, 12:07 AM
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That actually isn't so. When the Duchess was unwell, and nearing the end of her life in France, the Queen Mother sent her flowers with a card that read, "In friendship".
And this necessarily implied that she meant it? If nothing else, the Queen Mother was a master at the art of the public image, and there had been some rumblings about the royal family's vindictive treatment of Wallis. Publicly sending a basket of flowers with a friendly message to someone who was too far gone for it to make any difference one way or the other was the emptiest possible gesture.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:29 AM
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I'm certain I continued to disclose my thoughts on the "In friendship"...

Publically sending a basket? That's the first I've heard about it having being sent publically, as I've always been lead to believe it was later disclosed in such a fashion. Perhaps it was sent publically, of that I'm not aware.

And I could fault no one for thinking as you clearly do on the matter. A pointless gesture made on deaths door. I however like to believe in the very real possibility of sincerity, so if I stand alone, then I'm more than happy to do so. I don't deny there "may" have been a motive on the QM's part and shamefull if so. Perhaps to ease her own conscience on certain matters. If that were the case then sending the flowers would have been a real insult. But I don't think it was like that, personally.

One would like to think that making such a gesture, no matter how late in life, would be meant with some degree of goodwill toward the recipient. Surely even Elizabeth could resolve herself to look beyond her own prejudice and 'set aside' whatever misgivings she harboured towards the Duchess and acknowledge that there Wallis lay, in ill health and alone. A widow just like herself.

The QM was without doubt an iron fist in a velvet glove, but that isn't to say she couldn't muster the tenacity to send flowers, and send them with some degree amity attached.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:50 AM
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I don't dispute that the QM showed a bit of humanity towards her at the end of the DoW's life, but it does not change the way she felt about and treated Wallis for decades prior to that. I also think it had a lot more to do with the QM's reflection of her own actions than it actually had to do with Wallis.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:37 AM
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I don't dispute that the QM showed a bit of humanity towards her at the end of the DoW's life, but it does not change the way she felt about and treated Wallis for decades prior to that. I also think it had a lot more to do with the QM's reflection of her own actions than it actually had to do with Wallis.
Oh certainly. No one can overlook the bitterness between either lady and nor should they. It played out, for as you said, decades.

As for the QM having alterior motive. Who knows? I take it for how it was, or how it was perceived. That it was a kind gesture with a friendly undertone from one lady to another who had shared a most unfortunate acquaintance.

As long as the other was alive, it was never too late to ease, even in the most slightest of ways, all that bad blood between them. And that's all it would have done. It certainly couldn't change what had happened and all those years of hurt.

Also, if the QM didn't want to send the Duchess flowers, then I have a hunch not even the Queen could have made her. You don't send people you hate, flowers. And though the QM was one for show and image, I feel such a ploy to be most undignified of a lady of her upbringing so I don't believe it was.
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  #318  
Old 07-23-2008, 07:21 AM
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As The Sovereign and fount of all honours, he can create anyone a Peer or a Royal Highness, but again, questions would have been raised as to his intention in doing so.
No, the souverain can't create people who are not in the line of succession a Royal Highness. He/she could under certain circumstances recognise a foreign Royal title through a special license though in fact this hasn't happened yet. But the opinion of the experts advising the souverain is clear when it comes to Royal Highnesses:

From: The drafting of the letters patent of 1937
Note of Conference held in the Home Secretary’s Room at the House of Commons at 5.0 p.m. on Tuesday, 6th April, 1937.

The Lord Chamberlain inquired whether it would be possible to start from the premise that it was within the Royal prerogative to confer the title of Royal Highness on a non-Royal person.

Garter expressed, doubt as to this.

The Lord Chamberlain proceeded that, if the Sovereign had the power of creating (on advice of course; a person Royal Highness he could also withhold the title.

Sir Harry Boyd pointed out that Queen Victoria had exercised the prerogative in the case of Prince Henry of Battenberg, who was not in the line of succession, on his marriage to the Queen's daughter.

Garter suggested that this was not wholly relevant as recipient of the title in that case was a Prince, to which the Attorney General added that he might also have become the Husband of the reigning Queen.

The Home Secretary suggested that it might be possible, without going so far as the lord Chamberlain had indicated, to say that it was only within the prerogative to confer the title of Royal Highness on a person not in the line of succession if he or she were of Royal descent.

He suggested that it might be possible to get over Garter's difficulty by reciting that, from the moment of his accession, the King had intended to confer this title and that it was desirable to regularise the position by a formal document.

Garter quoted the case of Princess Arthur of Connaught and said that at the last Coronation the question had arisen whether she and her sister were entitled to the privileges of Princesses of the Blood Royal. The question had been referred to his predecessor who had advised that, as King Edward had given them the style and title of "Highness" and "Princess", this converted them into Princesses of the Blood Royal. King George, however, did not accept this view and they had not been accorded those privileges. Later, upon her marriage to Prince Arthur, the King had said to Garter that this made her "Her Royal Highness".

The Home Secretary thought it did not follow that if His Majesty was engaged in reaffirming the grant of the title to a person who would not have been entitled to it but for that grant, he could not then impose conditions on its grant.

The Attorney General said that all persons who had been called “Royal Highness” in the past either could have succeeded to the Throne or were the husbands or wives of persons who could have succeeded."
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  #319  
Old 07-23-2008, 07:21 AM
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post
. . . . Also, if the QM didn't want to send the Duchess flowers, then I have a hunch not even the Queen could have made her. You don't send people you hate, flowers. And though the QM was one for show and image, I feel such a ploy to be most undignified of a lady of her upbringing so I don't believe it was.
I'm with you on this one Madame Royale. Time really does heal at least some wounds.

They both spent the greater part of their lives "on their own", without the men they loved. I guess they could both see themselves in each other's shoes in this one aspect at least. How very sad.
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  #320  
Old 07-23-2008, 07:53 AM
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I'm with you on this one Madame Royale. Time really does heal at least some wounds.

They both spent the greater part of their lives "on their own", without the men they loved. I guess they could both see themselves in each other's shoes in this one aspect at least. How very sad.
Time is a great healer, especially for those nearing the end of their lives, as they both were. Both had a lot to forgive.
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