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  #821  
Old 01-02-2013, 09:38 AM
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I'm not convinced Wikipedia's right there. As I understand it, Queen Mother is just a "nicer" term for Queen Dowager as in the widow of a king, rather than meaning the mother of the current monarch. I think Queen Victoria's mother was keen to use something similar, but couldn't as she'd never been queen.

Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary were never known as "the Queen Mother". I think it was used for the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother mainly because her daughter was also called Elizabeth and having two people known as "Queen Elizabeth" as the same time would have been too confusing.
Queen Mother is a widowed or Dowager queen consort,who is the mother of a reigning monarch,hence the word 'mother'. Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary technically were Queen Mothers but they didn't use that style.

A current example of a Queen Dowager is H.M.Queen Fabiola of the Belgians who's the widow of King Baudouin and the sister in law of the present King.Other famous Queen Mothers were Catherine de Medici and Anne of Austria as they were both Queen Dowagers and the 'mothers' of reigning monarchs.
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  #822  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post

I'm not convinced Wikipedia's right there. As I understand it, Queen Mother is just a "nicer" term for Queen Dowager as in the widow of a king, rather than meaning the mother of the current monarch. I think Queen Victoria's mother was keen to use something similar, but couldn't as she'd never been queen.

Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary were never known as "the Queen Mother". I think it was used for the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother mainly because her daughter was also called Elizabeth and having two people known as "Queen Elizabeth" as the same time would have been too confusing.
I agree with you, it's a polite term to describe the widow of a King (certainly nicer sounding than Dowager!!). To my recollection (which is not to say it never happened!) in the BRF no previous Dowager Queens or Queen Mothers were ever called/styled as such, they continued to be known as HM Queen ________ (even though they were a Dowager Queen or mother of the monarch). The style of The Queen Mother was just to differentiate between Queen Elizabeth the mother and Queen Elizabeth the daughter. You'd often hear reference to "HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother" (even if it was more frequently shortened to "The Queen Mum"). Had she been Marguerite Angela Elizabeth, rather than Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, she would have undoubtedly been called Queen Marguerite till her passing, not The Queen Mother.
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  #823  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 AM
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I agree with you, it's a polite term to describe the widow of a King (certainly nicer sounding than Dowager!!). To my recollection (which is not to say it never happened!) in the BRF no previous Dowager Queens or Queen Mothers were ever called/styled as such, they continued to be known as HM Queen ________ (even though they were a Dowager Queen or mother of the monarch). The style of The Queen Mother was just to differentiate between Queen Elizabeth the mother and Queen Elizabeth the daughter. You'd often hear reference to "HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother" (even if it was more frequently shortened to "The Queen Mum"). Had she been Marguerite Angela Elizabeth, rather than Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, she would have undoubtedly been called Queen Marguerite till her passing, not The Queen Mother.
The style of Queen Mother has been around for centuries,though I agree not always officially used as a style,it differentiates between a childless dowager queen and a dowager queen who is the mother of a reigning monarch.
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  #824  
Old 01-02-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
I'm not convinced Wikipedia's right there. As I understand it, Queen Mother is just a "nicer" term for Queen Dowager as in the widow of a king, rather than meaning the mother of the current monarch. I think Queen Victoria's mother was keen to use something similar, but couldn't as she'd never been queen.

Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary were never known as "the Queen Mother". I think it was used for the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother mainly because her daughter was also called Elizabeth and having two people known as "Queen Elizabeth" as the same time would have been too confusing.
There is a distinct difference between The Queen Mother and The Queen Dowager.
The Queen Dowager is the widow of a Sovereign, whereas The Queen Mother is the widow of a Sovereign who is also the mother of the present Monarch.


Queen Alexandra was a Queen Consort (wife of the reining King) from 1901 to 1910, and a Queen Mother (widow of a Sovereign and mother of the present King) from 1910 and until her death in 1925. In everyday life, she was known as Her Majesty The Queen when she was a Queen Consort, and Her Majesty Queen Alexandra when she was a Queen Mother.

Queen Mary got to be a Queen Consort, a Queen Mother and a Queen Dowager. She was a Queen Consort (wife of the present Monarch) during the reign of her husband from 1910 to 1936, a Queen Mother (widow of the Monarch who is also mother of the present Sovereign) during the reigns of her sons (Edward VIII and George VI) from 1936 to 1952, and a Queen Dowager (widow of the Monarch who is not the mother of the present Sovereign) from 1952 until her death in 1953. As a Queen Consort, she was addressed to as Her Majesty The Queen, while as a Queen Mother and a Queen Dowager she was (usually) addressed to as Her Majesty Queen Alexandra.

The only reason Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was specifically known as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother after Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne, was indeed because she shared the same first name with daughter and it would have otherwise been too confusing to have two Queens Elizabeth. If Elizabeth II had any other first name, her mother would have been known as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth from 1952 until her death.

After Charles ascends to the Throne, Camilla will be Her Majesty The Queen (what title she'll prefer to use is a different question). If Charles predeceases Camilla, she'll be Her Majesty Queen Camilla, while the new Queen Consort (William's wife) will be Her Majesty The Queen.
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  #825  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:19 PM
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What if QE2's demise preceeds the D o E, will he be The Prince Father, or The Doweger Prince?
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  #826  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:21 PM
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What if QE2's demise preceeds the D o E, will he be The Prince Father, or The Doweger Prince?
Good Lord, don't give the LibDems any ideas
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by padams2359 View Post
What if QE2's demise preceeds the D o E, will he be The Prince Father, or The Doweger Prince?
Neither. Prince Philip will have exactly the same titles and styles he has now - His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The titles King Father or the Prince Father simply don't exist in Britain. As for The Dowager Prince, Philip simply cannot use it because he is a man - and dowager denotes a widow who holds a title or property. He can't be The Widowed Prince or variation of thereof because no such title exists either.

Theoretically, once a King Charles can grant a new style and/or title to his father, including The Prince Father, but that's very unlikely.
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  #828  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:41 PM
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The Prince Widower.
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  #829  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Artemisia View Post

A Camilla's title (the comment I was responding to) won't even arise since Camilla will be the Dowager Queen Consort and will be known as Her Majesty Queen Camilla, while William's wife will be the new Duchess of Cornwall.
Artemisia - this may be a very dumb or a very astute question. It's a "What If?"

Does the new heir get stripped of his/her previous titles AUTOMATICALLY as a result of ascending a rung on the ladder? I'm asking WHEN the Duke of Cornwall loses that title (and by default the Duchess of Cornwall)? I think not on ascension: I think they lose the titles when the next person is named to those titles. Am I right? I know that the ruler in place can assign funds from vacant Dukedoms (Duchy's, whatever - I'm and American and admit to being very bad at this sort of thing).

Which titles stay with someone when they "move up a rung" and which do not is the essential question I am asking? Aside from the money from properties, I just want to understand this.
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  #830  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post

The style of Queen Mother has been around for centuries,though I agree not always officially used as a style,it differentiates between a childless dowager queen and a dowager queen who is the mother of a reigning monarch.
Yes...agreed. I should perhaps clarify to state that the Queen Mother is a nicer way to refer to a widowed Queen Consort who is also the mother of the sovereign!! :)
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  #831  
Old 01-02-2013, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by padams2359 View Post
What if QE2's demise preceeds the D o E, will he be The Prince Father, or The Doweger Prince?
I'd imagine he'd remain Prince Philip,Duke of Edinburgh,I think he would implode at being referred to as the Prince Father
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  #832  
Old 01-02-2013, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Artemisia - this may be a very dumb or a very astute question. It's a "What If?"

Does the new heir get stripped of his/her previous titles AUTOMATICALLY as a result of ascending a rung on the ladder? I'm asking WHEN the Duke of Cornwall loses that title (and by default the Duchess of Cornwall)? I think not on ascension: I think they lose the titles when the next person is named to those titles. Am I right? I know that the ruler in place can assign funds from vacant Dukedoms (Duchy's, whatever - I'm and American and admit to being very bad at this sort of thing).

Which titles stay with someone when they "move up a rung" and which do not is the essential question I am asking? Aside from the money from properties, I just want to understand this.
The heir doesn't but Charles' titles merge(?) with the crown when he becomes King.
Duke of Cornwall is reserved for the heir who is also the eldest son. William will become Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge when his father is King.
Others can fill in the details I left out or got wrong hahaha

Basically you gain titles and not lose them
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  #833  
Old 01-02-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Artemisia - this may be a very dumb or a very astute question. It's a "What If?"

Does the new heir get stripped of his/her previous titles AUTOMATICALLY as a result of ascending a rung on the ladder? I'm asking WHEN the Duke of Cornwall loses that title (and by default the Duchess of Cornwall)? I think not on ascension: I think they lose the titles when the next person is named to those titles. Am I right? I know that the ruler in place can assign funds from vacant Dukedoms (Duchy's, whatever - I'm and American and admit to being very bad at this sort of thing).

Which titles stay with someone when they "move up a rung" and which do not is the essential question I am asking? Aside from the money from properties, I just want to understand this.
The moment QEII takes her last breath Charles immediately become HM The King and ceases to be Duke of Cornwall. At that same moment William becomes HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. William does not need to be named or created Duke of Cornwall it is automatic for the eldest son of the monarch at the moment of his fathers accession to the throne.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Does the new heir get stripped of his/her previous titles AUTOMATICALLY as a result of ascending a rung on the ladder? I'm asking WHEN the Duke of Cornwall loses that title (and by default the Duchess of Cornwall)? I think not on ascension: I think they lose the titles when the next person is named to those titles. Am I right? I know that the ruler in place can assign funds from vacant Dukedoms (Duchy's, whatever - I'm and American and admit to being very bad at this sort of thing).

Which titles stay with someone when they "move up a rung" and which do not is the essential question I am asking? Aside from the money from properties, I just want to understand this.
When HM dies, in that second, Charles becomes King. William is then heir apparent and firstborn son of the monarch so he then inherits all the titles due him such as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. He will not inherit the title of Prince of Wales. His father has to create him as such. William will also retain his title of Duke of Cambridge.

As King, Charles holds no other titles with the exception of the few that have been mentioned in this thread recently.
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  #835  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Artemisia - this may be a very dumb or a very astute question. It's a "What If?"

Does the new heir get stripped of his/her previous titles AUTOMATICALLY as a result of ascending a rung on the ladder? I'm asking WHEN the Duke of Cornwall loses that title (and by default the Duchess of Cornwall)? I think not on ascension: I think they lose the titles when the next person is named to those titles. Am I right? I know that the ruler in place can assign funds from vacant Dukedoms (Duchy's, whatever - I'm and American and admit to being very bad at this sort of thing).

Which titles stay with someone when they "move up a rung" and which do not is the essential question I am asking? Aside from the money from properties, I just want to understand this.
Certainly not a dumb question; on the contrary, a very interesting one.

When a person becomes King, all his peerage titles merge with the Crown. For instance, when William becomes King, his title of a Duke of Cambridge will merge with the Crown and will be available for a new creation. Thus, the next Duke of Cambridge will be not the 2nd Duke but the 1st one (of the new creation). Similarly, when George VI became King, his title of the Duke of York merged with the Crown and was available for a new creation.

The Duke of Cornwall title is a bit of a special case because, like the Prince of Wales or the Duke of Rothesay titles, it is reserved specifically for the Heir Apparent to the Throne and cannot be held by anyone else. When the Duke of Cornwall becomes King, his eldest son and heir automatically becomes the next Duke of Cornwall. However, if the new King doesn't have sons or if his Heir Apparent is someone else (a grandson, for instance), then the title remains vacant. To explain better:
- The moment Prince Charles ascends to the Throne, William becomes the Duke of Cornwall (unlike the Prince of Wales title, it is automatic).
- If Prince Charles predeceases the Queen, William will never be the Duke of Cornwall and the title will be vacant until William himself ascends to the Throne and his eldest son (if Heir Apparent) automatically becomes one. That's because the Duke of Cornwall title can only be held by the Heir Apparent to the Throne who is also the Sovereign's eldest surviving son. Should Charles predecease the Queen, William will be the Sovereign's grandson only.

The Sovereign can indeed assign Dukedoms to people (theoretically, anyone, although in our times the practice is limited to members of the Royal Family only). However, there are certain titles that can be held by specific people only. For instance, the Duke of Lancaster is a title that belongs to the Sovereign. The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cornwall, the Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew and several other titles can only be held by the Heir Apparent (although some have additional limitations), etc.

The difference between a Dukedom and a Duchy is a pretty straightforward one. A Duchy is typically assigned to a land; currently, there are only two Duchies left in Britain - the Duchy of Lancaster (which provides income for the Sovereign) and the Duchy of Cornwall (which provides income for the Heir Apparent). Dukedom is just the office of a peer - the Duke. There can be two types of Dukedoms - Royal (ones that belong to sons and male-line grandsons of the Sovereign) and ordinary ones (peers).
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:11 PM
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It's not even just a royal issue. If Lady Diana Spencer had married Mr Bloggs, he would still have been plain Mr Bloggs. However, when Lord X marries, his wife becomes Lady X. If Sir John Smith gets married, his wife becomes Lady Smith. If Dame Jane Smith gets married, her husband remains plain Mr Whatever. & so on. No-one seems to be suggesting messing with all that: this MP probably just wants to get his name in the press!!
Taking the husband's title and style on marriage is custom, not law. Sir John Smith's wife is not legally required to become Lady Smith when she marries, she could continue to be Ms Jane Doe. No woman is legally required to take her husband's surname, or style, or titles, though women who marry men with titles seem to be rather conservative in this regard. I can't imagine why! However somewhere in the back of my mind is a feeling that there is one woman who refused to take her titled husband's name and title, but I can't bring it to the fore.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:40 PM
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However somewhere in the back of my mind is a feeling that there is one woman who refused to take her titled husband's name and title, but I can't bring it to the fore.
Norma Major springs to mind. As she is a Dame in her own right she goes by Dame Norma Major and not Lady Major as the wofe of Sir John Major KG.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:57 PM
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That's interesting. I can understand her choosing to be known as Dame Norma Major, since she acquired that distinction in her own right.

She's not the one I had in mind though. I shall have to make the little grey cells work harder.
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  #839  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:02 PM
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Good Lord, don't give the LibDems any ideas

Oh, what a frightening idea. Who cares what any of them are called. I must be a Lib-Dem. Can't think and realize this is a a bunch of hooey and the BRF can remain in the 12th Century. Although, many, including the queen are trying to drag it into the 21st century.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:18 PM
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The very fact that there is legislation on the cards that deals with this issue shows that there are people who care what the royals and the aristocracy are called.

That people also take an interest in the Honours awarded and who has become a Knight and who didn't also shows that there are people with an interest in titles and what people are called.

As for the different titles:

No one seems to have mentioned that the title Prince of Wales can be held by someone other than the eldest son of the monarch e.g. George III was created Prince of Wales after his father's death. He was, of course, the heir apparent but he was never Duke of Cornwall as he was never the eldest son of the monarch. His father had held both titles.
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