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  #1141  
Old 04-29-2012, 07:52 PM
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I've read through the various posts here and am still trying to understand why William and Catherine are now referred to as the Duke and Duchess rather than Prince and Princess William. I always thought Prince would be higher rank than Duke. Forgive me for being too dense to understand this.
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  #1142  
Old 04-29-2012, 08:22 PM
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I think its just a tradition to be honest, i'm sure there is a reason somewhere in time but nowadays its just the way the Royals title themselves; once given a peerage of their own they use it. IMO its better to refer to Kate as "The Duchess of Cambridge" rather than "Princess William".
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  #1143  
Old 04-29-2012, 08:32 PM
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I recently read that the title Duke is higher than a prince in rank. Of course a Prince of a Monarch out ranks anyone with a title that is not royal.
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  #1144  
Old 04-29-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post

These plaques say more about the ignorance of the people creating them and viewing them in the future than accuracy. They use the title The Prince Edward and/or The Princess Edward assuming people won't know who HRH The Earl of Wessex and/or HRH The Countess of Wessex actually are.

The plaque says The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex etc.....which is in fact her correct title....
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  #1145  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:19 PM
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There are Dukes and there are Royal Dukes (and Royal Earls). Royal Dukes are princes as well as being dukes.
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  #1146  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MRSJ View Post
The plaque says The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex etc.....which is in fact her correct title....

No it isn't.

The use of style Prince with the substantive title of Earl/Countess is actually wrong.

Her full name is one or the other but not both combined.

The CC, which uses the correct titles never uses both - except for Charles when in Scotland where the Scots have always used The Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay.

Everyone else and everywhere else it is wrong to use both the Prince/Princess and the title.
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  #1147  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocketmom View Post
I've read through the various posts here and am still trying to understand why William and Catherine are now referred to as the Duke and Duchess rather than Prince and Princess William. I always thought Prince would be higher rank than Duke. Forgive me for being too dense to understand this.

On the day the Queen created William Duke of Cambridge his status was changed markedly - from a commoner to a noble (Kate is still a commoner by the way - a royal but still a commoner). In Britain only the actual title holder is noble - not his/her spouse nor are any of the children.

Until he was created Duke of Cambridge he could have stood for election, and voted in the elections for the pre-1999 House of Commons.

Queen Victoria asked this very question when being encouraged to create her younger sons Dukes and was told that by creating them Dukes they wouldn't be able to be elected to the House of Commons as they would no longer be commoners.
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  #1148  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:06 AM
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Please forgive the ignorance, but how was Prince William ever a commoner? 3 levels, commoner, nobility, and royalty?
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  #1149  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:09 AM
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In the UK you are either the monarch, a peer or a commoner. So you can be a member of the royal family but technically you are a commoner. The same can be said for the children of peers, they may have courtesy titles but strictly speaking they are commoners.
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  #1150  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:56 AM
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Just to check so I understand, so it is he is royal but before he had a title of his own he was a commoner and then a noble because he has a title of his own. His wife nor future children have been given a tile so they are given the status of commoner. If the queen had given Catherine the status of Princess of the United Kingdom would that have made her noble because she was given it in her own right? Very interesting.

Just a note on Prince Charles. When he was born, because he was the first born son of the heir, did he receive the title the Duke of Cornwall at birth or once his Grandfather's death. When he got that title he then moved from commoner to noble or did that happen once he was made Prince of Wales.
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  #1151  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeOfAster View Post
Just a note on Prince Charles. When he was born, because he was the first born son of the heir, did he receive the title the Duke of Cornwall at birth or once his Grandfather's death. When he got that title he then moved from commoner to noble or did that happen once he was made Prince of Wales.
Charles automatically became HRH The Duke of Cornwall the moment his grandfather died and his mother succeeded to the throne. Before that he was HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh.
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  #1152  
Old 04-30-2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketmom View Post
I've read through the various posts here and am still trying to understand why William and Catherine are now referred to as the Duke and Duchess rather than Prince and Princess William. I always thought Prince would be higher rank than Duke. Forgive me for being too dense to understand this.
A Prince as a title is higher than that of a Duke. However, the title of a Royal Duke is, as it were, the highest card in the deck.
A Royal Duke is a holder of the peerage title of a Duke who is also member of the Royal Family and entitled to the style of Royal Highness.

There are currently only eight Royal Dukedoms. According to their rankings, William's title is the third lowest one:
- Lancaster (Queen Elizabeth is The Duke - not Duchess - of Lancaster)
- Edinburgh (held by Prince Philip)
- Cornwall (held by Prince Charles)
- Rothesay (held by Prince Charles)
- York (held by Prince Andrew)
- Cambridge (held by Prince William)
- Gloucester (held by Prince Richard)
- Kent (held by Prince Edward)

Prince William's title of a Duke is thus higher than his (automatic) birth title of a Prince; since the highest available title is usually used, he is known as the Duke of Cambridge. Prince Charles' highest peerage title is The Prince of Wales. In Scotland, his highest title is The Duke of Rothesay (title traditionally given to the Heir Apparent to the Scottish Throne); thus, when Prince Charles is in Scotland, he is known as the Duke of Rothesay.
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  #1153  
Old 04-30-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jenafran View Post
Please forgive the ignorance, but how was Prince William ever a commoner? 3 levels, commoner, nobility, and royalty?
It is perfectly possible to be a royal and a commoner.
According to British law, only the Sovereign and the Peers are not commoners. That means that while Prince William (as the Duke of Cambridge - a peer) is no longer a commoner, Prince Harry (who isn't a peer as of now) is still a one. Similarly, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise and even Viscount Severn (his title is by courtesy, not in his own right) are all commoners by law.

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Originally Posted by DukeOfAster View Post
Just a note on Prince Charles. When he was born, because he was the first born son of the heir, did he receive the title the Duke of Cornwall at birth or once his Grandfather's death. When he got that title he then moved from commoner to noble or did that happen once he was made Prince of Wales.
Duke of Cornwall is a title that can only belong to the Heir Apparent to the Throne who is the son - never grandson or other relative - of the Monarch.
If, for example, Prince Charles were to die before ascending to the Throne, Prince William, as Queen Elizabeth's grandson, would NOT become the Duke of Cornwall. On the other hand, if Prince Charles were childless and died before ascending to the Throne, Prince Andrew (as the new Heir Apparent and the Sovereign's son) would automatically become the Duke of Cornwall.

When Charles was born, he was the Heir Apparent of the Heiress Presumptive; as such, he couldn't have the title. In fact, had George VI not passed Letters Patent 1948, Prince Charles wouldn't even be a Prince or a Royal Highness; as female-line grandson of the Sovereign, he could only inherit titles from his father and be titled by courtesy as Earl of Merioneth (his father's second highest title).

The moment George VI dies (and Charles became Heir Apparent to the Throne) he ceased to be a commoner and became a Peer - as Duke of Cornwall (and other automatic titles Heir Apparent assumes). He was created The Prince of Wales in addition to the titles he already possessed; thus, from 1952 and onwards Charles was never a commoner.
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  #1154  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeOfAster View Post
Just to check so I understand, so it is he is royal but before he had a title of his own he was a commoner and then a noble because he has a title of his own. His wife nor future children have been given a tile so they are given the status of commoner. If the queen had given Catherine the status of Princess of the United Kingdom would that have made her noble because she was given it in her own right? Very interesting.

No - being a Princess of the UK (which she is as the wife of a Prince of the UK) doesn't make one a noble e.g. Beatrice, Eugenie, Anne and Alexandra (and Louise) are all Princesses of the UK and have been since birth but they are all still commoners.

Nobles are those with substantive titles in their own right - Philip, Charles, William, Andrew, Edward, Richard and Edward (Duke of Kent) are the only royals who are noble. All the rest, Camilla, Kate, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie, Sophie, Anne, Birgitte, Katherine (Duchess of Kent) even though HRH Prince/Princess either from birth or by marriage are still commoners.

The Queen went from being a commoner to being The Queen. She was never a noble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeOfAster View Post
Just a note on Prince Charles. When he was born, because he was the first born son of the heir, did he receive the title the Duke of Cornwall at birth or once his Grandfather's death. When he got that title he then moved from commoner to noble or did that happen once he was made Prince of Wales.

Charles became a noble the instant his grandfather died when he became Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay etc.

Therefore he was already a noble when he was created Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester in 1958.
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  #1155  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGalitzine
Charles automatically became HRH The Duke of Cornwall the moment his grandfather died and his mother succeeded to the throne. Before that he was HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh.
Thanks NGalitzine. So, peer = nobility?
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  #1156  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:50 PM
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Artemisia,

Very good explanation on the commoner question. You are indeed a font of knowledge, thank you.
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  #1157  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:50 PM
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Another question please.... Why is Duke of York higher than Duke of Cambridge?
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  #1158  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jenafran
Another question please.... Why is Duke of York higher than Duke of Cambridge?
It depends on how you are measuring "higher" by reference to the order of precedence (Andrew is higher) or line of succession (William).


The Duke of York, as the son of the reigning monarch takes precedence over the grandson of the monarch.

The Duke of Cambridge, of course, is higher in the order of succession but the orders of succession and precedence are two different things.
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  #1159  
Old 05-02-2012, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jenafran View Post
Another question please.... Why is Duke of York higher than Duke of Cambridge?
Another reason why The Duke of York is higher is that that title was created first - so order of creation also plays a part in some areas of precedence.

So precedence can depend on

1. relationship to the monarch - with all children ahead of all grandchildren.
2. order of succession
3. date of creation of the title

Depending on the circumstances one of the above will apply.
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  #1160  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:10 AM
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Just checking, I did not thank just by marrying into the family made you a Princess or Prince of the United Kingdom. I thought the Queen had to make her husband a Prince of the UK and that is why he is Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. On the other hand Catherine is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. I have heard that is something a spouse will do once they be become Monarch. Like Charles will one day make Camilla a Princess in her own right and William with Catherine. Right or wrong. Thanks for all the info and help on this it is very fascinating.
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