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  #1921  
Old 02-17-2013, 04:46 PM
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There are 2 other issues related to this topic that we haven't discussed.

1. If William and Harry can accept Camilla as their step-mother (and by many accounts they have), then what right do we have to deny her the right to be recognized as her husband's equal wife? Regardless of whatever title she uses, her role will be the same, so why make a fuss and change things out of what seems like a tribute to Diana?

2. The current attempts to change the succession laws have to be approved in 16 independent realms. There have been reports that some of those realms have not necessarily been eager to embrace such a change. When Edward VIII wished to make Wallis Simpson his wife it was debated in each of his realms. Thus if it would take an Act of Parliament to change the title of Camilla, doesn't it then reason that it would require an Act of Parliament in all 16 realms? And what happens if they donn't all pass it - is she going to be the Princess Consort of the UK while also the Queen of Canada?
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  #1922  
Old 02-17-2013, 05:15 PM
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I wonder though, whether on re-examination by different legal minds, and with a different object in mind, there might be a different outcome. I have serious doubts about the soundness of those precedents of 1936.

Sir Walter Monckton told Diana Mosley that nothing and nobody could take away the Duke's title, as son of a sovereign, of Royal Highness, and that being legally married his wife was automatically a Royal Highness too, and that the Duke would have won an action to establish the Duchess' right to be HRH if he were to bring one. "The Duchess of Windsor", Diana Mosley, 1980, as revised 2003, paperback, p. 138.
The Duke never lost his right to be HRH because his brother reaffirmed his right to hold royal rank as a son of George V. He chose not to allow his wife and future children to hold it by issuing Letters Patent stating as much. Once that happened, The Duke never had a legal position because the right of The Sovereign to regulate the rank and style of HRH is indisputable.

The issue of her title was automatic in law as the wife of a Peer.
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  #1923  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:50 PM
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Camilla will be Queen Consort when Charles ascends the throne since it is her right as his spouse to automatically assume that title. It would take a lot of legislation to change this, so popularity contest aside, the title cannot be denied her. And why should it?
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  #1924  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:05 PM
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[QUOTE=Baroness of Books;1518264]Camilla will be Queen Consort when Charles ascends the throne since it is her right as his spouse to automatically assume that title. It would take a lot of legislation to change this, so popularity contest aside, the title cannot be denied her. And why should it?[/QUOTE]

well... we need an Artemesia or Iluvbertie to answer this but I can give a heads up.

There is a constitutional school of thought that states Charles was not in a position to marry Camilla -ordinary mortals yes; heirs to the throne no. All around the fact that she is a divorcee. This is a proverbial can of worms because you know what happens when 3 constitutional experts get in a room - 7 opinions!

Charles had to fight to marry Camilla - absolutely not negotiable - but he needed to soothe/smooth the angst and he stated at the time that she would not be Queen but princess consort.

Now I may have this wrong and have merged separate events but this is how I remember it. I think he should have kept quiet but the detail of the time eludes me and there may have been a lot of pressure.

I am in need of an expert. so expert alert!
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  #1925  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:14 PM
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Oy, too convoluted for me! Nothing is ever as it seems. Expert alert indeed!
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  #1926  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:35 PM
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Oy, too convoluted for me! Nothing is ever as it seems. Expert alert indeed!
It stemmed from the fact he married through a civil service rather than through the CoE - and negative press in the UK at the time said that the uncertainty was one of the reasons QEII didn't go to the Guildhall service, but only the blessing.

As usual in the UK getting the clear facts as opposed to personal opinion from the press is almost impossible.
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  #1927  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:58 PM
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Well a civil marriage is a legal marriage in the UK so she is his lawful wife and the Archbishop of Canterbury did say he was pleased with the decision to marry and indeed he performed the Service of Blessing for the marriage in the very CofE St Georges Chapel so neither the state nor the Church can claim she is not his lawful wife and if she were not his wife why is she HRH The Duchess of Cornwall GCVO?
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  #1928  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:02 PM
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Let's hope it plays out the same way with the greater title, otherwise why such palaver over her being denied queen consort.
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  #1929  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:05 PM
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The marriage of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles was perfectly legal so there is absolutely that could be the reason Camilla is denied (if she is) the title of Queen Consort. Before the marriage, some legal experts held the opinion that under the Marriage Act 1836, Charles and Camilla's marriage would be invalid since the Act specifically barred members of the Royal Family to marry in a civil ceremony in England and Wales (although a civil marriage in Scotland would be perfectly fine).

However, the Marriage Act 1836 was repealed by a subsequent act, namely the Marriage Act 1949 which regulates marriages in England and Wales. Furthermore, even if any restrictions concerning civil marriages for members of the royal family had remained in force, the Human Rights Act 1998 would have lifted them.

A direct quote from Lord Hansard issued about two months before the marriage (taken from Wikipedia):
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"The Government are satisfied that it is lawful for the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles, like anyone else, to marry by a civil ceremony in accordance with Part III of the Marriage Act 1949. Civil marriages were introduced in England, by the Marriage Act 1836. Section 45 said that the Act "... shall not extend to the marriage of any of the Royal Family". But the provisions on civil marriage in the 1836 Act were repealed by the Marriage Act 1949. All remaining parts of the 1836 Act, including Section 45, were repealed by the Registration Service Act 1953. No part of the 1836 Act therefore remains on the statute book. ... We are aware that different views have been taken in the past; but we consider that these were overcautious, and we are clear that the interpretation I have set out in this Statement is correct. We also note that the Human Rights Act has since 2000 required legislation to be interpreted wherever possible in a way that is compatible with the right to marry (Article 12) and with the right to enjoy that right without discrimination (Article 14). This, in our view, puts the modern meaning of the 1949 Act beyond doubt."
In short, there is absolutely no doubt that Camilla is Charles' wife by any interpretation of law. Since the concept of morganatic marriage doesn't exist in Britain she is also his "equal" wife, meaning she shares all of his current titles and will share all his future titles. That, in turn, means that the moment Charles becomes King, she will be King (unless an Act of Parliament is passed before, which is highly unlikely).

To be legally styled and titled as The Princess Consort, Camilla will have to be granted the title in her own right (like Prince Albert was). In that case, she will be able to choose to be known under the lesser of her two titles, rather like right now she is known as The Duchess of Cornwall instead of The Princess of Wales (although both titles are hers).


The whole "Princess Consort" mess was announced to satisfy the public because at the time the Palace simply didn't know how people would react to Camilla as a potential future Queen. Time is on their side so by the time Charles becomes King, very few people would even consider it appropriate to deny Camilla her rightful title. The wife of the King is Queen and that's all there is.
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  #1930  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:10 PM
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As freely admitted early I am no expert but here is an extract from wiki ............

Ive deleted my post cos Artemesia has explained more clearly - thank you.
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  #1931  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:15 PM
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Thank you, as always, Artemisia. Camilla as Queen Consort, then, when the time comes.
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  #1932  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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The Duke never lost his right to be HRH because his brother reaffirmed his right to hold royal rank as a son of George V. He chose not to allow his wife and future children to hold it by issuing Letters Patent stating as much. Once that happened, The Duke never had a legal position because the right of The Sovereign to regulate the rank and style of HRH is indisputable.

The issue of her title was automatic in law as the wife of a Peer.
Due to the eventual decision, David had no royal style between the time he signed the abdication document on 10 December 1936 and 8 March 1937 when the documentation making him HRH The Duke of Windsor was signed. And then on 27 May 1937 we had the Letters Patent reconferring that title but making it clear Wallis was not to be HRH after they married. It would seem that if Wallis and David had married between 8 March and 27 May, she would have been a Royal Highness.

Whether or not David lost the right to be HRH by reason of the abdication is a matter of opinion. Some, including Monckton, believed he did not, but others, including the Attorney-General, believed he did. In light of the enormous pressure to keep David out of the country and keep Wallis from getting any royal style, I am not convinced that the eventual decision was correct. Monckton believed David would have won had he brought a claim and I am prepared to accept that as an interesting possibility.
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  #1933  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 PM
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2. The current attempts to change the succession laws have to be approved in 16 independent realms. There have been reports that some of those realms have not necessarily been eager to embrace such a change. When Edward VIII wished to make Wallis Simpson his wife it was debated in each of his realms. Thus if it would take an Act of Parliament to change the title of Camilla, doesn't it then reason that it would require an Act of Parliament in all 16 realms? And what happens if they donn't all pass it - is she going to be the Princess Consort of the UK while also the Queen of Canada?

The title the other members of the Royal Family have in the realms is the same as in the UK as they are a courtesy title only - they aren't Princes/ess or Queen of Australia/Canada etc.

Only the monarch holds a title in the other realms so Charles would be King of Australia and Camilla would use whatever title she uses in the UK when in Australia as a mark of respect.
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  #1934  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:29 PM
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Thank you, as always, Artemisia. Camilla as Queen Consort, then, when the time comes.
yes - but this background story of the problems at the time of the marriage will return when Charles becomes King and it will have to be gone through again.

Im sure that the princess consort option was a sop at the time to try and close down the opposition.
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  #1935  
Old 02-17-2013, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post

The title the other members of the Royal Family have in the realms is the same as in the UK as they are a courtesy title only - they aren't Princes/ess or Queen of Australia/Canada etc.

Only the monarch holds a title in the other realms so Charles would be King of Australia and Camilla would use whatever title she uses in the UK when in Australia as a mark of respect.
Their styling might be courtesy titles carried over from their UK, but it should be noted that at least in Canada they are considered to be the Canadian Royal Family, not the British one. The Department of Canadian Heritage has an official list of who is a member of the Canadian Royal family and has in the past included people who are related to the BRF but are not considered to be members of the BRF (i.e. Sir Angus Oglivy). There was even a desire to see Prince William given a distinctly Canadian title when he got married (although that may have been more the bulk of newspaper talk than anything).
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  #1936  
Old 02-18-2013, 12:36 AM
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Due to the eventual decision, David had no royal style between the time he signed the abdication document on 10 December 1936 and 8 March 1937 when the documentation making him HRH The Duke of Windsor was signed. And then on 27 May 1937 we had the Letters Patent reconferring that title but making it clear Wallis was not to be HRH after they married. It would seem that if Wallis and David had married between 8 March and 27 May, she would have been a Royal Highness.

Whether or not David lost the right to be HRH by reason of the abdication is a matter of opinion. Some, including Monckton, believed he did not, but others, including the Attorney-General, believed he did. In light of the enormous pressure to keep David out of the country and keep Wallis from getting any royal style, I am not convinced that the eventual decision was correct. Monckton believed David would have won had he brought a claim and I am prepared to accept that as an interesting possibility.
The King declared at his accession council that his brother was created a Royal Duke and would be styled "HRH The Duke of Windsor", so he remained HRH upon abdicating the throne at the will of The Sovereign.

The 1937 Letters Patent did not reconfer royal rank upon The Duke. It simply affirmed he would continue to hold it, notwithstanding the Abdication, but such attribute would be limited to him alone and could not be shared by his wife or future children.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:29 AM
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The King declared at his accession council that his brother was created a Royal Duke and would be styled "HRH The Duke of Windsor", so he remained HRH upon abdicating the throne at the will of The Sovereign.
I suppose it depends on whether you consider that the new king's mere declaration before the Privy Council on 12 December 1936, "My first act on succeeding My Brother will be to confer on Him a Dukedom and He will henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor", was enough to make him The Duke of Windsor, and a Royal Duke at that, or whether it was not effective until the Letters Patent were signed on 8 March 1937. I have not been able to find a copy of those Letters Patent, but it seems nothing about a Royal Style for David was actually put in writing until May 1937.

The abdication crisis raised the issue of whether David retained his HRH status, held by virtue of the 1917 Letters Patent, after the abdication, or whether by abdicating, and thus removing himself from the line of succession, he lost the right to be HRH. I suspect that as at December 1936 it was still generally considered that David retained his HRH status.

It was subsequently argued, and became the preferred interpretation, that the HRH style should only be held by people in the line of succession. This, of course, raises the interesting question of the status of HRHs who become Catholics.

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The 1937 Letters Patent did not reconfer royal rank upon The Duke. It simply affirmed he would continue to hold it, notwithstanding the Abdication, but such attribute would be limited to him alone and could not be shared by his wife or future children.
I argue that the second 1937 Letters Patent actually conferred royal rank, on the basis that it had to be done because by then TPTB had decided that the most desirable outcome was for David to be held to have given up his right to be a RH by abdicating, and that the grant of it was to be a personal grant to him by his brother, unrelated to the 1917 Letters Patent, and also to remove any doubt concerning whether or not the effect of the March Letters Patent would have been that Wallis would become HRH on their marriage. I think this is confirmed in the undated draft letter from George to Edward, the final form of which was sent out on about 27 May 1937, which is included in the documents from the National Archives relating to the drafting of the Letters Patent which can be found here: The drafting of the letters patent of 1937 :

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.


Those documents from the Archives are fascinating. They include a note by Geoffrey Ellis, MP, Counsel to the Crown in Peerage and Honours claims from 1922 to 1954, in which he says, "Here, possibly, the question becomes one of political expediency in relation to general convenience and public opinion; and, therefore, within the province of the Prime Minister to advise the Crown what course may best be taken, rather than by seeking to extract from the law something it does not hold." I think that sums up the approach taken at the time. There was no precedent and those advising HM seem to have decided the outcome they wanted and worked out the way to achieve it. It seems clear that Bertie and Elizabeth and Mary all had a lot of influence on the approach taken regarding David and Wallis, for personal reasons. The more I read about this, the more I understand why David was so very, very angry about the way he was treated, and why he insisted that Wallis was styled HRH in France.
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  #1938  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:39 AM
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Thank you very much for posting that letter from George VI to the Duke of Windsor, Roslyn. I had never seen it before.

It is of great interest to me because I have always been of opinion that immediately upon his abdication, Edward VIII reverted to his titles and styles as a son of a Sovereign (His Royal Highness The Prince Edward). The letter, however states that technically speaking he lost the style of Royal Highness upon abdication, even if the new King made sure that technicality never became reality.
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  #1939  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:19 AM
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Thank you very much for posting that letter from George VI to the Duke of Windsor, Roslyn. I had never seen it before.

It is of great interest to me because I have always been of opinion that immediately upon his abdication, Edward VIII reverted to his titles and styles as a son of a Sovereign (His Royal Highness The Prince Edward). The letter, however states that technically speaking he lost the style of Royal Highness upon abdication, even if the new King made sure that technicality never became reality.
It should be noted that letter was a draft and was never sent to The Duke. The final letter was considerably shorter and made no mention of The Duke having lost his right to be HRH. It simply stated The King was advised by his Ministers to issue Letters Patent clarifying his brother remained HRH as a son of The Sovereign, but his wife and future children, being outside the line of succession, would not be able to share it.

Of course, as many accounts have stated since, the whole goal was to find a way to deny royal rank to The Duchess, who was viewed with great hostility by the royal family and the Establishment, in the belief that she would take what she could from The Duke financially and then divorce him.

There is no question The Duke was entitled to remain HRH by right of birth after the Abdication and his wife automatically should have assumed his rank upon marriage.
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  #1940  
Old 02-18-2013, 01:30 PM
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It should be noted that letter was a draft and was never sent to The Duke. The final letter was considerably shorter and made no mention of The Duke having lost his right to be HRH. It simply stated The King was advised by his Ministers to issue Letters Patent clarifying his brother remained HRH as a son of The Sovereign, but his wife and future children, being outside the line of succession, would not be able to share it.
Is the final form of this letter available somewhere we can see it? I always like to read primary documents if they are available.
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