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  #5441  
Old 01-13-2021, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
It would be quite odd if Louise and James suddenly started using the style HRH Prince/Princess [xxx] of Wessex upon coming of age, but I have always subscribed to the opinion that they are legally entitled to do it if they so choose as they are grandchildren of a British sovereign in male line and George V's 1917 LPs are still in force. In that sense, I agree with Sophie.
Would it?
I mean, Princess Alice was born as Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott, a daughter of an Earl (later Duke) and not a blood royal. But then she became HRH upon marrying Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and the Queen let her adopt the title of HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester after her husband's death.

I think the more interesting question will be if both Wessex kids choose to pass their rightful style, how it will play out for Archie when Charles become king? After all the three of them are (or will be in Archie's case) monarch's grandchildren who are not styled (or known) as HRH Prince/Princess from birth. Will it set precedent for him?
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  #5442  
Old 01-13-2021, 04:02 AM
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Surely a person employed by the RF to answer questions on issues, knows what the situation is.... Why would somoene employed to give information and answer questions give wrong information?
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  #5443  
Old 01-13-2021, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Surely a person employed by the RF to answer questions on issues, knows what the situation is.... Why would somoene employed to give information and answer questions give wrong information?
Because they're human?
Remember when a journalist pointed out that "Meghan, Duchess of Sussex" is a title for a divorced duchess last year? Surely a person who gave press release (or prepared it) supposed to be better briefed/informed about it, right?
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  #5444  
Old 01-13-2021, 04:28 AM
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That was a different situation in that the staff were probalby under a lot of pressure and made a mistake.. but the original announcement was that Ed's children would be styled as the children of an earl.. and the implication was that they were not HRHs and that was confirmed in a letter from BP some years after the initial event. I dont suppose that they got many queries on that issue over the years as Edward isn't that prominent a figure.. so I'd assume that it was right and that the person in the BP office was following the correct official line. However it is possible that over the years the queen has wished that her grandchildren were styled as HRH and there has been a decision that if they do want to be HRH when they are older they can claim the title.
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  #5445  
Old 01-13-2021, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Surely a person employed by the RF to answer questions on issues, knows what the situation is.... Why would somoene employed to give information and answer questions give wrong information?
Because we've seen that things aren't necessarily uniform among various different parts of the BRF offices? See the "of York" issue which changes from list to list.

Sophie stated pretty definitively that they had them and could use them. It was an interview in which she said she didn't think that they would and she and Edward wanted them to live a normal life as possible, so she didn't sound like she was bragging or angling for her kids to be HRH at all.

She's their mother and was commenting on something that affects them, surely that has more weight than someone else is ISNT having to consider it and what it has meant for her kids good and bad in the future? She's been a member of the family for 20 years, she's not a scholar as far as we know but not a newbie either.

It is possible that nothing was ever written down officially either way and HM has since said to them that they can use them if they want to but BP hadn't been notified and they didn't check with anyone actually in the family. The official announcement in 1999 doesn't say the Queen issued a legal document refusing them HRH status overriding the 1917 LPs.

Unless LL does something dramatic for her 18th and assumes her HRH Princess Louise of Wessex and we get an official announcement detailing everything then we'll probably never get a full explanation. And it's highly unlikely that she'll do so.
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  #5446  
Old 01-13-2021, 05:11 AM
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The only way I see Louise opting to use (or applying for the monarch's permission) HRH Princess is if she feels that she would like to join the "Firm" and be a part of "Team Windsor". With the reported rumor that Charles wishes to "slim down the monarchy", I see the possibility of that being slim to none.

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  #5447  
Old 01-13-2021, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
That is my idea too. They are HRH Prince James of Wessex and HRH Princess Louise of Wessex. But just are not referred as James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise.
Just a minor correction: James (as with other eldest sons who use their father's subsidiary title) is referred to as Viscount Severn, without his given name.

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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Is there anything legally binding in other words?
I have not made a study of this area of law, but the popular wisdom seems to be that English common law protects the right of individuals to style themselves as they wish, which would account for the fact that descendants of ex-royal families have gotten away with styling themselves by titles of which their families have been lawfully stripped. If Louise were to call herself HRH Princess Louise, or even if Paul Burrell were to call himself HRH Prince Paul, I doubt that they would be charged with a criminal offence.
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  #5448  
Old 01-13-2021, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
That was a different situation in that the staff were probalby under a lot of pressure and made a mistake.. but the original announcement was that Ed's children would be styled as the children of an earl.. and the implication was that they were not HRHs and that was confirmed in a letter from BP some years after the initial event. I dont suppose that they got many queries on that issue over the years as Edward isn't that prominent a figure.. so I'd assume that it was right and that the person in the BP office was following the correct official line. However it is possible that over the years the queen has wished that her grandchildren were styled as HRH and there has been a decision that if they do want to be HRH when they are older they can claim the title.
Yes - afraid it was very much a blotched job and I don't think that all the checks and balances needed was done. Essentially it was done for circumstances that don't exist anymore and for a future that the Wessex and their children also don't have anymore. They didn't want any titles at all - they asked for Prince and Princess Edward, like Prince and Princess Micheal of Kent - and Cambridge was dropped. Then the palace noted that Sophie would be incorrectly called Princess Sophie and I don't think that went down well. So something was found.

Actually a number of people have pointed out the issue and I have been told that all will be corrected in a forthcoming letter patent. And since then we eagerly wait - I expected one at William's Marriage, then I expected it at George's birth. Now I wait for Charles' ascension. So at this point who knows.
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  #5449  
Old 01-13-2021, 06:31 AM
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I was only very young at the time but I do remember discussions about titles and the possibility that they would just be Prince and Princess Edward but I also remember a lot of royal commentators saying that the DoE announcement -which was made at the same time as the Wessex announcement- was what Edward really wanted, in due time of course. That's why other plans were dropped. Of course they could have been wrong.

I can't think they object to the titles *now* even if they did then because HM just gave them another Earldom two years ago which was unexpected. He didn't technically need a Scottish title 20 years after the fact.
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  #5450  
Old 01-13-2021, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
I was only very young at the time but I do remember discussions about titles and the possibility that they would just be Prince and Princess Edward but I also remember a lot of royal commentators saying that the DoE announcement -which was made at the same time as the Wessex announcement- was what Edward really wanted, in due time of course. That's why other plans were dropped. Of course they could have been wrong.

I can't think they object to the titles *now* even if they did then because HM just gave them another Earldom two years ago which was unexpected. He didn't technically need a Scottish title 20 years after the fact.
I very seriously doubt if Edward and Sophie just wanted to be Pr and Princess Edward.. and what was announced at the time of the marriage was that they would be the Earl and countess of Wessex and their children would be styled as Viscount and Lady.. I think that over time, the queen has decided that if Lou and James DO want to be HRH she would be agreeable to it.. (Im sure that she always wanted them to have the HRH) and Im sure that Sophie feels the same.. She's not likely to openly say that she wants them to be prince and princess, but she may well feel it was unfair that her children alone did not get the HRH to which they were entitled. However I would guess that the children aren't so keen on the idea. Maybe Im wrong but I think that given their age... they dont want to be HRHs nor to work for the firm...
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  #5451  
Old 01-13-2021, 07:00 AM
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The story reported in the press was that Prince Edward took a liking to "Earl of Wessex" after first hearing it in the film Shakespeare in Love (1998), and asked to receive it instead of the intended dukedom of Cambridge.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...im-a-duke.html

But Buckingham Palace has never confirmed any explanation for the decisions concerning the earldom of Wessex or the dukedom of Edinburgh.
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  #5452  
Old 01-13-2021, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The story reported in the press was that Prince Edward took a liking to "Earl of Wessex" after first hearing it in the film Shakespeare in Love (1998), and asked to receive it instead of the intended dukedom of Cambridge.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...im-a-duke.html

But Buckingham Palace has never confirmed any explanation for the decisions concerning the earldom of Wessex or the dukedom of Edinburgh.
Let us hope it wasn't for such a silly reason, as regards the title Duke of Ed no explanation is necessary as obviously the queen wished one of her sons to inherit the title...
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  #5453  
Old 01-13-2021, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Let us hope it wasn't for such a silly reason, as regards the title Duke of Ed no explanation is necessary as obviously the queen wished one of her sons to inherit the title...
Interesting side tipbit here - Edward was rumored to be inheriting the Duke of Edinburgh title in the early 1990's already. My dad attended a discussion in Windsor where the topic of the future of the Prince of Wales tiles came up (yip - Welsh Nationalism was a thing then too) and it was suggested that the title of be dropped - hence never passed on to Prince William. but the question was asked on how the heir title be raised above those of this siblings (Harry) or uncles (Andrew & Edward). My dad says he cant remember the people on the panel but it was noted that they spoke of Edward getting the title of Edinburgh as a done deal. Hence the reason the Prince Philip moved him to the Award management. When it was announced on his wedding day - the people on the royal rota - were yeah knew that was coming.
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  #5454  
Old 01-13-2021, 11:03 AM
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I am the one who made the comment that it is presumptive to assume that Sophie knows more than a member of staff. I have made that comment several times before. Frankly, I think it is a classist comment (if certainly unintentionally).

Is it true that because the situation involves Sophie and her children, she may have made it her business to learn the legalities of the situation. She, her soon-to-be husband, The Queen, and their staff may have gone over every eventuality and all the ins-and-outs of what was going to happen. Or, it may have been as simple as "we don't want our children to have the HRH" and no further discussion took place. I don't have an opinion about which is more likely.

What we can be sure of is that staff members do take some extensive training and education about the issues about which they speak. It is literally their occupation.

So I think there is something off about saying that we should assume the titled individual holds more knowledge when we just have no reason to know, or even think, that. It discounts the work of household staff and assumes that holding a title imparts some sort of knowledge.

Of course, just my opinion and perception, and my explanation of why I give weight to the opinion I do.
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  #5455  
Old 01-13-2021, 11:16 AM
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I think that you're right.. but its possible that things have changed since 1999. I think that the queen acquiesced with the idea that it might be better if Edwards children were not HRH - and Ed and Sophie could also see the sense of it...But I think that the queen is conservative and wasn't happy that her grandchildren would not be HRH.. so in the intervening years, there were private discussions and it was agreed that if the children wanted to be HRH they could use the title with the queen's blessing.
However if anyone wrote to BP asking what the sitatuion was, a few years ago, then the staff would state correctly that as per 1999, the children were Vct Severn and Lady Louise, and were not HRH.... I can imagine staff making a mistake over Meghan's title last year as they were almost certainly working hard and under pressure.. but i doubt if they got many queries over the years about exactly what the Wessex children were being titled.
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  #5456  
Old 01-13-2021, 02:20 PM
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I have little trouble believing that Buckingham Palace staff made a mistake. If they cannot get something that basic (title of a (non-)divorced woman) right (and it being 'chaotic' isn't an excuse for something extremely basic like this that most others even slightly interested in titles would know).

Given that Sophie chose to speak up, the most likely assumption is that this has been discussed in the family; and that Sophie's interpretation is correct. Especially, since there was never an LP or other official document robbing Edward's children of their lawful style and title; only a press release, I tend to believer her explanation. A press officer might have invented the idea of 'the queen's will is sufficient' but if so, why haven't press releases been used in other cases to award titles or take them away (at all or even since)? Nonetheless, the press release does speak about 'given' and not only of being styled as...

Quote:
The Queen has today been pleased to confer an Earldom on The Prince Edward. His titles will be Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn. The Prince Edward thus becomes His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex and Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales have also agreed that The Prince Edward should be given the Dukedom of Edinburgh in due course, when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.

The Queen has also decided, with the agreement of The Prince Edward and Miss Rhys-Jones, that any children they might have should not be given the style His or Her Royal Highness, but would have courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an Earl.

To be released at 12 noon BST Saturday 19th June, 1999.
However, maybe we should move our discussion to the topic dedicated to exactly this question?!
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  #5457  
Old 01-13-2021, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
A press officer might have invented the idea of 'the queen's will is sufficient' [...]
That we do know is not the case. The practice of regulating HRH with letters patents is traced back only to 1917. Presumably, press officers did not exist in the 17th or 18th century.

https://www.heraldica.org/topics/bri...e_highness.htm
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  #5458  
Old 01-13-2021, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
That we do know is not the case. The practice of regulating HRH with letters patents is traced back only to 1917. Presumably, press officers did not exist in the 17th or 18th century.

https://www.heraldica.org/topics/bri...e_highness.htm


However, this took place AFTER the invention of Letter Patents; so, why resort to an older practice, when apparently that practice didn't suffice as since Edward and Sophie's marriage LPs have been issued, so just using a press release apparently is considered insufficient by the queen now LPs do exist.
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  #5459  
Old 01-13-2021, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post


However, this took place AFTER the invention of Letter Patents; so, why resort to an older practice, when apparently that practice didn't suffice as since Edward and Sophie's marriage LPs have been issued, so just using a press release apparently is considered insufficient by the queen now LPs do exist.
A correction to my last post: HRH was first regulated by letters patent 1864.

I see where you come from. But other motivations are possible; for example, perhaps they worried about the awkwardness in case they had a change of heart and the original decision had been recorded in a public official document. Frankly, I'm not sure the approach to styles and titles by members of the British royal family is always predictable or understandable to the rest of us.
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  #5460  
Old 01-13-2021, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
A correction to my last post: HRH was first regulated by letters patent 1864.

I see where you come from. But other motivations are possible; for example, perhaps they worried about the awkwardness in case they had a change of heart and the original decision had been recorded in a public official document. Frankly, I'm not sure the approach to styles and titles by members of the British royal family is always predictable or understandable to the rest of us.
If they were worried of a change of heart; the decision to 'style' them this way while leaving open the possibility for the children to make their own decision to take it up if they would want to (timing it with Edward being awarded the dukedom would make most sense to me if they would consider it nowadays), would fit quite well with both what happened and with Sophie's explanation.

But I agree that the approach to styles and titles isn't always logical from the observer's point of view.
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