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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Why does Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, not have the right to the title of king?


As the new season of The Crown is currently being broadcast on Netflix, Prince Philip is asked, in one of the episodes, why he does not bear the title of king. We tell you why.

In the British royal family, everything is about rules and codes. While Queen Elizabeth II has ruled the kingdom for almost 68 years, her husband, Prince Philip, still has no right to the title of king. This question is not so anecdotal, knowing that the subject is even addressed in the new season of The Crown series, broadcast on Netflix, during episode 4.

When a king is sacred in the British monarchy, his wife is designated as queen consort. However, when a woman accedes to the throne, her husband is designated Prince Consort and not King Consort. “As with many royal traditions, you can blame this on a very ancient and powerful patriarchy. Kings still reign, while the queen can be a symbolic title”

Before he could marry Elizabeth, Philip of Greece and Denmark had to give up his royal titles and predicates. He then became a British subject and adopted the family name of his maternal grandparents, Mountbatten. On the morning of his wedding, November 20, 1947, his father-in-law King George VI awarded him the title of Duke of Edinburgh. Although Elizabeth II was crowned Queen in 1953, Prince Philip did not officially obtain his title until 1957 by letters patent from his wife.


With the accession of Elizabeth II to the throne, the question arises as to what the name of the royal house, traditionally bearing the husband’s name, will be. However, the then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, decided otherwise and preferred to name the “House of Windsor”. This choice greatly affected the Duke of Edinburgh, deploring the fact that he could not pass on his name to his children. It was finally in 1960 that a decree of the council authorized all male descendants of Elizabeth and Philip, not bearing a royal title, to take the name Mountbatten-Windsor. This family name was chosen this year by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their son Archie. Indeed, they decided to raise their child without a royal title, like an “ordinary” British subject.



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