?

Log in

parrot_knight [userpic]

Thoughts on a royal dukedom

April 27th, 2011 (08:29 pm)
Tags:

The marriage of Prince William with Kate Middleton raises the matter of what the bride will be styled as a married woman. 'Ms Catherine Middleton' would be too egalitarian for a palace protective of royal status. For the same reason it is unlikely that she will be made a princess in her own right. Prince Philip had to wait until 1957, ten years after his marriage and five years after his wife's accession, to be made a prince of the United Kingdom; he was granted the qualification of royal highness on his marriage, as well as being created duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, but he was technically not a prince, having renounced his status as a prince of Greece and Denmark on being naturalised as British. Likewise Diana, princess of Wales was never a princess in her own right, and only an HRH by virtue of being married to a prince of the blood royal; she lost this distinction when she divorced, as did Sarah, duchess of York. Up until the latter's wedding day in 1986 the public had been led to believe that she would be styled 'HRH Princess Andrew', but the Queen instead made Prince Andrew duke of York.

'Princess Catherine' is therefore unlikely as a formal style (though Kate will be HRH and a princess - 'Princess William of Wales' - by marriage). Despite reported reluctance William will be prevailed upon to take a peerage - probably a dukedom though possibly an earldom like his uncle Prince Edward, earl of Wessex. 'Duke of Clarence' seems unlikely as no-one knows where Clarence is - it's the honour of Clare, the estate of the medieval Clare earls of Gloucester and Hertford - and has comical or inept associations. 'Duke of Cambridge' and 'Duke of Sussex' are dukedoms associated with the royal family which are free, while 'Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale' (an eighteenth-century double-barrelled royal dukedom) and 'Duke of Albany' are suspended following the unfortunate circumstances in which the British princes who held those titles found themselves fighting for Germany in World War One. 'Duke of Connaught' is unlikely as Connacht is no longer part of the royal dominions.

I think that if a Welsh dukedom is out (it might give the impression that William is snapping at the heels of his father the prince of Wales) it might be a good idea to grant a Scottish royal dukedom. William IV was 'duke of Clarence and St Andrews' before his accession, but ideal as St Andrews would be for William and Kate, the title is currently held as an earldom by the duke of Kent, and used as a courtesy title by his eldest son. 'Strathearn' was used as a second half of a double-barrelled dukedom by two eighteenth-century royal creations and by the duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria's third son. Were I working for the royal family, I'd suggest Strathearn to counter the perception that the royal family are Anglocentric. Researching this idea, I found that even the local MSP, republican SNP politician Roseanna Cunningham, is in favour.

A royal dukedom which I'd forgotten is Kendal, used by one of James II and VII's short-lived sons, but then used for George I's mistress/morganatic wife Melusine von der Schulenburg, and subsequently turned down on those grounds when offered to George IV's son-in-law Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later King Leopold I of the Belgians). Another is Kintyre, which was held by James VI and I's third son Robert, who died in childhood, but it's since been given as a lordship of parliament to the earls and dukes of Argyll.

The title could be an entirely new one, of course, or derived from the titles to which Prince William is presumptive heir - were he and his father not princes his courtesy title would be Lord Greenwich so duke of Greenwich might be an option. (The last duke of Greenwich was non-royal, and also second duke of Argyll.) Otherwise historic non-royal dukedoms could be revived for William, such as Buckingham (extinct 1889) or Newcastle (upon Tyne extinct 1768, under Lyme extinct 1988).

Comments

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
ermine

My thoughts:
1) This is the only remotely interesting thing about the royal wedding I've seen.
2) Nobody foreign would be able to spell "Strahearn".
3) The media will just call her "Kate" anyway.

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
Commons Chamber

This is the only remotely interesting thing about the royal wedding I've seen.

I agree. Makes me want to sit down with a snifter of brandy and a copy of Burke's or Debrett's.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Gayalondiel (gayalondiel)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)

I have read "Princess Kate" more than once, and I've been ignoring it studiously. Rather cutesy, but not unexpected.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)

1) Thank you. I have already sat through several items about wedding dresses (well, one, repeated many times) on Sky News, and seen BBC News breathlessly report the arrival of three cars which may or may not have carried Prince William and Kate M. to Westminster Abbey to the rehearsal this evening. (It turned out that they were in the cars, but at first the BBC weren't sure.)

2) Ah, similar to the Chalfont situation! When the Liberal politician Alun Gwynne Jones was made a foreign minister in Harold Wilson's first Labour government, IIRC, he wanted to take a Welsh village as his peerage name, but Garter King of Arms said that the most important thing about a peerage name was that it should be pronounced easily in French, and Llyns and Llans (he argued) couldn't be. Thus it was that Gwynne Jones was encouraged to take the name of a commuter village near the Metropolitan Line previously used in fiction for the dukedom of the D'Ascoyne family whose tenth holder murders his way to the title in Kind Hearts and Coronets, and became Lord Chalfont - whom I'm glad to see is still alive and the senior life peer.

3) Very true.

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)

In fact, even I can't spell "Strathearn" without making umpteen false starts.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)

I think 'Strathearn' will be OK, actually...

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)

'Ms Catherine Middleton' would be too egalitarian for a palace protective of royal status.

Though I can't help feeling the Queen wouldn't mind it - not because she's egalitarian, but because I am sure she feels the keen distinction. I find the treatment of the Middletons by the palace, in contrast with the treatment of the parents of the "commoner" spouses of the Scandinavian heirs fascinating. The Norwegians in particular exhibited more courtesy to the estranged, alcoholic father of the Crown Princess (and indeed to the father of her child from a previous relationship) than our lot seem to manage to some pretty innocuous well-off businesspeople.

On a tangential subject, could your historical knowledge come up with a suitable royal dukedom for fanfic purposes? Ideally it should be (a) not in use by someone real in the interwar period, and (b) if possible have some sort of dubious or magical associations. I can always make one up, but it would be nice not to have to.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
George_III_at_Kew

I've read that the Queen likes aspects of Kate's ancestry and connections (BBC Newcastle's Look North visited her second cousin's fish and chip shop in Bishop Auckland today), but the Middleton fortune has been amassed through the sale of their address database as much as (if not more than) their Party Pieces business's regular trading, and I can understand people being sniffy about that kind of wealth.

Sadly this laptop doesn't have The Complete Peerage on it (must transfer files - the CD version was my redundancy present to myself) but I'll have a think about your request and try to find an answer...

ETA: But see ETA in main post...

Edited at 2011-04-27 09:30 pm (UTC)

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 06:35 am (UTC)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)

in contrast with the treatment of the parents of the "commoner" spouses of the Scandinavian heirs

Yes, Scandinavia is such a different world!
I have just been to Sweden, which is thoroughly left-wing politically and still a monarchy. Even in conservative Denmark, the Queen has been spotted in a supermaket (and not by paprazzi as far as I am aware). And a few years back, the crown prince of Norway represented his country in a team sports event.
Three cheers for all of them.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)

Posted by: foradan (foradan)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)

Posted by: sanba38 (sanba38)
Posted at: April 29th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)

1) I like that...

2) It could easily be any Sussex anywhere in the UK of course. 'Duke of Gatwick' would be a modern take I suppose...

3) But of course!

Posted by: jolieperruche (jolieperruche)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
ObSoane
soane

"Just as I was beginning to meditate, the Duke of Sussex, with a star on his breast, and an asthma inside it, came squeezing and wheezing along the narrow passage, driving all the women before him like a Blue-Beard, and putting his royal head into the coffin, added his wonder to the wonder of the rest."

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
Re: ObSoane

Posted by: Andrew Gray (shimgray)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)

There's also Windsor, of course, though that would be politically quite unfortunate!

On a similar note, Cumberland would probably be out even were it simply extinct rather than suspended - the most famous holder probably isn't an association you want these days, especially from a perspective of worrying about Anglocentrism...

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)

So it wasn't just me who had that thought...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)

Windsor was a special case anyway, as it duplicated at both the barony of Windsor held by the earl of Plymouth, and the earldom of Windsor held by the marquess of Bute. Two's company, but three's a crowd.

Apart from the Anglocentrism (though his following was as Scots as it was English) the next duke of Cumberland but one, Ernest Augustus, was the darling of the Orange Order, so no, probably not...

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
Royal

Is it true she's up the duff?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Devil's Crown

I very much doubt that Kate is pregnant; although I'm no expert on the symptoms, weight loss is not normally associated with it, I thought.

Posted by: Polly (jane_somebody)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)

Posted by: meglorien (meglorien)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
Master

Speculation about pregnancy is the standard move for royal gossip once a romantic partner is actually established. See pretty much any European celeb magazine on the Scandinavians, Dutch etc. of the past decade. It is never true.

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Wrexham club shield

What about a Welsh title? It would reinforce the link with Wales, especially as that is where the Prince lives and works. Prince of Gwynedd perhaps?

Not used (as far as I know) since the middle ages, but then neither was Earl of Wessex I don't think.

Edited at 2011-04-27 11:11 pm (UTC)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)

Not pronounceable enough in French? ;-)

(although in English perfectly pronounceable, unlike the Llan-names mentioned in that post...)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 27th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)

I agree that Gwynedd would be great; but it's been given, as a viscountcy, to Earl Lloyd George, and is used as the courtesy title of the eldest son of that peer.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 28th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)

Posted by: sanba38 (sanba38)
Posted at: April 29th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
spider

May I be the first to congratulate you on such a good call?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 29th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)

Strathearn has been thrown away rather, but Scots earldoms have a cachet, with echoes of the ancient Gaelic mormaerdoms.

Posted by: segh (segh)
Posted at: April 29th, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)

I'm dazzled by your clairvoyance.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 29th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
Charles II

Well, I covered almost every possibility...