Cory asked in Society & CultureRoyalty · 10 years ago

Would Prince William's eldest son be a prince and eldest daughter and other children ladies, lords?

George V's Letter Patents stated that "the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour". Please explain how that works out, thanks!

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on whether Charles is King at that point, or not.

    1. Assuming Prince William's children are born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, then the following would happen:

    - William's eldest son ("the eldest son of the Prince of Wales") will be His Royal Highness Prince X of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn (eldest son of a Peer can hold his father's second most important title as his courtesy title - William's second most important title is "Earl of Strathearn").

    - William's younger sons will styled as children of a Peer - "Lord Y of Cambridge"

    - William's daughters will be styled "Lady Z of Cambridge".

    2. The above will happen if no special Letters Patent are released.

    In reality, however, it is extremely like that as soon as a child is born to Prince William, Queen Elizabeth will release special Letters Patent granting William's children the style of Royal Highness and title of a British Prince/Princess.

    3. If Prince Charles is a King by the time William's children are born, than all of his children will automatically have the style of Royal Highness and title of Princes/Princesses.

    4. King George's Letters Patent essentially meant that a more limited number of people could enjoy the style of "Royal Highness" and title of a Prince/Princess.

    Only the following people could enjoy those styles and titles:

    - children of a Sovereign (male and female)

    - male-line grandchildren of the Sovereign (children of the Sovereign's sons)

    - the eldest son of the eldest son of the Heir Apparent to the Throne (The Prince of Wales)

    The Letters Patent also regulated who could be called British Princes and Princesses; only those BORN British Prince/Princess could use that tile BEFORE their name.

    So, for example, while it's correct to say "Princess Anne" (she is a daughter of a Sovereign), it was never correct to say "Princess Diana" (because she was a Princess by marriage, not birth).

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    That's the plan. William's eldest son will be a prince. The younger children will be given, as I understand it, the styles and titles of the offspring of noble dukes -- "Lady" and "Lord". That would be the case until Prince Charles became King, whereupon William's children would ALL become princes and princesses.

    What isn't clear is what might happen if the first child is a girl. It's very likely that the UK will adopt absolute primogeniture, whereby the eldest child, male or female, will become the heir to the throne after William. If William's first child is a girl, and if Charles has not yet succeeded to the throne, then presumably, she will be called "Lady Whoever," but since there's a good chance that she might be her father's immediate heir someday, the Queen might issue Letters Patent to make her a princess instead.

    The Queen can, of course, make changes to her grandfather's decrees regarding title protocol. That's part of what being the sovereign is all about.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    They would all be princes and princesses because they heir these titles from their father.

  • 10 years ago


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