September 17, 2021

Commentary: Britain’s loss may be Americas gain – Harry Prince Royal Highness Royal Prince Harry

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By Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green, April 7, 2020

How can someone born into the Royal family, whose father is the Queen’s son, cease to be Royal? The person in question is the grandson of the Queen. Can he cease to be Royal?

Prince Henry the Duke of Sussex

Prince Henry the Duke of Sussex

Prince Henry, Charles, Albert, David, KCVO ADC the Duke of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry. Or simply Harry as he sometimes now titles himself is sixth in line to the British throne, and remains so despite his departure from Britain. Driven out by the nastiness, and made up false news stories of the British Press.

Harry is most certainly one the most beloved members of the British Royal family. He was born a member of the Royal family, so how can he possibly be precluded of now being a Royal Majesty? He has not murdered anyone, nor committed an act of treason.

The proclamation that he cannot use the title or description “Royal” is not an act of spite; it is a requirement. Or is it?

There is such a lot of history attached to the British Royal Family that for this informative letter I have started from the formation of the House of Windsor and the abandoning of the German titles of their ancestors.

Some of our Royal sovereigns German relations from her husband’s side family were the Battenberg’s, later changing their names in Britain to Mountbatten, a more English sounding name. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip BOTH descend from Queen Victoria. They are related – although the same could be said of most royal families across the world. Queen Victoria’s children married into royal families across Europe, so there are lots of connections when you trace the royal family tree.

Whereas The Queen descended from Queen Victoria through her father’s line, Prince Philip is descended from Queen Victoria from his mother’s. Prince Philip and the Queen are third cousins.

The Mountbatten family is a British dynasty originating as a cadet branch of the German princely Battenberg family. The Mountbatten name was adopted during World War I by family members residing in the United Kingdom due to rising anti-German sentiment amongst the British public. The name is a direct English translation of the German Battenberg (literally Batten Mountain), a small town in Hesse. The title of count of Battenberg, later prince of Battenberg, was granted to a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darm…

His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg 1854 to 1921 married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and was the father of Queen Louise of Sweden and Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who also served as a British First Sea Lord from 1954 to 1959. He is the maternal grandfather of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

Earl Mountbatten of Burma from the time of his birth at Frogmore House in the Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire until 1917, when he and several other relations of King George V dropped their German styles and titles. He was the youngest child and the second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. His maternal grandparents were Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, who was a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Strangely enough the very same house, Frogmore House, which was given by the Queen last year to Prince Harry.

Earl Mountbatten Lord Mountbatten was born on June 25, 1900. His full name was Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, though he was known as Prince Louis of Battenberg for much of his early life, his nick name to the Royal family was “Dickie”. Since Lord Mountbatten was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, he was Queen Elizabeth’s second cousin once removed, and also a cousin to Prince Philip.

Most English people will remember Earl Louis Mountbatten, as Prince Charles favourite uncle, he was blown up by the IRA in Ireland while fishing from a small boat in 1979.

Britain was fighting Germany in the 1914-18 First World War, and the British Crown wanted to be seen as distanced from their German cousins and relatives. They could not afford to be seen by the British people as Germans themselves. Hence King George issued the 1917 proclamation.

King George V

King George V

In 1917, George V issued a royal proclamation, altering the name of the Royal House from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor and the discontinuance of the usage of the German titles of Duke of Saxony, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the like.

Later that year, by letters patent from George V, altered the rights to the title prince and the style Royal Highness. These letters patent, dated 30 November 1917, stated that “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign (as per Letters Patent of 1864) and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (a modification of the 1864 Letters Patent of 1898) 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”. It was also decreed in these letters that “grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms” (i.e., Lord or Lady before their Christian name). In addition the letters stated save as aforesaid the style title or attribute of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess shall not henceforth be assumed or borne by any descendant of any Sovereign of these Realms. Both the proclamation and the letters patent of 1917 remain in force today, excepting a few amendments and creations noted.

In Germany, the German part of the family, and there were many, was horrified by the action of King George V. The former reigning Duke of Brunswick, head of the House of Hanover, refused to recognise the letters patent depriving his children of the British and Irish princely titles, and in 1931, he issued a decree, in the capacity of the head of the House of Hanover and senior male-line descendant of George III of the United Kingdom, stating that the members of the former Hanoverian royal family would continue to bear the title of Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland with the style of Royal Highness. This title and style remains in use to this day by his descendants, including the current head of the House of Hanover, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover. The decree by the head of the House of Hanover is not legally recognised in the United Kingdom or Ireland, and the titles are declared as used as titles of pretence. Since, however, the Hanovers are born in the male-line of George II of Great Britain they were bound by the British Royal Marriages Act 1772 until repealed in 2015. Thus, before his marriage to Princess Caroline of Monaco, Ernst August requested, and Elizabeth II issued on 11 January 1999, an Order in Council: “My Lords, I do hereby declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Monaco…” Without the Royal Assent, the marriage would have been void in the United Kingdom.

King George VI

After the abdication crisis of 1936, George VI issued letters patent (dated 27 May 1937) regranting his elder brother his style as son of a Sovereign, whilst expressly denying the style of Royal Highness to his wife and descendants. The marriage, however, had no issue [no children].

On 22 October 1948, George VI issued letters patent allowing the children of his daughter Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and son-in-law Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to assume princely titles and the style Royal Highness; [Ref: Velde, 1948 Letters Patent] they would not have been entitled to them ordinarily, as grandchildren in the female line, until their mother ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. Thus the current Prince of Wales was styled HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh until his mother’s accession. Otherwise the children would have been styled Earl of Merioneth and Lady Anne Mountbatten, respectively.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II issued letters patent, dated 22 February 1957, creating Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

[ref: The London Gazette. 22 February 1957. p. 1209]

Prince Philip had been born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, titles he renounced upon going through the naturalisation process, unaware that he was already a British subject by virtue of the British ‘Sophia Naturalization Act’ 1705 [4 & 5 Ann. c. 16].

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had four children

Prince Charles – the eldest son

Princess Anne aka ‘The Princess Royal’ – the second child

Prince Andrew, Duke of York – the third child

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex – the fourth child

In 1981, The Queens eldest son and heir, Prince Charles of Wales married The Honourable Diana Spencer, aka Princess Diana, and had two sons; Prince William and Prince Henry, who everyone knows as Prince Harry.

On June 19, 1999, the wedding day of The Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that The Queen, in agreement with their wishes, had declared that their children would be styled as children of an Earl and not as Princes of the United Kingdom with the style Royal Highness.

On 31 December 2012, Queen Elizabeth II declared that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, at that time Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, would have the title Prince or Princess and the style Royal Highness. [ref: The London Gazette. 8 January 2013. p. 213]

Accordingly, the Prince Williams eldest son, born on 22 July 2013, is styled His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. His daughter, born on 2 May 2015, is styled Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. His second son, born on 23 April 2018, is styled His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.

Here is how it actually, simply works today:

Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a royal title normally granted to sons and grandsons of reigning and past British monarchs. It is also held by the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and granted by Her Majesty. The title is granted by the reigning monarch, who is the fount of all honours, through the issuing of letters patent as an expression of the royal will.

Individuals holding the title of prince are usually granted the style of Royal Highness. When a British prince is married, his wife, if not already a princess in her own right, gains the title in her husband’s princely title. For example, the wife of Prince Michael of Kent is known by the title of Princess Michael of Kent.

Queen Elizabeth II

When Harry stepped away from the Royal family in 2020, the Queen was advised by her numerous advisers to remove Royal Highness from Prince Harry’s title style. What an absolute shame, not for Harry but for The Queen.

Its doubtful Her Majesty took such action of her own accord, he is after all her grandson, and she loves him. She would give him the world, but has to respect State advisers, etiquette, tradition, precedence, and rules of Monarchy and State, and most of all Public Opinion.

But if Her Royal Majesty wished she could change all of that because Her Majesty holds what is known as the Royal Prerogative.

ROYAL PREROGATIVE

The royal prerogative consists of a number of powers or privileges in the past performed by the Monarch but now performed by Ministers on her behalf.

The Ministers authority is derived from the Crown, not Parliament. Examples of these powers include the rights to; declare war, make treaties, give orders to the armed forces, dissolve parliament, appoint ministers and dispense honours and titles.

Her Majesty could if she wished instruct her Ministers to make a proclamation, or issue letters patent, declaring that Harry and his wife will be addressed as their Royal Highness’s. Both Her Majesty and her predecessors’ have granted similar, and even the same things in the past.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a rethink on the whole matter, just a little give in that concrete façade is required?

Damage has not been done to the British Royal family by Harry leaving, but it has been damaged by taking away Harry and Megan’s use of Royal Highness, making him and his wife second grade family members. What a shame Ma’am, what a shame, perhaps you have played directly into the hands of the antimonarchist’s.

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