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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Queen No More

For traditional royalists like me who believed that one way to preserve the mystic and prestige of the crown is to see future monarchs marry fellow royals, watching Prince William ended up with a commoner is a frustrating event. Now, it seems my disappointment would be pacified with a possible amendment on the provision of the primogeniture laws.

 Kate Middleton might never become a Queen Consort

I detested the idea of having a classless Queen Consort in the British throne and the news that one MP had proposed that a wife of a future King would no longer take the title of a Queen consort sounds a pleasing item. If the amendment will be approved, Kate Middleton would lose her childhood dream to become a Queen.

For Kate Middleton's fans don't freaked out when I called her classless or social climber because literally speaking the terms are all true. Her family does not belong to the upper class system of Britain, none of Kate's direct ancestors had noble titles, no aristocratic background or whatsoever, thus, "classless". She is a social climber because she made everything to marry a Prince (hence the famous monicker from the British Press--WAITY KATY) and leaped from being on the basement of the British social class system to the top order of precedence in the realm, thus, called a "social climber".

As a royalist, I fretted the fact that future British heirs will now have a classless DNA injected by Kate but William chose it to be contaminated by a common blood, so be it. Since their wedding in 2011, I had wished that Kate would never become a Queen consort. And looks like my wish would likely be granted.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The mother of Queen Elizabeth II who died in 2002, might be the last Queen Consort in British history

Lately, one Member of British Parliament expressed his intention to amend some provisions on the royal primogeniture laws. Arguing that the world is now facing the challenges of the modern time scrapping old traditions and refurbishing ancient laws, the British government under David Cameron had earlier supported the changes on the law of succession, giving equal rights to daughters of the sovereign. This means that a first born daughter of the monarch would no longer be bypassed by a younger son to succeed to the throne. 

Recognizing this change and the need to adopt more modern approaches so that monarchy would not appear old-fashioned and gone-with-the-ages, another amendment is now being pushed by MP John Hemming. That a wife of a King should no longer be called "Queen Consort" but only "Princess Consort".

‘It’s not right that a Queen Regnant is treated as less important than a King Regnant,’ Hemmings was quoted telling the Sunday Express. ‘It seems sensible we resolve this issue when dealing with the primogeniture issue.’
His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
He is not King Philip despite being the husband of a Queen because there's no provision in the constitution that defines the role of a husband of the Queen other than a Consort so there's no reason why a King's wife will be treated different.
The ancient tradition of monarchy on the treatment of a sovereign's spouse is somewhat bias. When a King ascends the throne, his wife would automatically assume the title of a Queen and would be crowned with him but not if the sovereign is a female.

There's no specific law in the constitution defining the role of a Queen's husband other than being a consort. That's why husbands of the current European Queens: Elizabeth II of Britain, Margrethe II of Denmark and Beatrix of the Netherlands are only called "Prince Consort".

Hemming's argument sounds logical and this might be considered by the Parliament. If the Queen's husband would not be given an equal constitutional right what is the difference is there for the wife of a King?

In other parts of the world, there are wives of Kings who are not called Queens. In Jordan, a wife of a King needs to be declared Queen first before she could take the title, the second wife of King Hussein (father of the current Jordanian King, Abdullah) was not declared as Queen, thus, only called Princess Muna. In Morocco, the wife of King Mohammed VI takes the title of a Princess (Princess Lalla Salma).
Prince Charles and Camilla during their wedding last April 2005. Camilla would not be known as Queen when Charles ascends the throne but would only take the title of a Princess Consort

For Charles, the Prince of Wales, this proposal will not posed big trouble as he already announced years ago that his second wife, Camilla, would not be crowned with him when he ascend the throne and not be called Queen but would take the lesser title "princess consort" because they are both divorce when they get married.

What is the difference between these two titles?

While a Queen consort will be crowned with the King during the coronation ceremony at the Abbey and would occupy a seat with him at the altar and possibly shared with sensitive information about the state, a princess consort will not yield important role other than stand and accompany the monarch on ceremonial functions.

She will not also be crowned and sat with the King at the altar during the coronation ceremony and she will walk two steps behind the King on public engagements. In other words, a Princess consort is purely ceremonial and would not expect to perform the roles and duties of a Queen Consort.

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