Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Kate is not Princess Katherine and William did not watch her walk down the aisle

We are back from M&M's street party in the garden and the children are in bed, hopefully for the night.  From discussions with M&M, Foxy, and Lily, a Danish friend (Danes have an old monarchy), I gather that Kate did not get the title Princess Katherine because she was a commoner.  If she had been noble, or if Prince William was heir to the throne--he's second in line, but his father is the heir--she would have been called Princess Katherine.  Also, William faced the altar as Kate walked down the aisle because he is royal.   I don't quite get this one, but it would have been inappropriate for William to face the aisle.  He faces the altar and waits for her to join him, then once she arrives and they exchange vows, she joins him as a royal.  I guess it is kinda like not keeping the Queen waiting.  Events start when she arrives.

UPDATE: Yasha is having an "actually" moment on the titles, below.  He explains it better than I could.  I suspect that my friend Lily meant that she did not hold the title Princess in her own right, and therefore can't be Princess Katherine.  I vaguely recall that Diana was HRH Diana, Princess of Wales.  Prince Philip was a prince before he married Princess Elizabeth, hence he can be Prince Philip.

Since she is not a princess in her own right, Kate can be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge or HRH Princess William of Wales. 

UPDATE: Oh boy, titles are ever so much more complicated than I want to know.  Prince William wants her to be Princess Katherine, but Camilla might have gotten her nose out of whack about it... The Queen did not give her the title of Princess because then she would have outranked the Prince of Wales's wife, Camilla, who is only a Duchess. Rumor has it, but William did not want to have separate titles from his wife, hence they became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, unlike Prince Charles, for example, who is the Prince of Wales, but married to the Duchess of Cornwall.
UPDATE II: I called Kate "Princess Kate" until Yasha explained what William had done by changing his title to conform with his wife's, that William took a lesser title to show solidarity with his wife. I like him even more.

Note that nowhere in her official titles is her Christian name.  I gather that it isn't because she is a woman but because she has no title of her own.  Since she is a woman though, it might grate a bit more in the modern day when women often don't even take their husband's surname.  Add on the discussion about if their first child is a girl and a subsequent child a boy.  From Rachel Ward (yes, the actress) Why haven't ladies challenged male primogeniture:
I am the firstborn of the younger brother of an earl. There are no hereditary titles and my father’s estate was not inherited or entailed to him. I have a younger sister and three younger brothers. Nonetheless, at the reading of the will after my father’s recent death, I was firmly reminded of my place by certain clauses bestowing his ‘residuary estate’ ‘upon trust for my first son A during his life and subject thereto’, followed by ‘A’s first son’, then ‘his son B and his son’, then ‘his son C and his son, provided always that A’s male heir shall mean son or grandson ascertained in following order of priority’. Blah, blah, blah.

1 comment:

Yasha said...

Actually, it has nothing to do with whether she is a commoner. She would be "Princess Catherine" only if she were a princess in her own right. Instead, she is HRH the Princess William (which is weird, but correct). Prince Philip is called that either because he was a Prince of Greece and Denmark by birth, titles that he renounced when he married Elizabeth, or because the Queen created him a Prince of the UK after she became Queen. I also doubt that the custom of not looking backward has anything to do with status, but I will have to research that.