Why isn't Phillip the King?

Seriously, anyone who ever read a fairy tale knows he’s the de facto King. He got the girl, he’s got the wardrobe, he’s done his time and proven himself, it seems to me.

What’s a guy got to do to get a crown these days?

Is it that there cannot be both a King and a Queen? But haven’t there been in the past?

You’re referring to Queen El’s marital unit, I assume? Why should he be King? He isn’t even British!

The Master speaks.

He was not a descendant of a previous British king.

There can be both – William and Mary ruled jointly in the 17th century – but they were both part of the line of succession.

Also, William had just invaded and conquered the country (albeit largely with the country’s consent). Nobody was about to tell him he wasn’t the king.

It’s interesting how often he is referred to as “the Duke of Edinburgh” by the press instead of “Prince Philip.” It has always struck me like they’re trying to avoid pointing out his lesser status (re. the Queen) by just concentrating on a different title.

To summarize, a queen’s husband becomes prince consort. A king’s wife becomes queen consort. Neither is a monarch regnant, so there’s not really any significance in the names.

Untrue. His mother’s mother’s mother’s mother(*) was Victoria, Empress of India, longest reigning of any female monarch ever, who, while not technically a King of England, was the granddaughter of George III `who lost America.’

(Thus his mtDNA was that of Victoria. Similarly, Victoria was Anastasia Romanov’s mother’s mother’ mother. This is why Prince Philip himself was chosen to do a DNA comparison with the Anastasia imposter.)

But Philip had no claim to the throne. In addition to King William III, who ruled in large measure to the claim of his wife Queen Mary, King Henry VII was a King whose claim was strongly bolstered by his marriage to Elizabeth, Heiress of King Edward IV.

Correction to the correction: The Duke of Edinburgh does in fact have a claim to the throne, in the line of succession, as a descendant of Victoria and her ancestors. He’s roughly 520th in line, after Prince Xan, Richard Duke of Gloucester, the King of Norway, and the Queen of Denmark, among many, many others.

A short note on courtesy titles, to cover the OP and a side issue above:

There exists a not-incorrect perception that “prince” outranks “duke” outranks “count” or :earl" outranks “lord.” While this is more or less true, “prince” is an honorific that applies to anyone who had a monarch in their male-line ancestry, and by now the Windsors could put together a football club composed entirely of princes if they happened to feel like it.

On the other hand, while “duke” is the highest rank of the nobility, there are also royal dukes. And, except for the maximum-once-oer-reign creation of the Prince of Wales, making someone a Royal Duke is the highest Honour in the Queen’s bag-of-goodies. And for each dukedom, “there can only be one.”

This is why Prince William is now almost always referred to as “the Duke of Cambridge”, and why his grandfather is nearly always “the Duke of Edinburgh.” It’s something the monarch gave them personally that they share with no other.

Likewise, there have been two consorts to Queens Regnant styled "King:, and as it happens each was married to a Queen Mary, to whom each was first cousin. Philip, consort to Mary I, was King of Spain in his own right, and so was properly “His Majesty” rather than “HRH” in England, though he wasn’t (except in his own imagination) King of England. And William, consort to Mary II, was (a) the guy who had thrown James II out at pipular behest, (b) married to the Queen who had hereditary right, and © was himself third in line after Mary and her sister Anne. The arrangement they came up with is that William and Mary woul be joint monarchs with right of survivorship, and Anne would yield her claim relative to William’s alone – she would let him ahead of her in line, but remain ahead of everyone else, so to speak.

The confusion is due to there being two very different positions that both go by the name “queen”. The current Lizzie is a queen, and her mother, the lady played by Helena Bonham-Carter in a recent movie, was a queen, but their positions are very different. Her Royal Highness Elizabeth, second of that name, by the grace of God queen of way too many places to list, is a monarch in her own right. The Queen Mum, by contrast, was not a monarch, but merely a monarch’s wife.

I wanted to pin this down a bit more precisely, but the Wikipedia article I was looking for seems to be missing or edited or maybe I’m looking at the wrong one. As I remember it, their article Line of succession to the British throne had listed every single person in line, and in sequence – well over a thousand names! - but now I only see 48 people listed. Was it a different article that I’m remembering?

Nope, you’re right. Wikipedia appears to have removed that page, for some reason. )Wiki admin Dopers, any chance you could find out what happened?) That’s why I went with the approximation.

Wasn’t Phillip supposed to be King of Greece? iirc his dad lost the crown when the monarchy was abolished.

Of course he would have never married Elizabeth if he was the King of Greece.

It is worth remembering that before 1952 there had been up to six earlier married queen regnants of England, Great Britain or the United Kingdom and that, remarkably, none of them had dealt with the problem in the same way.

(1) Matilda. She never used the title ‘Queen’, intending to assume it only after her coronation, so the issue as to whether her husband was ‘King’ never arose.

(2) Lady Jane Grey. The idea of giving the title of ‘King’ to Lord Guildford Dudley was considered, but she had been deposed before any final decision on his title had been made.

(3) Mary I. Philip did become ‘King of England’ and not just in his imagination either - he was granted it by the Act of Parliament ratifying the marriage. It should also be noted that although he was already a king at the time of his marriage, that was as King of Jerusalem, with him not becoming King of Aragon and Castile until eighteen months later.

(4) Mary II. Parliament in 1689 carefully fudged the issue as to whether William III was succeeding by right of his wife, especially as he, not Mary, was then given the right to exercise the powers of monarch. He and Mary may have been officially joint monarchs, but Mary was really just his queen consort.

(5) Anne. George of Denmark received no special titles at all when she became queen, although he had previously been given an English dukedom (in 1689 when his wife had moved up to become first-in-line to the throne).

(6) Victoria. Albert similarly received no special titles when he married Victoria (apart from being upgraded from HSH to HRH), but, unlike Prince George, he never received a peerage. However, Victoria did give him the title ‘Prince Consort’ seventeen years later.

All of which meant that there was no clear precedent for the case of Prince Philip. The solution adopted most closely approximated to the treatment of Prince George of Denmark. There was therefore no change at all in Philip’s titles when his wife succeeded as Elizabeth II. Indeed, the similarity was even closer, as Philip had likewise got his dukedom on becoming the husband of the heiress presumptive.

(Personally, I think the Queen should have given Philip the title Prince Consort when it was agreed that the Duchess of Cornwall will in due course use the title ‘Princess Consort’.)

As noted in that article:

I would guess that somebody decided that only going back to the descendants of King George V is a reasonable enough list for practical purposes or that maintaining lists descending from earlier ancestors is too much work to keep accurate.

BTW, there is one matter in which Philip has been short-shrifted compared with previous husbands of Queen Regnant.

The children of Queen Victoria took their father’s surname, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and this was the name of their Dynasty (though soon changed to Windsor to avoid Germanness). Earlier inheritances from a Queen also led to changes in the “dynasty name.”

However Philip’s children took their mother’s surname, Windsor, and there will be no “change of dynasty.” (I’ve no idea if this has any special legal significance.)

What was his position on the list when (1) he married Princess Elizabeth and (2) when she became Queen? I imagine he was considerably higher than 500 given all the people born since then (including his own children: every grandchild born takes him one step further from the throne…).

I can see how that would be a deterrent to compile such a list but once compiled it should be relatively easy to upkeep. Just insert and renumber as needed, unless as usual I’m thinking too small. Hopefully I’m not overestimating the power of the internet.

He was the son of a younger brother of the King of Greece at the time, who himself had children. He was not due to inherit the throne, but was about as far from it as, say, yjr children of the Earl of Wessex are.

Gee. if only someone would come up with some way in which data like this that are of interest to only a small minority of people could be maintained on the Internet and updated by those sharing that interest! I wonder why nobody ever has…