Okay in the UK a King’s wife is automatically a Queen-Consort, but a Queen’s husband isn’t a King-Consort. Why? I looked it up and the UK/England has had five male royal consorts and Scotland had one (not counting the personal union). In England Queen Mary I’s husband was made King of England during her life and Queen Mary II’s husband was made a joint-sovereign and succeded his wife. Mary, Queen of Scots, husband was made King. Queens Anne and Victoria’s husbands were only made princes and Anne’s was made a peer. And of course Queen Elizabeth II’s husband is Prince Phillip not King Phillip. Why did stop they making male consorts Kings?
The husband of a reigning Queen, called a Queen Regent, is a prince. This is because a King is higher than a Queen, so if the Queen inherrits the thrown, her husband cannot be a King.
So why were the husbands of the first reigning Queens made Kings?
‘Prince Consort’ has not been used as an official title since Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died. Can’t quite remember the reason why though.
Mary II ruled jointly with William of Orange, who would never have settled for being a “prince consort” - he also had a large army, and could negotiate for favorable terms concerning his part in the “Glorious Revolution”:
They wanted rid of James bad enough that they would probably have been willing to let William call himself “Dictator for Life” if he had wanted to, provided he continued to champion Protestantism.
The monarch is the single person who embodies the Crown. By courtesy (and this is very sexist) the wife of an man who holds some title of respect and honor is addressed by the feminine of his title – but this does not go for the husband of an heiress. Thus the wife of a Duke is a Duchess, of an Earl, a Countess (don’t ask!) – and the wife of a King is a Queen. But the husband of a Duchess or Countess in her own right is not therefore automatically a Duke or Earl, and the husband of a Queen Regnant is whatever title he holds or is bestowed on him.
At this point the precedents get bizarre.
Matilda, daughter of Henry I and claimant against Stephen in the 1135-54 period, was the wife and then widow of Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Comte d’Anjou. Since she never obtained undisputed title to the throne, the issue of what to call her husband was the least of concerns during that hotly-contested Civil War.
Mary I (Tudor) was married to Philip II of Spain, who was King in his own right of several realms.
Elizabeth I never married.
Mary II (Stuart) was first in line for the throne (ignoring Jacobite claims), followed by her sister Anne and her first cousin William of Orange, to whom she was married, and who was the head of the alliance against Louis XIV’s France and the Jacobite pretenders. So the deal was struck that William and Mary would ascend the throne as joint sovereigns, with Anne renouncing her right of succession to William only – in other words, moving from first in line after Mary to second in line, after William. It was expected, by the way, that Mary would outlive William and reign in her own right, but he supervived her. However, as they had no surviving children, the throne passed to Anne anyway.
Anne’s husband was Prince George of Denmark, and they seemed content that he retain that title.
Anne was the last Queen Regnant before Victoria, when the custom of referring to the Queen’s spouse as Prince Consort began. Albert was not only a consummate politican but a student of constitutional law, and recognized that what he did would set a precedent. He was also aware of some ill feeling about his foreign birth and forceful personality. So he assumed the role of Victoria’s chief counselor rather than pushing for recognition in his own right, and created the modern concept of Prince Consort. For the most part Philip has modeled himself on Albert’s example.
I have raised before, without getting a conclusive answer, the question of what Philip’s title should be if he outlives Queen Elizabeth, since for the first time a king will ascend the throne with a living father. AFAIK from last time, there is no definite answer – it will depend on what Charles decides.
Cecil’s column may be of interest: A king’s wife is a queen, so why is Elizabeth II’s husband still only Prince Philip?
Okay, I checked Wikipedia and Prince Philip wasn’t even a Prince for the first five his wife was Queen! When his father in law granted him his peerage on his wedding (after he renouced his birth titles) he thought it was enought to giving him the style of Royal Highness. The Queen didn’t fix the oversight 'till 1957. And apparntly he was none to happy when his wife decided the kids would take her name instead of his!
Matilda’s a rather bizarre case anyway. By dint of having first married the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V she was the Empress Matilda even after her later marriage to Geoffrey of Anjou. Her title of empress was higher than that of queen. I have no idea how she would have been referred to had she become Queen of England I have no idea. Could her husband have been a king-consort, putting him one-step below her in dignity?
She used the title Lady of the English instead of Queen.