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Why is Prince Philip not known as KING Philip?

A lot of comments we received, on The Royal UK, raise the question of why Prince Philip isn’t king, despite being the husband of The Queen. So in this post we will explain exactly why Prince Philip isn’t KING.


Under British Common Law, a wife traditionally takes her husband’s name and rank upon marriage and as a title legally forms part of one’s name. In most cases titles in The Royal Family work in much the same way.

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For example, wife of The Duke of Cambridge is known as The Duchess of Cambridge. Had Prince William not been granted the Dukedom for his marriage, Kate would have become Princess William of Wales.

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ON THE OTHER HAND.




When a female Royal marries, the case is much different. If the woman’s title ranks higher than her husband’s, she retains her title. This is the case for Queen Elizabeth. This instance of Queen Elizabeth also demonstrates how the use of titles by marriage is very much a one-way-street.

Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are seen with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (left) and Princess Anne (right)

A husband cannot generally take the male form of his wife’s title on marriage, whatever the rank is. The British Common Law goes right the way to the top. Prior yielding to the throne, Queen Elizabeth held the title, The Duchess of Edinburgh which was the female form of her husband’s title. But as the title of “Queen” ranks higher than Duchess, she didn’t use the title of Duchess of Edinburgh.

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Whether or not the status should be maintained in terms of titles is a deep matter. It has reached right into Parliament on numerous occasions. A bill in the House of Lords at the moment, the Equality Bill seeks to give husbands of female peers their own courtesy title.

Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth with Prince Philip

Not one in parallel with their wife’s. They will rather receive the title of ‘The Honorable’ as things stand. As things stand now, The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla will automatically become The Queen when Prince Charles acquires the throne. Along with this a legislation has a chance to be passed to reduce her title to Princess Consort.



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