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There is a lot of misinformation out there and I find this to be the case when it comes to European Royalty.

I’ll admit I’m a bit of stickler for correct historical information, especially when it comes to the usage of titles, their history and how they are written in both news media and social media.

I have an account on Twitter for this blog and that is where I run into a great deal of misinformation.

With titles I think people just call the royals whatever they want and are making up their own rules. I also have received much criticism on Twitter for my stance on proper use of titles and clearing up misinformation.

It makes me wonder where the limits and boundaries are? Should we say screw all the rules and just call them what you want?

Recently the topic of the title of Duke of Edinburgh came up on Twitter. There was a lot of misinformation.

For example: Some still didn’t believe that the Prince of Wales had inherited his father’s titles. Even on my corresponding Facebook page many people told me I was wrong about that after the Duke passed away and I mentioned that the Prince of Wales had inherited his father’s titles.

One person said that no one has the title right now and it will be up to the Queen to decide.

Another person said that with the death of Prince Philip the title already merged with the Crown.

I mentioned that if the Prince of Wales were to die before his mother, then the next in line to inherit the title would be his eldest son, the Duke of Cambridge. Many believed I was wrong about that and they further believed that this is when the Earl of Wessex would inherit the title.

I could go on. Now I will explain the succession to the title of Duke of Edinburgh and my source for this information is The College of Arms.

But first some background information on the College of Arms.

The College of Arms, or Heralds’ College, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are a delegated authority to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees.

Though the College is a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom, the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds.

Founded by royal charter in 1484 by King Richard III, the College is one of the few remaining official heraldic authorities in Europe. Within the United Kingdom, there are two such authorities, the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland and the College of Arms for the rest of the United Kingdom.

The College of Arms also undertakes and consults on the planning of many ceremonial occasions such as coronations, state funerals, the annual Garter Service and the State Opening of Parliament. Heralds of the College accompany the sovereign on many of these occasions.

The College comprises thirteen officers or heralds: three Kings of Arms, six Heralds of Arms and four Pursuivants of Arms. There are also seven officers extraordinary, who take part in ceremonial occasions but are not part of the College. The entire corporation is overseen by the Earl Marshal, a hereditary office always held by the Duke of Norfolk.

Here is what the College of Arms said about the title Duke of Edinburgh:


The Titles of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh was granted the style and title of Royal Highness on November 19, 1947; on the next day, November 20, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London.

These peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son, HRH The Prince of Wales. In the event of the Prince of Wales or any subsequent holder of these titles succeeding to the Crown, these titles and all others held will merge with the Crown.

His Royal Highness was made a Prince of the United Kingdom by Letters Patent of the present Queen dated February 22, 1957. A declaration of the same date communicated Her Majesty’s will and pleasure that her husband be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

I hope this clears up some misinformation. In the short future I will also do a blog entry on how titles are written in both news media and social media.