Elizabeth II, Happy Birthday, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, kings and queens of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Elizabeth II, Happy Birthday, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, kings and queens of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Taken earlier this year! Not sure who took this picture but it is wonderful! Wonderful picture of HM the Queen with HRH The Prince of Wales!
EDIT: Info from my friend Karen. The photo was taken by photographer Nick Knight back in May, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle before the night of the celebrations at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Today HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland marks the 64th year on the throne. Her father, King George VI, died on this date, February 6, 1952. Last September 2015, Her Majesty became Britain’s longest ruling monarch when she surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria (1837-1901) who reigned for 63 years and seven months.
Her Majesty is also the oldest sovereign to reign. Queen Victoria also held that record. She was 82 when she passed away in 1901. At age 89 Her Majesty broke that record seven years ago. This April 21, Her Majesty will turn 90 and many celebrations are planned in Britain for this momentous milestone.
Almost 90 and having been queen for 64 years Her Majesty shows no sign of slowing down. Her calendar is full, although maybe not as full as years past for the Prince of Wales has taken over some of her work. Still, unless some heath crisis appears Her Majesty will continue to press forward.
Although today we mark the 64th year Her Majesty came to the throne, within the Royal Family itself these dates are rarely acknowledged publicly. For royal historians such as my self and other royal enthusiasts this is a special day, for Her Majesty this is the day her father died and that is something to be noted but not celebrated. What we will celebrate is the dedication and the long life of service to her country and long may she continue to reign.
When I began my interest in British and European Royalty back in 1977 Queen Victoria had been Britain’s longest ruling monarch. Her Majesty, the Queen, had celebrated her Silver Jubilee, 25 years on the throne, and the thought of her becoming Britain’s longest ruling monarch and breaking her great-great-grandmother’s record was not on my mind. In 1989 Her Majesty passed Henry VIII of England’s 37 years on the throne and it was then I thought that maybe someday, in 2015 I calculated, she could become Britain’s longest ruling monarch. In 1989 the year 2015 seemed like a life-time away. In 1997 the Queen passed her name sake, Queen Elizabeth I’s 44 year reign and seeing how good her health was and the fact that her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was 97 at the time and still going strong, lead me to believe this historic event could be achieved.
It has been a long time coming and now it is here. I do have to say that because the Victorian Era has been one of my favorite eras to study I do greet this day with a little sadness but I am happy to see the queen reach this historic milestone in her reign.
During her reign Her Majesty has shown herself to be the very picture of a dedicated, hardworking, constitutional monarch. Congratulations your majesty on reaching this historical milestone! May her majesty continue to reign for a long long time.
Historically speaking, since she is the longest ruling monarch in British history she has five more years to beat HIM Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria-Hungary’s 68 years and nine more to beat Louis XIV of France and Navarre’s 72 years on the throne.
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Some interesting facts about the new Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and the history of the name in the Biritish Royal Family.
Princess Charlotte is 4th in line to the throne after her grandfather, The Prince of Wales, her father, the Duke of Cambridge, and her brother Prince George of Cambridge. Should she have a younger brother he will not supplant her in the line of succession due to the change in succession laws. She is the first female in line to the throne. She will only be supplanted in the succession if and when her brother Prince Gorge of Cambridge has children in the future. God forbid anything happening to Prince George of Cambridge, but if it did Charlotte would become her father’s heir and eventually Queen Regnant. This would happen even if Charlotte were to have younger brothers.
She is the first Princess of Cambridge born since 1833 when HRH Princess Mary-Adelaide of Cambridge (1833-1897) was born. Princess Mary-Adelaide of Cambridge was the daughter of HRH Prince Adolphus-Frederick, Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850) (7th son of King George III) and HSH Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel (1797-1889). Princess Mary-Adelaide of Cambridge was a first cousin of Queen Victoria and married Francis, Duke of Teck (1837-1900) in 1866. Their daughter, Mary of Teck (1867-1953) married the future King George V of the United Kingdom 1893 making her the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. This means that Princess Mary-Adelaide of Cambridge is the great-great-great-great grandmother of the newest Princess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
There have been other Princesses named Charlotte in the Royal Family. First of all there was Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) wife of King George III of the United Kingdom. Queen Charlote was born HSH Princess Sophia-Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and daughter of Duke Carl-Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1708-1752) and HSH Princess Elizabeth of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1713-1761). It has been said that Queen Mary resembled her great-grandmother Queen Charlotte and that in turn, Queen Elizabeth II resembles Queen Mary and conversely, Queen Charlotte.
The eldest daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte was HRH The Princess Charlotte, The Princess Royal (1762-1828). In the future she would marry King Friedrich of Würrtemberg (1754-1816) as his second wife. This is the same royal dynasty that produced Francis, Duke of Teck.
King George III’s eldest son, the future George IV (1761-1820), had only one daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796-1817) from his disastrous marriage with his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. In 1817 Charlotte married HSH Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Sadly, Princess Charlotte of Wales never lived to succeed her father as Queen. She died in childbirth in 1817. Her husband went on to be elected King of the Belgians in 1831.
Another aspect of the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is that everyone in line after her takes one step back in the sucession. Princess Charlotte’s uncle, Prince Harry of Wales, is now 5th in line to throne. He was born 3rd in line. But who it affects most is Princess Beatrice of York who falls beck to 7th in line to the throne. Under the new laws of succession only the first 6 in line to the throne have to seek permission of the Sovereign to marry. This means that Princess Beatrice of York does not have to ask the Queen permission to marry. Should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have another child this would push the Duke of York to 7th inline to the throne meaning he would no longer need his mother’s permission to marry once again.
Lastly, The Duke of Cambridge’s uncle, The Earl Spencer, has a two year old daughter named Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer. So the name Charlotte has a strong history behind it!
Today Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II turns 89! Happy birthday!
In a few short months Her Majesty will become the longest reigning monarch in British history when she will beat, by one day, the 63 years, 216 days, that her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria reigned. So I want to take a moment and recognize what a great monarch Elizabeth has been over the years. During the 1990s when her children were causing so many negative stories in the paper Her Majesty never missed a step. It has been a pretty flawless reign where she has maintained the dignity of the crown. At 89 Her Majesty is still going strong and I hope she can continue for many more years.
I have said this before but it bears repeating. Here in the US in 2016 we will have an election for President, our Head of State and Head of the Government, so as candidates have already started running I have 20 months of mudslinging and attacks and hatred being spewed by both parties to look forward to. One of the reasons I admire the British system is that it has evolved to where the Head of State and Head of the Government are separate. Leaving the mud slinging to the politicians gives the chance for the Head of State to be the Symbol of the Nation for all people not just those of a specific political party. So I think the British people are fortunate to have a Head of State that embodies all that is good about Britain and I hope the British people do appreciate her hard work, service and dedication to her people. You are fortunate to have her. Happy Birthday your Majesty and long may you reign and God Save the Queen!
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (often mistakenly called the Kingdom of England) is the most well known monarchy in the world today. However, at one point, the monarch was not the figure head they are today; they actually held considerable power. How it survived its transition from a powerful monarch to figurehead will be examined in this section.
England is also one of those countries where the monarch has never held absolute power in the strictest sense. Although Continue reading
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When the Duchess of Cambridge married Prince William of Wales the media spoke about her being a commoner. They were correct. Until her marriage she was indeed a commoner. However, did you know that until Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, created her grandson Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus, that he too was a commoner? What may be even lesser known is that the queen herself, as young Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive to the throne, was a commoner when she married Lt. Philip Mountbatten, former Prince of Greece and Denmark; and that he was not a commoner? You may think I have gone mad! Let me explain.
In the British system, a society historically divided by class, there are three legal standings, or classes, people can hold and belong to. These positions/Classes are: The Sovereign, Titled Peers/Nobility and Commoners. Therefore technically and legally speaking if you are a Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom and you do not hold a peerage title, and you are not the sovereign, you are in fact… a commoner. The style His or Her Royal Highness and the title Prince/Princess of the United Kingdom is a courtesy title held at the behest of the sovereign but does not bestow a legal position. Do not confuse this legal and class status with rank or precedence which are different subjects all together. A person may hold a princely title and have more precedence and out rank a peer. That will be the subject of my next blog entry.
Therefore only members of the royal family that also hold peerage titles are not, technically speaking, commoners. The sons of Queen Elizabeth II are all Peers: The Prince of Wales, The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex. Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is a commoner because the title Princess Royal is a courtesy title and not a peerage title. In the next generation, only Prince William, as Duke of Cambridge, is a peer and all of his cousins (his children and brother) are commoners. The queens cousins, The Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Kent are also peers of the realm but their children are not. Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra of Kent are royal, but commoners.
Interesting fact is that when the current Dukes of Gloucester and Kent pass on their titles to their children these titles will cease to be royal as the title of Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom is limited via the 1917 Letters Patent to the male-line grandchildren of the sovereign. Although the next Duke of Gloucester and Kent will not be royal they will be peers and not commoners.
There are actually five types of peerages. The Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. These represent those titles that were created at the various times in the history of the country. The hierarchy, or rank, of these peerage titles is as follows: (highest to lowest) Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. There is also the hereditary title of Baronet but Baronets are not peers but fit into the social class of the Landed Gentry. It gets confusing doesn’t it?
I will end my post by keeping it simple. Unless you are the sovereign or a titled peer, even if you hold the style and title of HRH Prince/Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you are technically a commoner. On 20 November 1947 HM King George VI created his future son-in-law HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. This made the former Prince Philip of Greece a Peer of the Realm. When he married the king’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, the very next day, she was a commoner while her husband was not.
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Well, it has been along series. I cannot even remember when I began this series. I just checked….I began this series on December 6, 2012. 9 months!!! We have seen the legal succession to the throne snake its way through a number of branches and have had seen that not all kings and queens that have sat upon the throne always were the legal successor to their predecessor.
With the accession of the House of Hanover the throne has been pretty stable ever since that time with the exception of the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745. King George I reigned until 1727 and because of the language difficulties and George’s disinterest in matters of State, the office of Prime Minister began to develop. George was succeeded by his eldest son, George-Augustus, who reigned as King George II. The crown then skipped a generation as Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1751, nine years before his father. George II was legally succeeded by his eldest grandson who became King George III.
There was at least one time when their was a scramble to beget an hier in the last few years of the nearly 60 year reign of King George III. His eldest son, The Prince of Wales, and after 1811 he was the Prince Regant, only had one daughter during his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Their daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales was much loved in Britain. In 1816 Princess Charlotte married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and despite the arranged marriage the couple was happy. Sadly, wedded bliss for the couple did not last long. The next year Charlotte was pregnant and during her pregnancy she eat heavily and got very little exercise. On the night of November 5th, 1817 after many hours of a difficult labor Princess Charlotte delivered a still-born son. Shortly thereafter other complications set in and as a result Princess Charlotte passed away.
This left the George III without any legitimate heirs in the third generation. There were plenty of illegitimate offsprings though. Many of the aging bachelor princes, most of them in their late 40s or early 50s, began leaving their mistresses to find legal wives to beget an hier. Prince Frederick, Duke of York, next in line after the prince Regent, was married to a Prussian Princess but there were no children for this union. The next in line after Frederick was Prince William, Duke of Clarence, married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, 27 years younger than the duke. They had two daughters, Charlotte and Elizabeth, who did not live long. Adelaide also delivered still-born twin sons.
The next brother, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, married Princess Victoria, the sister of Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the widower of Princess Charlotte of Wales. This union produced a daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, who became Queen of the United Kingdom in 1837 after the reigns of her uncles, George IV and William IV. In 1840, Victoria married her maternal first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. They had nine children and many descendants who populated many European thrones.
Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901 after a reign of 63 years. She was succeeded by her eldest son who became King Edward VII. He reigned until his death in 1910. Edward VII was followed on the throne by his eldest son, King George V who reigned until his death in 1936. With his death his eldest son began his reign as King Edward VIII and with him we saw one of the most recent struggles for the crown.
Edward was in love with a twice divorced American woman. In 1936 this was unacceptable to many Britons and those in power. Edward refused to give her up and was determined to marry her. After much deliberation Edward VII abdicated the throne to his brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York. This was the first, and so far the only, time when a British/English/Scottish monarch voluntarily gave up the throne.
Prince Albert chose to reign as King George VI and he successfully navigated World War II and was a popular monarch until his death in 1952. This brings us up to the current monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II who has reigned for 61 years. The legal succession is secure. Next in line is her eldest son, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. After him comes Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, and then the newest member of the British Royal Family, Prince George of Cambridge.
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Yesterday was an historic moment. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a royal prince yesterday. This was the first time since Queen Victoria had three direct heirs to the throne. First in line was The Prince of Wales (Edward VII), then came her grandson The Duke of York (George V) and her great-grandson Prince Edward of York (Edward VIII). Queen Victoria actually lived to see George VI, Edward VIII’s brother, but there are not any pictures of her with her son, grandson and both great-grandsons.
There has not been too many monarchs who have lived to see an heir in the third generation. Louis XIV of France and Navarre was one such monarch. He lived to see his great-grandchildren. However, he also outlived most of them and his successor, Louis XV, was one of his great-grandchildren. Wilhelm I, German Emperor & King of Prussia also lived to see three generations of successors. In 1882 his grandson, Prince Wilhelm, future German Emperor Wilhelm II, gave birth to the future Crown Prince Wilhelm. Sadly, Crown Prince Wilhelm was not able to inherit the Royal and Imperial thrones due to the monarchy in Germany being abolished in 1918 at the end of World War I.
It seemed like we waited for a long time for the Duchess of Cambridge to give birth to the new little prince. Now the wait begins to see what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will name the future King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
So what will the name be? George and James seem to be popular choices right now. Both names have historical precedence in British history. George is the name Elizabeth II’s father chose to reign under, although he was named Albert after having the bad luck of being born on December 14, 1895, the 34 anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather, Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria. James is the name of Catherine’s brother (as well as the Duke of Cambridge’s cousin, James Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex).
If the name James is chosen we will see if Winston Churchill’s suggestion that the highest ordinal between England and Scotland should be used. When England and Scotland shared a monarch they used an ordinal, or regnal number, for both crowns. For example, James VI of Scotland was also James I of England. His grandson was James VII of Scotland and James II of England. This is the only name affected. When Charles I came to both the English and Scottish thrones neither England or Scotland had had a king by that name before. William III of England was William II of Scotland. His wife, Mary II, was also Mary II of England and Scotland, with Mary Stuart being the first queen named Mary in Scotland and Mary Tudor being the first queen named Mary in England.
When the countries were united in 1707 the monarchs were settled in England and Scotland was often ignored by the monarchs. They have followed the English system of numbering kings. The first thee kings of the House of Hanover did not have a problem with their regnal number since neither England or Scotland had kings named George before. There seems to be no controversy in Scotland with William IV and his regnal umber. The first time we begin to see some conflict is with the reigns of both Edward VII and Edward VIII. In Scotland there were times thier regnal numbers were omitted even in the Scottish Church. This issue did become more prominent with the reign of Elizabeth II. Since Elizabeth I of England never ruled over Scotland many in Scotland did not think she should be called Elizabeth II in Scotland. Many things such as mailboxes carrying the II in the royal cypher were defaced or destroyed. This is what prompted Winston Churchill to offer the solution that he did.
If the new baby prince is named James he will be called James VIII of the United Kingdom of Great Britain instead of James III. The name also carries a little controversy seeing that the pretender to the throne, James Francis, son of deposed king James II-VII of England and Scotland was also called James III-VIII by himself and his supporters. But that was centuries ago I am sure there wouldn’t be a problem now. It also follows that if the prince is named Richard, he will be Richard IV since there was not one named Richard who was king of Scotland. However, if he is named Robert or Alexander he would be Robert IV or Alexander IV since there have been three kings of Scotland with that name respectively.
Although we cannot predict the future the new little prince will not sit on the throne for a very long long time. Her Majesty the Queen is still going strong at the age of 87. Her son, the Prince of Wales is also healthy at the age of 64 and at the age of 31 the Duke of Cambridge will also likely see a long life. So it is possible that the new royal prince will not sit on the throne until he is in his 50s or 60s.
It will be interesting to see what the new baby will be named. Whatever the name shall be I wish the new baby prince a long healthy and happy life!