Styles of the members of the British royal family

Warning: this page is still being edited and contents may change.

Contents

Introduction

When it comes to the styles and titles of the British Royal family, there are two periods to distinguish: before and after 1917.  In 1917, George V issued letters patent that precisely regulated these matters, specifying that a certain set of individuals were exclusively entitled to certain styles.  Before 1917, styles and titles were regulated by a mixture of partial rules and customs.

This introduction presents an overview of what these rules and customs were prior to 1917.  The rest of the page analyzes in more detail the actual practice, and provides the texts of a number of grants.

Titles and Styles: some general principles

See also what I have to say on royal styles.

Titles and styles, like dignities, precedence, distinctions, orders and decorations, emanate from the sovereign who is the fons honorum, fount of all honors.  There is, however, a substantial difference between some of these honors and the rest: to peerages is attached a very high privilege, that of sitting in the House of Lords (the privilege was severely curtailed, but not altogether eliminated, by the House of Lords Act 1999).  Holders of peerages are not just recipients of honors emanating from the sovereign, they are called to play an important constitutional role.  For this reason, the dignity to which this role is linked has become part of  constitutional law, and around it has grown a substantial body of law defining and protecting the rights and duties of holders of peerages.  In particular, a peerage may only be created in a very specific form (by letters patent passed under the Great Seal) under governmental advice, holders of peerages cannot be deprived except by an Act of Parliament, peerages may be resigned only under certain procedures defined by statutes.

None of this body of law applies in the slightest way to other titles and styles, such as those of Prince and Highness.  These styles and titles were, until comparatively recently (1917), governed mostly by sometimes ambiguous custom.  They have remained part of the royal prerogative, and their conferral does not necessitate the advice of government.  They can be conferred in a variety of ways: "group conferrals" (a single document defining a limited or unlimited class of people who receive them) or conferrals ad personam. The forms can be letters patent or royal warrant.  The "group conferrals" are typically passed under the Great Seal, while the warrants ad personam are generally not.

More importantly, the conferral of a title or style does not create any substantial rights, certainly not rights that can be defended in the courts.  For example, if the Sovereign issues an order by royal warrant which is not being carried out, there is no way for the courts to enforce its execution: it is up to the sovereign to do something about it (scolding the recipient of the royal warrant or removing him).  Also, once a title has been conferred, nothing but custom and tradition dictates that it cannot be taken away.  "The Lord giveth, The Lord taketh away".  It may seem inappopriate or unfair, but it is certainly not illegal.

Fundamentally, the conferral of a style is an order given by the sovereign to his subjects, and in particular to the officers who are in charge of ceremonial and precedence (the Earl Marshal and the kings of arms and heralds), to call someone in a particular way.  The order may or should be followed by dutiful subjects until such time as the sovereign changes his mind, at which point any obligation (which cannot be enforced anyway) ceases.

As to the form that this order can take, there is no rule, either for the conferral or the alteration, or the withdrawal of the style.  Formal written documents like letters patent and royal warrants are merely written evidence for the expression of the sovereign's will, but it is the sovereign's will that counts, however it may be publicized.  Of course, the traditional medieval forms of letters patent are the best-known and most familiar. 

In what follows, I will call "prince" a title, and the varieties of "Serene Highness", "Highness", "Royal Highness" styles.  This distinction is purely for my convenience; it is not made in the documents which typically call either one "style, title, or attribute".  In German, the latter styles and titles are called Prädikat,  in French, "traitement", but the English language does not seem to make a consistent distinction.

Patterns and Customs: an overview

Until 1917, one of the main questions to arise was that of the descendants of the sovereign beyond the first degree.  Since Stuart times if not earlier, the children (male and female) of  the sovereign were called "Prince" or "Princess", and no later than the Restoration were styled "Royal Highness".  What of more remote relatives?

The problem of styling grandchildren of the sovereign at the English court did not arise much during the Tudors and the Stuarts:

  • the only grandchildren of Henry VII born during his lifetime were the children of his daughter Margaret and James IV of Scotland, born outside the realm
  • Henry VIII had no grandchildren
  • Mary I and Elizabeth I had no children
  • The only grandchildren of James I born during his lifetime were the children of his daughter Elizabeth and the Elector Palatine, all born overseas, either Heidelberg or the Hague
    • only two of those children, Prince Rupert (on whom more below) and  Elizabeth, abbess of Herford, ever resided in Britain
  • The only child of Charles I married during his lifetime was Mary, whose only son William (future William III) was born in the Hague in 1650, a year after Charles I's death
Under the late Stuarts, the situation arose with the children of the duke of York (son of Charles I, brother of Charles II) and the children of Princess Anne (daughter of James II, sister of Mary II).  It appears that these grandchildren/nephews of sovereigns were titled "Prince" for grandsons in male line, "Lord" or "Prince" for grandsons in female line, "Lady" for granddaughters in either male or female line, and were not styled "Highness" (except the very special case of the duke of Gloucester, second in line to the throne).

With the Hanoverians, new situations arose.

George I had siblings who were not male-line descendants of a sovereign.  He also came to the throne a grandfather, since his son had several children.  Under his reign, the practice was to title these grandchildren (who were all children of an eldest son) Princes and Princesses, and to give them the style of "Highness".   Consistent with this, from the reign of George II at least daughters of sovereigns start using special coronets to indicate their rank (whereas the warrant of 1662 regulating coronets for the royal family does not prescribe any coronets for females).

Under George II, there were again grandchildren (all children of an eldest son), but the practice changed and they were styled "Royal Highness", in 1737. The practice was formalized by letters patent of 1864.

The grandchildren in male line of George III (other than children of the Prince of Wales) were called princes and princesses, but only styled Highness until 1830.  The change to Royal Highness seems to originate with William IV (see Garter's memorandum), and was formalized by the letters patent of 1864 (see PRO HO 45/8933/2, letter of C. B. Phipps to the Lord Chancellor, Jan 21, 1864: "The Queen is quite decided as to the propriety of extending the title of Royal Highness to all grandchildren, being the children of sons of a Sovereign. " [emphasis added].)
George III's reign saw the first great-grandchildren of a sovereign in male line, the 2nd duke of Gloucester and his sister, who were also the nephew and niece of a sovereign.  They were titled "Prince" and "Princess", but were styled "Highness" until they received a formal grant of the style "Royal Highness" late in their life (1816, when he married George III's daughter).  It is not absolutely clear, however, whether the title of Prince was due to being great-grandson of George II or nephew of George III (as the latter, the 2nd duke of Gloucester was entitled to a special coronet distinguishing him from other dukes, by virtue of a warrant of 1662). The custom that "Princes and Princesses of [the] Royal Family descended from and in lineal succession to the Crown as now established by law all bear the style and title of Highness" is declared in the preamble to the Letters Patent of 1864.

Under the last of the Hanoverians, Queen Victoria, the case of even more distant relations arose:

  1. a great-grandchild in male line who was not also nephew of a sovereign (the 2nd duke of Cumberland, b. 1845)
  2. great-great-grandchildren in male line of a sovereign (the children of the former, from 1879)
  3. great-grandchildren in male line of a living sovereign (the children of the duke of York, from 1894)
  4. great-grandchildren in male line of a living sovereign not descended from the prince of Wales (the children of the reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, from 1906)
The third case occasioned a formal decision in 1898 to grant the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales the style of "Royal Highness"; prior to that date, they appear to have been considered as Princes, and, according to the preamble of the Letters Patent of 1864, were entitled to the style of "Highness".  The 4th case is similar to the 1st. It, like the first two cases, is somewhat obscured in practice by the fact that the individuals concerned mostly lived abroad (except for the 2d duke of Cumberland's sister, who, as a matter of fact, used the coronet of a British princess) and were also entitled to other styles: "Royal Highness" (members of the royal, albeit deposed, house of Hanover), "Highness" (the eldest son of the reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), "Serene Highness" (the other children of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha). Hence their alternate styles could very well mask any British style.  It would be interesting to know what style the younger children of the 2nd duke of Albany (reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) would have had in Britain, but the oldest was 7 by the time World War I broke out, and had always lived in Germany, so it is unlikely that the question ever arose.  It is a fact, however, that the individuals in the second case were officially called "born princes of Great Britain and Ireland" (in the consents to their marriages), which implies that the same must have been the case with their father.  It is also interesting that the official consent to the marriage of the 2nd duke of Albany also calls him "born prince of Great Britain and Ireland" (which he obviously was), a qualification that is not otherwise used, as if to assert in advance of the marriage the hereditary nature of the title.

Another novelty arose under Queen Victoria.  Until the 19th century, princesses married abroad, so that the status of their issue was never a question for the British court.  Some of Queen Victoria's daughters, however, remained in Britain after their marriage, their husbands were naturalixed, and their children were raised in Britain as British subjects.  This raised the question of the rank of  children of daughters of a sovereign, a question that had not been posed since 1688.  The practice appeared to be to confer the style of "Royal Highness" on the husband of Victoria's daughter (when he was a foreigner, as with Alice, Helena, Beatrice; but this did not happen with the husband of Louise, who happened to be the only Briton among Victoria's sons-in-law), and the style of "Highness" on the children of the marriage being British born subjects.  The children of these marriages used their father's foreign title of Prince (Schleswig-Holstein, Battenberg; the duchess of Argyll had no children).  This pattern repeated itself with the only daughter of Edward VII, whose British husband received no style (but did receive a dukedom) and whose daughters were given the title of  "Princess" and the style of "Highness".  George V's only daughter Mary did not marry until after the letters patent of 1917. 

Those five cases are suggestive of a pattern, if not a custom.  What happened with more distant issue?  The only case with such issue residing in Britain were the Battenbergs, who were customarily given their German style of "Serene Highness", and the son of the duchess of Fife, who was probably entitled to more than that through his father, as seen below.

Two more interesting cases arose before 1917, both a month apart in 1914:
  • the children of the duke and duchess of  Brunswick were the first great-great-great-grandchildren in male line of a sovereign; they were considered  to be princes of Great Britain from birth and were explicitly granted the style of Highness by George V
  • Alastair Arthur of Connaught, born in 1914, the first instance of a great-grandchild of a sovereign in male line born in Britain who was not more closely related to a sovereign (the 2nd duke of Gloucester and his sister had an uncle king, the Cumberlands and the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas were born abroad).  It appears that he was a prince.  As for the style of "Highness", several publications give it to him until about 1924.  He happened to be the son of the duchess of Fife mentioned above.
Both cases are discussed in more detail below.

Conclusion

The following conclusions can be drawn:
  • until 1917, the title of Prince was purely customary (except for the grant in 1905 to the daughters of the Princess Royal, and in 1914 to the children of the duke and duchess of Brunswick)
  • sons of the sovereign were princes and RH from the 17th c. (formalized in 1864 and 1917)
  • daughters of the sovereign were princesses from the Restoration, RH from George I
  • sons of the eldest son of the Sovereign were Prince and H from George I, RH from 1737
  • daughters of the eldest son of the Sovereign were Princess under George I, Lady under George II, Princess thereafter; H from George I, RH from 1737
  • other grandsons of the sovereign (in male line) were Prince from George I, H from Charles II, RH after 1830 (formalized in 1864 and 1917)
  • other granddaughters of the sovereign (in male line) were Princess and H under George I and from George III, RH after 1830 (formalized in 1864 and 1917)
  • under Victoria, a pattern developed to make British children of daughters of the sovereign "Prince" and "Highness" (grants ad personam 1867, 1887, 1905; practice ended after 1917); they had been H under James II
  • great-grandchildren of the sovereign who were children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales were "Prince/ss" and "Royal Highness" (formal grant in 1898; restricted to the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales in 1917)
  • great-grandchildren of the sovereign (in male line) were Prince/ss and H except in the previous case (preamble of the Letters Patent of 1864; first instance under George III; ended in 1917)
  • more distant descendants of the sovereign (in male line) were probably Prince/ss and H (preamble of the Letters Patent of 1864; ended in 1917)
These conclusions are more or less listed in decreasing degree of kinship with the sovereign.  This is also roughly the order of decreasing frequency in which these cases occurred, for natural reasons.  It follows that, since these rules are customary and can therefore be ascertained mainly through actual practice, the fewer instances of a particular case, the less of a basis to infer what the rule was for that case.  In other words, these conclusions are also listed in decreasing degree of certainty.

The letters patent of 1864 and 1917

Genesis

To be completed.

Effects

The letters patent of 1864 and 1917 are the two main general dispositions concerning styles and titles in the royal family.  They are, however, of a different nature:
  • the letters patent of 1864 have the effect of
    • confirming, and making explicit, what was hitherto a century-old custom, namely, giving the style of "Royal Highness" to the children of a sovereign and to the children of sons of a sovereign.
      • It said nothing about the title of prince, except to implicitly confirm that the same people received it. 
      • It also said nothing, either positive or negative, about usage for other individuals.  However, subsequent letters patent (1867, 1886, 1905) refer in their preamble to the letters of 1864 as "defining and limiting" the style of Royal Highness.
  • the letters patent of 1917 have the effect of
    • confirming the dispositions of the letters of 1864,
    • restricting the dispositions of the letters of 1898 to the eldest living son of the eldest son of the prince of Wales (although these letters are not cited in the preamble), and
    • denying the title of prince and the styles of royal highness, highness or serene highness to anyone else, except those already granted by letters patent and remaining unrevoked
Thus, the letters of 1864 granted or confirmed certain styles for certain people without explicitly confirming or denying them for the rest, while the letters of 1917 explicitly deny the styles to those who are not explicitly entitled to them.  The letters of 1917 are thus much more complete and precise.

Since the letters of 1917 denied certain styles to certain people, what happened to those who already had them at the time they were passed?  Many of these titles had been granted by royal warrant rather than letters patent, but it is doubtful that the distinction is meaningful here.  The last holder of a British style of Highness died in 2005.

Prince of what?

When we speak of the title of Prince, is there a territorial designation attached to it?  Not necessarily.  Actual practice shows little consistency in the matter.

While the expression "prince of Great Britain" appears under the Hanoverians (e.g., the styles of the prince of Wales in 1714, 1729, 1751) and that of "Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" under Victoria and George V (e.g., the styles of the prince of Wales in 1841 and  1911), the only formal grant of the style prior to 1914 (in 1905) does not specify any territorial designation.  That of 1914 (for the children of the duke and duchess of Brunswick) adds a territorial designation ("of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland") to an existing title of prince, whereas their father and aunts had been declared "born prince/ss of Great Britain and Ireland" before.  The 2nd duke of  Albany is called "born prince of Great Britain and Ireland" in the consent to his marriage.  Princess Frederica of Hanover is called "princess of  Great Britain and Ireland", while the members of the next generation of Cumberlands (1900-13) are called "born prince(ss) of Great Britain and Ireland"..  But Ernst August, in 1951, is called "prince of  Great Britain".

The letters patent of November 1917, which grant the title of prince explicitly to children of a sovereign and children of sons of a sovereign, specify no territorial designation.  The only formal grant posterior to 1917 (to the duke of Edinburgh in 1957) specifies "of the United Kingdom".  It is now considered that the title of prince conferred by the letters patent of November 1917 is that of prince of the United Kingdom.

Practice and Customs from 1660 to 1917

The Stuarts

The only interesting cases are

  • the children of the duke of York, nephews and nieces of Charles II, before the accession of their father as James II; and
  • the children of the Princess Anne of Denmark by her husband Prince George of Denmark, all of whom died before her accession as Queen Anne on March 8, 1702. Before 1688 they were grandchildren of the king (in female line), after 1688 they were nephews/nieces of the sovereign.
Information on their styles can be found in a couple sources:
  • their "deposita", i.e., the inscriptions placed on their coffins at burial in Westminster Abbey (see more on the deposita of the British royal family).  (from  John Dart: Westmonasterium. London, 1742. Vol. 2, p. 51)
  • in the register of burials at Westminster, (from Collectanea topographica et genealogica, London, J.B. Nichols and Son, printers, 1834-43; vol. 7 and vol. 8)
  • Garter's memorandum of the 1850s or early 1860s

The Children of the duke of York (James II)

What follows is the list of the children of James as duke of York (from 1660 to 1682), with the corresponding entry in the register of burials and the text of the depositum when applicable and available:
  1. Charles, duke of Cambridge, b. Oct 22/Nov 1, 1660, died May 5/15 1661
    • May 6: Charles, Duke of Cambridge, son to the Duke of York
    • Depositum Celsissimi Principis Caroli Ducis Cantabrigiæ, filii primogeniti Jacobi Ducis Eboracensis: qui natus 22 die Octobris 1660. Obiit in Aula Whitehall quinto die Maii MDCLXI.

  2. Mary (later Queen Mary), b. Apr 30/May 9, 1662

  3. James, duke of Cambridge, b. Jul 12/22 1663, d. June 20/30, 1667
    • June 26: The Duke of Cambridge, eldst son to the Duke of Yorke
    • Depositum Illustrissimi Principis Jacobis Ducis Cantabrigiæ, &c. filii secundo-geniti & Herædis Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, qui in Aula Regia Richmondiæ vicesimo die Junii in Domino obdormivit. Ætatis suæ Quarto; Annoq; Domini MDCLXVII.

  4. Anne (later Queen Anne), b. Feb 6/16, 1665

  5. Charles, duke of Kendall, b. Jul 4/14 1666, d. May 22/June 1, 1667
    • May 30: the Duke of Kendall, 2d son to ye Duke of York
    • Depositum Illustrissimi Principis Carolis Ducis Condaliæ [Dart: Candaliæ] &c. filii tertio geniti Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, qui in Aula Regia sancti Jacobi dicta, vicesimo secundo die Maij in Domino obdormivit, vix annum habens, Anno Domini MDCLXVII.

  6. Edgar, duke of Cambridge, b. Sep 14/24 1667, d. June 8/18, 1671
    • June 12: Edgar, Duke of Cambridge
    • Depositum Illustrissimi Principis Edgari Ducis Cantabrigiæ &c. filii quarto geniti & Herædis Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, qui in Aula Regia Richmondiæ, 8. die Junii in Domino obdormivit, ætatis suæ quarto, Anno Dom. MDCLXXI.

  7. Henrietta b. Jan 13/23, d. Nov 15/25, 1669
    • Nov. 9: The Lady Henrietta, d. to the D.k of York
    • Depositum Illustrissimæ Dominæ Henriettæ filiæ natu-tertiæ Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, quæ in Aula Regia sancti Jacobi dicta, decimo quinto die mensis Novembris in Domino obdormivit decem circiter mensium ætatis, Anno Domini MDCLXIX.

  8. Catherine b. Feb. 9/19, d. Dec 5/15 1671
    • Dec. 8: The Lady Kath. ye Dk of York's youngst dau.r
    • Depositum Illustrissimæ Dominæ Catherinæ filiæ tertio-genitæ Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, quæ in Aula Regia sancti Jacobi dicta, in Domino obdormivit, vix decem menses habens, quinto die Decembris, Anno a Christo nato, MDCLXXI.

  9. Katherine Laura b. Jan 10, 1675, d. Oct 3/13 1675
    • Oct. 5: Catherine Laura, a young child of ye Dk of York's
    • Depositum Illustrissimæ Dominæ Katherinæ Lauræ ex secundis nuptiis filiæ primo-genitæ Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, quæ in Aula Regia Sti. Jacobi dicta tertia die Octobris obdormivit, vix novem menses habens, Anno Dom. MDCLXXV.

  10. Charles, duke of Cambridge, b. Nov 7/17, 1677, d. Dec 12/22, 1677
    • Dec. 13: The Dk of Cambridge
    • <*>
  11. Isabella, b. Aug 28/Sep 7, 1676, d. Mar 2/12 1680
    • Mar. 4: The Lady Isabella, da. to the Duke of Yorke
    • Depositum Illustrissimæ Dominæ Isabellæ filiæ septimogenitæ Potentissimi Principis Jacobi Ducis Eboraci, &c. & conjuge Maria D'Este quæ in Aula Regia Sti. Jacobi dicta secundo die Martii sexcentessimo octogessimo in Domino obdormivit, ætatis suæ anno currente quinto, Anno Dom. MDCLXXX.

  12. Charlotta Maria, b. Aug 15/25, d. Oct 16/26, 1682
    • Octob. 8: The Lady Charlotte Marie, dau.r to the Dk of Yorke
    • <*>

  13. James Francis Edward  b. June 10/20, 1688

  14. Louisa Maria Theresia, b. June 28, 1692
<*>: Dart mentions these burials but does not give the text of the depositum.

The children of Princess Anne (Queen Anne)

What follows is the same list for the children of Princess Anne (from 1684 to 1700)

  1. a daughter, stillborn May 12/22, 1684
    • <>
    • Hic jacet Filia primogenita Illustrissimi Georgii & Annæ, Daniæ principis, illustrissimi Jacobi Eboraci Ducis neptis, nata mortua die Maij 12. MDCLXXXIIII

  2. Lady Mary, b. June 2/12, 1685, died Feb. 8/18, 1687
    • 10 Feb 1686-7: the Lady Mary, eldest dau[]r to their Royall Highnesses Prince George and the Princess Ann of Denmark.
    • Depositum Illustrissimæ Dominæ Mariæ, Filiæ natu secundæ Illustrissimi Principis Georgii Daniæ & Norvegiæ principis hæreditarij &c. Ex illustrissima Anna conjuge Charissima Filia secunda serenissimi Principis, Jacobi Magnæ Britanniæ Regis &c. Nata Junij 2. MDCLXXXV Obiit Feb. 8 Ætatis suæ secundo, Annoq: Dom. MDCLXXXVI

  3. Lady Anne Sophie, b. May 12/22 1686, died Feb. 2/12, 1687
    • 4 Feb 1686-7: the Lady Anne Sophie, youngest dau[]r to their Royall Highnesses Prince George and the Princess Ann of Denmark.
    • Anna Sophia, filia natu tertia secundæ Illustrissimi Principis Georgii Daniæ & Norvegiæ principis hæreditarij &c. Ex illustrissima Anna conjuge Charissima Filia secunda serenissimi Principis, Jacobi Magnæ Britanniæ Regis &c. Nata Maij 12. obiit die Purificationis B. M. Virginis, Anno Dom. MDCLXXXVI Ætatis Primo.

  4. a male foetus, Oct 22/Nov 1, 1687
    • 22 Oct 1687: The Princess Ann's child, a chrissome, bu[]d in ye vault
    • Depositum Foetus Masculi Abortivi, Illustrissimi Illustrissimi Principis Georgii Daniæ & Norvegiæ principis hæreditarij &c. Ex illustrissima Anna conjuge Charissima Filia secunda serenissimi Principis, Jacobi Magnæ Britanniæ Reg. &c. Oct. 22 An. Dom. MDCLXXXVII.

  5. William, duke of Gloucester, died July 30/Aug 10, 1700
    • Friday 9 Aug 1700: His Royall Highness Will[iam] Duke of Gloucest[e]r, the only son of their Royall Highnesses Prince George and the Princess Ann of Denmark, was bur[ie]d in the royall vault on the south side of H[enry] 7 Ch[apel].
    • Depositum Illustrissimi Principis Gulielmi Ducis Gloucestriæ Nobilissimi Ordinis Aureæ Periscelidis Equitis Filii unici Celcissimæ Annæ, per Inclytissimum Principem Georgium Daniæ hæreditarum: obiit in Castro Regali apud Windsor, xxx Die Julij MDCC Anno Ætatis XII ineunte.

  6. Lady Mary, born October 1690, died soon after, buried Oct 14
    • 14 Oct 1690: The Lady Mary, da. of their Royall Highnesses Prince George and the Princess Ann of Denmark.
    •   <*>

  7. George, born Apr 17/27, 1692, died the same day after baptism
    • 18 Apr 1692: L[or]d George, s[on] to Prince and Princess of Denmark.
    •   <*>

  8. stillborn daughter March 23/Apr 2, 1693
    • 24 Mar 1692-3: A still born child of Prince George's
    •   <*>
<*>: Dart mentions these burials but does not give the text of the depositum.

William, duke of Gloucester (1689-1700)

William, duke of Gloucester, was the only son of Princess Anne who survived beyond infancy.  He was born on July 24, 1689 and baptized on July 27, at which time he was declared Duke of Gloucester (letters patent were never issued).  After the death of Queen  Mary in 1694, Princess Anne became (under the terms of the Bill of Rights of 1689) heiress apparent to king William III, and the duke Gloucester was "heir apparent to the heir apparent", the equivalent to the eldest son of a prince of Wales under normal circumstances.  But, strictly speaking, he was only the grandson in female line of a sovereign, residing in Britain, a position for which there was no real precedent.  He was thus second in line to the throne, but also (since William was unlikely to remarry and have children) the last: his death in 1700 prompted Parliament to pass the Act of Settlement in 1701 to extend the order of succession beyond Anne.

We are better informed on his styles since he lived long enough to receive honors (Francis Sandford: A Genealogical History ... London, 1708, p. 861-64):
  • He was installed as Knight of the Garter on July 24, 1696, following dispensation granted by warrant of April 8, 1696; the same warrant directed that he should be entered in the registers of the Order by the name of William, son to the Princess Anne, by Prince George of Denmark, and gave him as mark of difference a label of three points argent bearing the red cross of England,  and an inescutcheon  with the arms of Denmark. 
  • The titles engraved on his plate in the knights' stalls at Windsor were "Du tres haut, Tres Puissant, & Tres Illustre Prince GUILLAUME, Fils de la Princesse ANNE, par le Prince George de Danemark, Installe au Chateau de Windesore le xxive jour de Juillet, l'an MDCXCVI." 
  • The styles proclaimed at his burial by Garter King of Arms were: "the most Illustrious Prince, William, Duke of Glocester, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Only Son of the High and Mighty Princess Anne, by His Royal Highness Prince George of Denmark." 
As far as "Highness" vs. "Royal Highness" is concerned, the texts of the time show no consistent pattern.  It is interesting to note that Sandford's continuator, Samuel Stebbing, who was Somerset Herald and presumably paid attention to such matters, systematically calls the duke of Gloucester "His Highness".  Garter's memorandum also states that the public announcements on his illness and death, the Earl Marshal's orders for the funeral, and the ceremonial all style him Highness. 

George I

When George I acceded in 1714, he had one son and one daughter, married since 1706 to the king of Prussia.  He also had two brothers, Maximilian Wilhelm (1666-1726), who lived in Austria, and Ernst August (1674-1728) who was created duke of York on July 14, 1716 (n.s.).  The duke of York was styled Highness.

His only son (the future George II) was created prince of Wales on Sep. 27, 1714 (o.s.). This prince of Wales had one son and three daughters when George I succeeded, and this was the first instance of a reigning sovereign with grandchildren in the male line since Edward III.  However, these grandchildren were all children of a sovereign's eldest son.

George I's grandchildren were:

  • Frederick Lewis (Jan 31 1707 n.s. -Mar 20 1751 n.s.), cr. duke of Edinburgh in 1726
  • George William (Nov 13 1717 n.s. - Feb 17 1718 n.s.)
  • William Augustus of Wales (Apr 26 1721n.s. - Oct 31 1765), cr. duke of Cumberland in 1726, who never married;
  • Anne (Feb 11 1709-Jan 12 1759), created Princess Royal on Aug 30, 1727, who married the prince of Orange in 1734;
  • Amelia (Jul 10 1711- Oct 31 1786);
  • Caroline Elizabeth (1713-Dec 28 1757);
  • Mary (Mar 5 1723 n.s. - Jan 14 1772) who married the future landgrave of Hesse-Cassel in 1740;
  • Louisa (Dec 18 1724 n.s. - Dec 19 1751 n.s.) who married the future king of Denmark in 1743.

During the reign of George I, it appears that royal grandchildren, even children of the Prince of Wales, were styled princes and princesses but received the attribute of "Highness" rather than "Royal Highness".   See for example the gazetting of the creation of his two grandsons as dukes on July 15/26, 1726 (London Gazette 6494): "His Majesty has been pleased to create his Highness Prince Frederick, a Baron, Viscount, Earl, Marquess, and Duke of the Kingdom of Great Britain, by the Names Stiles and Titles of Baron of Snaudon in the County of Caernarvon, Viscount of Lanceston in the County of Cornwall, Earl of Eltham in the County of Kent, Marquess of the Isle of Wight and Duke of Edinburgh. His Majesty has been pleased to create his Highness Prince William, a Baron, Viscount, Earl, Marquess, and Duke of the Kingdom of Great Britain, by the Names Stiles and Titles of Baron of the Isle of Alderney, Viscount of Trematon in the County of Cornwall, Earl of Kinnington in the county of Surrey, Marquess of Berkhamstead in the County of Hertford, and Duke of Cumberland."  Garter's memorandum states that George William was buried with the style of Highness.

A statement of the current practice appears in Chamberlayne's Magnae Britanniae Notitia (e.g., 1726 edition, p. 61): "The daughters of England are stiled Princesses, the Eldest of which to violate unmarried is High-Treason at this Day. To all the King's children belong the Title of Royal Highness [...] All the King's Sons, Grandsons, Brothers, Uncles, and  Nephews of the King, are by Stat. 3 Hen VIII to precede other in England.  it is true, the Word Grandson is not there in terminis, but it is understood (as Sir Edward Coke holds) by Nephew, which in Latin being Nepos, signifies also, and chiefly, a Grandson."

An example of the styles of the Royal Family can be found in An Exact List of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, 1719.  The list of members of the House of Lords begins as follows :

His Royal Highness George Augustus (Prince of Great Britain, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesaye, Duke and Marquis of Cambridge, Earl of Milford-Haven, and of Carreck, Viscount Northallerton, Baron of Tewkesbury, and of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Steward of Scotland, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter,) Prince of Wales, and Earl of Chester. P.C.
His Royal Highness Earnest Augustus (Prince of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, Bishop of Osnabrugh), Duke of York and Albany, and Earl of Ulster.
His Highness Prince Frederick (eldest son of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales) Duke of Gloucester.

Other examples of contemporary usage (although less authoritative): Basil Kennett's Romae antiquae notitia (London, 1726) is dedicated to "His Highness the duke of Gloucester", Saint John Fisher's Practical discourse upon private prayer (London, 1719) is dedicated to "His Highness Princess Anne."  On the other hand, the Historical Register (1717, p. 90; 1727, p. 55) uses the phrase "His Royal Highness Prince Frederick", but this seems to be an exception.

George II

When George II acceded in 1727 none of his children were not married, but in the course of his reign he would see nine grandchildren, all born to his son Frederick Lewis prince of Wales:

  • George William Frederick (June 4 1738 n.s. - Jan 29 1820), later George III
  • Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany (Mar 25 1739 n.s.- Sep 17 1767)
  • William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (Nov 25 1743 n.s.- Aug 25 1805)
  • Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn (Nov 7 1745 n.s.- Sep 18 1790)
  • Frederick William (May 24 1750 n.s. - Dec 29 1765)
  • Augusta (Dec 8 1737 n.s. - Mar 23 1813), married the hereditary prince (later duke) of Brunswick in 1764
    • one of her daughters, Caroline, married in 1795 the Prince of Wales
  • Elizabeth Caroline (Jan 10 1741 n.s. - Sep 4 1759)
  • Louisa Anne (Mar 19 1749-May 13 1768)
  • Caroline Matilda (Jul 22 1751n.s. - May 10 1775), married the king of Denmark in 1766

Of these, the only one to have any issue was the duke of Gloucester, who had William Frederick, later 2nd duke of Gloucester, and Sophia Mathilda. As the first great-grandchildren of a sovereign in male line they will be examined in detail below.

Once again, from 1738 there were grandchildren of the sovereign in male line, but they were all children of the Prince of Wales.  But, contrary to the preceding reign, it appears that these grandchildren were styled royal highnesses, although the daughters were not Princesses.   This was a decision of the Prince of Wales, according to Garter's memorandum.  For further evidence, see the announcement of the creation of Edward Augustus as duke of York and Albany: "Whitehall, April 1. The King has been pleased to grant unto His Majesty's dearly beloved Grandson Prince Edward Augustus, and to the Heirs Male of his Royal Highness, the Dignities of Duke of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and of Earl of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Names, Stiles and Titles of Duke of York and of Albany in the said Kingdom of Great Britain, and of Earl of Ulster in the said Kingdom of Ireland" (London  Gazette 9981, March 29, 1760).  See likewise the entry in the register of burials at St. Peter's, Westminster (Harleian Society Publications, vol. 10, p. 395): "Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth Caroline, 2d daughter of his late Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wales".

George III

George III acceded in 1760, unmarried. His brothers were sons of an eldest son of king. He married in 1761 and had a number of children, including the following sons:

  • George Augustus Frederick, prince of Wales, later George IV (1762-1830)
    • Charlotte (1796-1817)
      ~ 1816 Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • Frederick Augustus, duke of York (1763-1827), married without issue
  • William Henry, duke of Clarence (1765-1837), later William IV
    • two daughters who died in infancy
  • Edward Augustus, duke of Kent (1767-1820)
    • Queen Victoria
  • Ernest Augustus, duke of Cumberland (1771-1851), later Ernst August I of Hanover
    • one son
      • further issue (see below)
  • Augustus Frederick, duke of Sussex (1773-1843)
  • Adolphus Frederick, duke of Cambridge (1774-1850)
    • George, 2nd duke of Cambridge (1819-1904)
    • Augusta (1822-1916)
      ~ 1843 grand-duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
    • Mary Adelaide (1833-1897)
      ~ 1866 Francis, duke of Teck [H 1887]

George III had many sons, but few grandchildren in male line: two grandsons and three granddaughters.  Of his sons, the duke of York married in 1791 but had no issue, the prince of Wales married in 1795 and had only one daughter, princess Charlotte; the duke of Cumberland married in 1815 and his only son Georg was born in Berlin in May 1819, seven months before the death of George III.   Sussex married in contravention to the Royal Marriages Act. The dukes of Clarence, Kent, and Cambridge all married in 1818, in a rush to produce heirs after the untimely death of Charlotte of Wales.  Kent had one daughter who became Queen Victoria. Clarence had two daughters who died in infancy.  Only the duke of Cambridge produced a son, born in Hanover in March 1819, a few months before the death of George III.   Cambridge also had two daughters, one of whom married the grand-duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1843.  The other, Princess Mary Adelaide, was since1843 the only unmarried British princess other than Queen Victoria's daughters.  She was finally married in 1866 to the 1st duke of Teck, who was created a Highness in 1887 and took up residence in Britain.  Their eldest son the 2nd duke of Teck was created a Highness in 1911. 

George III's grandchildren, even after his death (whereby they became nephews and nieces of the sovereign) were styled Highness: examples include the announcement of the death of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the duke of Clarence, in 1821; the act in 1825 providing an annual sum for the support of Prince George Frederic of Cumberland, the act of the same year providing a sum for the support of Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (later Queen Victoria).

After 1830, however, the grandchildren of George III were styled Royal Highness.  This began at the funeral of George IV, where Prince George of Cambridge was so styled by command of the new king.  Likewise, the Act of the same year providing for a regency in case Victoria should accede as a minor styles her Royal Highness.  At the election of Princes George of Cambridge and George Frederic of Cumberland to the Order of the Garter in 1835, the king again directed that they be so styled.  Queen Victoria continued this custom, as appears from two acts (6& 7 Vict c 25 and 13 & 14 Vic cap 7) concerning George and Mary of Cambridge.  It was her desire to formally extend the style to grandchildren of the sovereign in male line that led to the Letters Patent of 1864 (see C. B. Phipps' letter to the Lord Chancellor of Jan 21, 1864, in National Archives, HO 45/8933/2: "The Queen is quite decided as to the propriety of extending the title of Royal Highness to all grandchildren, being the children of sons of a Sovereign.")

The next generation in male line is even sparser, since the second duke of Cambridge, grandson of George III, married in contravention to the Royal Marriages Act and died in 1904.  George III's only other grandson in male line, the duke of Cumberland, had male issue that continues to this day. As it is the second instance of great-grandchildren of a sovereign in male line it will be examined below.

Of the daughters of George III:

  • Charlotte Augusta Matilda (1766-1828), Princess Royal, married in 1797 the hereditary prince (later duke, still later king) of Wurttemberg
  • Augusta Sophia (1768-1840) never married
  • Elizabeth (1770-1840) married in 1818 the landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
  • Mary (1776-1857) married in 1816 her cousin the 2nd duke of Gloucester, who was created HRH on that occasion; they had no issue
  • Sophia (1777-1848) never married
  • Amelia (1783-1810) never married
so there were no grandchildren of George III in female line who resided in the UK.

The 2nd Duke of Gloucester

The only grandson of George I in male line to have any issue (aside from George III) was William Henry (Nov 14/25, 1743 - Aug 25, 1805).  He was created duke of Gloucester on Nov. 17 or 19, 1764.  About that time, he fell in love with Maria Waldegrave (1736-1807), widow of the 2nd earl Waldegrave.  She was the daughter of Sir Edward Walpole (a younger son of the Prime Minister) and Dorothy Clement or Clements, who were not married.  She was thus not only of relatively modest origin (certainly not royal), but also a bastard child.  Her family connections nevertheless let her enter society and marry rather successfully the earl Waldegrave, who had been lord of the bedchamber of George II and governor of the future George III.  He died of smallpox in 1763 and left her widowed with three daughters.  Prince William Henry married her secretly on Sept. 6, 1766.  But he did not reveal the marriage; instead, she took the role of official mistress, and even received a pension from George III on the Irish revenues.  But, after the duke of Cumberland's marriage became public in 1771, Gloucester revealed his own to his brother in 1772.  George III ordered an inquiry into the validity of the marriage, which was certified as valid a few days before the birth of their first child, Sophia Mathilda, on May 29, 1773. Two other children followed: Caroline Augusta Maria (June 24 1774- March 1775) and William Frederick on Jan 15, 1776 in Rome.  By 1777 George III and his brother were reconciled and legislation to provide for the family was passed in 1778 (18 Geo III c. 31).  In the act, the two surviving children of the duke of Gloucester are called "his Highness Prince William Frederick, the son of his said Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester" and his sister "her Highness Princess Sophia Matilda, the daughter of his said Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester".

The marriages of Cumberland and Gloucester prompted the passage of the Royal Marriages Act in 1776, which for the first time placed restrictions on princes' ability to marry without consent.  But, as the marriages had taken place before and were technically valid in English law, there was no way to deny the issue their status in the British royal family.  Matters were different in Hanover, where rules about unequal marriages certainly precluded the marriage of a Hanoverian dynast with the illegitimate daughter of a member of the gentry from being admitted as valid for succession purposes.  Gloucester's marriage was unequal, and his issue was in principle excluded from the dynasty.  In fact, the duke of Gloucesters's two children were not listed in the genealogical listing of the electoral house of Hanover in the Königlicher Groß-Britannischer und Kurfürstlicher Braunschweig-Lüneburgscher Staats-Kalender, although he was.  Hermann Schulze (Hausgesetze, vol. 1, p. 408) states that William Frederick was treated in Germany as a British prince but not as an agnate of the house of Brunswick, and cites Carl Friedrich Häberlin:  Staats-Archiv, vol. 1 [1796], p. 91 and Karl Friedrich Eichhorn: Über die Ehe des Herzogs von Sussexp. 170.  He also notes the significant fact that the William Frederick, as 2nd duke of Gloucester, was not invited to sign the family compact of the house of Brunswick-Luneburg in 1831 when all other agnates residing in Britain did so.  Since family compacts needed the consent of all agnates, this is clear evidence that William Frederick was not considered an agnate of the house of Brunswick-Luneburg.

In Britain, the children of the 1st duke of Gloucester were consistently given the rank of prince and the style of Highness:
  • Annual Register 1789, p. 250;
  • London Gazette13685, Jul. 15, 1794, p. 728, account of his election as Knight of the Garter: "Prince William Frederick (now out of the Kingdom), son of his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester";
  • Annual Register 1794, p. 323, Chron. p. 68; 
  • Gentleman's Magazine 1794 i. 375;
  • London Gazette13755 Feb. 24, 1795, p. 187: "His Highness Prince William, of the 115th Foot, to be major-general in the army"). 
  • Court and City Register 1795, p. 144: "His Highness Prince William of Gloucester";
  • Annual Register 1799 chron. appendix p. 145;
  • Annual Register 1806 Chron. p. 173;
  • Journal of the House of Lords (1806): account of his reception when he succeeded his father: "His Highness the Duke of Gloucester"
A few exceptions: the Annual Register on his admission to the degree of MA at Cambridge in 1790 (p. 210): "his royal highness prince William Frederick".

A brief account of the 2nd duke of Gloucester's unremarkable career:
MA Canta 1790, LLD 1796, chancellor of the university Mar 26, 1811, installed June 29.  Colonel in the 1st regt Foot Guards 11 Mar 1789. Full colonel Feb 8, 1794, command of the 115th Foot May 3, major-general Feb 16, 1795 [recte Feb 27], colonel of the 6th ret of foot 8 Nov. Lt General Nov 13, 1799. Colonel of the 3d regt foot guards May 31, 1806, general April 25, 1808; field marshal May 1816.  Elected KG July 16, 1794, received insigns July 27, installed May 29, 1801.  PC Feb 1, 1806. GCB Apr 12, 1815. GCH Aug 12, 1815. Ranger of Bagshot Walk 1798, governor Portsmouth 1827.
William Frederick (1776-1834), the 2nd duke of Gloucester, as only male agnate in Britain aside from the brothers of George III, was long kept in reserve while Princess Charlotte, only daughter of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive, decided whom to marry.  Her marriage to prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha allowed the duke to marry his long-time love, George III's daughter Mary (1776-1857), on July 22, 1816.  According to the Complete Peerage (vol. 5, p. 745) "The style of 'Royal Highness' was not, however, allowed to him till 22 July 1816, he being (though nephew and son-in-law of the then King) only great-grandson (not grandson) of a King of England".  His sister received the same style the next day.  The Complete Peerage does not provide any source for this (perhaps a warrant is registered at the College of Arms?).

The dukes of Cumberland

The second instance of a great-grandson of a sovereign in male line came with the dukes of Cumberland.  They were even more remote from the sovereign than the Gloucesters, since the 2nd duke of Gloucester was a great-grandson of George II but also a nephew of George III.

Here is the line of the dukes of Cumberland to the 5th generation in male line from George III:
  • George III
    • Ernst August I (1771-1851), duke of Cumberland, king of Hanover 1837
      • Georg V (1819-78) king of Hanover 1851-66, 2nd duke of Cumberland
        • Ernst August (1845-1923), 3d duke of Cumberland 1878-1919
          ~ 1878 Thyra of Denmark
          • Marie Louise (1879-1948)
            ~ 1900 Maximilian prince of Baden
          • Georg Wilhelm (1880-1912)
          • Alexandra (1882-1963)
            ~ 1904 Friedrich Franz grand-duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
          • Olga (1884-1958)
          • Christian Friedrich (1885-1901)
          • Ernst August (1887-1953), duke of Brunswick 1913-18
            ~ 1913 Viktoria Luise of Prussia
            • Ernst August (1914-87)
              ~ 1951
              further issue
            • Georg Wilhelm (1915-2005)
              further issue
            • Friederike Luise (1917-81)
              ~ 1937 king Paul of the Hellenes
            • Christian (1919-81)
              further issue
            • Welf Heinrich (1923-97)
        • Frederica (1848-1926)
          ~1880 Alfons von Pawel Ra(m)mingen
        • Marie Ernestine (1849-1904)

George III's son Ernest Augustus, duke of Cumberland (1771-1851) succeeded William IV as king of Hanover in 1837.  His son Georg V, who was born in Great Britain and blinded in an accident in 1833, succeeded him in 1851 but was dispossessed during the war of 1866 by Prussia.  He moved to Gmunden, in Austria, and always refused to accept the annexation of his kingdom by Prussia.  He died in Paris on June 12,1878, and was buried on June 23 in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.  Interestingly, the Court Circular styles him "His late Majesty King George of Hanover, his Royal Highness the duke of Cumberland, K.G., First Cousin of Her Majesty the Queen, General in her Majesty's Army", thus allowing him a (British) style of Royal Highness distinct from his (Hanoverian) style of Majesty. 

George V's son Ernst August succeeded him at the head of the house of Hanover. 

At the time [July 11 according to Allemagne Dynastique 3:185, July 10 according to other sources], he sent a letter to the the king of Prussia (translation from the Times, Feb 3, 1879, p. 3D):

"Most illustrious, most potent Prince, dearest Brother and Cousin:

With a deeply-troubled heart I fulfil the sad duty of announcing to you that it has pleased God in His unsearchable counsels to summon away from this life my much-loved father His Majesty King George V., King of Hanover, Prince Royal of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, etc., who died at Paris on the 12th of June this year, after long sufferings.  "In consequence of this stroke of death , involving great tribulation to me and my House, all rights, prerogatives, and titles which appertained to the King, my father, above all, and more particularly, with respect to the kingdom of Hanover have now passed to me in virtue of the law in my House regulating succession to the throne. All these rights, prerogatives, and titles do I maintain in their fulness and entirety.  As, however, the exercise of the same with regard to the kingdom of Hanover is impeded by restrictions which, of course, are not legally binding on me, I have resolved, pending the duration of these obstacles, to bear the title of 'Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg' with the prefix 'Royal Highness.'

While, moreover, making this communication I do not deem it necessary to intimate that the full and independent rights of me and my House can inno wise be abolished or restricted by the temporary non-use of the titles and dignities denoting the same.

I remain your Majesty's well-wisher, brother, and cousin.
       Ernst August

To His Majesty the King of Prussia
Gmund, July 1878"

This assertion of his rights (and explicit refusal to recognize the German Empire of 1871) precluded any settlement of the remaining Hanover issues, but also would block him from succeeding to the duchy of Brunswick, to which he was the heir presumptive.   The declaration also meant that the family, for the time being, was not using any title related to the former kingdom of Hanover (in particular, that of prince or princess of Hanover); the family resumed the use of these titles on Aug 29, 1931 (Allemagne Dynastique 3:199).

The duke of Cumberland was made a knight of the Garter on June 24, 1878 (dispensation on July 20, 1878): in the London Gazette announcement he is styled "His Royal Highness Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick of Hanover, duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale".   At that point, according to Ann Lyon ('A Reaction to Popular Hysteria: The Titles Deprivation Act 1917.' Liverpool Law Review (2000) 22:173-203), his position was considered and "The then Garter, Sir Albert Woods, had been of the view that 'the Princely title ceases with the grandchildren of the Sovereign' but admitted that no precedent could be quoted".  In the royal consent given to his marriage on Sept. 27, 1878, he is styled "Our Dear Cousin His Royal Highness The Prince Ernest Augustus WIlliam Adolphus George Frederick Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter" (PRO HO 124/18).  On Dec. 21 of the same year he married Thyra, daughter of king Christian IX of Denmark and sister of the princess of Wales, the result of a negotiation that had begun while Georg V was still alive.

Whatever the doubts about his status as prince, they were resolved two years later, when his sister Frederica married at Windsor on Apr 24, 1880 Alphonse, baron von Pawel-Rammingen, former court official of her father and settled in Britain (they had one child who died in infancy and was buried at Windsor).  She is styled "Our Dear Cousin Her Royal Highness The Princess Frederica Sophia Maria Henrietta Amelia Theresa of Hanover, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland " in the instrument passed under the Great Seal signifying the Queen's consent to the marriage (PRO HO 124/19).  It is known that she used the arms of England and the coronet of a niece of the sovereign (Fox-Davies 1909, p. 365, who asks for a warrant to settle the question of what coronet she should be entitled to as great-grandchild of a sovereign not being a niece of a sovereign).

Ernst August of Hannover (1887-1953), great-great-grandson of George III (but also first cousin of George V through his mother) and duke of Brunswick, is described as "born prince of Great Britain and Ireland" by George V in  the instrument signifying royal consent to the marriage in 1913; likewise his sister Princess Alexandra is styled "born princess of Great Britain and Ireland" (PRO C 188/2; see also the London Gazette).

The titles of the Cumberlands came under scrutiny during World War I, when it was debated what British titles and styles they had, whether they could and should be removed, and how.  Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, Garter King of Arms, reported to Lord Sanderson, a member of the Select Committee considering the Bill, on 24th April 1917 (Lyon, op. cit.): he "seems inclined to have believed the Duke of Cumberland to be a holder of royal titles".   He cited the 1913 marriage consent and said that it was hard to see how the Duke of Brunswick could have been "born Prince of of Great Britain and Ireland" other than through his father.

At the time of the birth of the duke and duchess of Brunswick's first son in March 1914, a note in the Times (March 19, 1914) read: "The British Councillor of Embassy here [Berlin], Sir Horace Rumbold, is staying at Brunswick to certify the birth of a Prince of Great Britain and Ireland."   Here is Sir Horace Rumbold's interesting account of the event:

"The Duchess of Brunswick, the Emperor's only daughter, was expecting her confinement in the first half of March, and, although the Duke was one of the German Federal Prince, he wished, as the Duke of Cumberland's son, to be also considered as an English Prince.  Her therefore intimated that he would be glad if my Chief [Sir E. Goschen] would go to Brunswick and be present in the Palace at the birth of his child, on the analogy of the presence of the Home Secretary at the birth of a child of an English Sovereign.  Sir E. Goschen, not being well, instructed me to go to Brunswick in his place.  I went there accordingly on March 8 [...]  On the seventh day of my stay, I received a message from the Duchess, conveyed, of course, quite privately, to the effect that I should have to wait on some time longer, as the doctor had deveidently made a mistake about the date of the confinement. [...]  I asked the Duke, after consulting the Minister, for leave to return to Berlin.  This was at once granted on the understanding that I would come back to Brunswick as soon as I was sent for.  Early in the morning of March 18 I was rung up from Brunswick by the Chamberlain and asked to return there at once, as the Duchess had just given birth to a boy.  I caught the first available train and reached Brunswick at 11 a.m. Flags were flying throughout the State in honour of the birth of an heir to the throne.  On reaching the Palace, I was taken to a room in which were the Duke, the Minister of State and the doctor, who had not been allowed to leave the building pending my arrival. We went up to the nursery, where we inspected the newly born infant, andwhere the Minister of State and the doctor certified that it was the very child which had been born five or six hours earlier.  An elaborate luncheon, washed down by the finest Rhine wine, completed the proceedings as far as I was concerned, and I then returned to Berlin."
               Sir Horace Rumbold: The War Crisis in Berlin, July-August 1914. London: Constable & Co, 1940, p. 36-38.

The consent given to the marriage of Frederica Louisa (1917-81) with prince Paul of Greece (Gazette 34468, 31 December 1937, p. 1), as gazetted, calls her only "Her Royal Highness Princess Frederica Louisa of Brunswick-Luneburg".  But the consent given to the marriage of Ernst August (1914-87) with Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein on Aug 1, 1951 styles him "His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus George William Christian Louis Francis Joseph Nicholas Oscar of Hanover, born Prince of Great Britain, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg" (PRO HO 124/49). The consent given to him for his second marriage on June 10, 1981 (Gazette 48638) styles them "His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Georg of Brunswick-Luneburg". His son Ernst August (b. 1954) received consent to his (first) marriage the same day under the style "His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover". Ernst August's younger brother Ludwig (1955-88) was given consent in 1987 as "His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig Rudolph Georg Wilhelm Philipp Friedrich Wolrad Maximilian of Hanover" (Gazette 51069).

The case of Attorney-General v HRH Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover:

This case is not germane to the subject  but I mention it because of its antiquarian interest.  In the early 1950s Prince Ernst August of Hanover petitioned for British citizenship on the basis of the Act of 1705 which naturalized all descendants of the Electress Sophia.  The statute had been completely forgotten until the 1930s.  Lower courts accepted the British government's position that its clauses should be ignored because applying them in the present time would go far beyond the intent of the drafters and produce ridiculous results, but the House of Lords sided with the plaintiff and affirmed that the Act was still in force.

Legal references:
[1955] 1 All ER 746 =  [1955] Ch 440
[1955] 3 All ER 647 = [1956] Ch 188
[1957] 1 All ER 49 = [1957] AC 436

It was customary to naturalize husbands (and also sometimes wives) of members of the British Royal Family.  Here are a few examples:

  • 1 W & A prince George of Denmark naturalized
  • 4 Geo III c.5 naturalizing the hereditary prince of Brunswick-Lunenburg
  • 7 Geo II c.4 naturalizing his most Serene Highness William Charles Henry Friso, prince of Orange and Nassau [Ruffhead 1763-64 6:150]
  • 9 Geo II c. 28 1739 act naturalizing the Princess of Wales
  • act naturalizing Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  • act naturalizing Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
  • act naturalizing Prince Henry of Battenberg

Stylings of the Cumberlands in British documents, 1878-1914

Victoria R
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To All to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting!  Whereas by an Act of Parliament intituled "An Act for the better regulating the future marriages of the Royal Family" it is amongst other things enacted "That no Descendant of the Body of His Majesty King George the Second, Male or Female (other than the issue of Princesses who have married, or may hereafter marry into Foreign Families) shall be capable of contracting Matrimony without the previous consent of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, signified under the Great Seal" Now Know Ye that We have consented, and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Dear Cousin His Royal Highness The Prince Ernest Augustus WIlliam Adolphus George Frederick Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, and Her Royal Highness Thyra Amélie Caroline Charlotte Anne daughter of His Majesty the King of Denmark.  In Witness whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Saint James's the Twenty Seventh Day of September 1878 in the Forty Second Year of Our Reign.
By the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Signed with Her Own Hand.

(National Archives, HO 124/18.)

Victoria R
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To All to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting!  Whereas by an Act of Parliament intituled "An Act for the better regulating the future marriages of the Royal Family" it is amongst other things enacted "That no Descendant of the Body of His Majesty King George the Second, Male or Female (other than the issue of Princesses who have married, or may hereafter marry into Foreign Families) shall be capable of contracting Matrimony without the previous consent of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, signified under the Great Seal".
Now Know Ye that We have consented, and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Dear Cousin Her Royal Highness The Princess Frederica Sophia Maria Henrietta Amelia Theresa of Hanover, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and Luitbert Alexander GeorgeLionel Alphonse Freiherr von Pawel Rammingen.  In Witness whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Saint James's the Eighteenth Day of March 1880, In the Forty Third Year of Our Reign.
By the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Signed with Her Own Hand.

(National Archives, HO 124/19.)

(from the Court Circular)
The marriage of her Royal Highness the Princess Frederica Sophia Maria Henrietta Amelia Theresa of Hanover, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland, elder daughter of His Majesty the late king George V. of Hanover, with Luitbert Alexander George Lionel Alphonse, Freiherr von Pawel Rammingen, was solemnized at 3 o'clock on Saturday in the private chapel within Windsor Castle.

(Times, Apr 26, 1880, p. 10A)

The ceremony of the marriage of her Royal Highness the Princess Frederica of  Hanover (Princess of Great Britain and Ireland) with the Freiherr von Pawel Rammingen, was celebrated by the bishop of Oxford, inthe private chapel at Windsor Castle, at 3 o'clock this day, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.

(Times, May 1, 1880, p. 8E)

At the Court at Windsor, the 15th day of May, 1900.

PRESENT, The QUEEN's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

HER Majesty was this day pleased to declare Her Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between Princess Marie Louise Victoria Carolina Amelia Alexandra Augusta Frederica born Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and Princess of Brunswick daughter of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland and His Grand Ducal Highness Prince Maximilian Alexander Frederic William Nephew of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Baden, which Consent Her Majesty has caused to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council.

(London Gazette, 27203, 19 June 1900, p. 1)

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 7th day of March, 1904.

PRESENT, The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

HIS MAJESTY was this day pleased to declare His consent to a contract of matrimony between Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Louise Maria Olga Elisabeth Thérèse Wera, born Princess of Great Britain and Ireland, Duchess of Brunswick and Luneburg, daughter of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, which consent His Majesty has caused to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.

A. W. FitzRoy.

(London Gazette, 27655, 8 March 1904, p. 3)

George R.I.

GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, to all to whom these Presents shall come sendeth Greeting!
Whereas by an Act of Parliament intituled "An Act for the better regulating the future marriages of the Royal Family" it is amongst other things enacted "That no Descendant of the Body of His Majesty King George the Second, Male or Female (other than the issue of Princesses who have married, or may hereafter marry into Foreign Families) shall be capable of contracting Matrimony without the previous consent of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, signified under the Great Seal":

NOW KNOW YE
that We have consented, and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus Christian George, born Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, only surviving son of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, K.G., and Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria Louise Adelaide Mathilde Charlotte, born Princess of Prussia, only Daughter of His Majesty The German Emperor, King of Prussia, K.G.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF
We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.

Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace the Seventeenth day of March, 1913, in the Third Year of Our Reign.

BY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS.
SIGNED WITH HIS OWN HAND.
.

(National Archives, C 188/2.)

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 17th day of March, 1913.

PRESENT, The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

HIS MAJESTY was this day pleased to declare His Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus Christian George, born Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, only surviving son of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, K.G, and Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria Louise Adelaide Mathilde Charlotte, born Princess of Prussia, only daughter of His Majesty The German Emperor, King of Prussia, K.G., which Consent His Majesty has caused to be signified under the Great Seal, and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.

Almeric FitzRoy.

(London Gazette, 28700, 17 March 1913, p. 1)

George R

GEORGE THE SIXTH
, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, to all to whom these Presents shall come sendeth Greeting!
Whereas by an Act of Parliament intituled "An Act for the better regulating the future marriages of the Royal Family" it is amongst other things enacted "That no Descendant of the Body of His Majesty King George the Second, Male or Female (other than the issue of Princesses who have married, or may hereafter marry into Foreign Families) shall be capable of contracting Matrimony without the previous consent of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, signified under the Great Seal, and declared in Council":

NOW KNOW YE
that We have consented, and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus George William Christian Louis Francis Joseph Nicholas Oscar of Hanover, born Prince of Great Britain, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, son of His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, and Her Highness Princess Ortrud Bertha Adelaide Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksburg.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF
We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.

Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace the 1st day of August, 1951, in the Fifteenth Year of Our Reign.

BY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS.
SIGNED WITH HIS OWN HAND.
.

(National Archives, HO 124/49.)

This last document is rather odd.  Prince Ernst August was born before the letters patent of 1914 which declared that his designation should be "Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland."  Thus, if he was a "born Prince of Great Britain", it was not by virtue of the letters patent of 1914.  This style is certainly consistent with the custom that prevailed until 1917, but one wonders why the style of Prince to which he was entitled by custom at birth was not revoked by the letters patent of 1917, and why the style that undoubtedly belonged to him (the letters patent of 1914 being unrevoked) was not used instead.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was the first British sovereign to see the birth of a great-grandchild.

  • Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1910) later Edward VII
    ~ Alexandra of Denmark
    • Albert Victor, duke of Clarence and Avondale (1864-92)
    • George, duke of York (1864-1936), later Prince of Wales, later George V
      ~ Mary of Teck
      • Edward of York (1894-1972), later Prince of Wales 1910, later Edward VIII (1936)
      • Albert of York (1895-1932), later duke of York , later George VI
      • Henry of York (1900-1972), duke of Gloucester 1928
      • George of York (1902-42), duke of Kent 19??
      • John of Wales (1905-19)
      • Mary of York (1895-1965), later Princess Royal, viscountess Lascelles 1922, countess of Harewood 1929
    • Louise of Wales (1867-1931),  duchess of Fife 1889, Princess Royal 1905
      ~ 1889 Alexander Duff, cr duke of Fife 1889 (1849-1912)
      • Alexandra (1891-1959), [H 1905] duchess of Fife 1912
        ~ 1913 Arthur, Prince of Connaught
      • Maud (1893-1945) [H 1905]
    • Victoria of Wales (1868-1935)
    • Maud of Wales (1869-1938), Princess Carl of Denmark 1895, queen of Norway 1905
  • Alfred, duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900), duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 1893
    • Alfred (1874-99)
    • Marie
    • Victoria Melita
    • Alexandra
    • Beatrice
  • Arthur, duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942)
    • Arthur (1883-1938)
      • Alastair Arthur (1914-43), 2nd duke of Connaught
    • Margaret (1882-1920), Crown Princess of Sweden 1905
    • Patricia (1886-1974), Lady Patricia Ramsay 1919
      ~ 1919 Sir Alexander Ramsay
      • Alexander Ramsay (1919-2000)
  • Leopold, duke of Albany (1853-84)
    • Charles Edward (1884-1954), duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 1900-1918
      • Johann Leopold (1906-72)
      • Hubertus (1909-43)
      • Friedrich Josias (1918-98)
      • Sibylla (1917-72)
      • Caroline Mathilde (1912-83)
    • Alice (1883-1981), Princess Alexander of Teck 1904, countess of Athlone 1917
  • Victoria (1840-1901), Princess Royal, Crown Princess of Prussia 1858, Crown Princess of Germany 1871, Empress 1888, "Empress Frederick" 1888
  • Alice (1843-78), princess of Hesse 1862, grand-duchess of Hesse 1877
    ~ 1862 Prince Louis of Hesse [RH 1862]
  • Helena (1846-1923), Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein 1866, Princess Christian (?) 1917
    ~ 1866 Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein [RH 1866]
    • Christian Victor (1867-1900)
    • Albert (1869-1931)
    • Helena Victoria (1870-1948) [H 1917]
    • Louise Marie (1872-1956) [H 1917]
  • Louise (1848-1939), marchioness of Lorne 1871, duchess of Argyll 1900
    ~ 1871 John, duke of Argyll (1845-1914)
  • Beatrice (1857-1944), Princess Henry of Battenberg 1885
    ~ 1885 Prince Henry of Battenberg [RH 1885]
    • Alexander (1886-1960), [H 1886] marquess of Carisbrooke 1917
    • Leopold (1889-1922) [H 1886]
    • Maurice (1891-1914) [H 1886]
    • Victoria Eugénie Julia Ena [H 1886, RH 1906]

The great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria in male line were

  • the children of the duke of York (born between 1894 and 1905),
  • Alastair Arthur, grandson of the 1st duke of Connaught (b. 1914), and
  • the children of Karl Eduard, reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (born between 1906 and 1918).

The children of the duke of York between 1894 and 1898

The Letters Patent of May 28, 1898 granted the style of Royal Highness to "the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales ... in addition to such titular dignity of Prince or Princess ... as they may otherwise possess".  The letters themselves did not grant the title of Prince (in fact, it explicitly doesn't do so by the use of the word "otherwise").  So the title of prince which these children undoubtedly had (Burke's Peerage for 1895 styles the only child of the duke of York "Prince") is customary as all others at the time.

The grant was made to "the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales".  This was taken to apply to the children of the duke of York, second-born but eldest living son of the then Prince of Wales (future Edward VII).  In 1901, these children became children of a son of the sovereign, and their style was now based on the letters patent of 1864.  The letters patent were amended by those of Nov 30, 1917 (although they were not cited in their preamble), since the style of Royal Highness was now reserved to, among others, "the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales".  There are two differences: "the eldest living son", not "the children", and "the Prince of Wales" (i.e. the prince of Wales at any point in time), not "any Prince of Wales".  Also, by specifying "eldest living son", the letters imply that "eldest son" means first-born.  The letters patent of 1917 work differently from those of 1898:  (1) Suppose a sovereign A whose eldest son B is Prince of Wales.  He has two sons C and D. C dies, leaving no issue.  D's eldest son would not be HRH, being son of the eldest-living son but not eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  This was in fact the situation between 1894 and 1901.  (2) Suppose that B dies, leaving C and D.  C is created Prince of Wales,  then has a son E: E (greatgrandchild of the sovereign) would not be HRH, being eldest son of the eldest son of "a" (late) Prince of Wales but not of "the" prince of Wales.   This changes were recognized at the time the letters of 1917 were drafted, but as no one found a concise way to encompass the various possible situations, it was thought that such cases could be dealt with in an ad-hoc fashion.

It is interesting to note that an earlier draft of the letters patent contained the additional clause: "and that the title of "Highness" shall be held and enjoyed by the other great grandchildren of the sovereign".  This explicit grant of the style of Highness was dropped, under circumstances I do not know.

Alastair Arthur of Connaught

Alastair Arthur was born in 1914, the son of Prince Arthur of Connaught (grandson of Queen Victoria) and Princess Alexandra, duchess of Fife (granddaughter of King Edward VII).  He was the first great-grandson of Queen Victoria in male line to be born in the United Kingdom.  His birth registration (see a copy here) designates him as a "Prince".  Several contemporary references (Kelly's Handbook, Whitaker's Peerage) style him as prince.  However, it appears that, as a result of the letters patent of 1917, he lost the style of Prince.  Burke's Peerage ("The Princes of Great Britain", 1963 edition, pp xxvii-xxxii) considers this to be an injustice.  He became 2nd duke of Connaught on the death of his grandfather in 1942 and died in 1943 without issue.
  • Kelly's Handbook to the Titled Landed and Official Classes lists "HH Prince Alastair Arthur, b. 10 Aug 1914" in its section on the royal family in the following editions:
    1915 ed., p. 26; 1916 ed., p. 23; 1917 ed., p. 23; 1918 ed., p. 25; 1919 ed., p. 25; 1920 ed., p. 26; 1921 ed., p. 26; 1922 ed., p. 26; 1923 ed., p. 31.
    With the 1924 edition (p. 30) he becomes "Alastair Arthur, Earl of Macduff".
  • Whitaker's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Compagnionage lists "Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught, Earl of Macduff, b. 9th Aug. 1914" in:
    1915 ed., p. 112; 1916 ed., p. 112; 1917 ed., p. 112; 1918 ed., p. 111; 1919 ed., p. 115; 1920 ed., p. 115; 1921 ed., p. 95; 1922 ed., p. 95; 1923 ed., p. 95.
    The word "Prince" is removed from the entry in the 1924 ed., p. 96.
  • The only Burke's I have consulted so far is the 1921 ed., which  has (p. 21) "Alastair Arthur, Earl of Macduff, b. 9 Aug 1914".
  • See also 

German and British Titles and Styles

From 1714 to 1917, the ruling house of Great Britain used titles and styles that were both native (British) and foreign (German).  From 1714 to 1901 the sovereigns were members of the house of Brunswick-Luneburg, and until 1837 combined the British crown with the electoral (1714 to 1814) or royal (1814 to 1837) crown of Hanover.  In 1837 the British crown passed to Queen Victoria, who married in 1840 a German prince, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  Her descendants until 1917 combined the titles and styles to which they were entitled as members of the ducal house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, with those to which they were entitled as members of the royal house of the United Kingdom.  All this ended with the proclamation of July 17, 1917.

Styles of the Princes of Wales

What follows are the styles of the heirs apparent between 1714 and the present as they appear in the letters patent creating them as Princes of Wales.   For most I only have the gazetting of the letters patent, but in two instances (1841 and 1911) I have the full text of the letters patent.  However, it seems likely that the styles as they are gazetted are taken directly from the letters patent.

1714

St. James's, September 27 1714 [o.s.]

His Majesty has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain to create His Royal Highness George Augustus (Prince of Great Britain, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesaye, Duke and Marquis of Cambridge, Earl of Milford Haven, and of Carreck, Viscount North-Allerton, Baron of Tewkesbury and of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Steward of Scotland, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter) Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

(London Gazette)

1729

St James's, January 7 1728/9 [o.s.]

His Majesty has been to order Letters Patent to pass under the Great Seal of Great Britain, for creating His Royal Highness Frederick Lewis (the Prince of Great Britain, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, Duke of Conrwall and Rothesaye, Duke of Edinburgh, Marquis of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham, Viscount of Lanceston, Baron of Snaudon and of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Steward of Scotland, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter) Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

(London Gazette, issue 6741)

1751

Whitehall, Apr 20.
[...] His royal Highness George William Frederick (The Prince of Great Britain, Electoral Prince of Brunswick Lunenburgh; Duke of Edenburgh; Marquess of the Isle of Ely; Earl of Eltham; Viscount of Lanceston; Baron of Snaudon; and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter), Prince of Wales and earl of Chester.

(London Gazette issue 9050, Apr 16 [o.s.], 1751.)

1762

St. James's, August 17.
[...] His Royal Highness the Prince of Great Britain, (Electoral Prince of Brunswick Lunenburgh, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Great Steward of Scotland), Prince of Wales, and earl of Chester.

(London Gazette issue 10235, Aug 14 to 17, 1762.)

1841

Whitehall, Dec. 4, 1841.
The Queen has been pleased to order letters patent to be passed under the Great Seal, for creating His Royal Highness the Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (Duke of Saxony, Duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Great Stewart of Scotland), Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

(Times, Dec 8, 1841, p. 4A).

Copy of the Letters Patent

Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

To all Archbishops, Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, Bishops, Barons, Baronets, Knights, Justices, Provosts, Ministers, and all other our faithful subjects, greeting,—

Know ye, that we have made and created, and by these our letters patent do mate and create, our most dear Son, the Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (Duke of Saxony, Duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, Earl of Carrick, Baronof Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Great Steward of Scotland), Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester; and to the same, our most dear Son, the Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, have given and granted, and by this our present Charter do give, grant, and confirm, the name, style, title, dignity, and honour of the same Principality and Earldom, and him, our said most dear Son, the Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as has been accustomed, we do ennoble and invest with the said Principality and Earldom, by girting him with a sword, by putting a coronet on his head, and a gold ring on his finger, and also by delivering a gold rod into his hand, that he may preside there, and may direct and defend those parts. To hold to him and his heirs Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for ever, wherefore we will and strictly command for us, our heirs, and successors, that our said most dear Son, the Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland may have the name, style, title, state, dignity, and honour of the Principality of Wales and Earldom of Chester aforesaid, unto him and his heirs Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as is abovementioned.

In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent.   Witness ourself at Westminster this 8th day of December,1841.
By the QUEEN herself,
Edmunds.

(Annual Register, 1841, Chronicle, p. 114)

The following passsage is quoted by The Complete Peerage, vol. 14, to deny that the issue of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were validly dukes and duchesses of Saxony.  While interesting, the passage is certainly not conclusive, all the more since the house laws of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha give the children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert the very title that Greville deems "very absurd".

December 5th. [1841]The difficulties and trouble that may be caused by trifles may be well illustrated by a matter which is now pending. Peel sent for me the day before yesterday, to talk to me about the armorial bearings of the Prince of Wales, a matter apparently very simple and insignificant, but not at all so in fact. The Queen and Prince are very anxious to allot to this Baby his armorial bearings, and they wish that he should quarter the arms of Saxony with the Royal arms of England, because Albert is alleged to be Duke of Saxony.  She gave the Princess Royal armorial bearings last year by warrant, but it is conceived that more formal proceedings are necessary in the case of the Heir Apparent. The last precedent is that of 1714, when George the First referred to the Privy Council the question of the Prince of Wales's arms,  who reported  to H.M.  thereupon.    On that occasion  the initiative was taken by the D<eputy> E<arl> Marshal, who transmitted to the Council a draft, which was afterwards approved.  There, however, the case admitted of no doubt; but now the Heralds (and others who have considered the matter) think that the Saxon arms ought not to be foisted upon the Royal arms of England. It is her inveterate predilection for everything German (a disagreeable peculiarity in her character) which makes her insist on this being done, and she wants it to be done offhand at the next Council without going through the usual forms of a reference and report.  Peel, however, is not disposed to let the thing be thus hurried over; he thinks that it is a matter in which the dignity of the Crown is concerned, and that whatever is done should be done with deliberation, and that if the Privy Council are to advise, they ought to advise what is right and becoming, and not merely what She and the Prince wish. The difficulty, therefore, is, how to set the matter going.  The Earl Marshal will not stir without an order to do so.  If the Home Office order him to submit a draft of the armorial bearings of the Prince of Wales, they can only order him to make out what is right according to the rules and laws of Heraldry, and the Earl Marshal is of opinion that what the Q. and Prince wish to be done is inconsistent with those rules. The matter therefore remains in suspense.  I have sent to Wharncliffe, by Peel's desire, to come up from Wortley to meet Graham, in order that they may put their heads together and settle this delicate and knotty affair.  Melbourne would have made very light of it; he would have thought it did not signify a straw (which, in fact, it does not) and that any fancy the Queen had should be gratified in the most summary way.

December 8th. This foolish business of the coat of arms has cost more trouble than many matters a thousand times more important. Peel has had to write at least a dozen long letters about that and the alteration in the Liturgy, and whether H.R.H. should be inserted before P. of W. Yesterday Wharncliffe, Graham, and I had a conference at the Home Office, when Graham produced a letter from Peel, with one from the Queen to him, pressing for the speedy arrangement of this affair, and treating it as a thing settled. Graham said it was not worth while to squabble about it, and better to gratify her, and he proposed to take it on himself, let the Council have nothing to do with it, but, on his own responsibility, order the E<arl> M<arshal> to draw out a Coat of arms, with the achievement according to her wishes, no matter whether right or wrong. We agreed this was the best way. Peel had written to me about the Liturgy, and I wrote him word that when Albert's name was inserted, the Archbishop particularly desired there might be no 'Royal Highness,' and so it was left out.

December 9th.  Saw Graham again yesterday about this business. They have gazetted the child 'Duke of Saxony,' which is very absurd, and at Lady Holland's, last night, the precedence given to that title over the English titles was much criticised. 

            
The Greville Memoirs, 1938, vol. 4, p. 432-33:

1901

Whitehall, November 9, 1901

His Majesty has been to order Letters Patent to be passed under the Great Seal of Great Britain, for creating His Royal Highness Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, Duke of Cornwall and York (Duke of Rothesay, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Duke of Saxony, Earl of Carrick and Inverness, Baron of Renfrew and Killarney, Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland), KG, KT, KP, GCMG, GCVO, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

(Times, Nov 11, 1901, p. 9E, quoting the Gazette).

1911

George the Fifth, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith.

To all Archbishops, Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, Bishops, Barons, Baronets, Knights, Justices, Provosts, Ministers, and all other Our Faithful Subjects, greeting.

Know ye that We have made and created and by these Our Letter Patent do make and create Our Most Dear Son, Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Grand Steward of Scotland, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince of Wales and  Earl of Chester, and to the same, Our Most Dear Son Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, have given and granted. And by this our present Charter do give, grant, and confirm the name, style, title, dignity and honour of the same Principality and Earldom, and Him Our said Most Dear Son Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David as has been accustomed We do ennoble and invest with the said Principality and Earldom by girding Him with a sword, by putting a coronet on His head, and a gold ring on his finger, and also by delivery a gold rod into his hand, that he may preside there and may direct and defend those parts to hold to him and his heirs Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas for ever.
Wherefore We will and strictly command for Us, our heirs and successors, that Our said most dear son, Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David may have the name, style, title, dignity, and honour of the Principality of Wales and Earldom of Chester aforesaid unto him and his heirs Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas as is above mentioned.

In witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster the 23rd of June in the first year of Our reign.

(Times, July 5, 1911, p. 8C).

1958

To be completed.

Heraldry

The coronets worn by princes and princesses are essentially variations on the royal crown, which consists of alternating crosses patée and fleurs-de-lys, with two arches surmounted by an orb.  The arches are a symbol of sovereignty. 

Until 1662, the heir apparent wore the same crown as the king but without arches, while other princes wore the coronet appropriate for their peerage, nothing distinguishing them as being of royal blood.  In 1662, the king regulated the coronets of  the heir apparent and of the other princes, in a warrant reproduced below.  The rule was
  • heir apparent: crosses patée and fleurs-de-lys, one arch
  • sons and brothers of sovereigns: crosses patée and fleurs-de-lys
  • sons of sons and brothers of sovereigns who are dukes: crosses patée and leaves
Prince Rupert (1619-1682) was a son of Elizabeth, daughter of James I, and the Elector Palatine, who lost his states during the Thirty Years War.  In 1642 Rupert went to England, was made a knight of the Garter on April 19, 1642, duke of Cumberland in 1643, and served as General of the Horse of his cousin Charles I during the Civil War.  He returned to England at the Restoration, was made a Privy Councillor and Vice-Admiral of England, and died in 1682, unmarried.  For his funeral, Charles II issued a warrant on 6 Dec  1682: stating that "whereas the Prince in his lifetime, in relation to the Palatine family, did bear a peculiar and distinct form of coronet, from what the said King had ordered for the Royal family, therefore, taking the same into his consideration, he does thereby order and decree, that at the funeral of the said prince there shall be used such a form of coronet as in the margin of the said warrant is depicted" (Sandford, p. 570).  The coronet depicted is the standard coronet of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 18th century, another coronet made its appearance, namely 2 crosses patée, 2 leaves, and 4 fleurs-de-lys.  It seems to have originated as a coronet for daughters of the sovereign (who were not assigned any coronet in the warrant of 1662).  It was used by the daughters of George II (Abel Boyer: The great theater of honour and nobility. London, 1754, p. 259).   It was used by Princesses Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Sophia and Elizabeth, daughters of George III;  and by Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince of Wales (Brian North Lee: British Royal Bookplates, 1992, p. 13).  M. Porny (The elements of heraldry. London, 1787. p. 219) and Kearsley's Peerage 1796 calls it a princess's coronet. Debrett 1806 and 1827 calls it the coronet of a princess royal, but the last three princesses were not, and later princesses royal did not use it.  Princess Augusta Sophia and Princess Elizabeth, daughters of George III,  and princess Charlotte, daughter of the Regent, have other bookplates (post-1801, and in Charlotte's case after her marriage) with the coronet of crosses and fleurs-de-lys.  It may be that a change occurred sometime between 1801 and 1816, allowing daughters of the sovereign to use the same coronet as sons (aside from Caroline of Gloucester, there were no nieces or granddaughters of sovereigns until the future Queen Victoria was born).  By the middle of the 19th century, female members of the royal family came to use the same coronets as their brothers, and the coronet of crosses, leaves and fleurs-de-lys came to be associated at the end of the 19th century with children of the heir apparent (e.g., the future George V before 1901, the future Edward VIII and George VI before 1910)..

A warrant of Nov 19, 1917 codified these practices and added another type of coronet:
  • heir apparent: 4 crosses patée and 4 fleurs-de-lys, one arch with orb
  • sons and daughters of heir apparent: 2 leaves, 2 crosses patée, 4 fleurs-de-lys
  • younger sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of the sovereign: 4 crosses patée and 4 fleurs-de-lys
  • sons and daughters of younger sons and brothers of the sovereign: 4 crosses patée and 4 leaves
  • sons and daughters of daughters of the sovereign with the style of Highness: 4 leaves, 4 fleurs-de-lys
This last type of coronet was soon made transitional, since the style of Highness was not  to be granted anymore according to the letters patent of Nov. 30, 1917.   The persons entitled to this coronet after 1917 were the daughters of Prince Christian (Princesses Helena Victoria and Marie Louise), and the daughters of the Princess Royal (Princesses Alexandra and Maud), the last of whom died in 1959.  Before 1917, the daughters of Prince Christian used a continental closed crown.

The Warrant of 1662

Francis Sandford.  A Genealogical history of the Kings and Queens of England, and monarchs of Great Britain, &c. From the conquest, Anno 1066, to the year 1707.  London, 1707. p. 655.

CHARLES R.
Trusty and Well-beloved, We Greet You well.  Whereas the Sons and Descendents of Our Royal Ancestors and Predecessors Kings of England, and other Noble Persons, who, for the Eminence of their Extraction and Merits, are, and have been Dignified with the titles of Dukes, Marquisses, Earls and Viscounts, have borne and used several sorts of Coronets and Circlets, as particular Distinctions of their respective Dignities and Degrees; the which notwithstanding, have not been so established, but that they have in several Ages admitted of Alteration; Wherefore We having observed, that the Coronets used by those of Our Royal Family, have not been enough distinguished from those used by others.  We have thereupon found it fit and necessary so to settle and establish the use and bearing of such Coronets as may not only evidencec the just Esteem We have for those of Our Royal Family, but as may in all Times herafter Distinguish such from others, though of Eminent Birth and Equal Titles with them.  Our Will and Pleasure therefore is, That the Son and Heir Apparent of the Crown for the time being, shall use and bear his Coronet composed of Crosses and Flower-de-Lized with one Arch; and in the midst a Ball and Cross, as hath our Royal Diadem; and that Our most Dear and most Entirely-beloved Brother James Duke of York, and so all the immediate Sons of Our Self, and the immediate Sons and Brothers of Our Successors Kings of England, shall bear and use his and their Coronets composed of Crosses and Flower-de-Liz only; but that all their Sons respectively, having the Title of Dukes, shall bear and use their Coronets composed of Crosses and Flowers or Leaves, such as are used in the Composure of the Coronets of Dukes not being of Our Royal Family; hereby Commanding you our Principal Herald and King of Arms of Our Order, and your Successors respectively in the said Office, to Emblason and set forth the Arms in all Achievements whatsoever of the Son and Heir Apparent of the Crown for the time being, of Our Said most Dear and most Entirely-Beloved Brother James Duke of York, and of all other Descended of Our Royal Family, in such manner as is hereby expressed and directed.  And that you forthwith cause an Entry to be made in the Publick Register in Our Office of Arms of this Our Will and Pleasure; to the End, you and all others whom it may concern, may duely execute and observe the same; And for your so doing, this shall be your sufficient Warrant and full Authority.
Given under Our Signet at Our Court at Whitehall, this 9th Day of February, in the 13th Year of Our Reign.
    By His Majesty's Command,
Edw. Nicholas.


Warrant of November 19, 1917 (summarized in Lee 1992)

The heir apparent shall have a coronet composed of four crosses patée and four fleurs de lys surmounted by a single arch with orb and cross.
The sons and daughters of the heir apparent shall have a coronet composed of two strawberry leaves, two crosses patée and four fleurs de lys.
Younger sons and daughters of the sovereign, which includes brothers and sisters of the sovereign, shall have a coronet composed of four crosses patée and four fleurs de lys.
Sons and daughters of younger sons and brothers of the sovereign shall have a coronet composed of four strawberry leaves and four crosses patée.
Sons and daughters of daughters of the sovereign with the style of Highness shall have a coronet composed of four strawberry leaves and four fleurs de lys.

Diplomatics

HO 45/7931/4

Memorandum.  Title of "Highness".

The Queen was pleased by Letters Patent of January 1864 (a copy of which is annexed) to declare her intention as to the title of "Royal Highness", to be borne by children of the sons of any sovereign of Great Britain.  Her Majesty was pleased by Warrant under the Royal Sign Manual, dated July 5, 1862, to authorized Prince Louis of Hesse to assume the Title of "His Royal Highness".
Her Majesty was also pleased by similar Warrant dated June 29, 1866 to authorize Prince Christian to assume the Title of "His Royal Highness".
A Warrant under the Royal Sign Manual would be sufficient to authorize the assumption of the title of "Highness" by the Child of the Prince and PRincess Christian.
It appears to be the intention of the Queen to confer that title "on him and any future children there may be".
It is presumed that a Warrant under the sign manual would be sufficient authority for carrying her Majesty's intentions into effect, but, as the case is a new one, and it is desirable that no doubt should exist on the subject, it is submitted that the opinion of Garter, or other Principal Officer of Arms should be taken, to the point of declaring Her Majesty's pleasure by such Warrant of by the more formal process of Letters Patent.
It may be added that the Queen's assent to the marriage of the respective members of the Royal Family is signified by an instrument under Her Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to which the Great Seal is affixed, thus rendering the Document more important in character and formal in nature.
4 May 1867

HO 45/7931/5

College of Arms, 9 May 1867
My Lord,
I have in obedience to your Lordship's directions given consideration to the subject referred to in Her Majesty's note: The instances cited of the Grants of the Style of Royal Highness to the children and grandchildren of the sovereign of the United Kingdom and the Grant of the styles of Royal Highness to the Prince of Hesse and to Prince Christian are correctly stated and were granted under the Sign Manual. In the cases of the two Princes the distinction is personal only to themselves, and not affecting the style or status of their issue, which under the ordinary circumstances would be regulated by the rank, position, and usage of the Royal Houses of which their father was a member.  In the present case of the Prince Christian who has become a naturalized subject of this country, the case may assume a different aspect, as the issue of His Royal Highness would be British born subject of Her Majesty, as well as being entitled to any rights acquired by birth in descent from their father.
The case however is so novel in regard to the declaration of the styles of the issue of a Foreign Prince in this Country, and therefore I think it requires a little consideration how Her Majesty's pleasure should be effected.
I confess I think by Letters Patent would be preferable to that of the Sign Manual.
As the late Lord Chancellor to whom the matter was referred in 1863 considered the subject of these styles of importance, and involving many considerations, I humbly venture to suggest that before the Sign Manual or Letters Patent be resorted to the Lord Chancellor should be consulted upon the point whether the Sign Manual is sufficient to accomplish the object without the declaration of the Queen's pleasure under the Great Seal.
Without presuming to offer anything but a suggestion upon the subject, I crave Mr Walpole's permission to submit the enclosed draft for his consideration, in case he should think proper to consult the Lord Chancellor he may be able to put before him the object of the Queen's wish, so as to enable him to say whether the Sign Manual would be considered sufficient, or that Letters Patent should be resorted to and whether by such words the Queen's object will be accomplished. 
I have the honor ... Chas. G. Gatty, Garter

HO 45/7931/6

10th may 1867

My dear Walpole,

it appears to me that it will be a better way of carrying out the intentions of Her Majesty with respect to the title to be borne by the children of Prince Christian by warrant under the sign manual, rather than by letters patent.  My reason for saying so is that any distinction conferred by sign manual seems to flow more directly from the fountain of honor and to be more immediately expressive of the royal will & pleasure than if granted in the more ordinary way of letters patent. If the Queen desires that her intentions should be expressed with the formality which belongs to the latter form of instrument Her Majesty may direct her Chancellor to affix the Great Seal to the warrant under the sign manual and nothing will then appear to be wanting to the solemnity of the act.

Yours sincerely, P Helmsford


Documents

Where possible, the text I reproduce is the actual warrant or letters patent, as well as the announcement gazetted in the London Gazette or the Times.  Although the texts sent to the Gazette were drafted and reviewed in the Home Office, the announcement is an abridgement of the original document, usually omitting the preamble and sometimes differing in the exact wording of the dispositive part.  It should also be noted that the date in the by-line under which the document is gazetted is not necessarily the same as the date of the document itself (sometimes, the announcement specifies the date of the document).

General Grants and Decisions

Children of sons of the Sovereign (Jan 30, 1864)

Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To all to Whom these presents shall come Greeting : Whereas we taking into our Royal consideration that the Princes and Princesses of Our Royal Family descended from and in lineal succession to the Crown as now established by law all bear the style and title of Highness but that it has not been declared or defined by due authority what members of the Royal Family (other than the Children of the Sovereign) are entitled to the style of “Royal Highness”. We deem it therefore expedient that the same should be henceforth established defined and limited in manner hereinafter declared: Know Ye therefore that in the exercise of Our Royal and undoubted Prerogative and of Our Especial grace We do hereby declare our Royal Will and Pleasure  that besides the Children of the Sovereign of these Realms the Children of the Sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of “Royal Highness” with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of Honor: Our Will and Pleasure further is that Our Earl Marshal of England or his Deputy for the time being do cause these our Letters Patent or the Enrolment thereof to be recorded in the College of Arms to the end that our Officers of Arms and all others may take due notice thereof.  In Witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent.  Witness Ourself at Westminster the thirtieth day of January in the twenty seventh year of Our Reign.

By Warrant under the Queen's Sign Manual.
    C. Romilly

(Original letters patent, National Archives, HO 125/1.  Also: College of Arms, ms. I6/261,2.)

Whitehall, Feb. 3.
The Queen has been pleased by letters patent under the Great Seal, to declare her Royal will and pleasure that, besides the children of the Sovereigns of these realms, the children of the sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland shall have, and at all times hold and enjoy, the style, title or attribute of Royal Highnes with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective christian names, or with their other titles of honour; and further to declare her will and pleasure that the Earl Marshal of England, or his Deputy for the time being, do cause the said letters patent to be recorded in Her Majesty's College of Arms to the end that the officers of arms, and all others, may take due notice thereof.

(London Gazette Feb. 5, 1864; quoted in the Times Feb 6, 1864 p. 7D)

Children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales (May 28, 1898)

Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Whereas by virtue of Our Letters Patent dated the thirtieth of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four wherein We declared Our Royal will and pleasure in that behalf the children of the sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland are entitled to the style of "Royal Highness" Know Ye that in the exercise of our Royal and undoubted prerogative and of Our especial grace We do hereby declare our further Royal will and pleasure that the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of "Royal Highness" in addition to such titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or other titles of honour if any as they may otherwise possess Our will and pleasure further is that Our Earl Marshal of England or his deputy for the time being do cause these our Letters Patent or the enrolment thereof to be recorded in Our College of Arms to the end that Our officers of Arms and all others may take due notice thereof.  In Witness whereof we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent.. Witness Ourself etc.

(from a copy in the National Archives, LCO 2/2028)

Crown Office, May 31, 1898
The Queen has been pleased by letters patent under the Great Seal, to declare that the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales shall have, and at all times hold and enjoy, the style, title, and attribute of "Royal Highness".

(Times, June 1 1898, p. 3F, quoting the Gazette. The letters are dated May 28, 1898.)

An earlier draft of the letters patent contained the words, after "otherwise possess" : "and that the title of "Highness" shall be held and enjoyed by the other great grandchildren of the sovereign".

German titles (July 17, 1917)

By the KING. A PROCLAMATION declaring that the Name of Windsor is to be borne by his Royal House and Family and Relinquishing the Use of All German Titles and Dignities.

GEORGE R.I.
WHEREAS We, having taken into consideration the Name and Title of Our Royal House and Family, have determined that henceforth Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor:
And whereas We have further determined for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our Grandmother Queen Victoria of blessed and glorious memory to relinquish and discontinue the use of all German Titles and Dignities:
And whereas We have declared these Our determinations in Our Privy Council:
Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor:
And do hereby further declare and announce that We for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, relinquish and enjoin the discontinuance of the use of the Degrees, Styles, Dignities, Titles and Honours of Dukes and Duchesses of Saxony and Princes and Princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and all other German Degrees, Styles, Dignities. Titles, Honours and Appellations to Us or to them heretofore belonging or appertaining.
Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this Seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and seventeen, and in the Eighth year of Our Reign.
GOD save the KING.

(London Gazette, issue 30186, July 17, 1917, p. 1.)

Members of the Royal Family (Nov  30, 1917)

George the Fifth by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting: Whereas Her late Majesty Queen Victoria did by Her Letters Patent dated the thirtieth day of January in the twenty seventh year of Her Reign declare her Royal Pleasure as to the style and title of the Princes and Princesses of the Royal Family in the manner in the said Letters Patent particularly mentioned  And whereas we deem it expedient that the said Letters Patent should be extended and amended and that the styles and titles to be borne by the Princes and Princesses of the Royal Family should be henceforth established defined and limited in manner hereinafter declared  Now Know Ye that We of our especial grace certain knowledge and mere motion do hereby declare our Royal Will and Pleasure that the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour  And We do further declare our Royal Will and Pleasure that save as aforesaid the style title or attribute of Royal Highness Highness or Serene Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess shall not henceforth be assumed or borne by any descendant of any Sovereign of these Realms excepting always any such descendant who at the date of these Letters Patent holds or bears any right to any such style degree attribute or titular dignity in pursuance of any Letters Patent granted by Ourselves or any of Our Royal Predecessors and still remaining unrevoked it being Our Royal Will and Pleasure that the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms  Our Will and Pleasure further is that Our Earl Marshal of England or his deputy for the time being do cause these our Letters Patent or the enrolment thereof to be recorded in Our College of Arms to the end that Our officers of Arms and all others may take due notice thereof.  In Witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent Witness Ourself at Westminster the thirtieth day of November in the eighth year of Our reign.

By Warrant under the King's Sign Manual.
    Schuster.

(Original letters patent, National Archives, HO 125/15. See also College of Arms, ms. I78/25.)

Whitehall, 11th December, 1917.
The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 30th ultimo, to define the styles and titles to be borne henceforth by members of the Royal Family. It is declared by the Letters Patent that the children of any Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour; that save as aforesaid the titles of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness, and the titular dignity of Prince and Princess shall cease except those titles already granted and remaining unrevoked; and that the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes.

(London Gazette, issue 30428, Dec. 14, 1917, p. 2.)

House of Windsor (1960)

At the Court at Buckingham  Palace, The 8th day of February 1960.
Present, the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

Her Majesty was this day pleased to make the following declaration:
"My Lords
Whereas on the 9th day of April 1952, I did declare in Council My Will and Pleasure that I and My children shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that My descendants, other than female descendants who marry and their descendants, shall bear the name of Windsor:
And whereas I have given further consideration to the position of those of My descendants who will enjoy neither the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness, nor the titluar dignity of Prince and for whom therefore a surname will be necessary:
And whereas I have concluded that the Declaration made by Me on the 9th day of April 1952, should be varied in its application to such persons:
Now therefore I declare My Will and Pleasure that, while I and My Children shall continue to be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, My descendants other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor."

(London Gazette, issue 41948, Feb. 8, 1960, p. 1/1003.  See also the Times Feb 9, 1960 p. 10E.)

Former Wives (1996)

Buckingham Palace
The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 21st August 1996, to declare that a former wife (other than a widow until she shall remarry) of a son of a Sovereign of these Realms, of a son of a son of a Sovereign and of the eldest living son of the eldest son of The Prince of Wales shall not be entitled to hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness.        

(London Gazette, issue 54510, Aug 30, 1996, p. 1/11603.)

Individual Grants and Decisions

Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Apr 6, 1818)

In the name and on the behalf of His Majesty.
George PR
George the third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith etc. To all to whom these Presents shall come greeting: Our Will and Pleasure is, and we do hereby declare and ordain, that from and after the date of this warrant, Prince Leopold George Frederick of Saxe Cobourg of Saalfeld, late consort our Our Most Dear Grand Daughter the Princess Charlotte Augusta, deceased, shall be styled, entitled and called "His Royal Highness" before his name and such Titles and appellations, which to Him now do, or at any time hereafter may belong or appertain, in all Deeds, Records, Instruments or Documents whatsoever, wherein He may at any time hereafter be named or described. And We do hereby authorize and empower the said Prince Leopold George Frederick henceforth and at all times to assume and use, and to be called and named by the style title and appellation of "His Royal Highness" accordingly.
Given at Our Court at Carlton House the Sixth Day of April 1818 in the Fifty Eigth Year of Our Reign.
By the Command of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, in the Name and on the behalf of His Majesty. Sidmouth.

(National Archives, HO 37/1.)

Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1790-1865) had been destined to become the consort of Queen Charlotte, the only child and heir of the Prince of Wales (future George IV).  The previous consort had been Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708) who, as younger son of king Frederik III of Denmark, was already entitled to the style of Royal Highness (indeed, he outranked his brother-in-law the prince of Orange).  Prince George was created duke of Cumberland on March 20, 1689 in gratitude for his role during the Glorious Revolution; he had also been made a Knight of the Garter in 1684. 

Prince Leopold, a Serene Highness as member of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was married on May 2, 1816 with Princess Charlotte of Wales.  She died on Nov. 6, 1817 from the complications of giving birth to a stillborn.  Prince Leopold remained in London until 1830 when, after turning down the throne of Greece in February, he accepted the throne of Belgium where he reigned as Leopold I.  His sister had married the duke of Kent and hence Queen Victoria was his niece.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1840)

"Royal Highness", Feb 6, 1840

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1857)

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 25th day of June,
Present: The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council,
Whereas there was this day read at the Board the draught of Letters Patent, conferring upon his Royal Highness Prince Albert the title and dignity of Prince Consort, Her Majesty, having taken the same into consideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of her Privy Council, to approve thereof, and to order, as it is hereby ordered, that the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, Bart. one of her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, do cause a warrant to be prepared for Her Majesty's signature for passing Letters Patent conformable to the said draught under the Great Seal of Great Britain.

(Times, June 27 1857, p. 9F, quoting the Gazette of June 26.)

Prince Louis of Hesse (July 5, 1862)

Victoria R
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith - To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting!
Our Will and Pleasure is, and We do hereby declare and ordain, that from and after the Date of this Warrant, Our Dear Son in Law, His Grand Ducal Highness the Prince Frederic William Louis of Hesse, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, shal lbe styled entitled and called "His Royal Highness: before his Name and such Titles and Appellations which to him now do or at any time hereafter may belong or appertain in all Deeds Records Instruments or Documents whatsoever wherein he may at any time hereafter be named or described, - And We do hereby authorize and empower the saif Prince Frederic William Louis of Hesse henceforth at all times to assume and use and to be called and named by the Style, Title and Appellation of "His Royal Highness" accordingly.
Given at Our Court at Saint James's the fifth day of July 1862, In the Twenty sixth Year of Our Reign.
By Her Majesty's Command.
C. Grey

(National Archives, HO 37/2.)

Her Majesty has been pleased to signify her intention of conferring the rank of "His Royal Highness" on Prince Louis of Hesse.

(Times, July 2 1862, p. 9C.)

Prince Ludwig of Hesse (1837-92) was the nephew of grand-duke Ludwig III of Hesse-Darmstadt.  He married Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's second daughter, on July 1, 1862.  The couple returned to live in Germany, contrary to Victoria's expectation.  Ludwig succeeded his uncle as grand-duke Ludwig IV in 1877.  Alice died soon after in 1878.

Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (June 29, 1866)

Times, Jul 4, 1866, p. 4F, quoting the London Gazette, July 3.

Whitehall, June 30.
The Queen has ordained that his Serene Highness Prince Frederic Christian Charles Augustus, of Schleswig-Holstein Sonderbourg Augustenbourg, shall henceforth, upon all occasions whatsoever, be styled and called "his Royal Highness" before his name, and such titles as now do or hereafter may belong to him; and to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be registered in Her Majesty's College of Arms.

Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (his German title was Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein) was the younger brother of duke Friedrich, head (after the renunciation of his father) of the Augustenburg branch of the house of Oldenburg.  On extinction of the senior line reigning in Denmark in 1863, the throne of Denmark and the two duchies of Holstein and Schleswig passed to a member of the Glucksburg branch, junior  to the Augustenburg, by virtue of an international agreement.  Seizing on anti-Danish sentiments in the two duchies, Friedrich made an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to assert his rights to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.  In the end, Prussia and Austria won the duchies by force from Denmark, and they were ultimately annexed by Prussia in 1866.  Friedrich had married in 1856 a niece of Queen Victoria (daughter of Victoria's half-sister Feodora of Leiningen). 

Prince Christian, after the events of 1864, visited Britain in 1865, married on July 5, 1866 Princess Helena, a daughter of Queen Victoria.  He remained in Britain thereafter, although he was also general à la suite of the 3d regiment of Uhlan guards in the Prussian army, and received the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle (Feb 27, 1881; invested Jan 20, 1882).

Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, who died on Oct. 28, 1917, was not affected by the removal of German names and titles that occurred shortly before (and did affect his two daughters).  Orders issued by the Lord Chamberlain's office for his mourning on Oct. 29 state: "The KING Commands that the Court shall wear Mourning for Four Weeks from this day, for General His late Royal Highness Prince Frederick Christian Charles Augustus of Schleswig-Holstein, K.G., G.C.V.O., Uncle of His Majesty." (Gazette, issue 30358 Oct 30, 1917, p. 1).

Children of Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (May 15, 1867)

National Archives, HO 125/2

Victoria R
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith - To Our Right Trusty and Well beloved Councillor Edward George Fitzalan Howard (commonly called Lord Edward George Fitzalan Howard) Deputy to Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely Beloved Cousin Henry Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Greeting! Whereas by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom bearing date the thirtieth day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four We were pleased to declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure touching the Style and Title of "Royal Highness" and of defining and limiting the same to be used and enjoyed by the Children of the Sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland and upon the thirtieth day of June one thousand eight hundred and sixty six in contemplation of the marriage of Our dear Daughter the Princess Helena Augusta Victoria with the Prince Christian of Schleswig Holstein We were pleased to declare that he should henceforth be styled "His Royal Highness". And Whereas he the said Prince having since become a naturalized subject of Our said United Kingdom We are desirous of defining and fixing the Style by which the Issue of the said Marriage shall be designated such Issue being British born Subjects and Descendants of Our Royal House Now We are hereby pleased to declare that the Sons and Daughters born of the said Marriage of the said Prince and Princess shall at all times hold and enjoy the Style Title and Attribute of "Highness" prefixed to their respective Christian names and any Titles of Honor which may belong to them. And Our Will and Pleasure further is that you Our said Deputy Earl Marshal to whom the cognizance of matters of this nature doth properly belong do see this Our Order kept and that the same be duly Registered in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others upon occasion may take full notice and have knowledge thereof.  In Witness whereof We have caused the Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Saint Jame's the Fifteenth day of May 1867, in the Thirtieth Year of Our Reign.
By the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Signed with Her Own Hand.

Prince Henry of Battenberg (1885)

Whitehall, July 22.

The Queen has been pleased to declare and ordain that his Serene Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg shall henceforth, upon all occasions whatsoever, be styled and called "his Royal Highness" before his name, and such titles as now do or hereafter may belong to him; and to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be registered in Her Majesty's College of Arms.

(Times, Jul 25, 1885, p. 14A, quoting the London Gazette, July 24.)

Prince Henry of Battenberg (Prinz Heinrich Moritz von Battenberg) was the third son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and his morganatic wife Julie von Haufke.  He was cavalry lieutenant in the Saxon army 1877 to 1882 and in the Prussian army 1882 to 1885.  He met Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria, at the wedding of his brother Ludwig Alexander in 1884, and asked for her hand.  He finally surmounted Victoria's reluctance to part with her youngest child and they were married on July 23, 1885, after he resigned his Prussian commission.  He took the oath of allegiance before the House of Lords July 31, 1885 and was naturalized by private act 48 & 49 Vict cap. 1 (1885).  He was made lieutenant-colonel in the army 1887, governor of the Isle of Wight and Carisbrooke Castle in 1889, colonel in the army 1893, PC in 1894. He died at sea after catching a fever in the expedition against the Ashantis.

His older brother Ludwig Alexander or Louis Alexander (1854-1927) married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a first cousin once removed,  princess Viktoria of Hesse, in 1884.  He was styled in Britain "Serene Highness" (e.g., London Gazette 28749, p. 6075: "Admiral H.S.H. Prince Louis of Battenberg, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G.") By royal warrant of July 14, 1917 he received permission to relinquish the style of Serene Highness and Prince (both Hessian, not British styles), and to change his name to that of Mountbatten.  By letters patent of November 7, 1917 he was created marquess of Milford Haven. 

Another brother Alexander Joseph ruled as prince of Bulgaria from 1879 to 1886. Yet another brother, Franz Joseph married a princess of Montenegro.

Children of Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg (Dec 4, 1886)

Victoria R

Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith - To Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely Beloved Cousin Henry Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Greeting! Whereas by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom bearing date the thirtieth day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four We were pleased to declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure touching the Style and Title of "Royal Highness" and of defining and limiting the same to be used and enjoyed by the Children of the Sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland and upon the twenty second day of July one thousand eight hundred and eighty five in contemplation of the marriage of Our dear Daughter the Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore with the Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg We were pleased to declare that he should henceforth be styled "His Royal Highness". And Whereas he the said Prince having since become a naturalized subject of Our said United Kingdom We are desirous of defining and fixing the Style by which the Issue of the said Marriage shall be designated such Issue being British born Subjects and Descendants of Our Royal House Now We are hereby pleased to declare that the Sons and Daughters born of the said Marriage of the said Prince and Princess shall at all times hold and enjoy the Style Title and Attribute of "Highness" prefixed to their respective Christian names and any Titles of Honor which may belong to them. And Our Will and Pleasure further is that you Our said Deputy Earl Marshal to whom the cognizance of matters of this nature doth properly belong do see this Our Order kept and that the same be duly Registered in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others upon occasion may take full notice and have knowledge thereof.  In Witness whereof We have caused the Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Saint Jame's the Fourth day of December 1886, in the Fiftieth Year of Our Reign.
By the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Signed with Her Own Hand.

(National Archives, HO 125/3.)

Whitehall, Dec. 13.
The Queen has been pleased, under Her Majesty's Royal Sign Manual and the Great Seal, to declare her Royal will and pleasure that the sons and daughters born of the marriage of his Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg with Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore shall at all times hold and enjoy the style, title and attribute of "Highness" prefixed to their respective Christian names or any titles of honour which may belong to them; and further to declare Her will and pleasure that the Earl Marshal of England do see this declaration kept, and cause the same to be duly registered  in Her Majesty's College of Arms, to the end that the officers of arms, and all others upon occasion, may take full notice and have knowledge thereof.

(Times, Dec 15, 1886, p. 11A; quoting the London Gazette, Dec. 14.)

Prince Henry of Battenberg (1858-96) and Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria, had four children:

  • Alexander Albert (Nov 23, 1886-Feb 23, 1960) who was created marquess of Carisbrooke in 1917
  • Victoria (Oct 24, 1887-Apr 15, 1969) who was styled Royal Highness in 1906 and married Alfonso XIII, king of Spain
  • Leopold (May 21, 1889-Apr 22, 1922)
  • Maurice (Oct 3, 1891-Oct 27, 1914)
On July 14, 1917 Alexander and Leopold received Royal Warrants giving them permission to relinquish the style of Highness (granted to them by the warrant of Dec. 13, 1886) and Prince, and change the name of Battenberg to Mountbatten.  By royal warrant dated September 11, 1917 Leopold received the precedence of a younger son of a marquess.  By letters patent dated July 18, 1917, Alexander Albert was created marquess of Carisbrooke.

Duke of Teck (July 1, 1887)

Victoria R
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith - To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting !

Our Will and Pleasure is and we do hereby declare and ordain that from and after the date of this Warrant His Serene Highness Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander Duke of Teck shall be styled entitled and called "His Highness" before her name and such Titles and Appellations which to him now do or at any time hereafter may belong or appertain, in all Deeds, Records, Instruments or Documents whatsoever wherein she may at any time hereafter be named or described. 

And We do hereby authorize and empower the said Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander Duke of Teck henceforth at all times to assume and use and to be called and named by the Style, Title and Appellation of "His Highness" accordingly.

Given at Our Court of Saint James's, the First day of July 1887; in the Fifty First Year of Our Reign.
By His Majesty's Command.
Henry Matthews

(National Archives, HO 125/4.)

Whitehall, July 11.
The Queen has been pleased to declare and ordain that his Serene Highness Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander, Duke of Teck, shall henceforth, upon all occasions whatsoever, be styled and called "his Highness" before his name, and such titles as now do or hereafter may belong to him; and to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be registered in Her Majesty's College of Arms.

(Times, July 13, 1887, p. 13A; quoting the London Gazette, July 12. )

The 1st duke of Teck, Franz Paul Karl Ludwig (1837-1900), was the son of duke Alexander of Wurttemberg, first cousin of the king of Wurttemberg, by a morganatic marriage contracted in  Vienna where Alexander was serving  in the Austrian army.  Franz , styled count of Hohenstein, was created prince of Teck in Wurttemberg on Dec 1, 1863 with the style of Serene Highness (Durchlaucht).  He was serving in the Austrian army  since 1854 when he was discovered by the Prince of Wales and proposed as a suitor for the otherwise unmarriable Mary Adelaide of  Cambridge,  daughter of the 1st duke of Cambridge.  They married on June 12, 1866.  He resigned his Austrian commission in 1866.  He was created duke of Teck by the king of Wurttemberg on Sept. 16, 1871.  Naturalized on Nov 15, 1882; colonel in the British army 1882, promoted major-general 1892; hon. GCB 1866, GCVO 1897.  Also general a la suite, Wurttemberg dragoon regiment.  According to the ODNB, the duke "lacked employment but found distractions in gardening, feuding over questions of precedence, and arranging the jewels on his wife's dresses".

They had four children:

  • Princess Mary of Teck (1867-1953), married in 1893 to the duke of York, later king George V
  • Prince Adolphus, 2nd duke of Teck (1868-1927), granted Highness in 1911, cr. in 1917 marquess of Cambridge
    • George (1895-1981)
    • Mary (1897-1987)
    • Augusta (1899-1969)
    • Frederick (1907-40)
  • Prince Francis (1870-1910)
  • Prince Alexander of Teck (1874-1957), cr. in 1917 earl of Athlone, m. in 1904 the daughter of the 1st duke of Albany
    • May (1906-94), m. 1931 Sir Henry Abel  Smith
    • Rupert (1907-28)
    • Maurice (1910-1910)
These children were styled "Serene Highness" in Great Britain (see for example the London Gazette, issue 27161, Feb 2, 1900, p. 1/773, notice from the Lord Chamberlain's office describing the funeral of the 1st duke of Teck: "Their Serene Highnesses The Princes Adolphus, Francis, and Alexander, of Teck, were unavoidably absent, bing on Active Service in South Africa"; ibid., issue 28316, p. 5/9413 : "To be Knights Grand Cross [of the RVO]: ... Major His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck, K.C.V.O., D.S.O., Reserve of Officers."; ibid., suppl. to issue 28427, p. 1/7537, announcing court mourning for "Major His late Serene Highness The Prince Francis of Teck, G.C.V.O., D.S.O., Brother-in-Law of His Majesty the King".) 

Their children were in turn also styled "Serene Highness" (see for example the
London Gazette supplement to issue 28535, 27 September 1911, ceremonial of the coronation, page 17: "His Serene Highness Prince George of Teck" who was page to the duke of  Argyll).  Curiously, none of the children seem to have received a Royal Warrant to permit them to relinquish their styles of Serene Highness and Prince/ss, even though George at least was of age in 1917.

In the
Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreiches Württemberg, the 1st duke of Teck is styled "Seine Durchlaucht," with the note: "führt seit 1887 mit Königliche Genehmigung das von Ihrer Majestät der Königin von Großbritannien und Irland ihm verliehene Prädikat "Highness" (Hoheit)". His son the 2nd duke of Teck is styled "Hoheit (Großbritannische Verleihung)" from the 1912 edition.

By Royal Warrant of June 9, 1911, Adolphus, 2nd duke of Teck, was made a "Highness". 
By Royal Warrant of July 14, 1917, Adolphus and Alexander received permission to relinquish their styles of "Highness" and "Serene Highness" respectively, their titles of Prince, and replace their name "of Teck" with that of Cambridge (note that the "Highness" of Adolphus was a British grant while the "Serene Highness" of Alexander was a Wurttemberg grant). By letters patent of November 7, 1917 they were created marquess of Cambridge and earl of Athlone respectively.

The Princess Royal and her daughters (Nov 9, 1905)

Edward R I
Edward
the Seventh  by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith To Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely Beloved Cousin Henry Duke of Norfolk, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order, Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Greeting!
Whereas We are desirous of defining and fixing the style by which Our dear Daughter Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar (Duchess of Fife) shall be designated We are pleased to declare that she shall hereafter be styled  Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal  And Whereas
by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the said United Kingdom bearing date the thirtieth day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four her late Majesty Queen Victoria were pleased to declare Her Royal Will and Pleasure touching the Style and Title of "Royal Highness" and of defining and limiting the same to be used and enjoyed by the Children of the Sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland; And Whereas We are also desirous of defining and fixing the style and title by which the Children of Our said dear Daughter shall be designated : Now We are hereby pleased to declare that the Lady Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff and the Lady Maud Alexandra Georgina Bertha Duff daughters of Our said dear Daughter Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal shall at all times hold and enjoy the style title and attribute of Highness prefixed to such respective styles or titles of Honour as may belong to them and further to declare that Our said dear Grand-daughters shall bear the style of Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names and shall take hold and enjoy during the term of their natural lives in all Assemblies or Meetings whatsoever the Precedence and Rank following that is to say immediately after all Members of Our Royal Family enjoying the style of Royal Highness : Our Will and Pleasure further is that you Our said Earl Marshal to whom the cognizance of matters of this nature doth properly belong do see this Our Order kept and that the same be duly Registered in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others upon occasion may take full notice and have knowledge thereof.  In Witness whereof We have caused the Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace the Ninth day of November One thousand nine hundred and five, in the Fifth Year of Our Reign.
By the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions beyond the seas.  Signed with His Own Hand.


(National Archives, HO 125/5.)

The KING has been graciously pleased to declare that His Majesty's eldest Daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar (Duchess of Fife), shall henceforth bear the style and title of Princess Royal.
His Majesty has also directed that the Daughters of Her Royal Highness shall bear the style, title, and attribute of Highness, and also the style of Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names, and that they shall have precedence and rank immediately after all members of the Royal Family enjoying the style of Royal Highness.

(London Gazette, supplement to the Nov 7, 1905, issue 27852, p. 1/7495. )

The Princess Royal was Edward VII's eldest daughter Louise (1867-1931).  On July 27, 1889 she married Alexander Duff (1849-1912), earl of Fife (peerage of Ireland, cr 1759, and peerage of the UK, cr 1885). He was created duke of Fife in 1889 with the usual remainder to heirs male.  They only had two daughters, Alexandra (1891-1959), who married in 1913 Prince Arthur of Connaught,  and Maud (1893-1945), who married in 1923 the earl of Southesk.  In 1900, another dukedom of Fife was created with remainder (in default of heirs male) to Alexandra and her heirs male and then Maud and her heirs male.  Alexandra's only son Alastair Arthur died before her in 1943, and the dukedom of Fife passed at her death to Maud's only son James Carnegie, the present duke of Fife.

Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg (April 3, 1906)

National Archives, HO 125/6

Edward the Seventh  by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting!

Our Will and Pleasure is and we do hereby declare and ordain that from and after the date of this Warrant our most Dear Niece Princess Victoria Eugénie Julia Ena, only daughter of Our most Dear Sister Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore (Princess Mary of Battenberg) shall be styled entitled and called "Her Royal Highness" before her name and such Titles and Appellations which to her belong in all Deeds Records Instruments or Documents whatsoever wherein she may at any time hereafter be named or described. 

And We do hereby authorize and empower Our said most Dear Niece henceforth at all times to assume and use and to be called and named by the Style, Title and Appellation of "His Royal Highness" accordingly.

Given at Our Court of Saint James's, the Third day of April 1906: in the Sixth Year of Our Reign.
By His Majesty's Command.
M Gladstone

Supplement of the London Gazette, Apr 4, 1906, n. 27901, p. 1. Identical to Times, Apr 5, 1906, p. 10B.

Whitehall, April 3, 1906.
The King has been graciously pleased to declare and ordain that His Majesty's niece, Her Highness Princess Victoria Eugénie Julia Ena, daughter of Her Royal Highness the Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore (Princess Henry of Battenberg), shall henceforth be styled and called "her Royal Highness"; and to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be registered in His Majesty's College of Arms.

Victoria Eugenie married Alfonso XIII, king of Spain, on May 31, 1906 in Madrid.

2nd Duke of Teck (June 9, 1911)

George R I
George the Fifth by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India,
To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting!

Our Will and Pleasure is and we do hereby declare and ordain that from and after the date of this Warrant His Serene Highness Prince Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus, Duke of Teck, Knight Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order, Companion of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, shall be styled entitled and called "His Highness" before his name and such Titles and Appellations which to him now do or at any time hereafter may belong or appertain, in all Deeds, Records, Instruments or Documents whatsoever, wherein he may at any time hereafter be named or described.

And We do hereby authorize and empower the said Prince Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus, Duke of Teck, henceforth at all times to assume and use and to be called and named by the Style, Title and Appellation of "His Highness" accordingly.

Given at Our Court of Saint James's, the Nineteenth day of June 1911, in the Second Year of Our Reign.
By His Majesty's Command.

W Churchill

(National Archives, HO 125/7, June 9, 1911.)

Whitehall, July 1.
The King has been pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the 19th June, to declare and ordain that from and after the date of the said Royal Warrant His Serene Highness Prince Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus, Duke of Teck, GCVO, GMC, shall upon all occasions whatsoever be styled and called "His Highness" before his name and such titles as now do or hereafter may, belong to him.

(London Gazette, July 4, 1911, issue 28510, p. 6.)

The 2nd duke of Teck already had the style of Highness in Wurttemberg (creation of the title, 1871). He happened to be the brother-in-law of king George V.  By Royal Warrant of July 14, 1917, he received permission to relinquish his style of "Highness" and  "Prince" and replace his name of Teck with that of  Cambridge.  By letters patent of November 7, 1917 he was created marquess of Cambridge.

Children of the duke and duchess of Brunswick (June 17, 1914)

George RI
George the Fifth by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith To Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely Beloved Cousin and Counsellor Henry Duke of Norfolk, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order, Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Greeting !
Whereas on the Eighteenth day of March last past, at the Ducal Palace of Brunswick, a son was born of the marriage of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick and L
üneburg:
And Whereas we are desirous of defining and fixing the style and designation which the issue of the said marriage shall enjoy within our dominions:
Now Know Ye that we do hereby declare and ordain that the children born to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg shall at all times hold and enjoy the style and attribute of "Highness" with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names, or with any titles of honour which may belong to them.
And we do hereby further declare and ordain that the designation of the said children shall be "a Prince (or Princess) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".
Our Will and Pleasure further is that you Our said Earl Marshal to whom
the cognizance of matters of this nature doth properly belong do see this Our Order kept and that the same be duly Registered in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others upon occasion may take full notice and have knowledge thereof. 
In Witness whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents.
Given at Our Court at Saint Jame's the Seventeenth day of June, 1914: in the Fifth Year of Our Reign.
By the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas.
Signed with His Own Hand.


(National Archives, HO 125/14.)

Whitehall, July 15, 1914.
The King has been pleased to declare and ordain that the children born to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg shall at all times hold and enjoy the style and attribute of 'Highness' with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names, or with any titles of honour which may belong to them; and that the designation of the said children shall be a Prince (or Princess) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. And to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be registered in His Majesty's College of Arms."

(London Gazette, issue 28850, 17 July 1914, page 14/5552.)

The London Gazette announces that the King has been pleased to ordain that the children born to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg shall enjoy the style of "Highness" with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names, or with any titles of honour which may belong to them; and that the designation of the said children shall be "a Prince (or Princess) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".

(Times, Jul 18, 1914 p. 8E)

The recipients of this grant were the children of Ernst August of Brunswick-Luneburg (1887-1953), duke of Cumberland, and Viktoria Luise of Prussia, who were married in 1913; namely: Ernst August (1914-87), Georg Wilhelm (1915-2005), further issue, Friederike Luise (1917-81) ~ king Paul of the Hellenes, Christian (1919-81), and Welf Heinrich (1923-97). They were not affected in any way by the Titles Deprivation Act of 1917.

Daughters of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1917)

The Court Circular published to-day contains the following announcement:
The King has been pleased to direct that Royal Warrants shall be prepared declaring that Their Highnesses Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein shall henceforth be styled Their Highnesses
Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise respectively, and whereas the Princesses of the Royal Family who bear the Title of Duchess of Saxony and who are his Subjects have, at His Majesty's desire, relinquished the said Title, he has also been pleased to direct that Royal Warrants shall be prepared declaring their present styles and making such corresponding alteration in their arms as may be necessary.

(
Times, Jun 20, 1917, p. 7C.)

Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein had married a daughter of Queen Victoria in 1866.  They had five children:
  • Prince Christian Victor (1867-1900);
  • Prince Albert (1869-1931);
  • Prince Harold who died in infancy (1876);
  • Princesses Helena Victoria (1870-1948)
  • Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956),  who married Aribert of Anhalt in 1891 but divorced in 1900.
Prince Christian Victor  died of fever while serving in the Boer War; in the orders for his mourning in the London Gazette issue 27242 he is styled "his late Highness Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, G.C.B., G.C.V.O."   Prince Albert was brought up in Germany, and spent World War I in Berlin attached to the Governor of Berlin for special duties, having obtained from Wilhelm II a dispensation from service.  He was lieutenant-colonel a la suite of the 3d regiment Uhlan guards.  In the announcement of his installation as G.C.B. he is styled "H.H. Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein" (London Gazette issue 28749, p. 1/6075); in the Prussian Hanbook's list of members of the Order of the Black Eagle he is styled "Se Hoheit" while his father is "Se Konigl. Hoheit". The Princesses, who lived in Britain, were also consistently styled Highnesses before 1917.

Lady Patricia Ramsay (1919)

Whitehall, February 25, 1919.
The king has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Sign Manual, to give and grant unto Her Royal Highness Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland, His Royal License and Authority that she may immediately on and from the solemnization of her intended marriage with Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay (commonly called the Honourable Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay), Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Commander in the Royal Navy, relinquish the style of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms.

Whitehall, February 25, 1919.
The king has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Sign Manual, to declare and ordain that Her Royal Higness Princess Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth shall immediately on and from the solemnization of her intended marriage with Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay (commonly called the Honourable Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay), Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Commander in the Royal Navy, have, hold and enjoy the style of Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay, and shall have place, pre-eminence and precedence immediately before Marchionesses of England.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 31203, Feb. 26, 1919, p. 1.)

HRH Princess Victoria Patricia was a daughter of the duke of Connaught.  Her bookplate, engraved in 1919 after her marriage and illustrated by Lee (1992, p. 154), shows her arms with the appropriate label of difference, but the background displays her monogram VP with the coronet of her former rank.

Duke of Windsor (May 27, 1937)

See also documents relating to the drafting of these letters patent.

George the Sixth By the Grace of God of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King Defender of the Faith

To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Whereas Her late Majesty Queen Victoria by Her Letters Patent dated the thirtieth day of January in the twenty-fourth [sic] year of Her Reign did declare Her Royal Pleasure that certain members of the Royal Family being in lineal succession to the Crown namely the children of the Sovereigns of these Realms and the children of the sons of any Sovereign should have the style title or attribute of Royal Highness And Whereas His late Majesty King George the Fifth by Letters Patent dated the thirtieth day of November in the eigth year of His Reign did extend and amend the said Letters Patent by declaring that as well as those hereinbefore mentioned the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have the style title or attribute of Royal Highness And Whereas Our Brother Edward by his Instrument of Abdication executed on the tenth day of December One thousand nine hundred and thirty six declared his irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for himself and for his descendants and by His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 effect was given to the said Instrument and by reason of the said Instrument and the said Act his issue if any and the descendants of that issue will not be in the lineal succession to the Crown Now Know Ye that We of our especial grace certain knowledge and mere motion Do hereby declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure that Our Brother Edward having been born in the lineal succession to the Crown shall notwithstanding his said Declaration and the said Act be entitled to hold and enjoy for himself only the style title or attribute of Royal Highness so however that his wife and descendants if any shall not hold the said style title or attribute Our Will and Pleasure further is that Our Earl Marshal of England or his Deputy for the time being do cause these Our Letters Patent or the enrolment thereof  to be recorded in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others may take due notice thereof In Witness whereof we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent Witness Ourself at Westminster the twenty-seventh day of May in the first year of Our Reign

By Warrant under the King's Sign Manual
             Schuster

(Original letters patent, National Archives, HO 125/17.)

Whitehall, May 28, 1937.
The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date the 27th day of May, 1937, to declare that the Duke of Windsor shall, notwithstanding his Instrument of Abdication executed on the loth day of December, 1936, and His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act, 1936, whereby effect was given to the said Instrument, be entitled to hold and enjoy for himself only the title style or attribute of Royal Highness so however that his wife and descendants if any shall not hold the said title style or attribute.

(London Gazette, issue 34402, May 28, 1937, p. 1/3429.)

Duke of  Edinburgh (Nov 19, 1947)

Whitehall, November 20, 1947.
The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, bearing date the 19th instant, to declare that Lieutenant Sir Philip Mountbatten, K.G., R.N., shall be entitled to hold and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness.

(London Gazette, issue 38128, Nov. 21, 1947, p. 1/5495.)

Note: he was created duke of Edinburgh by letters patent of the following day, gazetted in the same issue.

Children of HRH The Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (Oct 22, 1948)

Whitehall, November 9, 1948.
The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date the 22nd ultimo to define and fix the style and title by which the children of the marriage solemnized between Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, shall be designated. It is declared by the Letters Patent that the children of the aforesaid marriage shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles of honour which may belong to them hereafter.

(London Gazette, issue 38452, Nov. 9, 1948, p. 1/5889.)

Duke of Edinburgh (1957)

The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date 22nd February 1957, to give and grant unto His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, GBE, the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Queen has been pleased to declare her will and pleasure that his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

(London Gazette, issue 41009, 22 Feb 1957, p. 5/1209.  Also in the Times, Feb 23, 1957 p. 6G.)

Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester (1974)

No formal grant of the title of Princess was ever made to the former Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, widowed duchess of Gloucester.  Her husband died on June 10, 1974, and after his funeral she ceased to be "the duchess of Gloucester". Normally she would  have become the dowager duchess of  Gloucester.  Instead, the Court Circular refers to her as "Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester" starting on July 13, at the first mention of her after the funeral.

Children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex (1999)

to be completed.

Titles for German relatives in 1917

The Tecks

Whitehall, l4th July, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to give and grant unto His Highness Prince Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus, Duke of Teck, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army, His Royal Licence and Authority that he may relinquish the use of the style, title and attribute of "Highness," that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the styles, dignities, titles and honours of " Prince " and " Duke of Teck " and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg or German Empire to him or to them belonging, and the designation "of Teck," that he may take and use the surname Cambridge, and that such surname may be taken and used by his issue: Provided that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's said College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.)

Whitehall, November 7, 1917.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignities of Viscount, Earl and Marquess of the said "United Kingdom upon Colonel Sir Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus Cambridge, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.M.G. (formerly Duke of Teck), and the heirs male of his -body lawfully begotten, by his names, styles and titles of Viscount Northallerton in the county of York, Earl of Eltham and Marquess of Cambridge.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.   The letters patent bear the date July 16, 1917.)

Whitehall, 14th July, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to give and grant unto His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George of Teck, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and temporary Brigadier-General in the Army, His Royal Licence and Authority that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the styles, dignities, titles and attributes of  "Serene Highness" and of  "Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg or German Empire to him or to them belonging, and the designation of  "Teck," that he may take and use the surname Cambridge, and that such surname may be taken and used by his issue: Provided that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's said College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.)

Whitehall, November 7, 1917.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignities of Viscount and Earl of the said United Kingdom upon Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.M.G., D.S.O. (formerly Prince Alexander of Teck), and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by his names, styles and titles of Viscount Trematon in the county of Cambridge, and Earl of Athlone.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.  The letters patent bear the date July 16, 1917.)

The Battenbergs

Whitehall, 14th July, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to give and grant unto His Serene Highness Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg, Knight Grand Cross of the Civil Division and Knight Commander of the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in England, Admiral in the Royal Navy, His Royal Licence and Authority that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the styles, dignities, titles and attributes of "Serene Highness" and of  "Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or German Empire to him or to them belonging, and the designation "of Battenberg," that he may take and use the surname Mountbatten, and that such surname may be taken and used by his issue: Provided that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's said College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.)

Whitehall, November 7, 1917.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignities of Viscount, Earl arid Marquess of the said United Kingdom upon Admiral the Right Honourable Sir Louis Alexander Mountbatten, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G. (formerly Prince Louis of Battenberg), and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by the names, styles and titles of Viscount Alderney in the county of Southampton, Earl of Medina and Marquess of Milford Haven.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.  The letters patent bear the date July 17, 1917.)

Whitehall, 14th July, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to give and grant unto His Highness Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in England, Captain in the Army, His Royal Licence and Authority that he may relinquish the use of the style, title and attribute of "Highness," that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the style or title of " Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or German Empire to him or to them belonging, and the designation "of Battenberg," that he may take and use the surname Mountbatten, and that such surname may be taken and used by his issue: Provided that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's said College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.)

Whitehall, November 7, 1917.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignities of Viscount, Earl and Marquess of the said United Kingdom upon Captain Sir Alexander Albert Mountbatten, G.C.V.O. (formerly Prince Alexander of Battenberg), and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by his names, styles and titles of Viscount Launceston in the county of Cornwall, Earl of Berkhampsted and Marquess of Carisbrooke.

(London Gazette, issue 30374, Nov 9, 1917, p. 4-6/11592-94.  The letters patent bear the date July 18, 1917.)

Whitehall, 14th July, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased, by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to give and grant unto His Highness Prince Leopold Arthur Louis of Battenberg, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Captain in the Army, His Royal Licence and Authority that he may relinquish the use of the style, title and attribute of "Highness," that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the style or title of "Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or German Empire to him or to them belonging, and the designation "of Battenberg," that he may take and use the surname Mountbatten, and that such surname may be taken and used  by his issue: Provided that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect.  And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be, recorded in His Majesty's said College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30551, Mar. 1, 1918, p.8/2632. )

Whitehall, September 11, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual to declare and ordain that Sir Leopold Arthur Louis Mountbatten, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Captain in the Army, shall henceforth have, hold and enjoy upon all occasions the same style, title, place, pre-eminence and precedence as the younger son of a Marquess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms.

The Gleichens

Whitehall, June 12, 1913.
The KING has been graciously pleased by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, to ordain and declare that Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, K.C.V.O., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., shall henceforth have, hold and enjoy place, pre-eminence and precedence next to and immediately before Marquesses of England; that Sylvia Gay, wife of the said Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, shall henceforth have, hold and enjoy place, pre-eminence and precedence next and immediately before Marchionesses of England; and that Countess Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen, spinster, Countess Victoria Alice Leopoldina Ada Laura, wife of Percy Wilfred Machell, Esquire, C.M.G., and Countess Helena Emily Gleichen, spinster, sisters of the said Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, shall henceforth have, hold and enjoy place, pre-eminence and precedence next to and immediately before the daughters of Dukes of England.
And to command that the said Royal Order and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 28789, Jan. 2, 1914, p.31/37.)

Whitehall, September 12, 1917.
The KING has been graciously pleased by Warrant under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual to give and to grant unto Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, and a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Major-General in the Army, and to Sylvia Gay, Countess Gleichen, his wife, and to Countess Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen, to Countess Victoria Alice Leopoldina Ada Laura (styled Lady Valda Machell), widow and relict of Percy Wilfred Machell, Esquire, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army, deceased, and to Countess Helena Emly Gleichen, sisters of the said Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, His Royal Licence and Authority, that they may relinquish the place, preeminence and precedence given to them respectively by Royal Warrant bearing date the 11th day of June, 1913, and to declare His will and pleasure that the said Albert Edward Wilfred, Count Gleichen, shall upon all occasions have, hold and enjoy the same style, title, place, preeminence and precedence as the younger son of a Marquess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, that the said Sylvia Gay, Countess Gleichen, so long as she shall remain the wife or widow of the said Albert Edward Wifred, Count Gleichen, and the said Countess Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen, Countess Victoria Alice Leopoldina Ada Laura (styled Lady Valda Machell), and Countess Helena Emly Gleichen, shall upon all occasions have, hold and enjoy the same style, title, place, preeminence and precedence as the daughters of a Marquess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and that they all and their issue may relinquish the use of the title of Count and Countess and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the German Empire which may to them belong.
And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration be recorded in His Majesty's College of Arms.

(London Gazette, issue 30551, Mar. 1, 1918, p.8/2632. )

The people concerned here are the four children of Prince Viktor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1833-1891) who married on Jan 26, 1861 Laura Seymour (1833-1912), of the marquesses of Hertford, created countess von Gleichen in Gotha two days before the marriage:
  • Feodora (1861-1922)
  • Albert Edward Wilfred, count Gleichen (1863-1937), married to Sylvia Gay Edwardes
  • Victoria Alice Leopoldina Ada Laura (1868-1951), widow of Percy Wilfred Machell
  • Helena Emly (1873-1947)
Prince Viktor was a nephew of Queen Victoria through his mother Feodora of Leiningen, half-sister of the Queen.  He entered the Royal Navy in 1848 and served until 1866.  His wife was the daughter of Admiral Sir George Seymour under whom he had served.  The marriage was considered morganatic according to the house laws of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and around November 1861 he took the style of count Gleichen.  But on Dec. 15, 1885 the Times announced that "we are requested to announce that Count and Countess Gleichen, by gracious permission of the Queen, have resumed the name and title of Serene Highnesses Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe Langenburg, and that their children will retain their present name and title of Counts and Countesses of Gleichen." (Cf. an analogous decision for Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, daughter of a duke).  In 1887 he was given the rank of admiral on the retired list.  After retiring from the Navy he turned to sculpture, as would later his eldest child Feodora.

Garter's memorandum as to the practice and usage in styling members of the Royal Family (1850s-1860s)

(National Archives, HO 45/8933/1.)

Note: the memo is undated, but signed by C.G. Young, who was Garter from 1842 to 1869.

Garter
Mem.dum as to the practice and usage in styling members of the Royal Family.
date uncertain
placed with 1855 (1864?) papers. G.D. 8/1/86

The prefix of "Royal" to the style of "Highness", and the attribute of Royal Highness applied to sons and daughters of the Sovereign, is not of very ancient usage in this Country, but may be said to have been generally adopted since the accession of the House of Hanover.
The following notes are the result of an examination into the practice and usage, supported by such authorities as can be relied upon in proof of the attribution of styles to the members of the Royal family since the accession of King James the Ist.
K James I.
In May 1605 the daughterr of King James the Ist was baptized at Greenwich as the "Princess Mary daughter of His Majesty King James" and was buried in 1607 as Mary, daughter of King James.
In 1612 the Banns of Marriage between Frederic Prince Elector Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the "Lady Elizabeth / Her Grace" only daughter of the High and Mighty King of Great Britain, were publicly asked in Whitehall Chapel, the Princess being then styled "The Lady Elizabeth Her Grace".

K Charles Ist.
The style given to the daughter of King Charles Ist at the Funeral in 1640 was that of the "Lady Anne".

K. Charles II. In 1660 Henry Duke of Gloucester the King's brother buried as Henry Duke of Gloucester, as appears by the register of St. Peters, but in the ceremonial of this funeral, and the the style proclaimed thereat, he was styled His Royal Highness.
In 1680 James Duke of York the King's brother was styled His Royal Highness and his daughter Isabella was in that year at her interment styled "Her Highness Isabella", and the style of Highness only was given to his other children at their several interments between 1660 and 1680.
In the burial register of the Church of Westminster, the daughters of the duke / were styled "Lady Henrietta" "the Lady Isabella" "The Lady Charlotte Marie".
The style given to Prince Rupert who died in 1682 who was grandchild to King James the Ist and nephew to King Charles the Ist was that of "his Highness".

Queen Anne 1702
The daughters of Queen Anne when Princess of Denmark were in 1686 and 1687 styled in their burial "The Lady Anne" and "the Lady Mary". a son was buried in 1692 by the style of Lord George. The Lady Mary was in the ceremonial of her interment 1686 styled "Her Highness", the Prince and Princess being called their "Royal Highnesses". their son the duke of Gloucester, is in the register of his burial in 1700 styled "His Royal Highness William Duke of Gloucester" but in all public announcements relative to his illness and death in the Earl Marshal's order for the general mourning published in the Gazzette he was styled only His Highness and that style only was given to him in the Ceremonial of his interment. /

K George I crowned 1714.
The younger children of George Augustus Prince of Wales. son of King George the Ist were styled only Highness at their baptisms between 1720 and 1724.
The style of his brother Ernest Augustus Duke of York who died 1728, was that of "His Highness".
In 1721, George Prince of Wales (son of George the Ist) styled His Royal Highness, but his second surviving son baptized 18 April was styled only His Highness William Augustus and the other younger children the Princesses Mary and Louisa in 1722 and 1723 were styled Highness only.

K George IInd
The Prince succeeded to the throne in 1727, as King George the IInd. His son Frederick Louis became Prince of Wales and married in 1736 Augusta daughter of Frederick Duke of Saxe Coburg, and all the children of His Royal Highness were between 1737 and 1757 styled at their baptisms Royal Highness.  The brothers and sisters of Frederick Lewis were styled / only Highness and always so styled during their lives and at their interment.  The Prince of Wales had thought proper to call all his own children by the style of "Royal Highness".
A narrative in Walpole's Memoirs alluding to the circumstance states that upon the birth of the Princess Augusta in 1737, the Prince ordered that she should be called the Lady Augusta instead of the Princess.  This resumption of a custom [referring to the practice in the reigns of king James the Ist, king Charles the Ist, James the IInd and Queen Anne] long obsolete was for the purpose of obtaining popularity, and also desired that she should be styled "Royal Highness" to mortify his sisters, who when their father was Prince, had not borne the title.

Cf. Lord Hervey's Memoirs, London 1884,
3:229: "the Prince [of Wales], as soon as the christening
[of Augusta, on Aug. 29, 1737] was over, sent his treasurer,
Mr. Herbert, to tell everybody belonging to his family then at
Court, that the Prince would not have his daughter called Princess Augusta, but 
according to the old English fashion, the Lady Augusta, and
that she should be called her Royal Highness, though his
sisters had not been so when his father was Prince of Wales.
Thus it would seem according to Walpole's narrative that the younger children of the Prince of Wales had never before been styled Royal Highness. Frederick Lewis died in 1751, and his / son George Prince of Wales became King George the IIId, whose brothers and sisters as just observed were all styled Royal Highness and that style given to them at their interments but Prince William Frederick his nephew (only son of his brother Prince William Henry Duke of Gloucester) was called only His Highness from his birth until the month of July 1816, whern the Prince Regent directed that he should henceforth be styled "Royal Highness", and the same Act of Grace was at the same time accorded to his sister the Princess Sophia Matilda.
The Princess Charlotte Augusta only daughter of His Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, was styled Her Royal Highness.
In the Gazette of the 6th of March 1821, in the announcement of the death of the Princess Elizabeth daughter of His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence she was styled only Her Highness. Niece to the King and granddaughter to the late king George the IIId. /
In the year 1825 (6 Geo: IVth) In the Act granting an annual sum to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland for the provision and support of his son Prince George Frederic of Cumberland the Prince was styled "His Highness". The Prince was then nephew to the King and grandon of the late King George the IIId.
In 1825 in the Act for granting to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent a provision for the support of the Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, the Princess was styled Her Highness. Niece to the King and granddaughter to the late king George the IIIrd.
At the funeral of King George the IVth in June 1830 His Majesty King William the IVth followed the Royal remains as Chief mourner, attended by the Prince George of Cumberland [sic; in the margin, "Cambridge"]. In the ceremonial announced in the / London Gazette under the direction of the Earl Marshal on the 19th of July 1830, the Prince was styled "Royal Highness" by command of the King.
K William IVth
In the year 1830 (1 Wm IVth) In the Act to provide for the administration of the government in case the crown should have descended upon the Princess Alexandrina Victoria daughter of His late Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, under the age of eighteen years, and for the care and government of her person, the Princess was styled "Her Royal Highness". The Princess was then niece of the King and granddaughter of the late King George the IIIrd.
In 1835 when the Princes George of Cumberland and Cambridge were elected in the Order of the Garter His Majesty was pleased to direct Garter to style them "Royal Highness" and they were so respectively styled / in the announcement of the ceremonial of election in the London Gazette of the 18th of August in that year.
In 1843 in the Act (6& 7 Vict c 25) to enable Her Majesty to settle an annuity on the Princess Augusta eldest daughter of his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge in contemplation of her marriage, she was styled Royal Highness, and in conformity with the style assigned to her Royal brother and cousin, that style was given to her by the Queen's command in the ceremonial settled by Her Majesty for the marriage of that Princess with the Duke of Mecklenburg. Cousin to the Queen and granddaughter of King George the IIIrd.
In 1850 (13 & 14 Vic cap 7) in the Act to enable Her Majesty to make a suitable provision for the present Duke of Cambridge, and for his sister the Princess Mary of Cambridge, they were both respectively styled "Royal Highness". Cousins to the Queen and granchildren to King George the IIIrd. /
NB In regard to styles given in the Acts of Parliament cited, it should be remarked that the authority upon which they proceed are the styles given in Royal messages from the Crown transmitted to the House of Commons for making the necessary provisions for the respective parties, and therefore must be considered as emanating from the Sovereign.
       C.G. Young Garter



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