There’s some truth in the old adage “you learn something new everyday'”. I don’t recall what set me off on the subject but I was searching Google for something when I stumbled onto Prince Edward the Queens third son, the Earl of Wessex.
I’ve always enjoyed reading of the Saxon times and the House of Wessex and remember years ago when I would be asked what the “E” in my signature/name stood for I’d pipe up with Ethelbert explaining that my parents were fond of history and named me for the old Saxon King of Wessex and that my brother got named after Ethelred (the Unready) and Alfred; the only English King to be given the epithet ‘the Great’; one that he richly deserved in my not so humble opinion if only for the fact that he promoted the English language (not that we’d recognize it as such these days).
Off again; straying from what I was saying as usual so back to the Earl of Wessex.
It’s normal for a son of an English sovereign/monarch to be given a Dukedom and the issue to be HRH Prince/Princess; Prince Edward it seems did not want this, he apparently requested from his mother and was granted the title and privileges of an earl and that his children would be only allowed the title/honorifics of an earl was also granted. His son is therefore just a viscount (Viscount Severn) and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor, don’t ask me why it’s not Mountbatten-Windsor.
Any further sons will be just plain ‘Mister’ with an Hon. in front. The daughters of an earl will of course be known as Lady Anne or Mary or whatever first name that they are given not Lady Windsor, which makes sense especially if they have five daughters like Mr Bennet.
The daughters always retain that title even after marriage; Lady Diana Spencer after her marriage to the Prince of Wales became HRH Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and would have remained as such until crowned alongside Charles had it have gone that far, just as HRH Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon Duchess of York became Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth when crowned during her husband’s coronation.
In the case of Prince William’s wife we have just a plain HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and as such she will remain unless the queen (or Charles if he becomes king) decides to ennoble her using her royal prerogative, but I doubt it will happen. But I’ve been known to be wrong on more occasions than I care to remember 🙂
Now to digress even further; whilst I was Googling merrily away I came upon a site that intrigued me enormously. regaltitles.com, where for the princely sum of $197.00 US you can buy anything that you like, lord or lady duke or countess you name it; it’s yours, 🙂
And would you believe that there are some gullible enough to believe this rubbish? Where do they get the idea that being an earl or a duke whatever makes them royalty and that they can buy such a thing?
As for Royal Earls there is but one HRH the Earl of Wessex, even the Earl of Harewood who’s father was at one stage 6th in line to the throne and a first cousin to the queen was not a royal.
His grandmother was; she was HRH The Princess Royal, daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. Her children could not claim an HRH as this can only come through the male line. The present Earls eldest child, Emily was born out of wedlock and is not titled Lady Emily and is not in line to the throne, however she has been granted the honorific ‘The Hon’.
As you can see this blog is filed under the category “smirbui” because if this is not what useless information is I don’t know what is! And I still can’t understand why people will buy and try to pass themselves off as royalty and even more worrying is the people who actually believe them!
By the bye; my parents were not the least bit interested in history, just a bit of perversity on my part.