Accession Day Message Q&A
Q 1. Why is Her Majesty making this announcement now?
To mark her accession and the start of the Platinum Jubilee Her Majesty has issued a message to thank people for all the support she has received in her reign.
This includes her continued commitment to serve, thanks for the support of her Family and her reflection and wish in relation to the role of Consort.
Q 2. What is the significance of the title ‘Queen Consort’?
The wife of The King automatically becomes Queen Consort upon the accession of her husband, due to the common law notion in the UK of the legal unity of husband and wife.
This is the precedent.
Q 3. What is the difference between a Queen Regnant and a Queen Consort?
A Queen Regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, such as Queen Elizabeth II. A Queen Consort is the wife of a king, as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was during the reign of George VI between 1936 and 1952.
Q 4. Does the title convey additional powers or authority?
No. A Queen Consort does not share in the powers of sovereignty granted to her husband as King.
Q 5. Is it necessary to introduce legislation for the title to be awarded?
No, the title follows automatically upon accession of The King.
Q 6. What about in the Commonwealth Realms?
There is no legislation on the style and title of anyone but the Sovereign in the Commonwealth Realms. Spouses of the Monarch are therefore known in the Realms by their UK style and title.
Q 7. Have all the wives of previous Kings held the title of Queen Consort?
Yes, that has been the tradition for more than a thousand years. There have been only two exceptions. Sophia Dorothea of Celle, wife of the future George I, did not become Queen Consort because she was divorced prior to her husband’s accession. The marriage of Maria Fitzherbert, wife of the future George IV, was declared invalid.
Q 8. Does this mean that HRH will be crowned at the Coronation / does a Queen Consort have to be crowned?
Her Majesty’s wish is that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is to be The Queen Consort and that is the precedent.
Note one exception, Queen Caroline of Brunswick, who was estranged from George IV at the time of his accession.
Q 9. Will HRH also be styled ‘Her Majesty’?
That is the tradition.
Q 10. Were all past Queen Consorts crowned?
Yes, with one exception: Caroline of Brunswick, the wife of George IV, who was estranged from her husband prior to his accession in 1820. Though Caroline was legally Queen Consort and known in Britain as Queen Caroline, George IV barred her from court and his coronation.
Q 11. What would be the impact of not having the Queen Consort title?
Queen Consort as a title distinguishes it from Queen Regnant.
It would confound a thousand years of history.
The clarity provided does avoid potential unnecessary confusion when visiting other countries, particularly where there is another Monarch as head of state.
It would be against the wishes of Her Majesty.
Q 12. Was The Duke of Edinburgh given the title of Consort?
There are no set rules around the style and titles of male consorts. The Queen made The Duke of Edinburgh a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957 via Letters Patent, which stated that HRH was to be known as HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.