Monday, August 05, 2013

Is Catherine a Duchess or a Princess? Kicking a dead horse is fun, but someone has to do it

It should have been simple and straightforward. Registering Prince George's birth. The first of many bureaucratic events he will have stay awake for later in life. His father Prince William, listed his occupation as  'Prince of the United Kingdom' on Prince George's birth registration. No one argued with that. It was listing Catherine's occupation as 'Princess of the United Kingdom' which got the 'drama' and 'mess' started.

Confusion abounded on twitter. Is she a princess or isn't she? At the time of the royal wedding the powers that be at the royal palace were insistent that Catherine was NOT a princess. Case closed, end of story. Personally, I accepted their word and got on with my life, even though deep in my heart of hearts a little voice told me they were wrong.

So the powers that be said Catherine isn't a princess. Certainly there was disappointment. Why wouldn't there be? Princess sounds so much more romantic than Duchess, doesn't it? Disney doesn't have a line of Disney Duchesses now do they? No little girl says 'I want to be a Duchess for Halloween'. Dammit! Catherine should be a princess. Women with 'Princess' fantasies suddenly had to switch gears to 'Duchess' fantasies instead. Oh the horror!

And then Prince George's birth registration came along, confusing everyone in the process. Had William elevated his wife to 'Princess of the United Kingdom' hoping the Queen, the fount of all honor, and other sharp eyed royal watchers wouldn't notice? Foolish Prince! How dare he go play polo at a time like this?

I admit it. I'm not above the fray. No one loves a good, meaningless royal discussion to distract me from the day to day hum-drum of my existence, more than I do. So I grabbed my popcorn. But after a day or so, when do we stop beating the dead horse? Facts are important, duly noted. But look, the poor horse is dead! Or did it wisely escape to greener pastures? Thankfully unable to read the twitter one-upmanship and royal reporters being beaten to death with dusty textbooks before starting an 'inquest' with their last breath. The Powers that be have 'mislead' the public for the last two years! Lies! Incompetence! The Republican movement nod their heads in agreement "See how we feel now?"

For the love of cheese and crackers, what is the world coming to when Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, the official of all official sites, can't even get this minor point, which has been blown out of all proportion, right?

Discuss amongst yourselves. I'm off to get some more popcorn.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

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Unknown said...

I was not aware that the Palace had said that Catherine was not a princess and it seems to be a very strange comment. Is it possible that they meant that she was not yet a "Royal" princess; that is, that she had not yet been accorded the title HRH (Her Royal Highness)?

The normal and longstanding (and somewhat sexist) rule is that a woman automatically takes the rank of her husband upon marriage. So my understanding was and is that Catherine automatically became a princess the instant that she and Prince William were pronounced man and wife.

It should be noted that a man does not automatically take the rank of his wife upon marriage. Hence Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence did not become a prince when he married Princess Anne.

Marilyn Braun said...

No, the Palace said that she is not a princess at all. They have since backtracked on their original statement. She was a princess all along.

Why Buckingham Palace should apologize for misleading the world on Princess Kate

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link. Indeed, they seem to be now saying more or less what I said in my previous comment. I'm astonished that the Palace got something like that wrong in the first place. The rule about a woman taking the rank of her husband is very well established so their initial position is very surprising. Of course the Queen could change the rule if she wanted to, but I don't see why she would.