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Meghan Markle: royal title up in the air, but not because of citizenship

27th November 2017

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Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.

Having announced their engagement:

Meghan Markle: royal title up in the air … because of citizenship questions (tmz.com).

Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle, image: Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle, image: Getty
“Meghan Markle will become part of the Royal Family next Spring … the question is whether she’ll be able to use the title Her Royal Highness. As you know, Meghan’s an American citizen and the protocol is … you have to live in England for 5 years to become a British citizen. And here’s the key … you can’t use a royal title unless you’re a citizen.”

Undoubtedly causing much shaking of Royalty-obsessed American fists at those stuffy Brits slapping down their fairy tale.

“In addition to 5 years’ residency in the UK, a prospective British citizen must be 18 or over, of ‘good character’ and fluent in the English language. They must also take an oath of allegiance to the Queen.”

But is it really an issue of citizenship—which would be surprising considering the royal family, the House of Windsor, were known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until 1917 due to anti-German sentiment during WWI—or is that more gossip site indignation aware of its demographics love of shaking fist, or even pure story research laziness?

Meghan Markle’s official new title after marrying Prince Harry: What the Suits star will be called (standard.co.uk).

“According to rules of British peerage, Meghan won’t become Princess Meghan because you can’t become royal through marriage, however she will take on the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales in her husband’s name. The privilege of having Princess before your first name is strictly reserved for women born into the royal family.”

So the HRH part not really being in doubt, American citizenship or not. But hang on, if the title Princess is “strictly reserved for women born into the royal family” what about Princess Di?

“Princess Diana became known as this by the media, not officially by the royal family.”

Her actual title having been “Princess of Wales”, a cutesy title to which she was entailed because her husband was the Prince of Wales.

“The most likely situation, however, is that Harry and Meghan will actually become known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but this depends on the Queen. The Queen must grant the couple a royal dukedom on their wedding day in order for them to be allowed these titles. This is the way that wives of royals can be known on an equal level to their husbands, otherwise Markle will have to get used to being known as Princess Henry of Wales.”

His “dad” (thesun.co.uk, 27th Nov. 2017), Charles, still being the Prince of Wales, with his wife Camilla never having adopted the title Princess of Wales as it was associated too much with Diana, using the title Duchess of Cornwall—her husband’s secondary designation—instead.

Similarly, Prince Harry’s brother William’s wife Catherine is the Duchess of Cambridge, who would have been Princess William of Wales if she had not taken that title; a princess who did take her her husbands first name being Princess Michael of Kent, born Marie Christine von Reibnitz.

Updated 30th November 2017

But with it still presumably easier to find story regarding question of citizenship while paps rub their long lenses waiting to capture upskirt shots of Meghan to revive the frenzy for royal cheek (dailystar.co.uk, Sept. 2016) and especially in a thong (dailymail.co.uk, May 2014) obsession they had for Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton:

Can you answer the royal family questions Meghan Markle will face? (theguardian.com).

“Not many people who take the British citizenship test are asked questions about the family they are about to marry into. But Meghan Markle will be. On Tuesday, it was announced that she will sit a British citizenship test before her wedding with Prince Harry in 2018.”

Seemingly not so much so she can use the HRH title as concerned TMZ, but more just to deal with the issue of where to live with chap being the spare rather than heir prince in Blighty but just ginger chap with a fairy tale title and cash to spent stripping off in Vegas on the other side of the Atlantic pond.

“It won’t be the first time Markle has been tested on her British credentials. In 2016, as part of the promotional efforts for her show Suits, she was filmed taking a quiz about Britishness by the television channel Dave.”

Dave is a British television channel that was born out of digital only channels UK Gold and UKTV to show Top Gear repeats and the cream—but often slightly past its use by date—of British satirical and just as often toilet humour comedy, and so you might suspect the Britishness quiz by Dave will not really test you as much on the patriotic Empire 2.0 cobblers of the real thing:

“Questions included whether Hoptimus Prime or Fursty Ferret were genuine names of real ales, or whether Sandy Balls or Crotch Crescent were real British place names. (They all are.) The real UK citizenship quiz, recently criticised for containing a host of statistical inaccuracies, contains considerably fewer double entendres. But it will test Markle on her future in-laws.”

The Guardian then proceeding to give its own “The royal family UK citizenship test” to see if you know which rose was House of Tudor and which wives Henry VIII had beheaded because it’s just about as likely she’ll have to answer that as tell whether she’s drinnking a Fursty Ferret or whether something’s up in Crotch Crescent.

So, how would you do in the real thing? Indeed, as much you Lil’ Englanders as Anglophiles abroad.

The all-new British citizenship test—take the quiz (theguardian.com, Mar. 2013).

“The new citizenship test for aspiring Britons, intended to place more emphasis on British history and achievements than previous versions comes into force this week. Take the sample questions below and see whether you score the 75% necessary to pass”

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