Why is Prince Philip not a King?

9 April 2021, 14:15

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Prince Philip has been married to the Queen for 74 years, but is not a King – this is why.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II married in 1947 and the Duke of Edinburgh has been by her side ever since.

When Philip married the Queen, he became Prince Philip, not King Philip, as some people may expect.

This is because when a man marries a Queen, he becomes Prince consort.

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When Philip married the Queen he was also given the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich
When Philip married the Queen he was also given the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Picture: Getty

Why is Prince Philip not a King?

Prince Philip does not have the title of 'King' simply because the law of succession in Britain is based on gender and not bloodline.

The parliamentary law means that when someone marries a King or Queen, they become known as a 'consort'.

However, the titles change depending on gender.

For women that marry a King, for example, they become known as the Queen consort.

However, when a man marries a Queen, they become a Prince consort.

The Queen and Prince Philip married in 1947
The Queen and Prince Philip married in 1947. Picture: Getty

This is why the Queen's mother – Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon – was known as Queen Elizabeth when she married King George VI.

When he passed away and Elizabeth II became Queen, she became the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

When Prince Philip married the Queen, he did however gain the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.

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