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Why is Prince Philip not a King, is it because he was not a member of the British royal family or because he was a member of no royal family, if you are a member of any royal family do you get the title of King or Queen when your partner becomes the monarch?

Question #16889. Asked by game-over.
Last updated Apr 15 2017.

Jack Flash
Answer has 0 votes
Jack Flash

Answer has 0 votes.
The present Queen, Elizabeth the Second, is Queen in her own right. Her husband is the Queen's consort and is not entitled to be styled King. But when a King succeeds to the throne his wife takes the title of Queen because this is the title bestowed on the King's consort. The same thing happens lower down in the British Peerage. If a man is created Lord XXX, his wife becomes Lady XXX. But if a woman is created Lady XXX in her own right, her husband remains Mr XXX.

Feb 28 2002, 5:14 AM
Answer has 7 votes
Currently Best Answer
23 year member
191 replies

Answer has 7 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Prince Philip expected that the Royal household would assume his own family name, Mountbatten, but Winston Churchill advised the Queen against it and she stuck with Windsor, much to Phil's annoyance.

Queen left 'in tears' over Duke of Edinburgh's 'brutal' demand she take his name
By David Wilkes | Daily Mail | 3 December 2011

.. The irritation he felt over his wife’s decision to accept the advice of then Prime Minister Winston Churchill and keep the family name Windsor is detailed in Sally Bedell Smith’s book, Elizabeth the Queen. The Duke wanted the Royal Family to be known as the House of Mountbatten when the Queen came to the throne in 1952. He is famously said to have told friends: ‘I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.’

In an article in the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Miss Bedell Smith has written of how in 1960 the Queen, heavily pregnant with the Duke of York, told Harold Macmillan she needed to ‘revisit the issue of her family name, which had been irritating her husband since she decided in 1952 to use Windsor rather than Mountbatten’.

Deputy Prime Minister Rab Butler and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, were assigned the task of resolving the Queen’s ‘tricky’ family problem. In a telegram, Butler told Macmillan the Queen had ‘absolutely set her heart’ on making a change for Philip’s sake. Miss Bedell Smith, whose book is to be published in February, said: ‘By one account, Butler confided to a friend that Elizabeth had been “in tears”.’ Following discussions, it was agreed that the Royal Family would continue to be called ‘the House and Family of Windsor’.

But the Queen’s ‘de-royalised’ descendants, starting with any grandchildren who lacked the designation of ‘royal highness’, would adopt the surname ‘Mountbatten- Windsor’. In a statement on February 8, 1960, the Queen said she ‘has had this in mind for a long time and it is close to her heart’.
‘It seemed clear cut’, Miss Bedell Smith said. But, 13 years later, ‘Princess Anne....would contravene the policy on her wedding day by signing the marriage register as “Mountbatten-Windsor”’.


t would seem that the surname of HM The Queen's children is whatever HM wishes. Legally and constitutionally, however, the Queen cannot do as she wishes. The surname of the Queen's children is Mountbatten-Windsor in practise and has appeared three times: at Princess Anne's first marriage in 1974, on Prince Andrew's marriage register in 1986, and when the banns were read prior to Princess Anne's second marriage to Commander Laurence in 1992.


Response last updated by gtho4 on Apr 15 2017.
Feb 28 2002, 5:12 PM
Answer has 1 vote
19 year member
12 replies

Answer has 1 vote.
Prince Philip is not a king because if he was he would technically rank higher than the Queen in precedence. Usually the husbands of queens are given the title of 'Prince' (e.g: Prince George, husband of Queen Anne, Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria). Two exceptions are Philip II of Spain, who was called king of England when he married Mary I, and William III who was proclaimed king when he invaded England along with his wife Mary II.

Jan 18 2004, 9:08 AM
Answer has 1 vote

Answer has 1 vote.
The above answers get near the truth. It is important to distinguish between the King as sovereign (i.e. ruler) and the title of King.

Philip is not the sovereign because he is not King by royal blood but only married (consort) to the Queen, who was heir to the throne.

However, this does not mean that he cannot be styled "King Consort" as was Philip II of Spain (husband of Mary I of England), William III of Orange (husband of Mary II of England) or Henry, King of Scots (husband to Mary, Queen of Scots). The reason he is not styled King Consort, but merely Prince Consort, is that he is a foreigner and such a move would have proved unpopular. This is the same reason why Queen Victoria's husband was Prince consort rather than King consort.

Jan 05 2010, 4:51 PM
Baloo55th star
Answer has 5 votes
Baloo55th star
20 year member
4545 replies avatar

Answer has 5 votes.
A correction to a post above: one should not include William III in the Kings Consort as he was King in his own right as part of a joint monarchy. William and Mary both were in the line of succession and ruled jointly. He would not have been styled William III otherwise. link As it happens, the only King Consort in England was Philip (of Spain), and the experiment has not been repeated. Foreign marriages were always common in many nations and this would not be a factor, in my opinion. (I have a cousin compiling a vast history of foreign marriages and their effects, for which I have done research....)

Jan 06 2010, 6:17 AM
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