Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was among the most prominent members of the English royal family: although he was married to the Queen, he was not King. Why?
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, over 70 years of marriage
Why was Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince but not King Consort? He was the husband of Queen Elizabeth, the most powerful and beloved ruler in the world. He was a loving father to his children, he worked for most of his life and became the protagonist of indelible moments in the memory of the British people. But he was not King Consort. What is the reason for a choice that appears obvious, but which is instead very complex to deal with?
Filippo, despite the ailments and the years – in June he would have turned 100 – was among the most important members of the Royal Family, and it could not be otherwise. Alongside – and service – of Queen Elizabeth for almost seventy-four years, the reason for the title of Prince is to be reviewed in the British protocol, in the custom that, over time, has consolidated into the norm.
In 1947, shortly before marrying the then future Queen of England, Philip was Prince of Greece and Denmark, a title inherited from his father, which he renounced to become Duke of Edinburgh, also adopting the surname of Mountbatten. The Duke of Edinburgh, in any case, comes from a noble lineage.
Son of Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Battenberg, his story is undoubtedly fascinating, based on the difficulties he experienced as a teenager and the joy of a lasting marriage. In Anglo-Saxon royalty, however, the wives of kings become Queen Consorts, but this does not happen to men: it is a custom that has lasted for centuries and that, most likely, will never be changed.
After all, even Queen Victoria's husband, or Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, never became King Consort, but was Prince Consort: it was Victoria herself who decided to honor her husband with that title. Anglo-Saxon history had only a single Prince Consort and Philip himself can boast the exclusive title of "Prince", which was bestowed on him by his beloved Lilibeth.
When William ascends the throne, Kate will automatically become Queen Consort. This will not happen for Camilla, if instead she were to ascend the throne Charles: the Duchess of Cornwall has in fact revealed that she would prefer to be called "Her Royal Highness the Princess Consort". Camilla will therefore not be Queen for a personal decision.