Prince Philip was never King because of ‘parliamentary law’

Prince Philip had been married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years when he passed away in April 2021.

But the Duke of Edinburgh, who would have been 100 years old today, had always been considered a Prince and not a King.

His full title at birth in 1921 was His Royal Highness Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, however he discontinued these titles in 1947 when he married the then-Princess Elizabeth.

When he joined the British Royal Family, he was made His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. But why wasn't he King? Here we explain.

Why wasn't Prince Philip King?

The reason why Prince Philip didn't become King when marrying Elizabeth was because of parliamentary law.

The law relating to succession doesn't relate to bloodline, only gender.

Philip could never become King, because according to the old patriarchal system Kings outrank Queens, according to The Mirror.

That would mean he would technically be higher than the Queen, which isn't allowed as he married into the Royal Family, and wasn't born into it.

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On February 22, 1957 the Palace issued a statement which read: “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date 22nd February, 1957, to give and grant unto His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., G.B.E., the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Whitehall.

“The Queen has been pleased to declare her will and pleasure that His 'Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

Wives of British Kings tend to adopt the female form of their husband's name, and become known as Queen consorts.

This is why the Queen Mother became queen consort when George VI became King.

However, the opposite rule does not apply.

Husbands of ruling Queens are given the title of Prince consort, as opposed to King.

According to Town and Country, this is became the title Queen can be used to either describe the ruling monarch, or in the more ceremonial meaning, the wife of a monarch.

However, the title of King can only be used to describe the acting monarch. It has no ceremonial meaning.

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