Why Meghan Markle will never be a Princess.
Princess Meghan Markle? Do not hold your breath.
So a Prince of the House of Windsor is to marry a divorced American socialite. What could possibly go wrong there then? To be fair, though we have been down this path before Markle seems an impressive upgrade on Wallis Simpson. Additionally, Prince Harry is undoubtedly no feeble cuckold like his great-great-uncle Edward VIII. Even so, Meghan Markle will never be a Princess.
Why? Well simply put such a title would need the sanction of the Queen. Only the reigning monarch can create a Prince or Princess of the Realm, and Elizabeth II has been singularly stingy with handing out such high rank. Harry’s mother Diana was created Princess of Wales, but this “came with the job” of being spouse to the current heir. Even Prince Charles eldest son William does not have a wife who is a princess and he is heir to the throne. Upon their marriage in 2011, Catherine Middleton became known as “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge”.
Duchess of Sussex?
So a Royal dukedom is more likely to be granted the second son of Prince Charles. If so, Meghan will become by default a Duchess. Some Americans have not taken kindly to what they see as an insult. In fact, it is far from it. There are only a handful of British dukedoms in existence today it being the highest rank of peerage below the monarch herself. There is also historical precedent. Following Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936 Wallis Simpson, the only other American to marry a Royal was granted the title Duchess of Windsor.
The irony is that Meghan is most likely to be created Duchess of Sussex. This is a title that has been extinct for nearly 200 years. The last Duke of Sussex was conferred upon Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III in 1801.
An American irony
Though the numerous children of George III were a notoriously spendthrift and selfish brood, Sussex seems to have been the best of them. He was the favourite uncle of Queen Victoria giving her away at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Duke of Sussex died, aged 70 of erysipelas, at Kensington Palace, in 1843. A modest man, In his will he specified that he was not to have a state funeral. He was accordingly buried at Kensal Green Cemetery opposite the tomb of his sister, Princess Sophia.
The love-struck Anglo American pair could certainly have inherited far worse titles.
So we can look forward to having an American holding a ducal title last held by a child of that arch villain George III. King George may well be turning in his crypt in Windsor, but I for one wish them both the greatest of happiness!
For my blog about the last Ameican to marry an English Royal see http://www.englishmanlovesamerica.com/white-house-dinner-party-hell/