Answers to Your Questions on the Royals

Answer: In England, the husband of a queen regnant (meaning she rules is her own right) normally is known by the title of "prince." The theory is that calling him "king" would imply that he had power equal to or over that of the queen. True, when Queen Mary I (reigned 1153-58) married Prince Philip of Spain, he was often called King Philip. But the English people never really took to it. When Queen Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, she gave him the title of "prince consort," and probably would have made him "King Albert" if Parliament would have gone along with it. Incidentally, Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, does not have the title "prince consort." Although he gave up his titles of prince of Greece and Denmark when he married Elizabeth, and he has the style of His Royal Highness as a prince of the United Kingdom. His title is Duke of Edinburgh.

William in Yonkers, N.Y., wants to know: What would happen to the Crown and its monker of "Defender of the Faith" if a future king or queen were an atheist or, had stated openly and publicly that he/she only attend services as a bow to tradition and not because they truly believed?

Answer: That is a very good question, but not an easy one to answer. The constitutional experts in Britain would be debating it for a long time, and it would be especially difficult because Britain's constitution isn't written. However, it's important to remember that English monarchs didn't start using the title "Defender of the Faith" until Henry VIII in the 16th century -- and he was initially given that moniker by the pope for defending Catholicism against Protestant "heresies." Prince Charles once suggested that, as Anglicanism is not the only religion in the United Kingdom, the sovereign should perhaps be known as "Defender of Faith" (instead of "the Faith"). That didn't go anywhere.

Leenaali asks: Prince William of Britain has a girlfriend who is a part-time model. Is there any possibility that she is going to be the next princess? Or the next princess must be an aristocratic girl?

Answer: Like William, Kate Middleton, 22, is a student at the University of St. Andrews. She recently joined William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles on a skiing holiday at Klosters, a Swiss resort. Her family is upper middle-class, not aristocratic, but that would not be a bar to her marrying William. However, William recently said he's too young to get married and doesn't plan to be following his father to the altar any time soon.

Barbara in Folsom wants to know: Did Camilla have plastic surgery? She looks better.

Answer: She certainly does look better, but it's due to several subtle changes made over time. Camilla was always into the natural look, which meant she was photographed a lot of times with no makeup and in casual clothes. But over the past few years, she appears to have lost weight and to have had her teeth capped and whitened. She's dressing a lot better, in colors designed to flatter her, and she's wearing soft makeup that really helps her skin look younger. Plus, Prince Charles has given her some pretty nice jewels, which make anyone look great.


Leenaali asks: If Prince Albert II died without having any children, who is going to be the next prince of Monaco? Is he one of his sisters' children?

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