Answers to Your Questions on the Royals

As for whether Queen Elizabeth II should have withheld her permission, a lot of people agree with you there too. But perhaps she felt that it would be better for Charles and Camilla to marry instead of living together. When Princess Anne, who divorced her first husband, married Timothy Laurence, the queen attended the Church of Scotland ceremony. She might have felt that if she allowed one of her children to remarry, she should allow another to do the same, whatever the circumstances.

Marian says: Throughout the history of England, there have been various spouses given title of Prince (or Princess) Consort. Albert, Philip, to name a few. I don't recall why they were given Prince title when they married their Queens?

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.

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