Lady Diana, Princess of ...
Titles and Address
the day her divorce from the Prince of Wales becomes absolute, the Princess
of Wales will lose become "Lady Diana, Princess o Wales". (The style of
"Lady" is owed to her birth as the daughter of an earl, is unrelated to
her status as a member of the Royal Family, and has not been discussed
during the negotiations on the divorce settlement.) This forthcoming loss
of precedence has received much publicity, but has for the greater part
not been clearly explained.
Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, to the surprise
of many, will no longer be The Princess of Wales, for that is the title
of the wife of the man who holds the Principality of Wales of his feudal
superior, the Queen. Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, although correctly
addressed as such, will not enjoy the title of Princess of Wales.
(It is probably appropriate here, while describing the new position, to
explain that the Princess of Wales, during her marriage, has been always
and only HRH The Princess of Wales. She has never been "Princess Diana"
- for the style of "Princess Own-christian-name" in the United Kingdom
can come only with birth, never with marriage, as is evident from the style
of others who became princesses by marriage and are known accordingly as
Before the final decisions were published, many
had expected Diana to lose the title of Princess of Wales and to retain
the style of "Her Royal Highness" (as some deemed
appropriate for a mother of a future king). But two factors of significance
were overlooked: one is that the Sovereign is the Fount of Honour (an ancient
term, but precise) and is the ultimate judge of what honours may be bestowed
and forfeited; the other is that although history has given no precedent
for the divorce of a Princess of Wales, there are relevant parallels established
for divorced duchesses which, for her own ducal titles, Diana will be obliged
to follow, and these parallels could act as a guide for the Sovereign's
A divorced duchess continues to use her previous
title, preceded by her christian name, but does so as if the title were
a name. Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, is thus also Lady Diana, Duchess
of Cornwall, and because the title is regarded merely as a name, the status
held by the wife of a duke is lost, as is the style of a duchess ("Her
Grace"). It thus would appear, although it has not yet been clearly explained
officially to the public, that with respect to the analogy with a divorced
duchess, Lady Diana, Princess of Wales will no longer be a princess, just
as Lady Diana, Duchess of Cornwall will no longer be a duchess. The rank
of princess came with marriage and it will go when the marriage ends.
The consequence of any remarriage for the Prince of Wales and for Lady
Diana will emphasise these changes. The new wife of the Prince of Wales
will become the Princess of Wales on her wedding day. She will become also
Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester and Countess
of Carrick. Lady Diana will continue to be Lady Diana, Princess of Wales
and, for example, Lady Diana, Duchess of Cornwall.
A remarriage for Diana will have a more noticeable
effect, for in England she would normally take the style of her new husband.
If she marries Mr John Smith she could become Lady Diana Smith and lose
the Cornwall "name". However, as Diana will be Lady Diana, Duchess of Rothesay
under Scots law, which treats divorced wives in the same way it treats
widows, she would be able to retain the Rothesay
"name" no matter what the style of her new husband.
At the present time the Palace appears to be taking
a fairly relaxed view on these matters, and what the news media have published
of the briefings their journalists have received suggests that this brave
new world's thrust towards a classless society has at last begun to create
the confusion social engineers seek to harness. One newspaper suggested
that the Palace hoped everyone would just address Lady Diana by whatever
style each individual wished, and recommended "Princess" or "Ma'am" in
conversation. But the possibility of the Prince's remarriage, and the inappropriate
usage of "Princess" as an address to someone who is not a princess, prompts
expectation that soon after the divorce becomes absolute, the Palace will
issue more precise guidelines.
armorial consequences of the divorce are much easier to understand. During
her marriage Diana has displayed an achievement with her father's arms
featured alongside those of the Prince of Wales (technically impaled
by the Prince's arms). She has also been authorised to use the Prince of
Wales feathers and the famous motto Ich Dien as a badge on, for
example, writing paper. These heraldic commemorations of their alliance
will now cease, and Diana will use her father's arms displayed on the traditional
lozenge, as shown at the head of this note.
Volver a Diana
La canción.- Candle in the wind
La entrevista de la discordia