Gay Marriage | News | Royalty

British Men Banned from Becoming 'Queen' or 'Princess of Wales' in Advance of Marriage Equality Law

British laws are being redrafted in advance of the marriage equality law coming into effect, and among the items being rewritten are statutes regarding royal titles, the Telegraph reports:

HarryThe order makes clear that a clause in the Act giving gay and heterosexual marriage the same legal effect does not apply to the rights of anyone “who marries, or who is married to, the King Regnant, to the title of Queen”.

It also makes clear that were a future Prince of Wales to marry a man his husband could not be called Princess of Wales.

More immediately, the order rules out the possibility of Dukes, Earls and other male peers who marry other men making their husbands Duchess, Countess or Lady.

The paper adds:

Legal experts said it was a necessary “tidying up” exercise, but the Coalition for Marriage, which campaigned against same-sex marriage, said it showed the change had left the law in a “complete mess” and accused the Government of trying to “sneak” the changes through while political attention was on the floods.

Colin Hart, its director, said it was a “systematic drive to airbrush” words like husband, wife and widow from the law.

A draft order to be debated next week sets out amendments to 36 Acts dating back to 1859; special exclusions from the effects of the Same-Sex Marriage Act for a further 67 other pieces of legislation dating back 729 years and changes to dozens of pension regulations which have legal force.

Marriage equality is set to come into effect in England and Wales on March 13 with the first same-sex marriages to take place on March 29.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. well, that's rather disappointing. I was hoping for a 'new wave' of transatlantic marriages of titles & money a la Downton Abbey, only this time same-sex.

    Posted by: hugo | Feb 26, 2014 11:28:53 AM

  2. So many closet queens in the English royalty....Are they the New Vatican???

    Posted by: styler | Feb 26, 2014 11:36:14 AM

  3. Watch the gays not get upset because they're too busy social climbing to mess with Royals telling them they're not equal...

    Posted by: styler | Feb 26, 2014 11:37:58 AM

  4. On one hand, this makes perfectly good sense: propriety and respectability seem to demand more than the cartoon of, say, a male spouse bearing the title "Queen," with or without the transvestite trappings. On the other hand, it shows the depth at which we cling to the gendered role labels of our culture, and suggests that insisting on the separations of men-things from women-things is far more important than a mere marriage ceremony.

    It also shows how deeply respect for authority runs, suggesting that a man who bears a "female" peerage title has less authority than the same man bearing a "male" title. Elizabeth I could call herself a king but, throughout history, a queen of her magnitude always bears less "majesty(?)," "gravitas(?)" than a man in the same position.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Feb 26, 2014 11:40:44 AM

  5. Doesn't Edward, Queen Elizabeth's youngest son hold both the titles of Prince and Queen?

    Posted by: Jonnycakes | Feb 26, 2014 11:45:40 AM

  6. Let's say, hypothetically, baby Prince George (nee 2013) is gay. So around 2040 (assuming Charles has died) he'll be be the Crown Prince and probably looking to marry. His spouse would probably be "Sir", and at some point "Lord" until George ascends the throne. Once George becomes King (2070ish?), his spouse would be made Earl or Marquis or even Prince consort. Simple.

    Posted by: MFinBH | Feb 26, 2014 11:46:14 AM

  7. See Wallis Warfield Simpson (aka Her Grace, The Duchess of Windsor) for how difficult it is to procure a "royal" title through a quasi-royal marriage.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 26, 2014 11:47:15 AM

  8. Few folks won't be happy in west hollywood. Ticket to reality tv just evaporated.

    Posted by: vapor | Feb 26, 2014 11:47:49 AM

  9. What about the title of "consort"?

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Feb 26, 2014 11:50:57 AM

  10. Yes Prince consort is a good word. It sounds gender neutral.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 26, 2014 11:52:03 AM

  11. Couldn't the husband of the king be given the title, Duke of Uranus?

    Posted by: Jonnycakes | Feb 26, 2014 11:54:08 AM

  12. @MFINBH, that is exactly how I understood it. Monarchy is a business that looks on long-term. And I mean by that, Centuries long. They often try to prevent misconduct, abuse of their lineage, and any chance at ridicule (banning the disturbing Andrews and pork of their families).

    That being said, if HRH Georgie would want to call his husband Duchess in their private quarters, well, that's his business. But that would be exactly why he can't call him that in public: The connotation of calling a man, a gay man, Duchess in public is one today heavy with discrimination. Until it stops being, there will be no male Duchess, or Princess, in the foreseeable future.

    Posted by: Mags | Feb 26, 2014 11:55:15 AM

  13. Yes Mags, lineage is very important. Especially when you have a red-headed heir, um spare, who looks like the stable boy.

    Posted by: Jonnycakes | Feb 26, 2014 12:03:14 PM

  14. It's a shame this had to be spelt out in writing. Why any gay man would want to be called a queen or duchess is beyond me (unless a drag name). I thought we've move on from gay=feminine?

    Posted by: matt | Feb 26, 2014 12:08:18 PM

  15. So no Baroness for me? Ho hum.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 26, 2014 12:10:26 PM

  16. And we thank you oh Stable Boy for "lineaging" such good looks into that Family (no, lineaging is not a real word). That Harry! Sploosh!

    Posted by: Mags | Feb 26, 2014 12:12:36 PM

  17. Unfortunately poor Harry only had a few good years left before he turns into his bloated, saggy uncle, Earl Spencer.

    English redheads just don't hold up well at all.

    Posted by: Jonnycakes | Feb 26, 2014 12:18:28 PM

  18. I'm confused--why would a gay man want a title that historically was meant for a female? Gay men aren't women, obviously, and if we're using titles with a centuries old etymology this would seem an obviously necessary change. It never says that the spouse would not be accorded some kind of title, since legally that spouse would have inheritance rights and those would--based on my limited knowledge of royalty--accord title with them. There doesn't seem to be much of substance going--just a gender conforming tradition somehow being interpreted as a problem of substantive equality.

    Posted by: Bryan | Feb 26, 2014 12:21:08 PM

  19. This has got to be an Onion article!

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 26, 2014 12:36:25 PM

  20. When two male commoners get married, they're both called "Husband".
    Why would royals assume a male spouse would require a female title?

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Feb 26, 2014 12:37:23 PM

  21. It seems they are just stating the obvious that a same sex marriage won't equate to a female royal title. Whether it entitles them to ANY royal title isn't mentioned.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Feb 26, 2014 12:42:02 PM

  22. It is disturbing that a MAN(gay or straight) would want the title assigned to a female. It is ridiculous that they would have to clarify the obvious.

    Posted by: Perry | Feb 26, 2014 12:45:41 PM

  23. Nobody cares. The monarchy will die with Queen Elizabeth. It's a silly system of government.

    Posted by: Kev C | Feb 26, 2014 12:48:09 PM

  24. So what WILL they be called?

    And why do we still have kings and queens in 2014? Off with their heads!

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 26, 2014 12:54:19 PM

  25. by 2070 - I think people will be more worried about water to drink and food to eat...especially with Rising seas, pollution, Near Earth Asteroids ... etc etc......they, like the GOP here, are looking for a problem that doesnt exist!!!! (glad I'll be loooong gone)

    Posted by: disgusted american | Feb 26, 2014 12:54:47 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «The New Trailer For 'Godzilla' Revels In Drama, Destruction: VIDEO« «