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royal protocol


Prince Harry’s future wife, Meghan Markle, will not be known as Princess Meghan when she ties the knot with him in May 2018.

By the standards of British royal protocol, the American actress lacks “royal blood”.

That means that she cannot call herself Princess Meghan.

The arcane rules mean that Meghan Markle will be compelled to follow the example of her future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she automatically became Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales. The overwhelming likelihood is that Meghan Markle will in turn become HRH Princess Harry of Wales.

Kate Middleton was not of royal blood, and what applies to her will also apply in the case of Meghan Markle.

Royal blood meant that Queen Elizabeth’s late sister Margaret was entitled to call herself Princess Margaret. Likewise the Queen’s daughter is Princess Anne and her granddaughters are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Image source Wikimedia

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding to Be Held at Windsor Castle in May 2018

Prince Harry Engaged to Meghan Markle. Royal Wedding in 2018

Royal blood made them princesses in their own right.

Sarah Ferguson was never Princess Sarah and Sophie Rhys-Jones – the wife of Prince Edward – is not Princess Sophie.

The rules also meant that Lady Diana Spencer was never officially Princess Diana. She was the Princess of Wales and, after her divorce from Prince Charles, she was Diana, Princess of Wales.

From the point of view of Buckingham Palace, handy titles or “handles” are required for the members of the family who occupy prestigious but somewhat peripheral roles to the main business of monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth’s first cousins are, respectively, the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent, and when her disgraced uncle abandoned the throne to marry an American divorcee in 1936, he became the Duke of Windsor.

Such ducal titles are frequently bestowed upon marriage precisely because they give the new entrant to the family a grand-sounding title without making them princesses or princes in their own right.

In 1986, when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, the Queen made him Duke of York, thus she became the Duchess of York – a title she continues to hold despite her divorce.

Similarly, when Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones, he became the Earl of Wessex and his new wife the Countess of Wessex.

It could be that the Queen makes the same kind of move in the cases of Kate and Meghan, and dusts off a long-defunct royal dukedom – Sussex (the favorite for Harry and Meghan), Albany and Clarence are among the vacant ones.

However, as with many things connected to British royal protocol, there is always an exception to the rule – Queen Elizabeth’s husband Philip married into the royal family, and yet he is a prince.

When Philip married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, the then British King, George VI, created him “Duke of Edinburgh”.

He only became Prince Philip in February 1957 when the Queen “accorded him the style and title of a Prince of the United Kingdom”.

The Queen could also make both Kate and Meghan princesses in their own right – but such are the rigid traditions surrounding this issue that Britain’s first Princess Meghan is likely to be some time away.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has fired the head of royal protocol, Mohammed al-Tobayshi, days after he was filmed slapping a photographer.

In a decree published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) news agency on May 5th, the royal house gives no reason for Mohammed al-Tobayshi’s removal.

TV footage seemingly showed Mohammed al-Tobayshi hitting the photographer while King Salman greeted Morocco’s King Mohammed at Riyadh airport on May 3rd.

A royal decree named Khalid al-Abbad as the replacement of Mohammed al-Tobayshi, the SPA reported.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

King Salman’s decision was welcomed by Saudis on social media networks.

After the video was posted online, many had accused Mohammed al-Tobayshi of abusing his authority.

“This is a great day for journalists and media figures,” journalist Abdullah al-Bergawi told Gulf News.

“Removing the head of the royal protocol in support of a journalist is a clear consolidation of the status of the media and a victory for journalism.

“King Salman is again showing that no-one is above the law and that all people, officials or not, are to be held responsible for their words and deeds and for not respecting people’s right to dignity.”

Last month, King Salman banned a senior member of the royal family, Prince Mamdouh bin Abdul Rahman, from taking part in all sports activities and speaking to the media after he made remarks considered racist during a TV talk show.

King Salman also replaced Ahmed Al-Khatib as health minister earlier in April after he was filmed having a heated argument with a member of the public who had come to speak to him about the condition of a hospital in Riyadh.


Prince William and Kate Middleton met LeBron James in New York on December 8 after watching a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center indoor arena.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also presented with NBA shirts, including a small one for their young son, Prince George.James LeBron breaks royal protocol with Kate Middleton

While posing for photographs, LeBron James appeared to surprise Kate Middleton by breaking royal protocol and placing his arm around her.

The breach of protocol echoed the time when Michelle Obama caused a stir by putting her arm around Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are on their first official trip to the US since 2011.

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