Queen Elizabeth Ii And The Duke Of Edinburgh On Their Coronation Day

Why is Queen Camilla being crowned consort but Prince Philip wasn’t?

The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving and oldest-ever Consort in British history, having served for almost 70 years. But he was not crowned alongside his wife at her Coronation as Queen Camilla will be on Saturday, May 6 – here’s why.

The world is watching on this weekend as the new Queen Camilla is crowned alongside the King at the first Coronation in 70 years.

But while the new Queen will enjoy her title as Consort, the late Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, was not crowned as Consort during the Coronation of his wife Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953.

In fact, at the time of the historic ceremony, Philip was not even an official Prince of the United Kingdom.

Rather, he was styled as the Duke of Edinburgh — as per the dukedom that was bestowed upon him on his and then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding day in 1947.

So why was the man the Queen described as her “strength and stay” never honoured with the official title of King Consort?

Queen Elizabeth Ii And The Duke Of Edinburgh On Their Coronation Day

The late Queen was crowned on June 2, 1953 (Image: Getty)

Why wasn’t Prince Philip crowned King Consort?

While Philip did take on the role of Consort upon Queen Elizabeth’s accession in February 1952, he was not officially a prince. Nor was he a King.

Even though he was married to Britain’s longest-serving Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh was never titled as King. He was required to renounce his existing princely titles, which he held as a prince of both Greece and Denmark, upon his marriage.

Thus, he continued to be known as the Duke of Edinburgh and was thus treated as such at his wife’s Coronation.

As per ancient tradition, royal dukes play a role in coronation ceremonies. They kneel before the newly-crowned Sovereign and place their hands between the monarch’s. Then, they recite the Homage of Royal Blood, which sees them swear to “become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God’”.

Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Elizabeth - Coronation The Duke of Edinburgh kneels in homage to his wife the new queen

Philip knelt before the newly-crowned Queen (Image: Getty)

How much the Coronation cost – and who’s footing the bill

King Charles may be cutting back his big day in comparison to that of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. But with 2,000 guests invited to Westminster Abbey, two processions in a golden carriage, and countless other expenses needed for security and more, the cost is expected to be sky-high.

Express analyses just how much the Coronation will cost, and who is paying the bill.

At the 1953 Coronation, Philip was the first royal duke to swear allegiance to the Queen. He was followed by the monarch’s uncle Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Following that, the Peers of the realm, one for each rank, paid their personal homage: Norfolk for dukes, Huntly for marquesses, Shrewsbury for earls, Arbuthnott for viscounts and Mowbray for barons.

It marked Philip’s first public declaration of loyalty as Consort, putting emphasis on what would become a 74-year companionship.

Philip remained a Duke and only received the official title of Prince in 1957, 10 years after he and Elizabeth married.

On February 22, 1957, Buckingham Palace issued the following statement: “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm bearing date 22nd February, 1957, to give and grant unto His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., G.B.E., the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Whitehall.

“The Queen has been pleased to declare her will and pleasure that His ‘Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

He was only the fifth consort to a reigning Queen in British royal history, with the last instance being in 1857 when Prince Albert was named Prince Consort by Queen Victoria — 17 years after they wed in 1840.

Queen Elizabeth II's Historic Visit To Ireland - Day Two

Philip was Queen Elizabeth’s loyal consort for almost 70 years (Image: Getty)

While spouses of reigning Kings are named Queen Consort, the husbands of Queens are styled as Prince Consort. This is because of a longstanding royal rule which states the title of King is reserved only for a reigning monarch that has inherited the throne.

Consorts of previous queens were: King Philip II of Spain, husband to Mary I; William III, husband and co-sovereign to Mary II, and Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne, who was not given a title.

Although Philip served in his dutiful role for just under 70 years, becoming the longest-serving and oldest-ever Consort in British history, he never wore a crown.

His role at Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation will stand in contrast to that of Queen Camilla’s at the Coronation of her husband King Charles III.

Camilla will be crowned alongside the current monarch, making her the first Queen Consort to be coronated since 1937 — when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, were crowned.

Meanwhile, Prince William will take on his grandfather’s Coronation role, pledging allegiance to King Charles during Saturday’s ceremony.