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The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in his or her role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with official national terms for the family. Members of the royal family belong to (are born into), or are married into, the House of Windsor, since 1917, when George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Although in the United Kingdom there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family, and different lists will include different people, those carrying the style His or Her Majesty (HM), or His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) are always considered members, which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch, the consort of the monarch, the widowed consorts of previous monarchs, the children of the monarch, the maleline grandchildren of the monarch, and the spouses and the widowed spouses of a monarch's son and male-line grandsons. Members and relatives of the British Royal Family historically represented the monarch in various places throughout the British Empire, sometimes for extended periods as viceroys, or for specific ceremonies or events. Today, they often perform ceremonial and social duties throughout the United Kingdom and abroad on behalf of the UK, but, aside from the monarch, have no constitutional role in the affairs of government. This is the same for the other realms of the Commonwealth though the family there acts on behalf of, is funded by, and represents the sovereign of that particular state, and not the United Kingdom. Public role and image Members of the Royal Family participate in hundreds of public engagements yearly throughout the United Kingdom, as formally recorded in the Court Circular, to honour, encourage and learn about the achievements or endeavours of individuals, institutions and enterprises in a variety of areas of life. As representatives of the Queen, they often also join the nation in commemorating historical events, holidays, celebratory and tragic occurrences, and may also sponsor or participate in numerous charitable, cultural and social activities. Their travels abroad on behalf of the UK (called State Visits when the sovereign officially meets with other heads of state) draw public attention to amicable relations within and between the Commonwealth and other nations, to British goods and trade, and to Britain as a historical, vacation, and tourist destination. Their presence, activities and traditional roles constitute the apex of a modern "royal court," and provide a distinctly British and historical pageantry to ceremonies (e.g. Trooping the Colour) and flavour to public events (e.g. Garden Parties, Ascot). Throughout their lives they draw enormous media coverage in the form of photographic, written and televised commentary on their activities, family relationships, rites of passage, personalities, attire, behaviour, and public roles. Senior members of the royal family often drive themselves instead of having a driver. In a lengthy interview conducted by PBS prior to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in August 1997, Max Hastings, editor of the Daily Telegraph between 1986 and 1995, discussed the impact of Andrew Morton's and Jonathan Dimbleby's biographies of, respectively, the Princess and Charles, Prince of Wales on subsequent news coverage of the Royal Family in the UK: Funding Money to support the Queen in the exercise of her duties as head of state of the United Kingdom (the Head of State Expenditure) come from the Civil List. This is a return of a small portion of the revenue from the Crown Lands that are surrendered by the monarch to parliament at the beginning of each reign; all Crown Land being administered by The Crown Estates, an institution that is answerable to parliament. In the 2003-04 fiscal year, the amount surrendered was £176.9 million, where the Head of State Expenditure was £36 million. The Head of State Expenditure does not include the cost of security.
Princess Alexandra and Princess Margaret. Countess of Snowdon. a queen consort. Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent enjoy the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and the style Royal Highness as male-line grandchildren of George V. The children of the Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra have no titles. Use of the style His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness (HRH) and the titular dignity of prince or princess are governed by Letters Patent issued by George V on 30 November 1917 and published in the London Gazette on 11 December 1917. shareholdings. They are not entitled to any royal title. The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex are titled Princes or Princesses and styled Royal Highness. Royal styles and titles The style His Majesty or Her Majesty (HM) is enjoyed by a king. However. the courtesy titles as children of dukes.000 per annum The Earl and Countess of Wessex: £141. Princess Elizabeth. and a queen dowager. and the Earl of Wessex are "HRH . none of their children has a royal title. The Duke of Kent. Though always voluntarily subject to the Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes.. the wives of the Duke of Kent. the Queen agreed to pay taxes on income and capital gains from 1992.000 per annum The Duke and Duchess of Kent: £236. Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle) will be subject to Inheritance Tax. Princess Margaret's son enjoys the courtesy title Viscount Linley as the son and heir of the Earl of Snowdon. because Mark Phillips and Sir Angus Ogilvy did not accept hereditary peerages upon marriage. the Hon. personal jewellery. However.000 per year. These Letters Patent state that henceforth only the children of the Sovereign." or " HRH The Countess of . Only some members of the Royal Family carry out public duties. a queen regnant. these individuals receive an annual payment known as a Parliamentary Annuity." Thus.Only the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh receive funding from the Civil List. At the same time it was announced that only the Queen and Prince Philip would receive civil list payments. the children of Prince Michael of Kent are known as Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor. upon Prince Edward's marriage in 1999. The Duke of Gloucester." Under these conventions. The Queen's children and the children of The Prince of Wales.000 per annum Princess Alexandra £225. could transmit her title to her children. For example.000 per annum The Princess Royal: £228. the children of the sons of the Sovereign. The Queen's private estate (e. • • • • • • The Duke of York: £249.. although the details of this arrangement are both voluntary and secret.. The wives of royal peers are known as "HRH The Duchess of ." They further state. however bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt. The children of The Princess Royal. An exception to this rule was when George VI issued Letters Patent such that his heiress presumptive. the Duke of Gloucester.000 per annum These amounts are repaid by The Queen from her private funds..000 per annum The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester: £175. Princess Alexandra. but no Letters Patent were issued to deny them their princely status or HRH. "the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes. and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales would "have and at all times hold and enjoy the style. are not entitled to any royal title since princesses do not transmit their titles to their children. it was announced that his children would be styled as earl's children. title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour. Women marrying sons and male-line grandsons of a Sovereign are normally styled Her Royal Highness followed by the feminised version of her husband's highest title. the funds being supplied to cover office costs. The Duke receives £359. Since 1993 the Queen's personal income has been taxed as any other Briton.g. while her daughter enjoys the courtesy title Lady.
" Similarly. do not acquire their wives' royal rank and the style HRH. it was also announced that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall would not be known as HRH The Princess of Wales. the former King Edward VIII. Their highest styles would therefore have been Earl of Merioneth and Lady Anne Mountbatten. For example." "HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. under Queen Elizabeth II's 21 August 1996 Letters Patent. Princess of Wales enjoyed the title and style of "HRH The Princess of Wales. Out of respect for Diana. Princess of Wales. she is known as HRH Princess [Her husband's Christian name]. As grandchildren of the Sovereign through the female line. Men who marry the daughters and the male-line granddaughters of the Sovereign. it has been announced by Clarence House that should The Prince of Wales become King." However." respectively." It should also be noted due a reluctance by the public to universally support the second wife of The Prince of Wales." There has been one exception to the convention that wives of princes take their husband's rank. However. followed by whatever territorial or titular designation. however. the former Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz enjoys the title and style of "HRH Princess Michael of Kent. In Letters Patent dated 28 May 1937. when a woman marries a prince who does not hold a peerage. a divorced wife of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland "shall not be entitled to hold and enjoy the style.The Duchess of Kent. The daughters and male-line granddaughters of the Sovereign do not lose their royal titles upon marriage. Before her divorce. had those titles and styles not been granted in Letters Patent of 22 October 1948. the former Birgitte Eva van Deurs was titled "HRH Princess Richard of Gloucester" from her wedding until her husband succeeded to his father's dukedom in 1974. as the Duke of Edinburgh had renounced these use of these royal titles and styles. Diana. that his wife HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will not be known as HM The Queen but will take the lesser title of HRH The Princess Consort. They could neither be styled as Prince or Princess of Greece and Denmark through their father. . The widows of princes remain HRH." and "HRH The Countess of Wessex. Therefore." and not "HRH Princess Marie-Christine of Kent. the former Wallis Warfield Simpson was known as "Her Grace The Duchess of Windsor." not "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Windsor. title or attribute of Royal Highness. King George VI specifically denied the style HRH to the wife of the Duke of Windsor. the children of the then Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh would not have been entitled to use HRH or Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom until their mother became Queen.
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