What Was Queen Elizabeth’s Title Before She Became Queen?

To state the obvious: Queen Elizabeth hasn’t always been Her Majesty The Queen. In fact, her official royal title has changed a few times throughout her life. And, she didn’t receive a high-ranking title until after she married her husband, Prince Philip. What was Queen Elizabeth’s title before she became queen? Find out, ahead.

What was Queen Elizabeth’s title before she became queen?

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Today, we know Queen Elizabeth as Her Majesty The Queen. However, the monarch’s official royal title has changed a total of four times throughout her life. Take a look back at the queen’s royal titles, including what she was called before she became the queen (and who she plans to give her former title to).

Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York

As a prominent member of the royal family, Queen Elizabeth was born with some serious royal status. Since her mother and father were the Duke and Duchess of York, the then Princess Elizabeth was born Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth

When her father became king, the then Princess Elizabeth went from Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York to Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, since King George VI (formerly Prince Albert) no longer held a dukedom.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth
The Duchess of Edinburgh before she became Her Majesty The Queen | Keystone/Getty Images

When Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947, she became the Duchess of Edinburgh. Upon their marriage, King George VI granted dukedom status to Prince Philip, making him the Duke of Edinburgh, which automatically made Queen Elizabeth the Duchess of Edinburgh. This was her royal title until she ascended the throne and became queen.

Her Majesty The Queen

In 1952, following her father’s passing, Princess Elizabeth ascended the throne and went from Duchess of Edinburgh to Her Majesty The Queen. However, Prince Philip kept his dukedom and remains the Duke of Edinburgh to this day.

Why wasn’t Queen Elizabeth Princess Royal?

As the eldest daughter of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth once qualified for the Princess Royal title. However, it wasn’t available to her. In 1932 — following the death of Louise, Princess Royal — Queen Elizabeth’s Aunt Mary became the Princess Royal and held the title until her death in 1965, over ten years into Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne is the current Princess Royal. And, her great-niece, Princess Charlotte will likely receive the title after her (so long as Prince William is monarch).

Who will become Duchess of Edinburgh?

The queen might no longer go by the Duchess of Edinburgh, but the title is still not available. Since the dukedom belongs to her husband, Prince Philip he will carry the title until his death. Then, once the dukedom goes back to the crown, it will become available for another royal family member.

According to reports, Queen Elizabeth specifically held back on granting her youngest son (and alleged favorite child) a dukedom upon his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones as she hopes he will one day become the Duke of Edinburgh, making Sophie the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Queen Elizabeth and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are reportedly ultra-close. Some claim that Sophie is like a daughter to Her Majesty and the queen talks to her in the same way she used to talk to her sister, Princess Margaret. So, it’s no surprise why she would want to pass on her former royal title to her daughter-in-law.


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