Home Forums So, I was wondering….. Inheriting a title in the United Kingdom

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  • elaine smith
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    Post count: 5

    In the review of Let’s Talk About Love, the subject of how a title can be inherited and by whom in the UK arose. There are currently definitive rules about it that, as far as I am aware, have never changed very much over the centuries. Adopted children, children born out of wedlock, step-children and, in the main, females (born in wedlock) cannot inherit a title or entailed property. Entails can be broken though it is a very difficult thing to do. The rules were changed just before Prince George was born (sorry, I referred to Prince William in my post at Let’s Talk About Love) some 6 years ago allowing, in the case of the monarchy ONLY, for the eldest child irrespective of sex to inherit the crown. What do any of you think about this? And, especially, what do you think if you don’t live in the UK? Are you in favour of the British monarchy or, like some in various Commonwealth countries (as well as the UK), want it abolished altogether? In my working life I was required from time to time to deal with titled people and on a couple of occasions, royalty. I had to learn the rules. As an American living in England I was vulnerable to criticism if I got it wrong so I made sure I didn’t make any mistakes because getting it wrong reflected on my employer. So, it’s a subject of interest to me. Any thoughts?

    Frankie Cashwell
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    Post count: 1

    I wonder if a titled person actually thinks they are different from all the nobodys. Better or more deserving of anything they have not personally accomplished. Can virtue of birth really matter.

    elaine smith
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    I don’t think that someone with a title – which if it is an inherited title and therefore an accident of birth – necessarily thinks themselves better or more deserving. Sadly, however, birth does make a difference. For example, I was born in a first world country, not a third world country but that does not make me better or worse, just different and grateful. I think, personally, that it would be just about impossible to dismantle the British peerage. And, at the end of the day, often peers have a huge responsibilty to look after property, people they employ and land which they often do as best they can. The rules are complicated and, as we have seen with Prince Harry and his wife, some can’t bear it or don’t want to deal with it so they can walk away from responsibilities which either devolve to another family member or another solution needs to be found. I don’t defend or reject the concept of a peerage and those peers whom I have met in the course of my working life were all very nice people, often humble and often worried for the future of their responsibilities.

    Marian Perera
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    Post count: 1

    I grew up in the United Arab Emirates, which is ruled by people (well, men) with inherited titles. In the UAE, there was no criticism at all of the rulers. And if two of them were shown on television together as part of the news, e.g. “Earlier today, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, met with His Highness Sheikh Saeed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the ruler of Sharjah”, the sound would be cut off completely. We weren’t allowed to hear a word they said. I could go on and on.

    So compared to that, the system in the UK seems downright egalitarian.

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