The Queen’s surprising ancient titles revealed – and why her main title causes controversy – Express

The Queen has reigned for 67 years so far, and in that time has seen incredible changes all around the world. However, some of the ancient privileges that belong to Her Majesty have stayed exactly same, even resulting in some surprising quirks. While at home Her Majesty is familiarly referred to as just “The Queen”, she is Queen of the United Kingdom and holds other titles and honours such as Defender of the Faith. 

However, in other realms and dependencies the titles that belong to the Queen can be a little unexpected. 

She is even a Duke and a Lord, despite being female. 

The title the Duke of Normandy stretches all the way back the the Middle Ages, and today the Channel Islands are all that remain of the former English claim to the French province. 

The Queen has the title, which remains as Duke and is not changed to Duchess for her, in the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. 

The loyal toast to her Majesty used on the islands is “The Duke of Normandy, our Queen”. 

According to the late royal Historian Ben Pimlott, in his 2009 book ‘The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy’, when the Queen visited Normandy in May 1967, French locals began to doff their hats and shout “Vive la Duchesse!”, to which the Queen supposedly replied “Well, I am The Duke of Normandy!”. 

In addition, in the ancient Duchy of Lancaster, the Queen is known as the Duke of Lancaster. 

The Duchy of Lancaster, separate from the Crown Estates, has been used to provide revenue for the monarch’s use since 1399, and the national anthem in Lancaster can still be found as “God Save our gracious Queen, long live our noble Duke”. 

READ MORE: How legal loophole could have led to Princess Anne becoming Queen

As the Queen is head of the Commonwealth, she holds 16 different regnal titles for each of the current Commonwealth realms. 

So, for example, she is the Queen of Australia, and the Queen of Papua New Guinea. 

The naming of the Queen in Scotland also caused some controversy at the time of her succession to the crown. 

In Scotland, there has never been an Elizabeth I on the throne, as Elizabeth I ruled England before the Acts of Union. 

Objection to the title Elizabeth II in Scotland was so strong that new postboxes with the EIIR insignia were vandalised. 

Winston Churchill stepped in to suggest that future British monarchs should be numbered according to either their English or Scottish predecessors, whichever number is higher. 

As recently as 2002, then-leader of the SNP Winnie Ewing wrote to Her Majesty to urge her to use the regnal name Elizabeth I, Queen of Scots when in Scotland. 


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