Page:Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage.djvu/68

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TITLES, ORDERS, AND DEGREES OF PRECEDENCE AND DIGNITY. accession, and is not necessary for the security of per annum the income now enjoyed in virtue the title to the crown. It is, however, highly of his duchy rights by the present illustrious essential, inasmuch as it tends to a formal es- tablishment of those rights which the people claim from the monarch in return for the duty and allegiance they are bound to observe towards the new Sovereign. The coronation ceremonial is more splendid, emblematic, and elaborate in England than in any other country. Instance the anointing- with oil, a practice which has been continued upwards of one thousand years ; the formal crowning, the several religious ceremonies, besides the insignia of royalty, among which are a ring, to signify faithfulness ; a bracelet, for good works ; a sword, I for vengeance ; purple robes, to attract reverence ; and a diadem, to blazon glory. Some of these PLL . ME OF THE PRINCE OF WALES . forms would seem to be of Judaical qngin. The derivation of the word king, is, according Prince of Wales. Upon attaining the age of to Chamberlayne, from the Saxon word Konig, or twenty-one His Royal Highness became_ possessed Cyning, which comes from Can, intimating power, of a very large sum of ready-money, arising from or Ken knowledge, wherewith every sovereign, the accumulation of the annual revenues, and should be invested. out of this fund the Sandringham estate was Some of the titles of our Saxon kings were very i purchased. quaint and pompous. These were discontinued By course of the civil law he sits at the right by the Normans, and it was not until Henry IV. hand of the Sovereign in all solemn assemblies adopted the title of "Grace," that prefixes came of state and honour; but he has no kingly into use. These prefixes were successively changed (at the jpleasure of the sovereigns them- ' "xcellent Grace," " High and prerogatives, and acknowledges reverence to his sovereign. An old statute of Edward III. enacts "that to selves) into Mighty Prince," and " Highness," until Henry i compass or imagine the death of the King's eldest VII. adopted those of " Majesty " and "Dread, son and heir is crimen last? majestatis " (high Sovereign." treason). In 1876 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress i On the union of the Crowns of England and of India, but the Imperial Dignity is not adopted Scotland, Kin? James's son (Prince Henry) was in any part of Her Majesty's dominions except . created " Prince of Great Britain and Ireland," India. and this nominally higher title survives in the The word " Sire," usually heads letters ad- i person of the Prince of Wales ; but the more dressed to a male sovereign. THE HEIR-APPARENT TO THE CROWN Is next below the Sovereign in all honour and dignity not as participating or comparing with the latter, who stands alone and supreme, but as enjoying the largest share of the honour which flows from the crown. No person can hold this position save a child of the Sovereign, or, if the former be dead, his, or her, direct descendant. This constant preference of the direct line to the closest collateral branch distinguishes the European from some of the Asiatic orders of succession, and tends greatly to preclude confusion and discord. THE PRINCE OF WALES. venerable honour long since caused the other to fall into disuse. The theoretical forms laid down for the ceremony of creating a Prince of Wales are thus : " He is presented before the King in his surcoat, cloak and mantle of crimson velvet, and girt with a belt of the same, when the King putteth a cap of crimson velvet, indented and turned up with ermine, and a coronet on his head, as a token of principality ; and the King also putteth into his hand a verge of gold, the emblem of government, and a ring of gold on his middle finger, to intimate that he must be a husband to his country and a father to his children. To him are likewise given and granted letters patent, to hold the same principality, to him and his heirs, King of England, by which words the separation of this principality is for ever prohibited. The coronet placed on his head is of gold, and consists of crosses patee and fleur-de-lys, with the addition of one arch, and in the midst a ball and a cross, as hath the royal diadem, which was solemnly ordered to be used by a grant dated February 9, 1660-61, nth Charles II., xxx. His mantle which he wears at the coronation is doubled below the elbow with ermine, spotted diamond-wise : but the robe which he wears in Parliament is adorned with bars or guards of ermine, set at an equal distance one from the other, with a gold lace above each bar." Since the institution of this title by Edward I. the Sovereign's first-born son has been invariably created Prince of Wales. As there is no succession of Prince of Wales, the title at every vacancy becomes merged in the Crown.and is only renewed by the Sovereign's pleasure. Thus, had George IV. died whilst Prince of Wales, his next brother, though heir-apparent, would not have been the Prince of Wales. The Sovereign's first-born son is Duke of Cornwall from the moment of his birth, and ' THE becomes immediately entitled to the revenues of his duchy, which, during the period the title is in abeyance, are held at usufruct and accumulation . hen the Sovereign is without issue, or sur- for the benefit of the next Duke. Forty years v ' vm g lssue ' a". d l ^ e latter have ^ <Xti&fS*,, ago the revenues of the property, which had i e nearest heir (male or female) is Heir- been grossly mismanaged, were about 14,000! Presumptive, and as such is the chief person of per annum, but under the able superintendence i the realm next to the Sovereign. of the late Prince Consort, a system of energy, I carefulness and thrift was' introduced, thioufh ^ MSe* which they have risen to more than .50,000 sented perfectly erect. HEIR-PRESUMPTIVE THE CROWN. TO