The British Royal Family received quite the shock earlier this month when their Royal Highnesses Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced their intention to “step back” as senior members of the family. This meant several things from no longer performing official Royal functions to even discontinuing their public-funded stipends for financial independence. Following a summit between Royal Family members, Queen Elizabeth gave an address two Saturdays ago explaining the specifics of Harry and Meghan’s decision, which entailed no longer using their “Royal Highness” titles. Only last Saturday, as if in reaction to these events, Her Majesty gave her eldest grandson Prince William a new title.
Entertainment Tonight tells us that on Saturday last week, January 25, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom appointed Prince William, Duke of Cambridge the new Lord High Commander to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This title makes William, third in line for the British Throne, the representative of his grandmother the Sovereign to the highest governing body of the Protestant Church of Scotland, called the “Kirk” in the Scots language. As Lord High Commander or Kirk, the Duke of Cambridge shall carry out ceremonial duties in the name of the Queen.
The timing of this new title being given to Prince William has been the subject of renewed speculation as to the personal feelings of the Royals especially the Queen, on the recent decision by William’s younger brother and his wife. The degree of “stepping back” Harry and Meghan did was specified in that they will continue their private patronages and associations even as they no longer use their “HRH” (they cannot as long as they do no official functions for the Crown). Another factor would be the Royal Couple’s intent to divide their time living in the UK and Canada.
With regards to now-Lord High Commander William, Duke of Cambridge, he carries on an important religious title that has been borne before him by his father Charles, Prince of Wales and Charles’s siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. His immediate predecessor to the post however was Richard Scott, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury. As for Prince Harry, he has since returned to Canada where Meghan and their son Archie already are in residence.
Image from Daily Mail UK