Duke rejected Prince Consort offer

Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
·1-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh rejected the offer of becoming Prince Consort in the early years of the Queen’s reign.

He turned down the chance to use the title – which was given to Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert – according to correspondence by then-prime minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1954.

Philip with Churchill
The duke and Winston Churchill watch as Prince Charles hugs his grandmother, the Queen Mother (PA)

Sir Winston engaged in a series of secret letters with his Lord Chancellor about the prospect of Philip becoming Prince Consort.

Other titles suggested included Prince of the Commonwealth and Prince of the Realm.

But the discussion was brought to an abrupt end.

Longest-serving British consorts
(PA Graphics)

Sir Winston wrote that the Queen had made the suggestion to the duke, but that he “refused even to consider accepting any new title at present”.

He added: “Her Majesty asked that the matter should be allowed to rest indefinitely.”

Three years later, in 1957, Philip was made a Prince of the United Kingdom, but never became Prince Consort like his great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert – despite being the longest-serving consort in British history.