William and Kate eye title of Strathearn
ONE day they are likely to be the King and Queen of the Commonwealth Realms. But by the end of this month Prince William and Kate Middleton may become the titular heads of their own little piece of Scotland.
The Dukedom of Strathearn is understood to be on the shortlist for the young couple's official title, which will be bestowed upon them when they marry on 29 April.
The title - which refers to a picturesque area of Perthshire and once belonged to Queen Victoria's father - has not been in use since 1943, when it died out with the 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
But tradition dictates that senior members of the Royal Family have a Scottish as well as an English title to cement the union of the two nations. As well as being the Duke of Cornwall, William's father, Prince Charles, is also the Duke of Rothesay.
Charles Kidd, editor of Peerage & Baronetage at Debrett's, said: "The Dukedom of Strathearn could be revived for Prince William. This is more likely than the dual title of Connaught and Strathearn, as Connaught is in Ireland."
A dukedom is traditionally bestowed on a prince by the Queen on his wedding day, with Prince Andrew becoming the Duke of York, and Prince Edward the Duke of Wessex. Prince William and Middleton have strong links to Scotland, after meeting ten years ago at St Andrews University.
Ken Cuthbertson, who writes for website Unofficial Royalty, said: "Strathearn is also evocative of the late Queen Mother's Strathmore family title. That in itself might appeal to the Royals."
So far, reaction in the area to the Prince and his bride-to-be being given the title has been positive. Even Roseanna Cunningham, the former SNP MSP for the area who styles herself "Strathearn Rose" on Twitter and whose disdain for the monarchy has seen her nicknamed "Republican Rosie," said she would be delighted.
"I would give a warm welcome to anything which raises the profile of Strathearn, this beautiful and friendly part of the country," she said.
Several other Dukedoms are available to Prince William but some have already been ruled out, including Windsor (the former Prince Edward abdicated in 1937), Albany and Cumberland (they fought for the enemy in the First World War), and Clarence, for its association with Prince Eddy, elder brother of George V, rumoured to be Jack the Ripper.
Strathearn was the title of one of the medieval Celtic Earls of Scotland, and, in the early 19th century, was taken by Queen Victoria's father, the Duke of Kent and Strathearn.
Prince Arthur, son of Queen Victoria, was created Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1874. He died in 1942. His grandson, Prince Alastair, second Duke died on active service in 1943 when the title returned to the Crown. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "Titles are a gift of the Queen. We cannot speculate on any possible title."
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