Prince Philip's full royal title is 133 words long
News broke early Thursday morning that Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, plans to retire from public life this fall.
“Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time,” read a statement from Buckingham Palace.
Some might assume Prince Philip is taking a step back because he's 95 years old, or because he's been performing royal duties for 70 years. But after reading his astonishingly long official royal title, we have a new theory: He's gotten damn tired of signing his name.
We're kidding, sort of. The palace refers to him simply as The Duke of Edinburgh in common practice, but take a look at his many titles and try not to get dizzy:
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Lord of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.
That's a whopping 133 words, folks. He has also been granted the honor of knighthood from a long list of nations across the world, from Greece and Denmark (Knight of the Order of the Elephant, our personal favorite) to Ethiopia and Brazil, so technically, this already long title could be much longer.
Prince Philip's list of titles and honors has been added to and debated throughout the years, some earned, some gifted, and some a combination of the two, such as Lord High Admiral, which made him titular head of the Royal Navy.
This was a gift from the Queen on his 90th birthday — one that many saw as an acknowledgement of the sacrifice he made for his wife long ago, giving up his naval career just after being promoted to commander.
But one of the most common questions asked about Prince Philip's title is why he's not a king.
As Metro explains, English common law states a wife takes her husband's name and rank (think: Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Cambridge), but the same isn't true when a woman marries a man of lower rank.
Before Elizabeth became queen, she was The Duchess of Edinburgh, the female form of The Duke of Edinburgh, but upon taking the throne, she dropped the title. For Philip, nothing changed.
A woman who marries a king becomes a Queen consort, and Queen Elizabeth could have bestowed the title of King consort upon Philip, had she so chosen. For reasons we do not know, she never did. So maybe, just maybe, she's overcompensating a bit with those 133 fancy words.