His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
His Royal Highness
King George VI had granted letters patent under the Great Seal of the Realm on 22nd October 1948, declaring that children of the marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, should "have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles and honour which may belong to them hereafter". The announcement was made on 9th November, five days before The Prince was born. Under rules proclaimed by King George V on 17th July 1917, the royal style and title had been restricted to the Sovereign's children and to the children of the Sovereign's sons, which would have excluded any children of the then Princess Elizabeth.
The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales is a title created for the male heir to The British Throne. There is no automatic succession to this title, but it is normally passed on when the existing Prince of Wales accedes to the throne. The title becomes merged in the Crown and is renewed only by the Sovereign's pleasure. The Queen created Prince Charles The Prince of Wales on 26th July 1958. The Prince can trace his descent through the Tudors to the original native Princes of Wales, though the title's use for the Heir to the English Throne began with Edward II, who had been created Prince of Wales by his father Edward I in 1301.
Knight of the Garter (KG)
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded by Edward III in 1348, is the senior British Order of Chivalry. The Prince of Wales automatically became a KG when he became Prince of Wales in 1958, but was not installed until 17th June 1968, at Windsor Castle.
Knight of the Thistle (KT)
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is Scotland's highest honour and is second in precedence to the Garter. Its origins are uncertain, but its legendary status was recognised when it was revived in 1687 by James II (James VII of Scotland). The Prince is among current royal Knights and Ladies of the Thistle - under his title as Duke of Rothesay; he was installed in 1977.
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is the premier meritorious Order of the Crown, mainly given to officers of the armed services together with a small number of civil servants. It was founded by George I in 1725. The Prince was installed as Great Master on 28th May 1975.
Order of Merit (OM)
This is a relatively modern Order, and is one of the most coveted of British distinctions. The Order is restricted to 24 members (as well as additional foreign recipients). As with the Royal Victorian Order, the Order of Merit is in the sole gift of the Sovereign but carries no rank apart from the initials OM after the name. The Prince of Wales was awarded the Order of Merit on 26th June 2002.
Knight of the Order of Australia (AK)
The Order was instituted by The Queen in 1975 on the advice of her Australian ministers, and The Prince was installed in 1981.
Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO)
The Order was instituted by The Queen in 1975 on the advice of her New Zealand ministers, and The Prince was installed in 1983.
Privy Counsellor (PC)
References to a Privy Council of senior advisers to the Sovereign date back to the 14th century, though such advisers had been close to kings long before that. Today Privy Counsellors include all members of the Cabinet, other senior ministers, leaders of opposition parties, Lords Justice of Appeal, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Some members are also drawn from the Commonwealth. The appointment is for life, but under modern convention only members of the Government are normally summoned to meetings, together with new Privy Counsellors who have to take part in a short ceremony involving swearing an oath of allegiance and kissing of The Queen's hand. Should there be a need for The Privy Council to meet in The Queen's absence, Her Majesty, by Letters Patent, creates senior members of the Royal Family Councillors of State, enabling them to represent her in summoning a Privy Council meeting.
Queen Victoria instituted the appointment of a small group of personal ADCs, an honorary appointment with few duties. The Prince is one of The Queen's personal ADCs. Principal ADC - an office held by some high-ranking officers in the Armed Services - carries duties including attendance on The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament. Other ADCs, rarely asked to perform any duties, are also chosen from the Armed Services.
Earl of Chester
The Earldom was created by William the Conqueror, with the intention of the Earl keeping an eye on any war-like activities by the Welsh. It reverted to the Crown in 1237, and was passed to the future Edward I. He conferred the Earldom on his son, Edward II, and since then the Earldom of Chester has gone to every Prince of Wales.
Duke of Cornwall
The Prince became Duke of Cornwall automatically upon The Queen's accession on 6th February 1952. The Duchy of Cornwall - the oldest and one of the biggest landed estates in England - has existed for more than 650 years and provides an income for the male Heir to The Throne.
Duke of Rothesay
When The Prince of Wales is in Scotland, he is known by this title of the Scottish peerage, first conferred by Robert III, King of Scots, on his son David in 1398. An act of the Scottish Parliament in 1469 confirmed its restriction to the Heir Apparent to the throne of Scotland. Since the 1603 Union of the Crowns the title has descended alongside the Dukedom of Cornwall, and The Prince became Duke of Rothesay at the time of The Queen's accession.
Earl of Carrick and Baron of Renfrew
Other titles of the Scottish peerage inherited by the Heir to The Throne under the 1469 Act.
Lord of The Isles
This ancient title, held by those who ruled the Western Isles as vassals of the King of Scotland, was annexed to the Crown by James V of Scotland in 1540, to be passed to his heirs.
Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
The hereditary office of Great (or High) Steward dates from the 12th Century. The 1469 Act confirmed that the title should go to "the first-born prince of the King of Scots for ever".
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