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Her Majesty had attained the age at which her majority was fixed. In the same manner, on the 4th of August, 1840, an act was passed (3rd and 4th Vict. c. 52) to provide a regency in case Her Majesty should die, leaving issue under the age of eighteen. By this statute His Royal Highness Prince Albert was appointed regent of the United Kingdom, and guardian of the young king or queen, exercising the royal authority under prescribed limitations, and being entrusted with the care and tuition of Her Majesty's issue. The young king or queen cannot marry without the consent of the regent, and of the two houses of Parliament, while the regent is re. stricted from giving the royal assent to any act for altering or in any way varying the course of succes. sion to the Crown ; and in case of His Royal Highness marrying a Roman Catholic, the guardianship and regency immediately cease.
Thus we see that the last regency which was actually in force in this country, and the last statute which contemplates the necessity for such a function. ary, differ in no essential particulars, while the mode of the regent's appointment illustrates the action of that control which the parliament enjoys over all changes in the course of succession to the Crown.
King Henry VIII. act iv. sc. I. The Queen is either a queen regnant, a queen consort, or a queen dowager.
THE QUEEN REGNANT holds the Crown, and wields the sovereign power in her own right. She is possessed of the same privileges, and subject to the sam duties as a King, under which head the subject has been fully considered.
The husband of a queen regnant is her subject, and may be guilty of high treason. All his privileges and honours must emanate from the Crown, under the form of warrant, grant, patent, &c. or else be conferred by act of parliament introduced after a royal message on the subject. The consort of our present queen was naturalized by act of parliament,
сар. 1 and 2 ; receives an income of £30,000 per annum, under act of parliament, 3 Vict. cap. 3 ; and was granted precedence next after Her Majesty, together with the title of Royal Highness by a royal warrant in 1840. Conjugal infidelity, though penal in a queen consort, is not high treason in a queen regnant's husband, as it has no tendency to debase or bastardize the heirs to the Crown. Letters
Prince Albert are addressed "to His Royal Highness Prince Albert, K.G.” They commence “Sir,” and usually conclude with “I am, with the
greatest respect, your Royal Highness' most dutiful and most obedient humble servant." They are generally inclosed under cover to His Royal Highpess' Secretary
The Queen Consort is the wife of the king, and by virtue of her marriage participates in certain royal prerogatives, and enjoys privileges which are not vested in other women.
She does not lose her separate or legal existence as other women do upon marriage, for she can purchase and convey lands, make leases, grant copyholds, and enjoy all privileges of ownership; she can receive a grant from her husband, possesses separate courts and officers distinct from those of the king, may sue and be sued in her separate person, and in all that regards the enjoyment and disposition of property, or the conduct of proceedings at law or in equity, stands in the position of a single and not a married woman. She pays no toll, and is free from any fine which a court could impose upon women in general; but in other particulars she is on a similar footing with the subjects of the monarch. As far as regards security of life and person, however, the queen enjoys the same protection as the king, for it is equally high treason to design the death of either; to violate or defile the queen consort amounts to the same, both in the person committing the offence, and in the queen if consenting to its commission. Both queens dowager and consort are tried by the peers of parliament when accused of high treason.
The superscription of letters to a queen consort usually run“toller most gracious Majesty the Queen;" they commence with “Madam,” and usually conclude with “ I am, with the highest respect, Madam, your Majesty's most dutiful, most humble, and most devoted servant;" the queen throughout is styled "your Majesty,” and the letters are usually inclosed under cover to her majesty's lord chamberlain.
THE QUEEN DOWAGER is the widow of the king, and retains after the death of her husband most of the privileges which belonged to her as queen consort. But it is not high treason to design her death or violate her chastity. Upon marrying again she does not lose her dignity as all other women do upon marrying a second time; such a marriage is however illegal, without special licence from the existing sovereign. Though she may be an alien born, she is nevertheless entitled to dower after the king's demise; a privilege which no other alien enjoys.
Letters to a queen dowager are addressed “ to her most gracious Majesty the Queen Dowager;" they commence with the word “Madam," and usually conclude with “ I am, with the highest respect, Madam, Four Majesty's most dutiful, most humble, and most devoted servant.” In the body of the letters the queen is styled “your Majesty,” and they are generally inclosed under cover to her majesty's lord chamberlain.
THE ROYAL FAMILY.
The term “ royal family” in its largest sense comprehends those who by any possibility can inherit the Crown; and this description might be considered to include all the descendants of William the Con
queror. But since the Revolution, and the passing of the Act of Settlement, the term “ royal family” applies merely to such of the Protestant descendants of the Princess Sophia (grand-daughter of James I. and Electress of Hanover) as are unmarried, or married to Protestants. For the individuals included within this description, the reader is referred to the article on Succession to the Throne.
The word “royal family” is, however, applied in a less definite manner to signify all who have that degree of relationship to the reigning monarch which is specially noticed by the laws of the land, or the regulations of court ceremonies. As that notice of them, however, only regards their relative rank and precedence, and not any privileges above other subjects of the monarch, the reader is referred to the article “ Precedence." Popularly speaking, the wives and husbands of members of the royal family, though not in succession to the throne, are considered to form a portion of that family. All the king's children possess the title of “ Royal Highness," and it is usually granted to the husbands of such princesses as are heiresser presumptive to the throne.
THE PRINCE OF WALES.
CHURCHILL The title of Prince of Wales has, for more than five centuries, been conferred by the kings of England