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Princess Eugenie, 30, is 10th in line to the British throne and while she is highly unlikely to ever be Queen she is still expected to adhere to some traditions. While Eugenie and Jack’s first child is not expected to be a working royal or to have an HRH style, they may choose to honour their baby’s royal heritage with a touching nod to Prince Philip, 99.
Prince Philip and the Queen married in 1947 when Elizabeth was still a princess.
At the time of their first child Prince Charles’s birth in 1948, the Second World War still lay heavy on the minds of most Britons and a decision was made by the palace to prevent Prince Philip from passing on his Germanic Mountbatten surname to his offspring.
The palace felt the Duke’s surname risked causing upset to the British public so soon after the war.
Prince Philip was said to be deeply hurt by the decision and is reported as saying at the time: “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.”
However, in 1960 the royal rule was changed and the Duke was finally allowed to pass on his surname.
The decision was made that any of the Duke’s grandchildren low down the line of succession would be registered under Mountbatten-Windsor surname at birth.
Royal expert and author Clive Irving touches on this compromise in his new book The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor, due to be published in January.
The author writes: “The title of The House and Family of Windsor would remain in place, but, with the arrival of any grandchildren whose position in the line of succession was low enough not to entitle them to be called ‘Royal Highness,’ their surname would be registered as Mountbatten-Windsor.”
As Eugenie and Jack’s child is unlikely to be known as Royal Highness the couple may choose to register their baby under the Mountbatten-Windsor surname.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did so with their first son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
However, according to Mr Irving, the hybrid surname still causes confusion to this day.
He writes: “Thus it was that when Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a son in 2019, his name was promulgated as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, which so flummoxed a lot of people that the whole history had to be explained.”
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Eugenie and Jack’s baby will be 11th in line to the throne and the Queen and Prince Philip’s ninth great-grandchild.
The royal baby is due in early 2021 and Eugenie is expected to enjoy a quiet Christmas as she and Jack prepare to become parents.
Princess Eugenie and Jack may choose to bubble-up with Eugenie’s parents Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson for the holiday.
COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed in Britain from December 23 to 27 in which time up to three households will be allowed to bubble-up.
This means Eugenie and Jack could spend Christmas at the Royal Lodge with Andrew, Fergie and Eugenie’s beloved sister Princess Beatrice, 32.
Beatrice will be marking her first Christmas since marrying Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July.
The Queen and Prince Philip are expected to bubble-up with their youngest son Prince Edward and his family as restrictions are relaxed for five days over Christmas.
However, there is speculation the royals could have a larger meet-up on Boxing Day when up to 30 of them could gather for the traditional shoot at Sandringham.
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