Royal Marriages Act 1772

Royal Marriages Act 1772

Long title An Act for the better regulating the future Marriages of the Royal Family.
Citation 12 Geo 3 c. 11
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland
Other legislation
Amended by Criminal Law Act 1967
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Royal Marriages Act 1772 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the royal house. The right of veto vested in the sovereign by this act provoked severe adverse criticism at the time of its passage.[1][2] It was repealed on 26 March 2015 as a result of the 2011 Perth Agreement. Its provisions were replaced by more limited restrictions that apply only to the first six people in the line of succession (currently Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry, and Prince Andrew).


The Act said that no descendant of George II, male or female, other than the issue of princesses who had married or might thereafter marry "into foreign families", could marry without the consent of the reigning monarch, "signified under the great seal and declared in council". That consent was to be set out in the licence and in the register of the marriage, and entered in the books of the Privy Council. Any marriage contracted without the consent of the monarch was to be null and void.

However, any member of the Royal Family over the age of 25 who had been refused the sovereign's consent could marry one year after giving notice to the Privy Council of their intention to so marry, unless both houses of Parliament expressly declared their disapproval. There is, however, no instance in which the sovereign's formal consent in Council was refused.

The Act further made it a crime to perform or participate in an illegal marriage of any member of the Royal Family. This provision was repealed by the Criminal Law Act 1967.


The Act was proposed by George III as a direct result of the marriage of his brother, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, who in 1771 had married the commoner Anne Horton, the daughter of Simon Luttrell and the widow of Christopher Horton. Royal Assent was given to the Act on 1 April 1772,[3] and it was only on 13 September following that the King learned that another brother, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, had in 1766 secretly married Maria, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and the widow of the 2nd Earl Waldegrave.[4] Both alliances were considered highly unsuitable by the King, who "saw himself as having been forced to marry for purely dynastic reasons".[5]

Couples affected

Broad effects

The Act rendered void any marriage wherever contracted or solemnised in contravention of it. A member of the royal family who contracted a marriage that violated the Act did not thereby lose his or her place in the line of succession,[5] but the offspring of such a union were made illegitimate by the voiding of the marriage and thus lost any right to succeed.

The Act applied to Catholics, even though they are ineligible to succeed to the throne.[5] It did not apply to descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are not also descendants of George II, even though they are still eligible to succeed to the throne.

It had been claimed that the marriage of Prince Augustus had been legal in Ireland and Hanover, but the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords ruled (in the Sussex Peerage Case, 9 July 1844) that the Act incapacitated the descendants of George II from contracting a legal marriage without the consent of the Crown, either within the British dominions or elsewhere.

The effects of the law were not always foreseen. An example is seen in the royal House of Hanover, which descends from Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of King George III, who inherited the crown of Hanover according to its semi-Salic order of succession when the British crown went to his niece, Queen Victoria. Although his descendants lost their royal crown in 1866, and their British titles in 1918, as male-line descendants of George II they continued to seek permission for their marriages from the British monarch. Thus, on 11 January 1999, Elizabeth II issued the following Declaration in Council: "My Lords, I do hereby declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Monaco...". Without this consent, the marriage would have been void in Britain, where the groom's family continues to own substantial property and retains the right to petition for resumption of the dukedom of Cumberland and Teviotdale, suspended since World War I. (However, as Ernst August married a Roman Catholic, he lost his place in the succession to the British throne under a different piece of legislation, the Act of Settlement 1701.)

All European monarchies, and many non-European realms, have laws or traditions requiring prior approval of the monarch for members of the reigning dynasty to marry. But Britain's was unusual because it was never modified between its original enactment and its repeal 243 years later, so that its ambit grew rather wide, affecting not only Britain's immediate Royal Family, but more distant relatives of the monarch.

Farran exemption

In the 1950s, Charles d'Olivier Farran, Lecturer in Constitutional Law at Liverpool University, theorised that the Act could no longer apply to anyone living, because all the members of the immediate royal family were descended from British princesses who had married into foreign families. The loophole is due to the Act's wording, whereby if a person is, through one line, a descendant of George II subject to the Act's restriction, but is also, separately through another line, a descendant of a British princess married into a foreign family, the exemption for the latter reads as if it trumps the former.[14]

Many of George II's descendants in female lines have married back into the British royal family. In particular, the Queen and other members of the House of Windsor descend (through Queen Alexandra) from two daughters of George II — (Mary, Landgravine of Hesse and Louise, Queen of Denmark) — who married foreign rulers (respectively Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and King Frederick V of Denmark), and through Queen Mary from a third (Anne, Princess of Orange, consort of William IV, Prince of Orange). Moreover, The Prince of Wales, his issue, siblings, and their issue descend from yet a fourth such marriage, that of The Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria, to Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse.

This so-called "Farran exemption" met with wide publicity, but arguments against it were put forward by Clive Parry, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge,[15] and Farran's interpretation has since been ignored.[16] Consent to marriages in the Royal Family (including the distantly related House of Hanover) continued to be sought and granted as if none of the agnatic descendants of George II were also his cognatic descendants.

Parry argued that the "Farran exemption" theory was complicated by the fact that all the Protestant descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hanover, ancestress of the United Kingdom's monarchs since 1714, had been entitled to British citizenship under the Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 (if born prior to 1949, when the act was repealed). Thus, some marriages of British princesses to continental monarchs and princes were not, in law, marriages to foreigners. For example, the 1947 marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, by birth a Greek and Danish prince but descended from the Electress Sophia, was a marriage to a British subject even if he had not been previously naturalised in Britain. This would also mean theoretically, for example, that the present royal family of Norway is bound by the Act, for the marriage of The Princess Maud, a daughter of King Edward VII, to the future King Haakon VII of Norway, was a marriage to a "British subject", since Haakon descended from the Electress Sophia.

Exemption of the former Edward VIII

In 1936 the statute His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 specifically excluded Edward VIII from the provisions of this Act upon his abdication, allowing him to marry the divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The wording of the statute also excluded any issue of the marriage from being subject to the Act.[17]

Perth Agreement

Main article: Perth Agreement

In October 2011 David Cameron wrote to the leaders of the other Commonwealth realms proposing that the act be limited to the first six people in line to the throne.[18] The leaders approved the proposed change at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Perth, Western Australia.[19]

The legislation in a number of Commonwealth realms repeals the Royal Marriages Act 1772 in its entirety. It was, in the United Kingdom, replaced by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which stipulates a requirement for the first six people in the line of succession to obtain the sovereign's consent before marrying in order to remain eligible. Article 3(5) of the new act also provides that, except for succession purposes, any marriage that would have been void under the original act "is to be treated as never having been void" if it did not involve any of the first six people in the line of succession at the time of the marriage; royal consent was never sought or denied; "in all the circumstances it was reasonable for the person concerned not to have been aware at the time of the marriage that the Act applied to it"; and no one has acted on the basis that the marriage is void. New Zealand's Royal Succession Act 2013 repealed the Royal Marriages Act and provided for royal consent for the first six people in the line of succession to be granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom.[20]

Other legislation

The Regency Act 1830, which provided for a regency in the event that Queen Victoria inherited the throne before she was eighteen, made it illegal for her to marry without the regent's consent. Her spouse and anyone involved in arranging or conducting the marriage without such consent would be guilty of high treason. This was more serious than the offence created by the Act of 1772, which was equivalent to praemunire. However, the Act never came into force, as Victoria was eighteen when she became queen.

Consents for marriages under the Act

Consents under the Act were entered in the Books of the Privy Council but have not been published. In 1857 it became customary to publish them in the London Gazette and notices appear of consents given in Council at Courts held on the following dates. Not all consents, however, were noted there and gaps in the list have been filled by reference to the Warrants for Royal Marriages in the Home Office papers (series HO 124) in The National Archives:[21]

Date Applicant Spouse Gazetted
28 September 1791 Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany Princess Frederica of Prussia The London Gazette: no. 13347. p. 541. 27 September 1791. HO124/1.
17 December 1794 George, Prince of Wales Princess Caroline Amelia of Brunswick not gazetted; HO124/2.
3 May 1797 Charlotte, Princess Royal Frederic, Hereditary Prince of Württemberg not gazetted; HO124/3.
15 August 1814 Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale Frederica, Dowager Princess of Solms not gazetted; HO124/4.
9 March 1816 Princess Charlotte Augusta Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld not gazetted; HO124/5.
2 April 1816 Princess Mary Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh not gazetted; HO124/7
8 June 1816 Princess Elizabeth Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg not gazetted; HO124/6.
22 April 1818 Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel not gazetted; HO124/8.
11 May 1818 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn Viktoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen not gazetted; HO124/9.
7 July 1818 Prince William, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen not gazetted; HO124/10.
13 June 1842 George, Crown Prince of Hanover Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg copy in HO45/8927.
2 November 1842 Princess Augusta of Cambridge Friedrich, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg HO124/11.
16 May 1857 Victoria, Princess Royal Prince Frederick of Prussia The London Gazette: no. 22003. p. 1768. 19 May 1857.
30 April 1861 Princess Alice Prince Ludwig of Hesse The London Gazette: no. 22507. p. 1889. 3 May 1861.
1 November 1862 Albert Edward, Prince of Wales Princess Alexandra of Denmark The London Gazette: no. 22677. p. 5201. 4 November 1862.
5 December 1865 Princess Helena Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein The London Gazette: no. 23046. p. 6451. 5 December 1865.
19 May 1866 Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge Francis, Prince of Teck The London Gazette: no. 23118. p. 3065. 22 May 1866.
24 October 1870 Princess Louise John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne The London Gazette: no. 23682. p. 5215. 25 November 1870., in substitution of The London Gazette: no. 23671. p. 4593. 25 October 1870.
17 July 1873 Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia The London Gazette: no. 24000. p. 3449. 22 July 1873. in substitution of The London Gazette: no. 23999. p. 3379. 18 July 1873.
16 May 1878 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia The London Gazette: no. 24583. p. 3161. 21 May 1878. HO124/17.
27 November 1878 Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover Princess Thyra of Denmark The London Gazette: no. 24653. p. 6987. 6 December 1878.
18 March 1880 Princess Frederica of Hanover Baron Alfons von Pawel Rammingen The London Gazette: no. 24824. p. 2133. 19 March 1880. HO124/19.
29 November 1881 Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont The London Gazette: no. 25043. p. 6459. 29 November 1881.
The London Gazette: no. 25044. p. 6463. 2 December 1881.
27 January 1885 Princess Beatrice Prince Henry of Battenberg The London Gazette: no. 25436. p. 357. 27 January 1885.
5 July 1889 Princess Louise of Wales Alexander Duff, 6th Earl Fife The London Gazette: no. 25953. p. 3765. 12 July 1889.
3 July 1891 Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein Prince Aribert of Anhalt The London Gazette: no. 26179. p. 3593. 3 July 1891.
The London Gazette: no. 26180. p. 3595. 7 July 1891.
12 December 1891 Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale Princess Victoria Mary of Teck The London Gazette: no. 26233. p. 6911. 15 December 1891. He died before they could marry, and she later married his brother — see below
28 June 1892 Princess Marie of Edinburgh Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Romania The London Gazette: no. 26303. p. 3784. 1 July 1892.
16 May 1893 Prince George, Duke of York Princess Victoria Mary of Teck The London Gazette: no. 26404. p. 2897. 19 May 1893.
29 January 1894 Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse The London Gazette: no. 26480. p. 584. 30 January 1894.
19 October 1894 Prince Adolphus of Teck The Lady Margaret Grosvenor The London Gazette: no. 26562. p. 5859. 19 October 1894.
21 November 1895 Princess Maud of Wales Prince Carl of Denmark The London Gazette: no. 26692. p. 7425. 24 December 1895., in substitution of consent dated 12 November 1895 published The London Gazette: no. 26691. p. 7365. 20 December 1895.
12 December 1895 Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Ernst, Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg The London Gazette: no. 26692. p. 7425. 24 December 1895., in substitution of notice published The London Gazette: no. 26691. p. 7365. 20 December 1895.; HO124/30.
15 May 1900 Princess Marie Louise of Hanover Prince Maximilian of Baden The London Gazette: no. 27203. p. 3811. 19 June 1900.
16 November 1903 Princess Alice of Albany Prince Alexander of Teck The London Gazette: no. 27616. p. 7013. 16 November 1903.
The London Gazette: no. 27617. p. 7015. 17 November 1903.
7 March 1904 Princess Alexandra of Hanover Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg The London Gazette: no. 27654. p. 1517. 4 March 1904.
The London Gazette: no. 27655. p. 1521. 8 March 1904.
27 February 1905 Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein The London Gazette: no. 27769. p. 1493. 28 February 1905.
20 March 1905 Princess Margaret of Connaught Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Scania The London Gazette: no. 27776. p. 2167. 17 March 1905.
The London Gazette: no. 27777. p. 2169. 21 March 1905.
17 March 1913 Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia The London Gazette: no. 28700. p. 2053. 17 March 1913.
12 August 1913 Prince Arthur of Connaught Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife The London Gazette: no. 28745. p. 5729. 12 August 1913.
11 February 1919 Princess Patricia of Connaught Commander Alexander Ramsay The London Gazette: no. 31174. p. 2147. 11 February 1919. HO124/38 wanting, see C188/3 for Warrant for Royal Marriage.
22 November 1921 Princess Mary Henry Lascelles, Viscount Lascelles The London Gazette: no. 32529. p. 9459. 25 November 1921.
12 February 1923 Prince Albert, Duke of York The Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon The London Gazette: no. 32795. p. 1063. 13 February 1923.
26 June 1923 Princess Maud of Fife Charles Carnegie, Lord Carnegie The London Gazette: no. 32837. p. 4417. 26 June 1923.
7 October 1931 The Lady May Cambridge Captain Henry Abel Smith The London Gazette: no. 33761. p. 6451. 9 October 1931.
5 October 1934 The Prince George Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark The London Gazette: no. 34093. p. 6241. 5 October 1934.
3 October 1935 Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester The Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott The London Gazette: no. 34204. p. 6199. 4 October 1935.
26 December 1937 Frederica of Hanover Prince Paul of Greece and Denmark The London Gazette: no. 34468. p. 8169. 31 December 1937.
29 January 1941 The Lady Iris Mountbatten Hamilton Joseph Keyes O'Malley not gazetted; HO124/46.
31 July 1947 Princess Elizabeth Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38030. p. 3589. 29 July 1947.
28 July 1949 George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood Maria Stein The London Gazette: no. 38677. p. 3693. 29 July 1949.
1 August 1951 Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg not gazetted; HO124/49.
27 June 1952 Gerald Lascelles Angela Dowding The London Gazette: no. 39584. p. 3517. 27 June 1952.
1 June 1956 James Carnegie, Lord Carnegie Caroline Dewar The London Gazette: no. 40795. p. 3227. 1 June 1956.
19 August 1956 Alexander Ramsay Flora Fraser, Mistress of Saltoun The London Gazette: no. 40860. p. 4799. 21 August 1956.
31 July 1957 Anne Abel Smith David Liddell-Grainger The London Gazette: no. 41141. p. 4563. 2 August 1957.
14 September 1959 Captain Richard Abel Smith Marcia Kendrew The London Gazette: no. 41816. p. 5797. 15 September 1959.
16 March 1960 Princess Margaret Antony Armstrong-Jones The London Gazette: no. 41986. p. 2025. 18 March 1960.
3 August 1960 Prince Welf Heinrich of Hanover Princess Alexandra of Ysenburg and Budingen not gazetted; HO124/55.
24 March 1961 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Katharine Worsley The London Gazette: no. 42314. p. 2345. 28 March 1961.
19 December 1962 Princess Alexandra of Kent Angus Ogilvy The London Gazette: no. 42864. p. 9981. 21 December 1962.
26 February 1965 Elizabeth Abel Smith Peter Wise The London Gazette: no. 43590. p. 2147. 2 March 1965.
28 July 1967 George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood Patricia Tuckwell The London Gazette: no. 44375. p. 8327. 28 July 1967.
4 February 1972 Prince Richard of Gloucester Birgitte van Deurs The London Gazette: no. 45601. p. 2005. 17 February 1972.
29 March 1973 James Lascelles Fredericka Duhrssen The London Gazette: no. 45947. p. 4481. 6 April 1973.
24 July 1973 Princess Anne Captain Mark Phillips The London Gazette: no. 46036. p. 8761. 26 July 1973.
1 August 1979 Prince Michael of Kent Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz not gazetted; HO124/62.
15 November 1978 Gerald Lascelles Elizabeth Evelyn Collingwood not gazetted; HO124/63 lost while on loan to government department.
6 February 1979 David Lascelles, Viscount Lascelles Margaret Messenger The London Gazette: no. 47770. p. 1994. 13 February 1979.
26 June 1979 Henry Lascelles Alexandra Morton The London Gazette: no. 47892. p. 8129. 28 June 1979.
13 February 1980 Katharine Fraser, Mistress of Saltoun Captain Mark Nicholson The London Gazette: no. 48099. p. 2573. 18 February 1980.
28 July 1980 Katharine Abel Smith Hubert Beaumont The London Gazette: no. 48264. p. 10715. 29 July 1980.
27 March 1981 Charles, Prince of Wales The Lady Diana Spencer Records of the Privy Council Office[22]
10 June 1981 Prince Ernst August Georg of Brunswick-Luneburg Countess Monika of Solms-Laubach The London Gazette: no. 48638. p. 7956. 12 June 1981.
10 June 1981 Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover Chantal Hochuli The London Gazette: no. 48638. p. 7956. 12 June 1981.
16 May 1986 The Prince Andrew Sarah Ferguson The London Gazette: no. 50524. p. 6909. 22 May 1986.
The London Gazette: no. 50533. p. 7279. 30 May 1986.
10 February 1987 David Carnegie, Earl Macduff Caroline Bunting The London Gazette: no. 50833. p. 1951. 13 February 1987.
15 September 1987 Prince Ludwig Rudolph of Hanover Countess Ysabelle of Thurn and Valassina-Como-Vercelli The London Gazette: no. 51069. p. 11789. 23 September 1987.
23 March 1988 James Ogilvy Julia Rawlinson The London Gazette: no. 51318. p. 4957. 26 April 1988.
24 July 1990 Alice Ramsay of Mar David Ramsey The London Gazette: no. 52252. p. 13701. 23 August 1990.
11 February 1992 The Lady Helen Windsor Timothy Taylor The London Gazette: no. 52856. p. 4173. 9 March 1992.
1992 undated Anne, Princess Royal Commander Tim Laurence The London Gazette: no. 53133. p. 20898. 11 December 1992.
1993 undated David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley Serena Stanhope The London Gazette: no. 53385. p. 12599. 28 July 1993.
22 June 1994 The Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones Daniel Chatto The London Gazette: no. 53715. p. 9221. 27 June 1994.
13 April 1999 The Prince Edward Sophie Rhys-Jones The London Gazette: no. 55474. p. 4929. 4 May 1999.
11 April 2001 Lady Alexandra Carnegie Mark Etherington Privy Council Orders for 11 April 2001
11 December 2001 Charles Liddell-Grainger Eugenie Campagne Privy Council Orders for 11 December 2001
17 April 2002 Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster Claire Booth The London Gazette: no. 56545. p. 4888. 22 April 2002.
Privy Council Orders for 17 April 2002
10 December 2003 Henry Lascelles Fiona Wilmott Privy Council Orders for 10 December 2003
20 July 2004 The Lady Davina Windsor Gary Lewis Privy Council Orders for 20 July 2004
2 March 2005 Charles, Prince of Wales Camilla Parker Bowles Privy Council Orders for 2 March 2005
10 October 2006 Lord Nicholas Windsor Paola Doimi de Lupis Frankopan Privy Council Orders for 10 October 2006
2 May 2007 Amelia May Beaumont Simon Peregrine Gauvain Murray Privy Council Orders for 2 May 2007
12 December 2007 The Lady Rose Windsor George Edward Gilman Privy Council Orders for 12 December 2007
12 February 2008 Emily Lascelles Matthew Shard Privy Council Orders for 12 February 2008
9 April 2008 Peter Phillips Autumn Kelly The London Gazette: no. 58674. p. 6078. 21 April 2008.
Privy Council Orders for 9 April 2008
9 October 2008 Charles Montagu Liddell-Grainger Martha Margaretha de Klerk Privy Council Orders for 9 October 2008
11 February 2009 Benjamin George Lascelles Carolina Velez Privy Council Orders for 11 February 2009
10 June 2009 Lord Frederick Windsor Sophie Winkleman Privy Council Orders for 10 June 2009
9 February 2011 Prince William of Wales Catherine Middleton Privy Council Orders for 9 February 2011
10 May 2011 Zara Phillips Mike Tindall Privy Council Orders for 10 May 2011
10 May 2011 Mark Lascelles Judith Kilburn Privy Council Orders for 10 May 2011
12 December 2012 Louise Nicolson Charles Morshead Privy Council Orders for 12 December 2012
11 February 2014 Edward Lascelles Sophie Cartlidge Privy Council Orders for 11 February 2014
11 February 2015 Juliet Victoria Catharine Nicholson Simon Alexander Rood Privy Council Orders for 11 February 2015

See also


  1. C. Grant Robertson, Select statutes, cases and documents to illustrate English constitutional history(4th edn. 1923) pages 245–7
  2. Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, ed. Halsbury's Laws of England (4th edn. 1998), volume 21 (1), Page 21
  3. The London Gazette: no. 11236. p. 1. 4 April 1772.
  4. Matthew Kilburn, William Henry, Prince, first duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1743–1805), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2011
  5. 1 2 3 Bogdanor, Vernon (1997). The Monarchy and the Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-19-829334-8.
  6. A. Aspinall, ed., The later correspondence of George III, vol. 1 (1966) pages 567–71. The statement in Michel Huberty, Alain Giraud, F. and B. Magdelaine, L'Allemagne Dynastique, vol. 3: Brunswick-Nassau-Schwarzbourg (1981) page 146, that the first marriage was by procuration (or proxy) is incorrect.
  7. This marriage, being invalid, was not morganatic as is frequently stated, e.g. by Michael Thornton, Royal Feud (1985) page 161.
  8. Mollie Gillen, Royal Duke (1976) page 223.
  9. e.g. Compton Mackenzie, The Windsor tapestry (1938) page 344; Michael Thornton, Royal Feud (1985) pages 161–2, and many other authorities.
  10. As stated in Brian Inglis, Abdication (1966) page 265, and many other authorities.
  11. According to a Home Office memorandum on the matter, "All the descendants of a British prince require the consent, even if he has become a foreign Sovereign and his family have lived abroad for generations. Thus the Hanoverian Royal Family, who are descended from George III's son, the Duke of Cumberland, who succeeded to the throne of Hanover on the accession of Queen Victoria, have regularly obtained the King's consent to their marriages: in 1937 Princess Frederica of Hanover, great-great granddaughter of George III and 3rd cousin once removed of the King, asked his consent to her wedding with the Crown Prince of Greece. It seems absurd that the King's consent should be obtained for a purely foreign marriage of this kind; one can only suppose that as the marriage would not be valid in the British Dominions without it, the object is to secure the position of the issue as Princes or Princesses of Great Britain (which rank is much valued on the Continent) and possibly to retain their place in the line of succession to the British Throne. Obviously the absence of the Royal Consent required by British law could not affect the validity of a marriage contracted abroad so far as the law of the country of domicile of the parties is concerned. It should be noted here that the Act applies to all marriages in which one of the parties is a descendant of George II, whether contracted in Great Britain or abroad. See as to this the decision of the House of Lords, given after taking the opinion of the Judges, in the Sussex Peerage case (xi Clark and Finelly, 85 ff.)" Eagleston, Arthur J. "The Home Office and the Crown". pp. 9-14. The National Archives (United Kingdom)|TNA, HO 45/25238, Royal Marriages.
  12. After consultations with the Foreign Office, Home Office and King George VI's private secretary, Sir Alan Lascelles, a ciphered telegram dated 18 April 1946 and crafted by Sir Albert Napier, permanent secretary to the Lord Chancellor, was transmitted from the British Foreign Office to the Foreign Adviser to the British Commander in Chief at Berlin: "The Duke of Brunswick has formally applied to The King by letter of March 22nd for the consent of His Majesty under the Act 12 Geo. III, cap. 11 to the marriage of his son Prince George William with Princess Sophia Dowager Princess of Hesse. The marriage is understood to be taking place on April 23rd. Please convey to the Duke an informal intimation that in view of the fact that a state of war still exists between Great Britain and Germany, His Majesty is advised that the case is not one in which it is practicable for His consent to be given in the manner contemplated by the Act." The National Archives (UK) LCO 2/3371A: Marriage of Prince George William, son of the Duke of Brunswick, with Princess Sophia, Dowager Princess of Hesse. Request for The King's consent.
  13. Eagleston, Arthur J. The Home Office and the Crown. pp. 9–14. The National Archives (United Kingdom)|TNA, HO 45/25238, Royal Marriages.
  14. Modern Law Review, volume 14 (1951) pages 53–63;
  15. in 'Further Considerations on the Prince of Hanover's Case' in International & Comparative Law Quarterly (1957) pages 61 etc.
  16. Farran replied to Mr Parry in Appendix I, 'The Royal Marriages Act Today', in Lucille Iremonger, Love and the Princesses' (1958) pages 275–280.
  17. His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 (c.3), full text online at
  18. "David Cameron proposes changes to royal succession". BBC News. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  19. "Girls equal in British throne succession". BBC News. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  20. Royal Succession Act 2013, Act No. 149 of 2013
  21. "Discovery". The National Archives. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  22. Email from the Privy Council Office dated 11 January 2013: "We do not have any record available as to the omission of the consent in the London Gazette, but I can confirm that consent was given by Her Majesty in Council on 27th March 1981."
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