Why a King’s Wife Is the Queen, But a Queen’s Husband Isn’t the King

Allan warren, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

At 133 words long, Prince Philip’s full title includes the words duke, earl, baron, royal knight, and just about every other noble designation you can think of. But the highest and perhaps most obvious moniker is conspicuously missing: king.

If you’ve watched The Crown or spent a lot of time reading about British monarchs, you might be aware that women who marry kings are referred to as queens—the most recent example was Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, who was known as Queen Elizabeth after her husband assumed the throne. The technical phrase is queen consort, where consort basically means that you gained your title through marriage. Why, then, did Prince Philip not become King Philip (or king consort) after his wife’s coronation?

According to Reader’s Digest, although parliamentary law doesn’t consider gender in determining the line of succession, it does factor it into the designation of titles. In general, a wife assumes the female form of her husband’s title. This is why Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when Prince Harry was named the Duke of Sussex, and it’s also why Kate Middleton will likely become Queen Catherine if and when Prince William is crowned king.

Husbands, on the other hand, don’t automatically match their wives’ titles, especially when it comes to the reigning monarchs. As Town and Country explains, queen can still be a symbolic title, but king only ever describes a reigning monarch. In other words, the word queen can either mean “female monarch” or “the wife of a monarch,” whereas king can only mean “monarch.” It’s a vestige of a historically patriarchal system of government that used to value sons over daughters (and it also sheds light on why kings rank higher than queens in a deck of cards).

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Why Are Decaf Coffee Pots Orange?

If you're looking for a caffeine fix, you know that orange pot isn't going to help.
If you're looking for a caffeine fix, you know that orange pot isn't going to help.
RonBailey/iStock via Getty Images

The orange spout and handle on a decaf coffee pot have saved many caffeine lovers from having a terrible morning. Like the orange on a traffic cone, the color has become a signal both to the people who drink coffee and the servers who pour it. But the shade wasn't merely chosen for its eye-catching qualities; orange is a piece of branding left over from the original purveyors of decaf java.

According to The Cubiclist, decaffeinated coffee first arrived in America via the German company Sanka. Sanka (a portmanteau of the words sans and caffeine) sold its coffee in stores in glass jars with orange labels. The bright packaging was the company's calling card, and because it was the first decaffeinated coffee brand to hit the market, consumers started looking for the color when shopping for decaf.

In 1932, General Foods, which has since merged with Kraft, purchased Sanka and got to work promoting it. To spread the word about decaf coffee, the company sent orange Sanka coffee pots to coffee shops and restaurants around the country. Even if the waitstaff wasn't used to serving two types of coffee, the distinct color of the pot made it easy to distinguish decaf from regular.

The plan was such a success that orange eventually became synonymous not just with Sanka, but all decaf coffee. Other coffeemakers began offering decaffeinated alternatives, and when marketing their products, they chose the color Sanka had already made popular.

The reason for the orange coffee pot is just one of decaf's not-so-mysterious mysteries. Here's some of the science behind how exactly coffee makers get the caffeine out of the beans.

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