A legitimate term to use?

July 7, 2011

Crowds cheer Monaco’s Prince Albert and new bride

Caroline and Stephanie have had a series of high-profile and disastrous marriages. Albert himself has been linked with a succession of models and actresses, and has admitted to fathering two illegitimate children.

I am surprised and disappointed to find that your reporter used the phrase “illegitimate children” in reference to Prince Albert’s two children.

What a cruel and outdated phrase that is. Children are not illegitimate. In this day and age when children are born in or out of wedlock, and families take a myriad of different forms, the phrase “illegitimate children” is not only callous, it is also uninformed.

Please update your language in future and find a way to refer to the parents’ marital status without condemning children for something over which they have no control.


That isn’t an especially enlightened word, and I’m aware that some people find it offensive.

However, the number one definition for illegitimate on dictionary.com is “born of parents who are not married to each other; born out of wedlock: an illegitimate child,” so I suspect it’s going to be with us for a while. GBU Editor

Monaco’s Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene hold hands during their religious wedding ceremony at the Palace in Monaco July 2, 2011. REUTERS/Palais Princier/Gaeten Luci/Handout

Join the Good, Bad, Ugly Facebook Blog Network


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Maybe “bastard” would be better?

Nah, probably not.

Posted by AlsoRan | Report as abusive

Just think of what would have happened if Reuters had used the Synonymous term that starts with a “B” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ illegitimate+child?qsrc=2446) then Lizzie really would be in a tizzy.

Posted by DonP | Report as abusive