Yep, It’s Official: Kate Middleton Will Now Be a Princess
Kate Middleton already has a handful of titles thanks to being a casual member of the British royal family, and she has even more now that her father-in-law,
Prince King Charles III, is the new monarch of England after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. So how will Kate’s titles change and evolve once we enter the Charlesian Era*? Let’s dive in.
*Not a thing, trying to make it one, thanks.
First, a Refresher on Kate Middleton’s Titles When Queen Elizabeth Was Alive
Kate is technically a princess of the United Kingdom, but “princess” is her occupation, not her title. Her titles under the Queen’s rule were, however…
The Duchess of Cambridge: A hereditary title bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II on Kate when she married Prince William.
The Countess of Strathearn: Kate’s initial title in Scotland, also bestowed on her upon marriage to Prince William by the Queen.
Lady Carrickfergus: Kate’s initial title in Northern Ireland, also given to her upon her entry into the royal family by Queen Elizabeth II.
The Titles Kate Gets Now That Charles Is King
Princess of Wales: Charles confirmed he is handing his previous title, Prince of Wales, over to Prince William. (The title is traditionally given to the heir apparent, aka Will.) This means Kate is the new Princess of Wales, a title last held by Princess Diana because Charles’s second wife, Duchess Camilla, chose not to use it out of respect.
Charles confirmed all this in his first speech as King Charles III, saying the following:
“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall, which I have undertaken for more than five decades. Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”
While it is possible Kate could avoid using the title, royal experts seem to think she will use it. “It’s hard to see it not happening. I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a bittersweet moment,” a source told The Telegraph in January 2022. “This is her [Diana’s] son and his wife, so in some ways, it will be coming full circle—but it will also be a poignant reminder of what we all lost.”
Duchess of Cornwall: William is also the Duke of Cornwall now that Charles is the King, as it’s also traditionally granted to the heir apparent. This makes Kate the new Duchess of Cornwall, a title that was previously held by Charles’s wife Camilla.
Duchess of Rothesay: Just like the Cornwall and Wales titles, the Scottish Rothesay title is typically held by the heir apparent, which means Will gets it, making Kate the Duchess of Rothesay (a title also formerly held by Camilla).
The Title Kate Will Get When *William* Is King
Queen! Freaking! Consort! She’ll likely go by Queen Catherine/Queen Kate to keep things simple though. If you aren’t familiar with what a queen consort is, we have a whole explainer on the different types of queens over here (there are a bunch), but basically, it’s the spouse of a ruling king. In other words, Kate will be called “queen,” but the addition of “consort” makes it clear she has no constitutional power and is a queen in title only.
In conclusion: Kate’s titles are an ever-changing mood, but once she’s a queen, she’s pretty much peaked.
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