Kate Middleton’s Upcoming Title Change Will Be “Bittersweet” for Prince William

Photo credit: Eamonn M. McCormack – Getty Images

Kate Middleton already has a handful of titles thanks to being a casual member of the British royal family, and she’s going to get even more once her father-in-law Prince Charles cozies up to the throne and becomes King of England. 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, thx.

First, a Refresher on Kate Middleton’s Current Titles

Kate is technically a princess of the United Kingdom, but “princess” is her occupation, not her title. Her current titles arehowever…

The Duchess of Cambridge: A hereditary title bestowed on Kate when she married Prince William by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Countess of Strathearn: Kate’s title in Scotland, also bestowed on her upon marriage to Prince William by the Queen.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Photo credit: WPA Pool – Getty Images

Lady Carrickfergus: Kate’s title in Northern Ireland, also given to her upon her entry into the royal family by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Titles Kate Will Get When Charles Is King

Princess of Wales: When Prince Charles becomes king, he is expected to hand his current title, Prince of Wales, over to Prince William. (The title is traditionally given to the heir apparent, aka Will.) This means Kate will become Princess of Wales, a title last held by Princess Diana since Charles’s second wife Duchess Camilla chose not to use it out of respect.

While it is possible Kate also won’t use the title, royal experts seem to think she will. “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.”

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Photo credit: Tim Graham – Getty Images

Duchess of Cornwall: William will also likely become Duke of Cornwall when Charles becomes king, as it’s also traditionally granted to the heir apparent. This would make Kate the new Duchess of Cornwall, a title that is currently 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 is expected to get it when his dad becomes king, making Kate the Duchess of Rothesay (a title also currently held by Camilla).

The Title Kate Will Get When William Is King

Queen! Freaking! Consort! Though she’ll likely go by Queen Catherine/Queen Kate to keep things simple. 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.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Photo credit: WPA Pool – Getty Images

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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