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Why we’ll never see ‘Princess Catherine’

Wedding of Prince William and Catherine MiddletonMany people assume that because the Duchess of Cambridge is a member of the Royal Family (and married to a prince), she automatically takes the title of ‘Princess Catherine’. In this post, I’ll explain why this isn’t the case and why, to the disappointment of many fans, she will – as things stand – never hold the title of Princess Kate.

The drama began with the declaration on Prince George’s birth registration back in 2013 that Kate was a ‘Princess of the United Kingdom’. A common royal description on such documents, yet this time the title aroused big questions from some who saw it as an indication Kate had been made a princess.

After consulting with Kensington Palace, we were told the reason why she was referred to as a Princess of the United Kingdom on the birth document is because she is one… but not quite as you think.

Through marriage she is ‘Princess William’, because she takes the female form of her husband’s titles. In the same way as when a commoner marries, the wife takes her husband’s name and rank, the same is very much true for titles.

Despite this title being held through marriage, it’s incredibly unlikely Kate will ever be made a princess in her own right. In Europe, there is a precedent for this – where in many of the European monarchies, those who marry into the royal families are, by default, made ‘prince’ or ‘princess’ in their own right. This arguably simpler system is not used in the UK however where custom and usage has evolved so that the title is – almost invariably – only given to royals-by-birth or ‘blood royals’.

A special document known as the 1917 letters patent regulates the use of the title Prince/Princess for the most part, detailing that it is to be held by all children of any Sovereign, all children born to sons of any Sovereign and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. In 2012, The Queen created a new letters patent which now grants the title to all children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. In practice, this part means that all children of Prince William will be Princes and Princesses now.

There have been very few occasions when those who do not fit the description of ‘blood royal’ have been given the title in their own right, and this mostly happens in the case of royal widows, such as Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester – allowed to use the title of Princess by The Queen and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Needless to say, Kate fits neither of those criteria.

Another side of this is the question ‘what about when William is Prince of Wales?’ If and when the title of Prince of Wales is granted to Prince William after Prince Charles becomes King, he would simply become HRH The Prince of Wales, whilst Catherine (currently Duchess of Cambridge) would adopt the title of ‘HRH The Princess of Wales’. But that would still not make her ‘Princess Catherine’ – the title of Princess of Wales is not the same as being a Princess.

For instance, even though people refer Diana, Princess of Wales ‘Princess Diana’, she never actually held that title and it was used by many as a shortened – though incorrect – version of her title. The same applies to Kate – if and when she becomes Princess of Wales.

In the normal way of things now, she’ll never become a ‘Princess’ in her own right. There’s no precedent for affording the title to royals in her position and there’s no reason to think that this tradition will be broken any time soon – or at all.

If you have any further questions about Kate’s titles or anything you’ve read here, enter them into the comments box below.

Photo Credit: Defence Images

  • Lesleyc

    I also seem to remember that at the time of their wedding it was said by either Buckingham Palace or Clarence House that there would be no objection to calling her Princess Catherine – I so wish it was adopted by one and all as I’m heartily tired oh hearing her referred to as Kate Middleton by commentators and newspapers!

  • Carolina

    Never say never. She could one day end up HRH Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Alice, Marina) due to unfortunate circumstances.

    • Mary

      Both of them were Princess on their own right.

      • Carolina

        No, they were not. Princess Alice was born The Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott. Her father was the 7th Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry. She was only HRH by marriage. The Queen allowed her to use the title Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester as a courtesy it did not make her a princess in her own right. Marina was a Princess of Greece and Denmark but that does not qualify one to use the title Princess before their christian name as a member of the British Royal Family. Princess Marina was never addressed as “Princess Marina” after her marriage until, during her widowhood, she sought and received HM’s permission to be known as Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Marina was said to be very disturbed by not receiving higher precedence and the right to continue to be known as “Princess Marina” after her marriage. That is simply not how it works in the UK. Recall the problem with JFK’s sister-in-law and her husband not being addressed as Prince or Princess during the state visit because they had not received permission to use their foreign titles in the UK.

        Even if HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg married Prince Harry she would not be entitled to style herself as Princess Alexandra of Wales or as Princess Alexandra, The Duchess of Sussex after their marriage. She would become HRH Prince Henry of Wales or HRH The Duchess of Sussex (the title Harry is said to be promised). She would have to seek the Queen’s permission to style herself as Princess Alexandra (of anything or nothing) after the marriage. I suspect that HM would not allow grand her permission to use the title of Princess before her christian name because it is the British custom that only females of British blood royal are permitted to use the title before their names during their marriages. During her widowhood she would likely follow HM’s new tradition of being styled HRH Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Sussex.

        • Ricky

          If Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg married Prince Harry, she would take the title of HRH Princess Henry/Harry, and/or Duchess of Sussex; not Prince Henry of Wales (as your comment said).

          • fourscoreandseven

            Prince Henry is NOT “of Wales.” He is Prince Henry, who, when occasion demands (such as the military) must have a surname, when he does not. Using
            Wales” as a surname, by someone who has no surname, is a matter of bowing to a computer society when certain “boxes” must be filled. We no longer do business by “cards” (although BP may, on some occasions).
            I will ignore the comment on “sex” since I have never been partial to frowsy red heads (which is how I see Harry after his “round” in Las Vegas), where he pranced around (like a r**** (no, not royal) w*****) in his birthday suit.

          • Ricky

            With all due respect, I am quite certain that he is “His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales.” I would invite skeptical readers to check with any credible online source; Wikipedia is as good as any other.

            Or perhaps Royal Central could settle the question for us.

            You have the right to ignore sex, but I would dissent on that as well, and urge you to reconsider your position.

        • Duncan Scott Bennie

          Princess Alexandra could choose to keep her title after marriage as she is in line to the Luxembourg throne so she can keep calling herself Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg if she chooses to retain her rights in place of becoming a “Duchess of Sussex” in other words she would remain part of the Luxembourg nobility rather than British

          • Ricky

            If she married into the British Royal Family, she would have to stop using her Luxembourgish titles. She would not have a choice in the matter. Carolina’s post above explains in detail the same kind of situation that disturbed Princess Marina so much.

            She was born a princess of a foreign royal house, but could not continue to style herself as a princess after marrying Prince George, Duke of Kent. It would be exactly the same today for a hypothetical marriage of Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg to Prince Harry.

        • Verity Pendelton

          Earlier, Marina was still styled as Princess and that is why they still called her princess Marina. Prince Philip could have remained a Prince, but he renounced all his titles, because of the war.

    • llewellynh

      The Queen could do that today but will not because of the problems that would arise with what to call Camilla. (Be still my soul.)

      • Rachel

        I agree. The Queen made Philip a Prince in 1957. He renounced his title of Prince when he married her so he was NOT a Prince at the time she granted him that title in his own right in 1957. At some point in the future she could do the same for Catherine, but she won’t because of the problems you mention. However, I really believe Charles will make her a Princess in her own right when he becomes King….Long Live the Queen!!

    • fourscoreandseven

      Absolutely NOT! Your mad desire to “democratize” EVEN ROYALTY is complete nonsense!
      A PRINCESS IS BORN, NOT MADE!!!! It is a CONDITION OF BIRTH not a “rank.” Diana was NEVER MADE a princess! She gave birth to royalty because of her HUSBAND’S RANK! Princess Margaret was ALWAYS a princess. Diana NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE! (That’s why Tony Blair ran with that “Princess of People’s Hearts” baloney!)
      NO ONE CAN “CREATE” ANYONE A PRINCESS!!!! She is either born a princess, or she never will be. That is why it is such a RARE title.

  • adamson

    Oh, but what to call Camilla when her husband predeceases his mother?

    • Ricky

      If Prince Charles died before the Queen, Prince William would become the Prince of Wales, with several subsidiary titles including Duke of Cornwall. As his wife, Catherine would become the Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and all the corresponding titles according to William’s elevated status.
      Camilla would then be known as the Dowager Duchess of Cornwall —- unless the Queen published a Letters Patent indicating otherwise.

      • Scott

        Not so. The Prince of Wales title must be granted…while the Dukedom of Cornwall is automatic. Were Charles to die before the Queen, she could decide to grant the Prince of Wales title to William. However, Cornwall is limited to the “eldest living son and heir” of the sovereign – meaning, if Charles dies while QEII is still on the throne, William will never become Duke of Cornwall.

        • Ricky

          Thank you, Scott. I stand corrected!

      • Carolina

        It isn’t really likely that we’ll ever again see a royal “dowager” since The Queen has instituted the tradition of styling royal widows as HRH Princess HerName, Duchess of Husband’sPeerage. It is an elegant modernization of how royal dowagers are styled. HRH Princess Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is the most likely title for Camilla in this sad scenario.

        • Ricky

          I think Camilla would much rather have the title you mention, Carolina. That was also the case for Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, wasn’t it?

          • Carolina

            Mary, like all other queens, stopped being HM The Queen and used the title HM Queen Mary after she was widowed. She never used dowager because ‘Queen Mary’ instead of THE Queen is how it is customarily done. The Queen Mother decided to use the style HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother to avoid confusion with her namesake daughter.

            Yes, it was the case with Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. I rather like using this for dowagers.

          • Verity Pendelton

            Princess Marina was already a princess before she was married, that is why she retained the title.

        • A. P. Schrader

          When the Queen granted special permission to her aunt, the late Princess Alice, Her Majesty established a precedent but I think it’s going a bit far to call it a “tradition”. It will be interesting to see what happens if the current Duke of Kent, for example, were to predecease his wife. Given her professed distain for continued use of her royal style (she purportedly prefers to be addressed nowadays simply as ‘Katharine Kent’), I think it unlikely that the Duchess of Kent would petition the Queen to style herself ‘Princess Katharine’. So I would bet that, in due course, she would come to be known as ‘HRH The Dowager Duchess of Kent’.

          As for the Duchess of Cornwall, as has already been said, if the Prince of Wales were to predecease his mother then, all things being equal, she would become ‘HRH The Dowager Duchess of Cornwall’.

      • Charles 742

        If Prince Charles passed away before his mother, The Queen. The Duke of York would be King surely?

        • Royal Central


        • Ricky

          Thanks for your question, Charles. This is a lot of fun, isn’t it?

          Prince Andrew, the present Duke of York, was indeed second in line for the throne for many years, but that changed with the birth of his nephew, Prince William, in 1982.

          Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is of course first in line. Prince William is second; after him comes his newborn son, Prince George of Cambridge, who is third in the line of succession. Prince Harry is fourth at present.

          Because of a recent change in the rules of succession, Princess Anne is fifth. Only then comes Prince Andrew, now sixth in line. He will be farther down the list if and when William and Kate have any more children.

          I hope this is helpful (and not too much information!).

          • Royal Central

            Princess Anne is most certainly not 5th in line to the throne. Firstly because the Succession to the Crown act hasn’t come into force yet and secondly, the clause on primogeniture is only retrospective to those born after 28th October 2011 – Princess Anne was born in 1950! Prince Andrew is and will remain 5th in line to the throne, even when the Succession to the Crown Act is in force. Princess Anne remains 11th in line.

          • Ricky

            Once again, this brash American has learned something new on this fascinating subject, and stands corrected.
            But I hope you will agree I was right about one thing:
            This really is a lot of fun!

          • Patrick

            I don’t think the recent change bumped Anne up in line. I think it went into effect for George’s generation

          • Ricky

            You’re correct. I’ve done some research into this since I posted my earlier comment, and I have to retract that part of my post.

          • llewellynh

            That’s true and somewhat sad really.

          • llewellynh

            Good news. With Princess Charlotte, Prince Andrew goes down another peg to 7th in line.

          • llewellynh

            And his two daughters also drop down yet another peg.

          • llewellynh

            And it seems both of Andrew’s daughters soon will be living in the US.

        • llewellynh

          Absolutely not. Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry – all come before Andrew.

        • fourscoreandseven

          Charles, your question makes sense, if one thinks of the monarchy as “linear.” But, it descends, rather like a dog’s leg. When there was no “third generation,” and starting with the Queen it made sense to think of the succession as (linear) the eligible receivers were (1) Charles, (2) Andrew, (3) Edward, and (4) Anne. BUT, as soon as Charles was married and had legitimate children, the “dog leg” appears, because it drops down a level, and works out through (1) William, or (2) Harry. BUT, as soon as William was married and had legitimate children, the line of succession drops down another level. And, as soon as Prince George grows up, and starts a family, the line of succession will drop down another level. HOWEVER, if Prince George does NOT have “legitimate” issue, the right of succession transfers (in a linear fashion) to Princess Charlotte (who may have married and had (for example) 3 children, and the line would then go to Charlotte and then her first born. But, the line would first go to George, whether or not he had children. Only when “King George” dies without issue (or volunteers to give up his throne, since he has no obvious issue), does the crown go to Princess Charlotte. If she is dead, then it would go to her oldest child, and his/her issue; if he/she dies without issue, then it goes to Charlotte’s second child, then the third. However, if both George and Charlotte die without issue, then we look to Harry, or Harry’s children as the next in line.

          Queen Victoria became the (unlikely) next in line to become monarch when her father (Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the 4th son of King George III, married a beautiful young widow, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburn-Saalfeld and they had his first legitimate child and her third child, Princess Victoria, who became the likely next Queen of England (due to all of his older brothers having no issue or out of wedlock issue).

          That was a wide linear, until Queen Victoria, who then produced a long direct (downward) line of succession that produced first King Edward VII, who produced King George V, who produced King George VI, who produced Queen Elizabeth II. (Yes, there was the “year” of Edward VIII, that generally is reduced to an asterisk (he was “proclaimed” the next
          “king” after George V, but was never crowned.)

    • Patty Caudle

      Lets not go there for the way she has done to Prince Charles and the rest of the Royal family. The only thing she is deserving is the title is Divorcee for treating Prince Charles like she over ranks him and orders him around!

      • Patty Caudle

        I dislike hearing talk of the death of Her Majesty, The Queen. She is a wonderful woman and Queen and I pray that she lives many more years. Everyone seems to be in the planning stage. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

  • Verity Pendelton

    Catherine can become a princess in her own right, by letters patent as a gift of the Sovereign, just as the Duke of Edinburgh was granted the title Prince of the United Kingdom

    • Mark Arbeen

      The only difference is that Prince Philip was already a Blood Prince (he was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark), so granting him the title, while a wonderful gift, was not a surprise since he was already royal in his own right.

      • Ricky

        He first had to renounce his non-British princely titles, then become a commoner as Philip Mountbatten. King George gave him the title Duke of Edinburgh just before his wedding, but he wasn’t a prince anymore.

        He didn’t become a prince again until ten years later, when in 1957 the Queen issued a Letters Patent giving him the designation of Prince of the United Kingdom.

        • Mark Arbeen

          That is not totally correct. In the 1948 Letters Patent, King George VI stated: GEORGE THE SIXTH by the Grace of God of Great Britain Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King Defender of the Faith To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Whereas His late Majesty King George the Fifth by His Letters Patent dated the thirtieth day of November in the eighth year of His Reign did declare His Royal Pleasure that certain members of the Royal Family therein more particularly mentioned should have the style title or attribute of Royal Highness And Whereas We are desirous of defining and fixing the style and title by which the children of the marriage solemnised between Our Most dearly beloved Daughter Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Duchess of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh shall be designated And Whereas for that purpose We deem it expedient that the aforesaid Letters Patent should be amended and extended la manner hereinafter declared Now Know Ye that in the exercise of Our Royal and undoubted prerogative and of our especial grace we do hereby declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure that the children of the aforesaid marriage shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles of honour which may belong to them hereafter And We do further declare Our Will and Pleasure that our Earl Marshal of England or his Deputy for the time being do cause these Our Letters or the Enrolment thereof to be recorded in our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others may take due notice thereof In Witness Whereof We have caused these our Letters to be made Patent Witness Ourself at Westminster the twenty-second day of October in the twelfth year of Our Reign.”

          So, as you can see, in 1948 he was considered Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

          • Royal Central

            There’s a lot of confusion over the Duke of Edinburgh’s title at this time because of this reference to him as a Prince in the 1948 letters patent. Whilst he is referred to as ‘Prince Philip’ in this document, all subsequent documents and official communique thereafter until 1957 refer to him without the Princely style. Additionally, the King himself amended a reference to ‘Prince Philip’ on Prince Charles’s birth certificate in 1948 to just ‘Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’.

          • Ricky

            I was hoping Royal Central would see this discussion so we could be sure about Philip’s titles. I’ve read about this issue from many different sources and was pretty sure of my facts.

            And while I have your attention, I’d like to say this:

            I sometimes post comments in other forums, and I often see posts that are so vicious they make me cringe. How I wish they could be as civil as the discussions here at Royal Central.

            We can discuss issues here with courtesy and respect for each other, even when we might disagree. We can justly be proud of ourselves and our site, and other blogs could take a lesson from Royal Central.

            Many thanks to the editors, writers, and other staff at Royal Central for the education and enjoyment they provide. I think we have something very special here, and their work is much appreciated. 😉

          • Mark Arbeen

            Amen Ricky. I think the civil discourse is evidence that we Royalists truly understand the concept of discussion without rancor!

          • Steven Read

            Sophia Naturalization Act 1705; This naturalized Empress Sophia of Hanover and “the issue of her body” if Protestant. Any descendant of Sophia could claim to be the “issue of her body”, as Philip is, therefore making him a British subject and also a Prince of the United Kingdom.

          • Richie Hayward-Keen

            But it was not an individual one. This covered the mediate royal family ; the future children of the Queen and The Duke as the Queen and heir presumptive not and heir apparent, due to being female and the male perogative succession. If The Queens father had not done this then the children of the Queen and Duke would have had not tiles at all being only grand children of reigning monarch through the female line as created by George V in 1917. Hope that helps

    • caroline nolan

      i agree but you know who will be offended,charles missus,thats why,which she shouldnt anyway being a devorcee,but kate should be granted as she gave birth to a future king of england,and the queen mother wasnt royal either but was given the title,so as you say the queen could grant it,charles wont because if hes not allowed to give the title to camilla he wont let kate have it either.

      • Ted Thomas Martin

        What about Queen Mary also.

        • Ricky

          What about her?

      • Jaie

        WTF planet are you on!? For a start she is NOT “Charle’s missus” she’s Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. For another, Charles cannot grant any titles to anybody, he isn’t King yet. When he becomes King, I fully expect him to grant Camilla the title Queen Consort, which will be only right. Also, Camilla IS at the moment The Princess of Wales, she just chooses not to use that title out of respect for the previous holder. Who by the way was NEVER “Princess Diana”, as this article rightly says.

      • Richie Hayward-Keen

        What a load of crap your talking you obviously know nothing about royality go home please!!!

      • fourscoreandseven

        caroline: Your post is both nasty and incorrect. You are completely ignoring the “context” of each situation. And, Charles PAYS CATHERINE’S BILLS so he isn’t exactly “mean” to her! Your thoughts of Charles, his relationship to his mother, and to Camilla, are odd and mean and sad.

    • Alison

      Prince Phillip is a Prince in his own right. He was Prince Phillip of Denmark and Greece when he married Princess Elizabeth. He relinquished any claim to these kingdoms to marry Elizabeth.

      • Verity Pendelton

        No, he wasn’t….he renounced all his titles and was plain Lt. Mountbatten when he was engaged. He was born a prince, but wasn’t a prince at the time of his engagement. He was created HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh by George VI. The Queen issued letters patent making him a Prince in his own right in 1957, so that Charles wouldn’t out rank his father. He was then officially known as Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburg.

    • Nancy Broertjes

      The title of Prince of the United Kingdom was given to Phillip as a salve to his ego since his children would not have his surname but that of the royal family.

      • Verity Pendelton

        Originally it was so Charles wouldn’t outrank his father. The Queen issued him Letters Patent in 1957 so he became Prince Phillip. Now the family is known as Mountbatten-Windsor. So Edward & Sophie’s daughter is known as Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, although technically she is a princess.

      • fourscoreandseven

        WRONG AGAIN! None of the HRH’s have surnames, so you don’t know what you are talking about. “Salving his ego” is ridiculous. DO NOT apply your own insecurities and jealousies to others.

        • Verity Pendelton

          Yes they do have a surnames! It was Windsor but now it is Mountbatten-Windsor. Lady Louise tho technically a princess goes by the name of lady Louise Mountbatten Windsor..

    • fourscoreandseven

      Verity: YOU have missed the point! The Duke of Edinburgh was a Prince TWICE, having been born the ONLY son of a Prince of Greece and Denmark. His great-grandfather (on his father’s side) was King Christian IV of Denmark. His grandfather was King George I of Greece. His great-great-grandmother was Queen Victoria. He is a DIRECT DESCENDANT OF QUEEN VICTORIA the same as the Queen. In fact, Philip’s titles were MORE numerous and grand than the Queen’s!!!! (After all, Bertie married a commoner; Lady Elizabeth Marguerite Bowes-Lyon. The Queen Mother (though loved) was the daughter of an Earl and their French cook.)

      Philip GAVE UP all of his royal titles, and any loyalty to any foreign countries, just to marry Princess Elizabeth (heir apparent) to the British throne.

      King George VI (the Queen’s father) knew that the nation should NOT have a female monarch who was “out-ranked” by her husband. Or, some of the people would wonder WHY Philip was not the King (he was, after all, just as “related” to Queen Victoria, as Elizabeth was, AND he was “higher born” than she was. King George VI used ALL of his power to make sure that Philip was stripped of his titles BEFORE he was welcomed into the family (this was done to PROTECT his daughter). Therefore, in consideration for his sacrifice, and to have a husband “worthy” of Princess Elizabeth (the next monarch) King George “restored” Philip’s birth title of “Prince” but he made it “of the United Kingdom and NOT those other countries.

      You seem to be looking for romantic reasons, but this monarchy business is a BUSINESS, and there were political reasons for taking away Philip’s titles, and then, for making him a prince again. None such reasons surround Catherine; chiefly of all (1) SHE WAS NOT BORN A PRINCESS, and (2) SHE IS NOT A PRINCESS OF ANOTHER COUNTRY and (3) SHE IS NOT A DIRECT DESCENDENT OF QUEEN VICTORIA!!!

      • Verity Pendelton

        Phillip gave his titles when he joined the navy. And neither f Elizabeth ‘s parents liked him or wanted him for a son in law. And if thecQueen wants to, she can make Catherine a princess in her own right

      • Verity Pendelton

        The queen mum was not the daughter of a cook. That story was made up by Edward VIII and his waspish wife Wallis

  • Fiametta

    The easy way to explain this is to say that she is a princess by marriage, as all royal duchesses are, but not a princess by birth, so she cannot use the title “Princess” before her own given name. Only princesses by birth can do that.
    She is also not a duchess by birth (very few women have ever been duchesses by birth), and the title “Duchess” is simply never used before a given name.

    • Ricky

      There was one notable exception of a royal duchess who was also a princess by birth. Before the death of King George VI, the present queen was known as HRH the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh.

      • Duncan Scott Bennie

        It was Philip though that was made Duke of Edinburgh so Elizabeth was Duchess by marriage she was not invested with the title herself

        • Ricky

          Yes, Philip was given the title by King George VI. Common law directs that as his wife, Elizabeth takes the title, too. It’s the same with his children’s titles before his wife’s accession; when Prince Charles was born he was known as Prince Charles of Edinburgh (plus the other titles).

          It’s the same today; Prince William’s son is styled “Prince George of Cambridge,” taking his title from his father.

          • Celoptra

            I don’t think Elizabeth took the title duchess of Endiburg despite the fact her husband the duke. I mean considering the fuss her mom made about the “Windsor” house turning into a complication last name thing again-beside she was already heir to the throne-totally different there.

          • Ricky

            In official documents of the time, she was referred to as “Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh,”
            which was her full title from the time of her wedding until the death of King George VI.

            I remember seeing her referred to by this title on the announcement of Prince Charles’ birth, for example.

            Royal Central, am I not correct?

        • Nancy Broertjes

          I know it sounds absurd but Princess Elizabeth was heiress presumptive, not Princess of Wales because of the unlikely possibility that her parents might have the miracle of the birth of a son.

          • Ricky

            This is incorrect. The title Princess of Wales is only given to the wife of a Prince of Wales.

            This issue did arise in the 1940’s, when a royal courtier suggested to King George VI that Princess Elizabeth be created Princess of Wales. But this title was not bestowed on her because of the reason I mentioned above.

    • Sherry

      This is true. To refer to her as Princess
      Catherine is incorrect just as it was when
      Diana was referred to as Princess Diana
      The correct title would be HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. That is why when she is not with William she has to courtesy to Princess Beatrice as she was born and styled Princess. When Catherine is with William Beatrice would have to curtesy to her as she than ranks
      higher with her husband

      • Grub

        “Have to courtesy”? Is that the correct spelling of “curtsy”?

        • Nancy Broertjes

          Typos puhlees

      • llewellynh

        And that, too, is absurd. Why really should Catherine have to curtsey to those two young ladies. It is border line insulting.

        • fourscoreandseven

          Queen Mary CURTSYED to her own son (George VI) when he became monarch. And YOU are concerned about cousins?

          Philip and Charles curtsy to the Queen! Maybe British Royalty isn’t your cup of tea.

      • Terrylee Warren

        I really enjoyed the way that you explain that. I didn’t understand about Catherine having to curtsey to Beatrice unless she’s with her husband William His Royal Highness William. Anyway I really like the way you explained it thank you for that

        • CeeEmDee

          I don’t think that is true anymore than Diana ever curtsied to Anne. I don’t think since her marriage she even curtsies to Charles. This is some weird rumor or if there is a rule book that says so, it’s ignored.

          • Nancy Broertjes

            The order of precedence was changed after the death of the Princess of Wales by Her Majesty. The reason was to recognize that the Princesses of York are Princesses by birth and The Duchess of Cambridge takes her rank from her husband.

          • Ricky

            Nothing of the kind happened after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The order of precedence has always been the way it is now for princes and princesses of the blood versus people who marry into the royal family.

            And by the way, Diana was not the Princess of Wales at the time of her death. After her divorce from Prince Charles she was given the title Diana, Princess of Wales. A small difference, but the two titles aren’t the same.

          • Verity Pendelton

            Technically, they never curtsy to each other – and during the most formal occasions, Catherine would be with William so they would curtsy. But you NEVER see them curtsy when they are together, unless they curtsy to the Queen. She is the only one that gets a curtsy during informal situations.

    • llewellynh

      It now though is out of whack when it comes to Catherine. She is a Countess married to a Prince and now she is the mother of a Prince and a Princess. It’s awkward and would seem that at some point she should be a Princess but not one latched onto her husband’s first name. There should be a level playing field title wise within a household.

      • Ricky

        There’s nothing at all awkward about Catherine’s titles. You say she is a Countess, which is true enough; but she is also a Princess, a Duchess, a Baroness, and has the style of Royal Highness as well.

        Whenever a woman of any station marries into the British Royal Family, she takes titles and styles corresponding to those of her husband unless she already holds other British titles of greater rank.

        She has every legal right to all the titles she acquired when she married Prince William. Nothing is ‘out of whack’ here.

        • llewellynh

          I really do understand all of that but I was addressing the fact that colloquially speaking Countess Anybody is a mouthful and while I realize she is Princess William, that, too is awkward. Looking back it was only on formal occasions that Diana was given her proper titled name and she rather quickly slipped into the “Princess Di” name that was completely against the rules of formal British Etiquette.

          Maybe my using “out of whack” was the wrong phrase. Let’s see what she does now that she is the mother of a Prince and a Princess. She could use Princess William as does Princess Michael but honestly it’s the problem of Camila that hovers over this. Camilla is I suppose the Princess of Wales but I don’t know a soul who would refer to her that way. So when she married Charles the alternative of Countess was chosen because it made sense given the awkward circumstances but that seems to have spilled over to Kate – dare I say it.

          And I realize that a Countess is not necessarily a downgrade from a Princess but to make things a bit simpler it might be better for Catherine to be called Princess – and that the Queen can do though she won’t again because of the Camilla problem. All will change when Charles becomes King. However, God Save the Queen.

          • Louise Vecchio

            She’s not a Countess, she’s a Duchess – Sophie, Countess of Wessex is a Countess.

          • Ricky

            Catherine acquired several titles when she married; Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, and Baroness Carrickfergus. She also has the style of Royal Highness.

          • fourscoreandseven

            But, you DON’T “UNDERSTAND” at all!
            It is simply delusional to claim to understand, and then make assumptions that do not follow! Or, ask questions that do not apply!

            And, “Countess Anyone” is NOT a mouthful! It is TWO extra syllables (as is Duchess if you are talking about Catherine Middleton). We say “doctor (two syllables) so and so” or “professor” (three syllables) so and so,” all the time. Depending on your country, we say “President (three syllables) so and so” or “Prime Minister (four syllables) so and so” or “Senator (three syllables) so and so” or “Representative (FIVE syllables) so and so” or “Ambassador (four syllables) so and so” and it hasn’t killed us yet!!!!

            “Princess William” is NOT “awkward.” (Again, you are allowing your (less than accurate) opinion rule the day, when it only applies to YOU!!!!!)

            I refer to Charles’ present wife as “The Princess of Wales” because THAT IS HER TITLE!!! So, please stop saying that “nobody” does!!! If she is forced to use an alternate title, to make her life easier, that is fine with me.

            FACT: If the Prince of Wales has a wife, she is the Princess of Wales!!!!!! (Charles DOES have a wife and she is the Princess of Wales, whether YOU like it or not).

            FACT: Camilla OUTRANKS Catherine AND ALWAYS WILL!!!! That is because of her age and rank. SHE IS MARRIED TO THE “FATHER” and Catherine is married to the “SON.” That means the OLDER WOMAN outranks the younger woman. (If Catherine was to live in angst by having to curtsy to Andrew’s daughters (who were BORN into the family) then she should have passed on marrying William.

            FACT: Camilla is Catherine’s mother-in-law and (hopefully) always will be. That means that Catherine owes a bit of respect to the woman who is married to William’s father. If that bothers her, she should not have “married in.”
            FACT: Camilla (and her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles) were “insiders” to the Royal family since they was teenagers; that’s about 50 years. (She and Andrew used to visit the Queen Mum at her Castle of Mey on the North Coast of Scotland; so they were VERY close friends.) Andrew used to date Princess Anne! The Queen, the Queen Mum, and Princess Margaret attended Camilla’s marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles. Charles is god-father to her children. Anne remains a friend; they were spotted chatting at an event a short time ago.
            Catherine was NOT part of the family when Charles married Camilla. Let’s keep things in perspective.

            You also said: “And I realize that a Countess is not necessarily a downgrade from a Princess…” THIS MAKES NO SENSE! You don’t “realize” a single thing!

          • Nancy Broertjes

            Camilla outranks Catherine NOW. Unlike Russia where Tsar Nicholas II’s mother, the Dowager Tsarina outranked his wife, the then current Tsarina, when William becomes King, HIS wife will outrank the newly Dowager……who will be Dowager NOT Queen Mother.

          • fourscoreandseven

            I was referring to any situation when they are BOTH alive, and in relation to each other. If Charles dies, then Camilla is obviously diminished in rank. Catherine will ALWAYS be “the mother of a monarch.” However, if Charles lives, and William dies, her rank will also be minimalized. Their lives depend on their husbands, EXCEPT of course, Catherine will always be the mother of a monarch, and Camilla never will. However, the notion of William diminishing Camilla seems unlike him. He seems like a decent person, who knows of his own mother’s demons, even if he cannot publicly recognize them. (Although, as a sponsor of mental health problems, he certainly must realize how some will interpret his sponsorship.) I was referring to the fact that William, as son, will always be second to his father. OF COURSE, I mean that that means as long as they both live. When a rank is subject to the husband, EVERYTHING depends on his status as a living or dead person. What if the Royal great-grands die of some odd disease, when they are children? What is Catherine’s status then? We can make note of any and all eventualities, but the normal progression is parent to child. Just because YOU prefer Catherine (for whatever reason) to Camilla, does NOT diminish her status as the wife of Charles, the Prince of Wales, and future king. Of course if Charles dies before becoming King, Camila will always be an erstwhile “Princess of Wales and
            Duchess of Cornwall, and Duchess of Rothesay, yadda, yadda” but her future (and final) title seems to depend on the (then) current monarch, which could be the current Queen, or King William. We could nit-pick this to death. . . . (I’m willing).

          • Mike Cotter

            Um if Charles for whatever reason is no longer sitting on the throne, and William succeeds him while Camilla is alive, Catherine would indeed outrank Camilla.

          • Nancy Broertjes

            TECHNICALLY Camilla is Princess of Wales. It was her choice to USE the title Duchess of Cornwall out of sensitivity toward thoughts of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. If Her Majesty didn’t want to put a finer point on it, she would NOT have revised the order of precedence.

        • Nancy Broertjes

          (A Duchess, not a Countess) Edwards wife Sophie is a Countess.

          • Kathryn

            I imagine Sophie is technically Princess Edward also. As a non Brit who is enthralled by the monarchy, the fact that they rely on Public interest and constantly ‘evolve’ is of interest. I have read that name cards at private events read William and Catherine Wales. Will curtsying become obsolete as a less modern tradition?

          • Mike Cotter

            Goodness, I sure hope curtsying and bowing/kneeling don’t go anytime soon!

            It’s great that Royal traditions change with time, but courtesy amongst Royals shouldn’t change in my opinion.

            But hey, I’m from across the pond. We don’t kneel over here, so what would I know!?

          • Ricky

            Prince William holds several subsidiary titles, including Earl of Strathearn. As his wife, Catherine takes the female equivalent titles, so she’s also the Countess of Strathearn.

        • Kathryn

          Ricky, I find your knowledge interesting. The Royal family ‘evolve’ and very much rely on public interest. As an obsessed non Brit, I find the styles/ titles interesting. I understand why Camilla doesn’t use Princess of Wales, but is Sophie Wesswx not technically Princess Edward as the wife of a monarch’s son? Few modern women would use the title Princess followed by their husbands name as it’s rather demeaning- Princess Michael for example. So- I’ve read that the Cambridges use William and Catherine Wales at private events outside the family. True? Will the Middletons as grandparents to the future king ever be granted courtesy titles?

          • Ricky

            Kathryn, titles and styles certainly are interesting topics!

            Most members of the royal family prefer to use their titles with a geographic designation, in this case, Wessex. If Sophie’s husband had not been granted the earldom of Wessex, she would be known as Princess Edward because it would be her highest title/rank.

            I understand that The Queen had originally intended to give Prince Edward the title Duke of Cambridge when he married. However, he asked for the title Earl of Wessex instead, and Her Majesty accommodated him.

            HRH Princess Michael of Kent uses that title because her husband does not hold a dukedom or earldom, so Princess is her only title.

            Her Majesty and her successors could issue a Letters Patent to grant titles to the Middletons anytime they wish. But there is no precedent for doing this for commoners, so I think it’s very unlikely.

      • fourscoreandseven

        With all due respect, it is ridiculous to be “offended” or “concerned” when you have a number of basic elements wrong! IOW, you need to have complete understanding of a situation before you become incensed that “something is wrong” when there is absolutely nothing wrong.

      • Nancy Broertjes

        At the time of King George and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) the spouse of the sovereign was also crowned. I’m not sure if they’ll crown Camilla as it has been announced she’ll use the title Princess Consort….or if the Duchess of Cambridge will become Queen Catherine.

      • fourscoreandseven

        READ HISTORY!!! When Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were born, their mother was merely “Duchess of York” (and the world continued to turn on its axis). Of course, the next “Queen Consort” was willing to be a mere Duchess, married to a Duke and a Prince, because there was a possibility that she would be the next Queen. I would SUSPECT that Catherine is willing to curtsy to ALL kinds of people, to be the next after Queen.

        You used the term “level playing field” while talking about the Royals. That’s funny. And, you also have an odd notion of family dynamics.

        • Verity Pendelton

          The duchess of York was a princess by marriage. They take the title and rank of their husbands. Royal dukedoms are given to prohibit calling a wife princess Charles or princess William.

          • Ricky

            I don’t presume to speak for others, but I believe the other commenter was referring to the late Queen Mother. She was known as the HRH the Duchess of York before her husband became King George VI.

            Bestowing royal dukedoms has nothing to do with a wife’s title. The living example of Princess Michael of Kent comes to mind.

          • Verity Pendelton

            Yes the late queen mum was the duchess or York before she became queen. The queen can bestow a title and usually does if the person is in direct line to the throne. She bestowed titles on all her sons, her brother in law and prince philip

  • Claudia Marek

    If the Duke and Duchess have a daughter and name her Catherine, there will be a Princess Catherine.

    • Nancy Broertjes

      Now we’re getting picky. That wasn’t the subject. When Queen Mary’s husband died, her first act was to curtsey to her son, now her King.

    • fourscoreandseven

      Proud of being a smart aleck?
      There is a rule of argument; about changing the topic. I suggest YOU learn the “rules of engagement” for argument.

  • A. P. Schrader

    A reasonable article, though I would contest that referring to the Duchess as ‘HRH Princess William’ is ‘correct’ in the strictest sense. While it is technically one of her titles, I don’t think it can ever be ‘correct’ etiquette to address/refer to her by that title instead of as the Duchess of Cambridge.

    • rich

      Princess Michael of Kent has had no trouble with being known as that.

    • Verity Pendelton

      Her title is HRH The Princess William Arthur Philip Louis, Duchess of Cambridge. She takes the titles of her husband. The Queen will usually grant a dukedom to avoid calling her Princess William, especially for those in line to the thrown.

      • Ricky

        Only a child of the monarch is entitled to the word “the” in front of their name. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do not qualify for this, but the Duke will, when his father becomes King.

  • Charles 742

    The whole world are assuming that HRH Prince George will one day be King, but if HM The Queen outlives Prince Charles then the current Duke of York would be King and as such, his daughter would on his death become Queen

    • Royal Central

      No, if The Queen outlives Prince Charles, Prince William will be King. That’s how the line of succession works. After Prince William is Prince George, this is how it will always be. Prince George will be King bar any unfortunate incident or converting to catholicism etc.

    • Elizabeth

      Charles 742, I am confused by your assertions regarding the Duke of York’s claim to the throne. Do you think that Princes William, George, and Harry do not have precedence in succession? If you recognize the succession rights of the Duke of York’s daughters, why not that of Prince Charles’ sons? Is this merely an oversight or are you trying to make a point of some kind?

      Since you have made this statement more than once, I am curious as to your reasoning.

      • Duncan Scott Bennie

        I think he is going on the custom of some other European monarchies from the dark ages like the Russian and Kieven monarchies where only the decedents of the Grand Prince could inherit the throne so if your father died before becoming grand prince then all his decedents are removed from the line of succession. Not something that has been used anywhere in centuries and centuries anywhere as far as I know. That is the only place I think he could have gotten it from

      • Gary

        The line of succession was the eldest son of the eldest son. Now eldest child of the eldest child. If Charles had died before producing a child, only then would Andrew & his family have become next in line.

      • llewellynh

        You are right but now stick in Princess Charlotte between George and Harry.

    • Steven

      The Duke of York could be king if Prince Charles and his descendants would die.

      • llewellynh

        Lots of them would have to die. Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Harry. The Duke of York isn’t measuring for furniture at any of the palaces because he is out of the main picture now.

  • peter

    even if you are born of the blood royal it is your mum and dad who decide ask princess zara phillip

    • Royal Central

      Well Zara Phillips isn’t a Princess – she was never entitled to the title of Princess, even by birth.

    • Amanda

      Not necessarily in every case. Titles are passed through the father, not the mother. When Princess Anne married Captain Phillips, the Queen had to issue a special proclamation to re-title her as Anne, Princess Royal. If she wouldn’t have done that, Anne would have lost her title due to her husband being untitled. HM also offered a title to Captain Phillips so that their children could inherit titles, but the couple turned it down.

      • David

        I thought that women inherit their husbands title (or lack of title) only if their current title is below that of their future husbands.

        • Royal Central

          Yes, this is correct. A wife takes her husband’s title unless her own title is higher, thus Princess Anne’s title was unaffected by her marriage to Captain Phillips.

      • Ricky

        Anne didn’t receive the title of Princess Royal at the time of her marriage to Mark Phillips; that came in the late 1980’s.

        Her Majesty could have given Anne this title anytime after 1965, when the previous holder died. This was the Queen’s aunt, Princess Mary, who was King George V’s only daughter. There can only be one living Princess Royal at any given time.

        When this title was bestowed on Princess Anne, the media reported the Queen did this this because of Anne’s many years of royal duties and her work on behalf of charities, especially Save the Children.

      • milifabian

        Princess Anne was created Princess Royal in 1987, not when she got married.

      • Verity Pendelton

        Anne didn’t lose her title when she married, she was still The Princess Anne. She would actually be know as The Princess Anne, Mrs. Mark Phillips in the court circular. Her husband didn’t want a title. The Queen’s sister was still Princess Margaret, but her husband did receive a title, The Earl of Snowdon, that is why she as also knows as The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

  • duncan

    If Will became king tomorrow he would be HM King William V…. And kate would be ?? HRH Queen consort Katherine, or something? And the baby, HRH Prince George?

    • Royal Central

      Prince William would become His Majesty King William V and his wife would become Her Majesty The Queen or Her Majesty Queen Catherine – Prince George would become HRH The Prince George, Duke of Cornwall.

      • Guest

        Is it not true that William can choose to use a different name as king, as Elizabeth’s father, Albert, did when he became George? He will not necessarily be “His Majesty King William V,” though that seems most likely.

        • Each Monarch can choose their regnal (ruling) name. Albert chose George to give some familiarity and stability to his reign after the Abdication Crisis. William could choose something else if he wanted, but for many of us, it would sound wrong to call him anything other than William. Doubt this will happen again in future.

        • Ricky

          William could choose any of his 4 names (William Arthur Philip Louis) as a regnal name, but it’s unlikely he would choose anything other than William V.

          The Queen’s father chose not to be known as King Albert because it was thought that it sounded too German. This is understandable in the context of the times, when relations between Hitler and the rest of Europe were very tense.

  • Liz Feola

    This is great! I’m sharing it with my American friends, so I don’t have to explain it again!

  • Jane

    Why was Diana allowed to be called “Princess Diana”? She also had the title, “HRH Diana Princess of Wales”.

    • Amanda

      That was a concession made by the Queen and Prince Charles during the divorce negotiations. As the mother of a future monarch, Buckingham Palace agreed that she needed to have some sort of title, even though she was having HRH stripped. They settled for ‘Princess’. Same thing actually happened to Prince Philip when he married HM. His previous title of Prince was removed once he married (I can’t remember why just now, but I know it’s easy to find if you wish to look into it), but the Queen issued a proclamation declaring that he still be known as Prince Philip.

      • Verity Pendelton

        Prince Philip renounced his greek titles and became Lt. Mountbatten. When he married Elizabeth, her father George VI granted him, by letters patent, the title HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth granted him the title of Prince, by letters patent, so that Charles wouldn’t outrank his father. Victoria did the same thing with Albert, although he was created a Prince Consort.

    • CP

      She wasn’t. That is what the media and the public called her but that was never her title. Before the divorce she was HRH The Princess of Wales (no use of her first name). After the divorce she was Diana, Princess of Wales.

      Simple, “commoner” example – the traditional British way, if you like.

      Miss Anne Smith marries Mr Alan Brown and her formal title is Mrs Alan Brown
      They divorce
      She is now Mrs Anne Brown.

  • Guest USA

    Why do the Royals allow the name Kate Middleton to be used instead of Catherine? Do the Royals not like Catherine? Some proclamation needs to be made by some higher royal as to the correct use of her name or punitive damages will be put of those magazines that call her Kate Middleton which is not her name by any means. The Royals and the public are bullying Catherine again!

    • Bella

      No matter what anyone says on the subject, the media is still going to call her Kate Middleton even though she has been a married woman for almost 3 years now. Kate Middleton, Princess Kate and Princess Catherine sell papers and magazines rather than her proper title The Duchess of Cambridge or Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge.
      I personally tend to ignore any magazines that refuse to use her proper title when they use her image on the front pages.

    • No, no one is bullying her. It has to do with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). People search for things online based on certain words. The average person on the street knows who Kate Middleton is but they may not know who The Duchess of Cambridge is.

      It’s not a sign of disrespect. People seem to get overly emotional about this issue when there is no reason to. It is a simple case of addressing her in a way that people recognize. And there is no insult in calling a married woman by her maiden name. Many women keep their last names.

    • Gary

      Catherine is known affectionately as “Kate”. The same as Diana was known as “Di”. We, as British, like to shorten names of people we love. i suppose you could call it a “term of endearment”!!!

      • fourscoreandseven

        So, then you don’t like Queen Elizabeth (or you would call her Queen Liz), according to your claim that “British shorten names as a “term of endearment.”
        Gary: Would it surprise you to know that we referred to John F. Kennedy, as”Jack” and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, as “Jackie?” Or, do you think that is just a “British” trait? We also call Barbara, “Babs.” We call Robert, “Bob.” We call Edward, “Teddy.”

    • llewellynh

      It’s not really bullying. That was her name for a long time when we met her. Think back to Princess Di which was not said to bully her at all. Some of these titled names are more than a mouthful and it seems those royals who are especially liked do pick up nick names. I’m all for Princess Kate but it doesn’t seem to be going that way.

      • fourscoreandseven

        To refer to HRH Catherine, Princess of Cambridge, as “Princess Kate” is a TERRIBLE insult. (1) It is an intentional “mess up” of her name. (2) It is a reminder that she is NOT Royal, and (3) that her daughter outranks her.
        Kindness, and courtesy, DEMAND that she be referred to as “HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Or, Kate Middleton. Or, Catherine Middleton. Or HRH Princess William.

        It is NEVER wrong to refer to someone by their birth name. It is never wrong to refer to someone by their married name. It is never wrong to refer to someone by names that have been (in their case) issued by the monarchy. Any questions about names of the British Royals can be referenced by contacting Buckingham Palace, or Clarence House, or St. James Palace, or Kensington Palace.

        But, to “make up a name that YOU think is “cute” or “makes sense to you” is never correct. (Would you like for me to call you “little llewe?”)

        • llewellynh

          Funny, within the last two weeks someone stumbled over what to call her and Catherine said, “Please call me Kate.”

  • SopranoAscends

    Perhaps we use “Kate Middleton” due to several reasons. Her name appeared for many years in the press as such. But more than that, I would never assume any woman changes her name at marriage. As persons delay marriage, especially educated ones, to about age 30, a woman’s life is established, and thus her indentity, which includes her name. Changing one’s ID, banking, pension, et al is a pain, and often costly. Not that Kate has to personally process those changes. But real women do. I don’t believe the royals have anything to do with “Kate Middleton” being of common usage in most press. Name-changing at marriage is primarily a Western-Anglo convention.

    • I think the use of “Kate Middleton” as more to do with SEO than anything else. That is how most people know her & they are more inclined to click on a link that says “Kate Middleton” than if it said, “The Duchess of Cambridge”. And I agree that these days a lot of women don’t change their names & it shouldn’t be seen as a sign of disrespect when she is referred to as KM.

  • Patty Caudle

    The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine gave birth to a Prince and is a distant cousin to her Prince husband and must do the duties of a Princess. She deserves the right to be Princess Catherine and all of these politics around it should end. She married a prince and is the mother of a Prince. Give her the rightful title. Her son out ranks her. I can see her son ordering her around if he became a belligerent child. SO WRONG!!!!!! Please reconsider this. Then there is the possibility of Prince Charles advocating his son Prince William to King what will Catherine be then? I just do not see this as fair. She’s a Princess in her every right. Let the Queen give her what is is rightfully hers.

  • Patrick

    Diana wasn’t really Princess?

    • Amanda

      She was whilst she was married to Charles, but she lost the title HRH Princess of Wales when she divorced him. She was allowed to continue to have the title ‘Princess’ as part of divorce negotiations, but she was no longer a Princess in anything but name.

      • No, actually even when she was married she was never ACTUALLY a Princess. Only in title.

        • Ricky

          “Princess” IS a title.

        • llewellynh

          She was a Lady before she met Charles and had more English roots than he ever had.

    • Ricky

      While she was married she was Princess Charles, plus other titles like Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Princess of Wales, and one or two others. But at no time was she ever “Princess Diana.”

  • makilby

    The references to Prince Phillip were, and still technically are, a courtisy afforded due to his not unique, but certainly rare, instance of birth.
    Prior to his marriage to the present soverign, Prince Phillip was Prince of Greece and Prince of Denmark.
    Although he renounced these titles upon his marriage to our present Queen, he is often refered to as Prince Phillip because of his former enoblement under other Crowns; it’s not concidered good form to demote a Royal!
    Rather like deposed monarchs, the titles of King, Queen, Prince, and Princess, are the personal possession of the bearer, even though they may no longer reign. The European Court ruled that King Constantine of the Hellenes was fully entitled to retain the title, even although he was no longer the Head of State, there are numerous other examples.

    • Ricky

      Excellent post, and very well thought out.

      I see you describe yourself as an Englishman who will one day live abroad. I’m an Atlanta Anglophile American, so let’s switch residences and we’ll both realize our dreams!

      I do hope you’re in central London!


    • Verity Pendelton

      Philip was created a Prince of the United Kingdom by letters patent as a gift from the Queen, that is why he is now Prince Philip. She did that in 1957 so that Prince Charles wouldn’t outrank his father.

  • Kristie Lewis

    I believe that Prince Charles Will bestow on Catherine the title of Princess when he is king George the 6th or 7th….(or on the slim chance he keeps King Charles). It will curry favor of the world who adore Catherine.

    • Ricky

      Catherine became a princess the day she said “I do” in Westminster Abbey. The Duchess of Cambridge has several titles, one of which is “Princess William.”

    • Charles has no intention, as far as Royal reporters are aware, of taking any regnal name other than his own. Catherine will be made Princess of Wales eventually, but I highly doubt she will be made a Princess in her own right for the reasons stated.

    • Rachel

      She currently is a princess because of her marriage but I understand what you are saying and I agree I think Charles will make her a princess in her own right (as if she were a blood princess). I think he views her as the daughter he never had.

  • Dhian S. S. Widayat

    Royal by birth, which means blue blood, it is God’s grace. (people can’t afford it by themselves)
    and when you are someone with a blue blood but not in this era anymore, which is extinct, which means no more about it, you only have it by birth like the ancestors,
    yes, you feel something which can’t be understood and can not be explained in words,
    it’s true, you feel it, when you have it in blood.

    Therefore i respect the UK Royals that should be strictly maintained.

    God bless.

  • P

    If the Queen’s mum was called the Queen Mother, what will Kate be called when William dies if by that stage he is already King?
    Just came to me then and i am now intrigued.

    • Ricky

      She will be styled Her Majesty Queen Catherine. If King William V is succeeded by King George VII or any of their other children, there’s no reason why she couldn’t be called the Queen Mother.

      • AJ

        Dowager Queen….not just Queen Catherine

        • llewellynh

          Why not the Queen mother? That’s how the current Queen’s mother decided to have people refer to her. Dowager today has depressing connotations and I doubt if anyone will ever use it again.

  • Brett Salem

    Does it really matter if she ever becomes “Princess Catherine”? When William becomes King, she will be Her Majesty The Queen. :0). What’s more interesting, if Prince William bypasses Prince Charles as King, Prince Harry’s children will not become Princes or Princesses based on the Letters Patent similar to Prince Michael’s children. They probably will be given courtesy titles of Lord and Lady unless he is made a Duke at the time of his marriage. Also, his children will not be HRH.

  • Nikki

    If all children born to any sons of the sovereign, then why aren’t Prince Edwards children titled Prince and Princess?

    • Ricky

      Because the Earl and Countess of Wessex wanted it that way. Their children have the titles “James, Viscount Severn,” and “Lady Louise Windsor.” But neither of them have the style of “Royal Highness.”

      • Royal Central

        This is correct. Though on a technicality, Edward won’t ‘inherit’ Duke of Ed title – it’ll have to be recreated for him, but only after both The Queen and Prince Philip die.

        • Louise

          Is it correct that the Wessex children automatically inherit the HRH prince and princess titles but that their parents choose they be styled as the children of a non royal duke? They are still technically a prince and princess though, aren’t they?

          • Ricky

            Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor aren’t children of a Duke at present. Prince Edward is an Earl.

            I don’t think the children of a royal Earl like Edward would automatically be princes or princesses. I’m not absolutely sure about this since I can’t recall any other such situations in British royalty.

            Perhaps the moderator would know?

      • llewellynh

        And the Princess Royal (Anne) went further and neither of her children have any title at all.

  • Janet Smithson

    If Kate will never be a Princess how come Dianna was Dianna Princess of wales

    • Ricky

      The article doesn’t say Catherine isn’t a princess; it says we’ll never see a “Princess Catherine.” She acquired several titles when she married Prince William, one of which is Princess William.

      As far as Diana, she became the Princess of Wales when she married the Prince of Wales. If/when Prince William becomes the Prince of Wales, Catherine will be the Princess of Wales.

      But neither Catherine nor Diana were ever Princesses in their own right; only by marriage.

  • Cindy

    As an American who studies the British monarchy (not just the modern day monarchy), what bothers me more than the media’s incorrect use of Catherine’s name and title is the lack of use of Camilla’s title. Every reference I see to Catharine, and Diana for that matter, it’s always Princess Kate or Duchess Kate and Princess Diana (all incorrect); however, whenever they cover Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, it’s just Camilla. Why doesn’t the media ever use her title and call her Duchess Camilla?

  • Emily

    Won’t she eventually be known as “Catherine, Princess of Wales”? Just as Diana was known as “Diana, Princess of Wales”?

    • Indeed, she’ll become HRH the Princess of Wales if and when Prince William is made Prince of Wales. But this still won’t make her ‘Princess Catherine’.

    • Ricky

      Diana used to have the title HRH the Princess of Wales, but when she and Prince Charles divorced her title was changed. A short time later, the Queen issued a Letters Patent that stripped Diana and the Duchess of York of their HRH status.

  • Frank Graham

    Somebody please enlighten me as to the circumstances around the Royal Family’s renaming to Mountbatten-Windsor at about the time of Prince Andrew’s birth. Apparently some minor courtier pointed out that the name-change was needed to “legitimise” the birth as it was taking place post-coronation. Charles and Anne were, of course, born before it.

  • Kathie

    Won’t she become Queen someday?

  • Christine Corkery

    Out of curiosity ,if a blood royal such as a prince adopted a child would that child bear any title ?

    • Ricky

      I don’t know of any precedents like that in the UK, but it has happened in some European countries. The head of the royal or princely house of that country would decide what, if any, title the child would have.

  • Katy

    Will Catherine became a queen, when William become a king?

  • Stephanie Ruiz

    Regarding the Prince Harry, the future wife Duchess will also? And the future of his children will be princes / princesses?

    • Prince Harry will almost certainly be made a Duke when he marries, yes, so his wife would be a Duchess.

      As it stands, any children of Prince Harry right now would be Lords and Ladies. As soon as Prince Charles becomes king, however, they’d become princes and princesses, however I suspect if Prince Harry did have children during The Queen’s reign, she would act to ensure they were princes/princesses from birth.

    • Ricky

      He isn’t “the Prince Harry” yet. Only a child of the monarch is entitled to the word “the” in front of their name. He will have that designation when Prince Charles inherits the throne.

      • Stephanie Ruiz

        My question is whether future wife and the children of Harry respectively will have the title of Duchess and Prince or Princess.

        • Ricky

          They will be princes and princesses with the style of HRH, but a Letters Patent might be necessary for this if they’re born while The Queen is on the throne. When Prince Charles is King, Harry’s children would automatically be princes and princesses because Harry would then be a child of the monarch.

          If Harry becomes the Duke of Sussex (hypothetical dukedom), his wife will be HRH the Duchess of Sussex, and the children will be HRH Prince/Princess X of Sussex.

          If Harry has a son who outlives him, that son would become the next Duke of Sussex.

    • fourscoreandseven

      Harry is NOT “the” Prince Harry. He is barely Prince Harry through the vagaries of the law and precedent and not wanting to embarrass Prince Charles. He is best not press his luck, and he knows it. The fate of his mother is (even after 19 years) much too close for comfort.

  • Ted Thomas Martin

    If and when William becomes king????

    • Ricky

      When he becomes HM King William V, she will be HM the Queen. If William predeceases her after becoming King, she will be HM Queen Catherine.

  • Norma Stevlingson

    Will she be queen when William is King, as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was?

    • Ricky


    • Yes.

      • Rachel

        Why then is Prince Philip not know as King Philip?

        • fourscoreandseven

          Because a King outranks a Queen. Philip is not the monarch, so he cannot outrank his wife.

    • fourscoreandseven

      No, that is up to William.

  • John Yamawaki

    I mean I feel this is quite lame. We all know that catherine’s title come from her marrige to prince William, she was a normal person before that so it’s quite obvious that she isn’t a princess in her own right. but either way she’s gonna be in the future the “princess of wales” bc of that too. and in some point the queen consort of england and maybe she will recive the letters patents to become a princess in her own right we don’t know that.

    • Ricky

      There has been only one precedent for conferring a royal rank on someone giving them that status in their own right. That was when the Queen issued a Letters Patent in 1957 that made the Duke of Edinburgh a Prince of the United Kingdom.

      For someone in Catherine’s position there’s no real possibility of that ever happening.

      • Rachel

        Never say never. I think Prince Charles would do it to make William happy and also he sees her as a daughter. And as King, he could grant the letters of patent if he wants to.

        • Ricky

          There is no precedent for doing this kind of thing on the basis of a monarch’s personal affection for a member of the extended family.

          Theoretically, anything is possible but such a move is extremely unlikely. It’s a romantic fantasy.

    • Rachel

      I hope this happens. I really want her to be “Princess Catherine.”

  • Victoralvinkrugervonplessen

    My bloodlines predate Alexander the great. Holy Roman empire.1100years.queen is a cousin.from prussia monarchy.all cousins.time to grant her official princess title,Victoraivinkrugervonplessen .she’s a princess to me

  • Jean-Jacques Mwangelu

    Sir How should some one refer or adress to the Duchess of Cambrige. HRH/YRH Duchess Catherine of Cambrige?

    • Ricky

      The correct form of address would be “Your Royal Highness” when first meeting her (for example, at a garden party), thereafter you would call her “Ma’am.”

      The correct form of reference would be Her Royal Highness.

  • Rachel

    I would almost be willing to bet that when Charles becomes King, he will make Catherine a princess of the UK in her own right as Queen Elizabeth made Philip a prince in his own right. I have heard it is what William wanted when they married but the Queen would not agree to it. I have a feeling that Charles will.

    • Ricky

      Would you care to cite your source for this, please?

  • Leif Aho

    If William became King, would Catherine be granted title of Queen?

    • Ricky

      She would automatically become Her Majesty The Queen.

  • Echo Stennitt

    Being a princess takes a lot of focus, dedication and love. Life experience can be important as well.

  • Richie Hayward-Keen

    Hi Princess Marina was a greek and danish princess by birth. Prince Phillip was made a Prince of the United Kingdom by the Queen in 1957. He had already renounced his greek and danish tiles before they were married and the Queens father created him HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. If The Monarch chooses to, Catherine can be created a Princess in the same way.

  • Jenevievie

    OMG.!! Bloodyyy nuisances!!! WHAT is this … I am so confused she is called princess of wales but she is NOT a princess…what in the willy are u talking about…ahahhaha… !! what in Gods green earth are u on about… makes NO SENSE TO ME AT ALL… oiiiiiii dear LORD…SHE IS NOT A HRH OR SHE IS … really at the end of the day she is married to the HEIR to the THRONE of UK n all Commonwealth nations n he is Crown Prince which makes her Crown PRINCESS as well n some day he shall be KING n she will be QUEEN so who really cares n can understand this BS…damnnnnnnnnnn confusing!!

  • stormyweather79

    I’m glad I’m an American!

  • Arthur@Stoller

    Useful suggestions – I learned a lot from the info – Does someone know if my company might access a blank a form document to fill out ?

  • Jerry Hoover

    I find the royal family as sort of a cliche. If you are not born into the royal family you are always consider 1/2 as good or a commonor. The Duichess of Cambridge you are nothing without your husband even though you birthed him to children a “Prince” and “Princess” you are nothing without him. God half your blood runs through their veins you are married to a prince but yet you are nothing more than a breeding chamber. Not right do away with this nonesense.

  • Jerry Hoover

    Yes and eveyone is aware of the abdication that shook the UK back in the 1930’w yet the Prince of Wales was allowed to continue an affair with a divorced tramp and even so much marry her. Thank God she had enough brains to not take the title of Princess of Wales you would have seen riots in the streets I am sure. but my question is how is he able to marry a divorcee and maintain his sucession rights. Oh I get it he has his legitimate son to follow him born of a pure virgin and a spare no less and now he can marry whoever he wants. That issue is taken care of. Although Duchess of so called Cornwall has soften the hostility of the English people I dont think the people will forget her-she is a homewrecker always will be she is a power seeking H-e who does not deserve the HRH title as much as I do. And I am not even English! I dont ever see her as a Queen consort maybe a princess consort but that is all.

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