To Top

Will Prince William Be Prince Of Wales?

It has come to our attention recently that there is some confusion about Prince William and the Duchess Of Cambridge’s placement in terms of entitlement to titles, in order to try and redress this, here’s our short, yet we hope informative guide, to what Prince William is in line for when his father succeeds to the throne. Apologies for the recent succession of titles and future based posts for those to whom this is already known – we try to cater for everyone.

Firstly, the most notable and questioned title the heir to the throne usually holds is Prince of Wales. However, this is not automatic, in fact this is a title that must be conferred by the sovereign upon the heir. Most heirs apparent in history have held the title of Prince of Wales.

What is automatic, however, is that the moment Prince Charles accedes to the throne, Prince William and Catherine will become ‘Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess Of Cornwall’, or in conjunction with their current titles, ‘His Royal Highness The Prince William, Duke Of Cornwall and Cambridge’ and ‘Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall and Cambridge’.

Being Duke Of Cornwall entitled Prince William and his wife to the enormous estate holdings of the Duchy Of Cornwall which for centuries has supplied finance to the Monarch’s eldest son, unlike the Principality Of Wales which is merely a title.

It may even be decided (unlikely) that the title of Prince Of Wales shouldn’t be conferred upon Prince William, in which case he would remain simply as the Duke Of Cornwall and Cambridge.

If Prince William is given the Principality Of Wales, he would become, ‘HRH The Prince Of Wales’ and the present Duchess Of Cambridge would be ‘HRH The Princess Of Wales’ (this might be one of the (admittedly slightly outlandish) reasons why the Principality may not be conferred upon Prince William, though this is unlikely.

There, Prince William would remain as Prince Of Wales until he accedes to the throne to become King William V.

As a side note, Prince Harry would become ‘HRH The Prince Henry’ (HRH The Prince Harry) when Prince Charles accedes as King, essentially just losing the ‘of Wales’ part and accumulating a ‘The’.

  • Adriana

    Does the change to Prince Harry’s name also include the possibility of being conferred a title by Her Majesty in the occasion of him getting married?

    • Royal Central

      Yes, if he was say made Duke of Sussex, he would (if Prince Charles was King) be ‘HRH The Prince Henry, Duke Of Sussex’.

      • What titles do you think are likely for Harry?

        • Royal Central

          Some sources say that the title of Duke of Sussex has been already earmarked out for Prince Harry. Whatever it is, it’ll almost certainly be a Dukedom.

          • patsy

            I predict when Andrew passes away William will make his second son Duke of York assuming he has a second son.

          • Brian Bharkar

            Unless HRH Prince Charles is monarch, and Prince Andrew has passed away then the type of Duke of York, should in theory be bestowed on to HRH Prince Harry, making him HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of York and Sussex. As we’re lead to believe the Queen will bestow Duke of Sussex on to Harry when he’s married like she did when William got married and became Duke of Cambridge.

          • Alistair

            It will be interesting to see what the Royal Breeder comes up with next time. One would think disabling morning sickness a high price to pay for weasling out of official appearances at schools, hospitals, etc., but apparently it’s worth it to Duchess Waity.

        • A. P. Schrader

          Duke of Sussex is, indeed, widely touted. Though let’s not forget it was also widely touted for Prince Edward, who ended up being made (absurdly) Earl of Wessex instead. Once upon a time, the title dukedom of Clarence was customarily bestowed upon second sons. It might, therefore, be appropriate to make Prince Harry the Duke of Clarence instead.

          • Bobby

            Duke of Clarence for Prince Henry (Harry) gives a ring to it rather than the Duke of Sussex, which gives a naughty sound to it. Although it would be funny for Harry because he lived in Clarence House for so many years then he would become Duke of Clarence? LOL.

          • Rob

            Shouldn’t it be Duke of York? When Charles would become King, second sons get the title Duke of York? Or this is not automatic?

          • Royal Central

            The title of Duke of York is not automatic, it must be issued by the reigning Monarch.

          • WeAreNotAmused

            No less, wouldn’t it be a trifle awkward to have two Dukes of York?

          • Vancouverois

            Besides which, it’s already held by Prince Andrew at the moment…

          • Jeannie

            Right, and the Duke of York will become available only when he passes, because he has 2 daughters, not sons…

          • denise maguire

            Andrew is already the Duke of York, it’s not an open title. Now when he passes who will it go to?

          • WeAreNotAmused

            Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex until the Dukedom of Edinburgh becomes available. He will be granted the Dukedom of Edinburgh only after the current Duke dies and the Prince of Wales ascends the throne.

          • Jeannie

            I thought the Duke of York was for 2nd sons…I know that Prince Andrew still is the Duke of York. I guess people are living much longer now, at least in the Royal Family….
            I like the sound of Prince Henry, Duke of Exeter or Duke of Manchester. (have no idea if they are available.)

          • Brian Bharkar

            The Dukedoms of Cornwall is earmarked for the 1st son, York for the 2nd and Clarence for the 3rd. Since the time of Queen Victoria is been common practice to combine styles and titles whereby, the Dukedoms of York and Clarence was bestowed on to the second son, however our present monarch HM The Queen chose not to do that but simply make HRH Prince Andrew Duke of York only. She has further chosen to bestow styles and titles for each kingdom, therefore all members have an English, Scottish and Irish title. Example HRH Prince Charles, English title: Duke of Cornwall, Scottish title: Duke of Rothesay, Irish title: Earl of Carrick.

          • Cordelia

            Yes, but the association with the dodgy Duke of Clarence public house would be unfortunate indeed.

    • Royal Titler

      Prince Harry = Baron Bum

  • Shane

    Providing the new King (Charles) creates his eldest son Prince William, The Prince of Wales, there is no reason why Catherine should not be Princess of Wales (being the wife of the Prince of Wales). With all due respect to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, she was not the only Princess of Wales in history nor should she be the last — no one is that ‘great’ or ‘memorable’. I am sure that Diana herself would not want to see her eldest son’s wife be deprived of her rightful title out of some over done homage to her memory.

    • A. P. Schrader

      Of course, it is also perfectly true that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall IS also the Princess of Wales, though she chooses not to use that title out of deference to her husband’s first wife, the mother of her two step-children. I do hope, however, that they will re-think all this ‘Princess Consort’ nonsense. I see absolutely no reason why, when HRH The Prince of Wales becoming King, his wife should not be known by her correct title as ‘HM The Queen’ or ‘Queen Camilla’.

      • Will Larson

        Queen Camilla, Hahahaha!

      • WeAreNotAmused

        A consort is not entitled to be addressed as HM; that designation applies only to regnant queens

        • Royal Central

          Not true: Queens consort have their style matching their husband, therefore the wife of a King would be ‘Her Majesty The Queen’

          • Stuart Tunstead

            She would by HM Queen X, not HM The Queen, as that only applies to Queen Regnants.

        • Steve Warford

          Camilla is divorced. I know Charles was too but his ex-wife is dead. I know divorce is more common now in the royal family too. Is her ex-husband still living? Remember the Duchess of Windsor was divorced and caused a royal crisis. They have long memories in Buckingham Palace. It is one thing to be divorced and be royal – it another to be Queen. Of course the Duchess of Windsor was a divorced AMERICAN – a significant difference.

          • patsy

            I always thought one of the problems with Wallis was that she was divorced with living exes. Two in fact! Dead exes can’t talk to the press. That was my understanding of the concern about her. Andrew Parker Bowles is alive. But this is a different time and it didn’t prevent marriage by charles and Camilla.

        • Paula Burton

          The reason that Albert was Prince Consort had more to do with 1 him being german and 2 the problems making Mary Tudor’s husband king

      • Maddie

        When Camilla becomes Queen, that’s when Australia and New Zealand will bolt from the Commonwealth.

        • Michael

          No way. ⅔’s of NZ & Aus never marry though they have kids. It’s not an issue. With Wills in line it’s set.

    • ESME

      Except that Middleton is a bloody commoner whose family home had a tarmac driveway! Diana Spencer was an aristocrat.

  • Western Civ

    When William ascends to the Throne, he won’t necessarily be King William V. He can choose a different regnal name.

    It is widely believed that Prince Charles will take the name of King George VII in honor of his grandfather, George VI. I don’t see how Charles could take his own name (Charles III), given its unhappy association with his Stuart predecessor who lost his head.

    But William V has a happy ring to it. King William IV (1830-37) may have been a philanderer, but he rose to the occasion of his unexpected kingship by supporting major reforms, including the abolition of slavery and expansion of voting rights which helped save the British Monarchy from the fate of other monarchies on the continent.

    May God extend our present Elizabethan age, and may she not be succeeded for many more years to come!

    • Royal Central

      We are aware Prince William could choose a different regnal name, though it’s almost not worth considering as none of his other names have history in the Monarchy and he’ll surely want to keep his own name.

      Prince Charles could be King Charles III, there is really no reason he couldn’t be. For example, Edward VIII abdicated in scandal in 1936, though you can guarantee there’ll be more King Edwards.

      • I think he should be Charles III. It has been over 300 years since the Stuarts. And being the Heir so long has made the name Charles closely associated with him. It would seem foolish to change his name after over 60 years. If he had become a king younger that might have proved a good option, not so late in life.

        • A. P. Schrader

          I would have no problem with ‘King Charles III’ either but it might be a canny move to opt for ‘George VII’, as I think if he sticks with Charles then the popular press will continue to refer to him simply as ‘Charles’ instead of by his correct title as “the King”. You never hear the Queen referred to in the media as ‘Elizabeth’ but it has become commonplace to refer to other members of the Royal Family simply by their Christian names. I actually find this rather impudent and I certainly don’t think the King should ever be referred to as such. I find it hard to believe that, should HRH opt for ‘George VII’ as his regnal name, that the press will start referring to him as ‘George’. A few, may, stick stubbornly with Charles but, actually, I think most would switch to ‘the King’ and we’d finally see an end to references to ‘Charlie Boy’.

      • i was not aware that HRH Prince Charles was able to take the throne on the grounds that he was divorced and also married a divorcee as they are very steeped in tradition this states that he should abdicate his position to the throne to his heir which is Prince William.

        • A. P. Schrader

          Show me the Act of Parliament that bars divorcees or those married to divorcees from the throne. Just because the Gov’t in 1936 took one view, does not mean that their successors are bound to take the same view. A previous gov’t took the view that Princess Margaret could not marry Group Captain Peter Townsend because he was divorced but, when the Prince of Wales re-married, the gov’t of the day took a different view. Times change and so should we. It was wrong to force King Edward VIII to abdicate in 1936 because he happened to have fallen in love with a woman who was divorced (God knows there were plenty of other good reasons to force him to abdicate, but not that!). I would like to think we have moved on over the last 78 years. Divorce is very common nowadays – sad to say, but it is – and I don’t think we should hold the Royal Family to an impossible standard. Divorce is a reality. It could prove problematic: Don’t forget, three out of four of the current monarch’s children are divorcees. We start excluding all divorcees from the succession, I think we’re going to run into problems very quickly!

          • denise maguire

            Edward abdicated because the current mindset was that he wanted to marry a divorcee who had 2 living husbands. That was the story. The real reason was that he just didn’t want to be king. And it wouldn’t have sat well to just quit because he just didn’t want to do it. That’s NOT what you do. Stiff upper lip and all that.

          • Jeannie

            Well, it was only a civil marriage, not recognized (only blessed) by the Church.

        • Vancouverois

          That’s an ironic position to take, since it’s based in the Monarch’s position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England… and we all know that Henry VIII started the Church of England in order to grant himself a divorce.

          • denise maguire

            I guess he felt that just killing them off was getting old.. LOL

          • Jeannie

            King Henry vIII created the Church of England to divorce his 1st wife, I thought, then killed some of the others….

      • A. P. Schrader

        You say it’s “not worth considering” but weren’t you as surprised as I when the former Prince of Orange opted to becoming King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands instead of the anticipated ‘King Willem IV’? I know I was. I do agree though, I would think it unlikely that the Duke of Cambridge would choose a different regnal name, for the reason you mention. Though he can choose any name he wants technically. It doesn’t even have to be one of his own given names. He could chose to be ‘King Constantine III’ or ‘King Stephen II’. It’s entirely up to him.

        • James

          Well, he couldn’t call himself Constantine III as there are no Constantine I or II in the history of English and British monarchs. Your point is taken, though.

      • Vancouverois

        Prince Charles could indeed be King Charles III, but I too have heard that he intends to be called George VII. And weren’t both Edward VII and his grandson George VI actually called “Bertie” within their families? I believe it’s become something of a tradition. And I think AP Schrader, below, has a good point as to why it might be a good idea.

        • Arthur

          The title King Charles III would be contentious especially in Scotland. There was enough of a to-do when Elizabeth II ascended the throne as Elizabeth I was not Queen of Scotland. Charles is said to be in favour of being George VIII? Thought to be in honour of his Grandfather. My view is it’s the Scottish thing.

          • Jessica Barlow

            There actually was something in law passed about that. It says that the monarch will take the highest regnal number associated with the name from either Scotland or England. It is because of the act of Union in the 1700’s as before that the monarch was known as for example with James I, he was known as James I of England and VI of Scotland then they just used the English one but as no names had been used in Scotland after the act of union it posed no problem until Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill said in Parliament that it will take the highest regnal number. Obviously there are still left over problems associated with it but nothing major.

        • Kelsey Hodge

          The Queen named him Charles knowing full well that he would be her heir to the throne. Why would she do that if she didn’t expect him to use it?

        • Kelsey Hodge

          The Queen named him Charles knowing full well that he would be her heir to the throne. Why would she do that if she didn’t expect him to use it?

    • vegastearoom

      Charles the III would have more in common with Charles II than the original Charles.

    • Jeannie

      I thought The new reigning Queen or King, in the next place in history, a King…could take any of the names given to him at birth, for Charles : Charles, Philip, Arthur, George and for William: William, Arthur, Philip, Louis?
      I think Charles should be King Charles III, he can re-invent the name. Too many Georges, because little Prince George will certainly honor his Great-Great Grandfather and become King George VII……..
      Just a thought.

  • John Cox

    The spouse of the Prince of Wales is the Princess of Wales, despite what the Diana fanatics may think. Camilla is Princess of Wales, automatically, and she will automatically become Queen when Charles ascends the throne.

  • WeAreNotAmused

    There is a precedent for creating one’s son Prince of Wales after waiting decades to become King in the form of Edward VII, Prince Charles’ great-great grandfather. Edward VII enjoyed a close relationship with his surviving son, Prince George, the Duke of York, much as the current Prince of Wales enjoys with both his sons. I can definitely see King Charles III creating the Duke of Cambridge the Prince of Wales as a mark of respect, confidence, etc.

    • denise maguire

      I believe the idea is to allow them to reach majority before investing them with the title

  • Michael Edwards

    The deeply offensive English use of the title Prince of Wales should no longer be used. The title was originally used by native Welsh princess, and not English ones. This vestige of English colonialism in Wales should end.

    • Cerys

      I agree it is insulting that English people (no disrespect to any of them) are given the title Prince of Wales, as it was so important throughout the history of Wales. Although it may only be words they have taken one of the most sacred titles in welsh history and given it to an Englishman reinforcing (in my opinion) that the English rule above the Welsh and stripping us of our national identity whilst spitting on what many died for.

      • Kelsey Hodge

        Didn’t the English royal family take over the principality of Wales very early on and the tradition was built on that? I suppose one could claim that the current Queen is a direct descendant of the Welsh born king Henry Tudor (VII) and thus her descendants are eligible to use that title.

        • Joan Seymour

          No, because Henry Tudor wasn’t a prince of Wales. In any case, Wales had acknowledged English sovereignty hundreds of years before that. We used to be told, at school in Wales, that the English king promised that Wales would always have a Welsh born Prince, but cheated by making sure his own son was born in Wales. I’m sure that’s just a myth, but the present Prince of Wales was certainly born in Wales. (William and George weren’t, though).

      • Jessica Barlow

        The Principality of Wales has been in English control since the 1100’s, it was fought over and the English won, before that although they had a prince the prince did not have any real official power outside English control. It is not a dishonour that they still use that title as from the late 1300’s the Welsh actually enjoyed having their own Prince that could make decisions that affected the welsh outside the Crowns control as the Monarch automatically assumed decisions would be made inline with their ideology. Most Princes also lived in Wales from a young age and adopted many welsh ideas and cultures they also learnt to speak Welsh and were loved. It is not the same as when the English say they are Monarch of Ireland or France as they do not have any influence over them.

      • Demelza

        Yes, we Taffys are ill-used by those bloody Limeys. I would personally like to strike Charles upon the pate with a leek this next St. David’s Day.

  • Michael Steven Chavez

    What some seem to forget is that the late Duchess of Windsor was a twice-divorced American, which certainly made her unsuitable to be Queen. Also, her relationship with the eventual King Edward began while she was still married to husband #2. The Duchess of Cornwall’s relationship with the current Prince of Wales began well before either was married, and was blocked by the powers-that-were. The two situations are significantly different.

    • Jeannie

      It was blocked because she married, wasn’t it? Then, at the time, she couldn’t divorce and remarry, because it was ancient times of the 1970’s……back when the world was so primitive…..

      • Joan Seymour

        Er, no, it was the 1930s.

        • Brian Bharkar

          HRH Prince Charles, and HRH the Duchess was childhood sweethearts, from around the teenage years, however, HM The Queen and HRH Prince Phillip didn’t think HRH the Duchess of Cornwall was suitable, as she was also casually dating Andrew Parker Bowles, therefore they made HRH Prince Charles join the navy and he went away to Australia during that time HRH the Duchess got married to Andrew Parker bowles.

      • Janina

        They couldn’t marry because she wasn’t a virgin

  • Michael Riber Jørgensen

    Only in England can people seriously discuss whether an heir to the throne should chose a different name for themselves as monarch. We are living in the 21st century, people. Of course Charles will be Charles the III, William will be William the V, and George will be George the VII – provided the monarchy is still around in 60-70 years time…

    • Jeannie

      Well, in the 20th century, the last king, King George VI, took a different name, I guess to honor his domineering father….King George V? When he died, Princess Elizabeth was asked what name she wanted to use as Queen, and I believe she said “Elisabeth, of course”…of course meaning, there was only Elizabeth I to consider as an example of the name and she was pretty good during the Golden Age….

      • Kelsey Hodge

        He couldn’t use Albert because it was considered too German, so he adopted his father’s regnal name.

  • patsy

    Not certain this is on point…i am confused about when Harry’s children will be styled Prince or Princess. The 2013 law QE2 issued establishes that all children of William will be styled such while in the past only George would be as the eldest son of the eldest son of the PoW. So Harry’s children born while his grandmother is queen are not styled prince or princess. BUT my question is when charles becomes king won’t Harry’s children automatically be restyled prince or princess by virtue of their being grandchildren of the monarch?

    • Brian Bharkar

      To answer your question patsy, you are correct it’s my understanding that as a son of a reigning monarch all of HRH Prince Harry’s children would be allowed to be styled as HRH Prince/Princess unless HRH Prince Harry chose differently like his uncle HRH Prince Edward, whose children are styled as child of an Earl rather than a Prince.


    Ah yes, indeed–I favour “wretched slag”.

More in Blog Posts