When it comes to royal titles, it can often get a little confusing as the lines blur and members of the royal family change positions. Prince Louis almost didn’t get a royal title, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have temporarily dropped theirs and Princess Charlotte will never be a Duchess.
As the royals climb the ranks, their titles are also subject to changes. For example when Prince William becomes King, Kate Middleton will be known as Queen Consort, a role that she is reportedly already preparing for, and Prince George could inherit his father’s Dukedom.
Although it has been suggested that Prince Charles may hand the crown straight to William, if he decides to remain as monarch it will also have an impact on the Duchess of Cambridge’s official title.
Currently, heir to the throne Prince Charles is known as the Prince of Wales, holding the title since 1958 – the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. However, it is not automatically given to the male heir. In fact, it is the decision of the ruling King or Queen.
When Charles becomes King, William will be the heir apparent and it is likely that his father will pass the title down to him.
The Constitution Unit at University College London explains: ‘Charles was created Prince of Wales in 1958 when he was aged 10, with an investiture at Caernarvon Castle in 1969.
‘As an adult, Prince William might expect to become Prince of Wales soon after his father’s accession; but that will be a matter for the new King to decide because, strictly, the title is not heritable.’
If Charles does offer the Prince of Wales title to his eldest son, Kate’s official title will also change. It is expected then that the Duchess of Cambridge will be known instead as Catherine, Princess of Wales.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall currently holds that title, although she does not use it publicly out of respect for the late Princess Diana who became known as the Princess of Wales upon marrying Charles in 1981.