Kate Middleton's title was originally intended for another royal family member

The Princess of Wales attends a reception for Members of the Diplomatic Corps
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton is one of the most talked-about women in the world, particularly this month, with her temporary break from royal duties amidst her recent medical issues causing a social media frenzy.

It wasn't her "disappearance" that made the 42-year-old headlines today however, but her title, with the Princess of Wales going by the title 'Duchess of Cambridge' before her recent role elevation. 

The 'Duke and Duchess of Cambridge' titles were given to Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 as a wedding present from Queen Elizabeth II, with the couple working as the Duke and Duchess until their promotion to Prince and Princess of Wales last year.

However, according to insiders, the Duchess of Cambridge title was not actually meant for Kate Middleton. In fact, it was originally intended for a different family member - Sophie Wessex, now Duchess of Edinburgh.

Sophie Wessex of her wedding day

(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to reports, the Queen had lined up the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge titles for Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex as a gift for their 1999 wedding, but it never ended up happening, with Prince Edward asking for a different title instead.

"Prince Edward was going to be the Duke of Cambridge," explained a royal courtier, via The Telegraph. "But he watched the film Shakespeare in Love, which had a character called the Earl of Wessex. He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead."

As a result, Sophie became Countess of Wessex - a title she has held until her 2022 role elevation to Duchess of Edinburgh.

It seems only fitting that Sophie and Kate were both in the running for the Duchess of Cambridge title, with the two known to share a close bond. In fact, according to royal insiders, Sophie is one of Kate's closest confidantes within the fold and part of her solid support system

We will continue to update this story. 

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.