Princess Charlotte Will Have To Wait A While To Become Princess Royal

Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter holds the title, even though Charlotte is third in line for the throne.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, speaks to his children Britain's Prince George and Brit...

Queen Elizabeth II’s death has caused major shifts in the titles of the Royal Family and lineage of the British monarchy. Prince William is now the next heir for the throne after his father became King Charles III on Sept. 8, and his children with wife Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are now second, third, and fourth in line, respectively. Given how Princess Charlotte is now the highest female Royal Family member in the line of succession, some might expect her to be given the title of Princess Royal, but that won’t happen just yet.

The title Princess Royal is typically bestowed upon the eldest daughter within the monarch, which is definitely not 7-year-old Charlotte. Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter and Charlotte’s great-aunt, 72-year-old Princess Anne, is the current Princess Royal and will hold the title for as long as she lives. However, it is not a hereditary title, so Charlotte won’t receive it automatically upon Anne’s death. Rather, her father William has the power to decide if and when to bestow the Princess Royal title onto his daughter, and it may not happen right away.

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Royal expert Duncan Larcombe told Town and Country that Princess Anne had to wait over two decades until she was named Princess Royal by her mother in 1987, even though the title had been vacant since 1965. This is in part because holding the title of Princess Royal comes with shockingly strict rules and regulations, even for Royal standards. “Under ancient British law, any man who sleeps with the Princess Royal before they are married is guilty of high treason—punishable by execution!” Larcombe said. For this reason alone, William may choose to wait until Charlotte marries to give her the title.

While Charlotte will have to wait a while to become Princess Royal, she did gain a new title after her great-grandmother’s passing. Now that her parents are known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, her new title reflects that switch, with her official name now being Princess Charlotte of Cornwall and Cambridge. This also applies to her brothers, who are now known as Prince George and Prince Louis of Cornwall and Cambridge.