Update Sept. 9, 1:47pm ET: On Sept. 9, during King Charles’ III first address as monarch to the nation and commonwealth, he announced that his son William was created Prince of Wales, and that Kate Middleton will stand by his side as Princess of Wales. Our original story appears below.
On Sept. 8, 2022 Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96. Ascending to the throne at the age of 25 and reigning for the past 71 years, she was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. The Queen’s passing will mark an immediate shift in the hierarchy of the British Kingdom, as King Charles ascends to the throne and Prince William automatically becomes Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay. But, as titles shift, many are wondering whether Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, will be “created” the Princess of Wales.
The Princess of Wales title was last held by Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother. After Princess Diana’s passing, Prince Charles’s second wife Camilla Parker Bowles chose not to use the title of Princess of Wales out of respect for Princess Diana.
However, now that Prince Charles has been given the title of King, he will likely pass his title down to Prince William. But, does that mean that Kate Middleton will become the Princess of Wales? Read on for an explanation of Middleton’s royal succession.
Will Kate Middleton Become The Princess Of Wales?
Technically, there’s no definitive answer as to whether Kate Middleton will become Princess of Wales. However, it’s highly likely.
Unlike other titles, such as the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Rothesay — both of which Kate Middleton automatically took on today, the Prince of Wales title must be passed on by its predecessor. This means that Prince William will not technically become Prince of Wales until King Charles officially passes down this title to him. King Charles could also pass this title down to someone else, but it’s traditionally given to the apparent heir, which is Prince William.
If the title is passed down and Prince William becomes the Prince of Wales, Kate Middleton will likely take on the title of Princess of Wales. She’s also Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus so if Kate Middleton is created Princess of Wales, she will be primarily referred to by this title as it takes precedent over all of the others. Since the title was last held by Middleton’s late mother-in-law, this succession is sure to be a very significant moment for Prince William and Middleton.
When Will Kate Middleton Be The Queen Consort?
The queen consort is the noble rank given to the wife of a reigning King and as such gives them the same social rank and status as the King, although this does not grant them the same sovereign, military, or political powers. By this definition, Kate Middleton will become the queen consort when her husband Prince William — now the Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay in light of the recent events — takes the throne. This will happen when King Charles passes away or otherwise passes on his title. The royal succession now follows King Charles, Prince William, then his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Following that, Prince Harry is fifth in line for the throne followed by his children Master Archie and Miss Lilibet.
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