She’s married to a prince and is in line to be the future queen of England, so why don’t we call Kate Middleton “Princess Kate”.
Technically, she is a princess – just like William’s mother Diana was before her.
Kate’s preferred title since she said ‘I do’ back in 2011 has been the ‘Duchess of Cambridge’, however she also goes by the title ‘Princess William of Wales’ — because women marrying into the royal family take their husband’s first name.
So why not ‘princess Kate’? After all, Wills’ mum was known as Princess Diana.
Why don’t we call her ‘Princess Kate’?
Well, the reason we use ‘Duchess’ is because it actually holds more weight. In fact, it sits higher on the social ladder than being a mere prince/princess. Who knew?
“While Catherine is absolutely a princess, her correct title is ‘Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge,’” CNN royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells Yahoo Style.
“She wasn’t born a blood princess, so she is not a princess in her own right. When she married William, she took on the rank of her husband, a royal prince. However, referring to her as ‘Princess Kate’ is simply incorrect.”
So why did everyone call Diana ‘Princess Di’?
The answer comes back to Charles. At the time he married Diana, he was already a prince twice; firstly because he was born one, and then because in 1969, he was made the Prince of Wales – which was the more important title of the two.
Therefore, just as Kate took on her husband’s more important title of Duke, Diana adopted Charles’ title of Prince of Wales.
The same rule applies to Meghan Markle, who is also not known as ‘Princess Meghan’ but instead goes by the Duchess of Sussex.
What about when Charles becomes king?
To complicate things further, when Charles becomes king, his son and daughter-in-law will slip into his former title and Kate will become ‘Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales’.
And then the day William is crowned king, Kate’s title will be ‘Queen Consort’.
Who knew royal titles were so complex.
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