Prince William & Duchess Kate’s baby will be a ‘Prince or Princess of Cambridge’

When I was younger, I was very confused by the way royal titles were handed out, and which titles were simply the product of birth and birth order. Like, the oldest son of the monarch is always going to be the Prince of Wales, but Prince Charles wasn’t the Prince of Wales until he turned 21 (I think?) when the Queen did his “Prince of Wales” investiture. Princess Anne was a princess by birth, but after decades of good works and charitable services to queen and country, Queen Elizabeth gave her only daughter the title of “HRH The Princess Royal”. And so on and so forth. Basically, from what I gather, much of the “extra” titles that the royal family members get are pretty much the monarch’s prerogative.

When William married Kate, everyone knew Kate would get a title and the rumor was that William was really angling for Kate to get a “princess” title. Alas, the Queen only bestowed William and Kate the “Duke and Duchess of Cambridge” titles upon their marriage. Kate isn’t really a princess. Yet. But she will be at some point, even if it comes years from now when the Queen dies and King Charles does the investiture for William and Kate’s Prince and Princess of Wales titles. But for now, at least Kate can be assured that her duchess beav can give birth to a true Prince or Princess:

No name? No problem! Kate Middleton and Prince William’s impending little bundle of joy may not have a chosen moniker yet, but he or she does have a pretty impressive title.

“The royal couple’s child will officially be known as His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess of Cambridge,” a rep for Kensington Palace confirmed to Us Weekly of the royal baby-to-be on Monday, July 8. (Us first reported the news last month.)

The announcement is in line with Queen Elizabeth II’s proclamation earlier this year. As Us Weekly previously reported, the British monarch changed a century-old decree made by her grandfather, King George V, stating that daughters, even firstborn daughters, would be referred to as “ladies” rather than “princesses.” (Sons would be called “princes.”)

“The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patentunder the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title, and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honor,” the Palace said in a statement on Jan. 9, Middleton’s 31st birthday.

As for the baby’s actual moniker? “The couple have yet to decide on a name and probably won’t until the day of the birth,” a palace aide tells Us.

In fact, they may take even longer than that. As Us reported last week, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana spent a full seven days naming Prince William, while Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip took a month to decide on Charles’ moniker.

Other preparations for the royal baby are well under way, though. A source told Us recently that mom-to-be Middleton, 31, has been busy “making sure she’s done as much as possible for the new house before the baby is born. Once the baby is here, she won’t have time for anything else!”
She’s “feeling great,” the insider added. “She’s full of energy!”

[From Us Weekly]

Does it seem unnecessarily complicated to you? Here’s what confuses me: if Charles and Diana had somehow managed to have a daughter, she would be a princess, correct? She would be, say, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and her brothers would still be Prince Harry and Prince William of Wales. The problem arrives when everybody starts getting married. Upon his marriage, Will’s title is HRH Prince William of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, and Kate is “Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge”. When Harry gets married, he’ll still be a prince but he and his wife will also get royal titles, like Duke and Duchess of Crumpets (just an example). But if Charles had a daughter, she probably would not have been given a title upon her marriage, and her children would be commoners. But now everybody is changin’ laws and such and I guess they’re just trying to prepare in case Kate gives birth to a girl and they don’t want the baby girl to be Lady Crumpets or whatever, they want her to be PRINCESS Crumpets.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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86 Responses to “Prince William & Duchess Kate’s baby will be a ‘Prince or Princess of Cambridge’”

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  1. DailyNightly says:

    I’m sure Kate will be upgraded to Princess once she gives birth.

    • T.C. says:

      This whole princess title announcement is nothing but PR to further hype up her delivery. Kate hasn’t been getting enough attention in the last few months. The media pays attention when ever you scream PRINCESS. So Kim Khardasian isn’t the only major famewhore.

    • BW says:

      Prince and princesses are royal from birth. Even Diana was not Princess Diana, she was Diana, Princess of Wales, while Charles was Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

      Dukes and duchesses outrank princes and princesses. Getting a dukedom awarded to you is the upgrade.

    • hannah says:

      Kate is Princess William , she will never be a princess in her own rights .

    • Flower says:

      Camilla, Sophie(Edwards wife) and Kate ARE all British princesses. They are Princess of Wales, Princess Edward of Windsor and Princess William.

      Note that their first names never come into play with these ladies, because they were not born a princess, they are princess and thus a HRH (her royal highness) simply by virtue of their husband.

      Once upon a time they got to keep the HRH when they became a widow or divorced but the Queen changed that so now if they divorce the female spouse loses the HRH and Princess titles (aka Diana and Sarah Ferguson). Divorce was as rare as hen’s teeth in the British Royal Family so no real provision was made for it until the advent of Diana and Sarah Ferguson. It didn’t apply to Margaret when she divorced because she was a Princess by birth.

      Duke/Duchess and even Earl/Countess is a more senior title than Prince or Princess in Britain . If you take the example of the Kent brothers both are British Princes (1st cousins of the Queen) but the elder brother inherited the Duke of Kent title and his wife has the title Duchess of Kent while the younger brother is only Prince Michael of Kent and his wife takes the title Princess Michael of Kent .

      This title precedence is one reason that they go by their Duchess/Countess titles. Except for the case of Camilla where Princess of Wales would be the more senior title, but she doesn’t use that for obvious reasons.

  2. Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

    How did Bea and Eug get to be Princesses if girls can only be Ladies, or is that only for Wales daughters and not Yorks? And would Ed and Sophie Wessex’s daughter have been a princess too if they wanted her to be? She’s a Lady, right?

    • Jenny811 says:

      The York daughters are still princesses bc their father is a prince /duke in the male line for the throne. Similarily, harry woll probably become a Duke upon marriage and his children will probably be prince or princess – at least as dictated by tradition, right? Ed and Sophie’s children should technically be prince or princess of Wessex but they declined the title and instead requested Lady and Viscount (titles befitting the children of a count and countess)

      • TheWendyNerd says:

        It depends on place in the line of succession, I think. Everyone gets “bumped up”, so to speak, after the Queen dies. Charles will become King, Camilla will be Queen or Princess Consort, Will and Kate will be HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Catherine, Princess of Wales. Baby Cambridge might become HRH Prince or Princess X of Wales, although that could seriously depend, especially since the Queen could have many years left on her and the kid could be much older and just decide to go as Prince or Princess of Cambridge out of convenience. Harry’s kids might start out as simply Lord or Lady of X if they are born before the Queen dies, then get bumped up to Prince or Princess of X when she dies. It also depends on noble titles. FOr instance, Prince Edward’s son is Viscount Severn while his sister Louise is simply Lady Louise Windsor. It’s a bit confusing since there are few instances of a monarch living this long, having such major changes in inheritance laws, AND having children/grandchildren who aren’t married to other royalty, and would assume other royal titles based on marriage. There were huge changes made by George V (Elizabeth’s father), and even more changes being made now. Elizabeth her entire life was a Princess or Queen, first being Princess of York, then just being Princess Elizabeth, then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh after her marriage. B&E are descendants through the male line and their father is the son of the monarch, and were born when Elizabeth was Queen. But if Harry has kids before Elizabeth dies, that won’t be the case, so they might start out as Lady, then be bumped up to Princess. That is, if Harry doesn’t decline Prince or Princess titles for them a la Edward and Sophie. Of course, I could be wrong (the newer rules make it a little more confusing)

      • hannah says:

        If Louise wants to be known as Princess Louise at one point she can be Princess Louise because that’s technically her title . She’s just not using it.

    • Flower says:

      Lots of confusion on the thread. Basically it’s still a mostly sexist club

      Firstly Anne’s children were never and can never be termed Prince or Princess the only people who can claim that title are

      1. the legitimate daughters/sons of a British sovereign,

      2.the legitimate MALE line granddaughters/grandsons of a British sovereign,

      3.the wife of a British prince.

      Note that the children or husbands of a FEMALE child of the Monarch cannot become a prince or princess. Sexism at its finest despite the recent change to absolute primogeniture.

      The new baby will automatically be born a prince/princess so will be called Prince or Princess XXX of Cambridge, when William becomes prince of Wales they may also become Prince/Princess XXX of both Wales and Cambridge (yet to be decided).

      Re the December 2012 Letters Patent it’s just formalizing something that no one bothered to enforce. The RF do tend to bend the rules when it suits them because Elizabeth and Margaret were the daughters of the Duke of York not the Prince of Wales. Yet they were always called HRH Princess Elizabeth and Margaret of York, from their birth until their father became King in 1936 when they became simply HRH Princess Elizabeth and Margaret.

      Even though the new baby will be ‘distaff heir to the throne’ if the first child is a girl she can not inherit the title Duchess of Cornwall when William becomes King because it is strictly for the Monarchs ‘eldest son’.
      The title will be retired until a first born boy arrives which could be never.

      As the whole point of the title was to provide a living for ‘the monarch in waiting’. They will have to give the girl access to the funds via a sovereign grant which means the revenues are not hers by right as they would be for a boy. The same thing happened to Queen Elizabeth but the yearly income from the Duchy was apparently kept in trust until she married rather than being given to her to do with as she liked.

      Elizabeth also missed out on both the Titles Duchess of Cornwall and Princess of Wales because the wording states they go to ‘ the eldest male’ and ‘the heir apparent to the reigning monarch’

      Under the new absolute primogeniture system, for the first time in the history of the UK , it will be possible for there to be a female heir apparent, a situation which will likely result in the first-born daughter of a monarch eventually becoming “Princess of Wales” in her own right. Prior to the new change a female claimant to the throne was ‘heir presumptive’ (not heir apparent) because it was still theoretically possible for the king to have a male child until the day he died. Therefore Elizabeth never received the title ‘Princess of Wales’ because in the royal rule book she was never heir apparent , on the Kings death she went straight to Monarch while Charles became heir apparent and claimant to both titles.

      It always amazes me that the female heiresses of Dukes and Earls who see the titles go sideways to a cousin or nephew don’t take their cases to the European Courts for sexual discrimination. I would love to see the chaos that would ensue.

      • Flower says:

        Ignore the paragraph about the December 2012 change above, posting when your tired is not a good idea. It only applies to 3rd generation children not 2nd, so Elizabeth and Margaret were certainly entitled to use the title Princess of York just as Eugenie and Beatrice do.

        I also noticed that my wording made it seem like all the Children of William and Kate could be given the title Princess/Prince of Cambridge and Wales, I should have said the eldest child.

  3. Sixer says:

    Well, historically speaking, the monarch has always been able to bestow (vacant, or new/made up) titles on basically anyone, via letters patent. So Princess Anne’s children aren’t titled because Anne and Mark Phillips didn’t want them to be, so the Queen never bestowed a title on either Mark (so the children would have sub-titles, as it were, from him) or the children.

    People are living longer now, and I suppose people expect those in direct line to throne to be titled, so I guess it makes sense to give an HRH/prince/princess to what are, in effect, the current monarch’s greatgrandchildren. No need when people only lived into their 60s. Y’know?

    Not that I care. I’m a republican.

  4. Anna says:

    If the kid is a Prince/Princess of Cambridge, does that mean that he/she will outrank the mother? And, kinda-sorta the dad (prince vs duke of C)? THIS IS ALL TOO MUCH!!!

    • Sixer says:

      Take a look at the order of precedence if you want your eyes to boggle! I once had to learn half of this to get a guide badge. (Long time ago – I’m sure they don’t do it now). Note there are a LOT of people who come ahead of the nobility/titled people who AREN’T immediately royal.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve used that, but it all changes and sometimes semi-arbitrarily at that – as we say in Russian, as the Queen’s left foot decides.

    • Sixer says:

      Oh, PS: it’s different in Scotland. Not the same kingdom, y’see. It’s why we’re SO darn UNITED. Snigger.

  5. Suze says:

    I think a HRH duchess outranks a princess – good grief, it’s confusing though. Must wait for someone who actually knows this stuff.

    • Carrie says:

      I think you’re right, except in this instance, the child is fourth in line for the throne, meaning s/he outranks even Andrew and Anne, no?

      Way too confusing!

  6. mkyarwood says:

    Alls I know is, *I* am the Duchess of Crumpets.

  7. pretty says:

    i just love that fourth picture. bahahaha!!!

  8. Feebee says:

    It seems strange to me that the child’s title would sound more ‘senior’ that the mother’s. I wonder though if all this change in case of a girl means that if she has a boy it’ll be a bit of a letdown.

    • FLORC says:

      Not that I know how the title business works since it’s so complicated to me, but if the baby is a princess it would make sense. Kate is not and never will be royal by blood. The baby is. The baby will always outrank Kate. Kate only has William and his title(s) to support her.

    • BW says:

      Duchess outranks princess. The mother’s title does outrank the child’s title.

  9. Kate says:

    Officially now pulling for “Crumpets.”

  10. Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

    Sure, she will outrank Kate–Baby Princess Crumpets is 3rd in line for the throne and royal by birth! Kate can curtsy to her own kid!! Heh.

    • Sixer says:

      No, she won’t. Kate gets to go with the ladeez (precedence is split between girls and boys on marital/patriarchal lines). So Kate goes on a par with William. Their daughter would be um… “first grandchild of the heir apparent” as it were. One down from William. See? Kate’s place is determined by William’s place; she doesn’t have a place of her own.

      • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

        I was kidding about the curtsying, of course. It amuses me to imagine Kate approaching the baby’s frilly bassinet for a nappy change and having to do a big formal curtsy every time. We commoner Americans love these sorts of wild imaginings.

      • LAK says:

        Kate’s child[ren] outranks her.

        In a room full of royals, Kate’s rank depends on William’s presence in the same room meaning she shares his rank, otherwise if he isn’t present, there are many people who outrank her by blood, who she would have to curtsey to, including her own children.

    • Sugarrbunny says:

      That is absolutely correct as the child is royal by birth. The title is confired by way of the father. Prince Andrew is Royal which is why his children are Princesses. Princess Anne’s husband was not which is why Zara & Peter Phillips do not. The Queen offered Peter & Zara title when they turned 18 & each declined. Prince Edward is Royal this his daughter is a princess

  11. Cam S says:

    It’s a boy. That’s my guess, I got a 50/50 chance right?

  12. The.princess.leia says:

    Kate is a “technical princess” already. She is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge or she could use the title Princess William of Wales.

    • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

      True that.

    • LAK says:

      Kate is not a princess. not technically or otherwise.

      There is no such thing as a princess by Marriage in Britain, and she is not Princess William of Wales.

      She is a Duchess.

      Here is the royal family’s own website to explain her title:


      “On the occasion of his marriage, The Queen conferred a Dukedom on Prince William of Wales.

      The Duke received the titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.

      As a result Miss Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus.”

      • Esti says:

        Wikipedia claims that she’s HRH Princess William, along with the other three titles you mention. As I recall from back when they were married, she became Princess William automatically, just like Princess Michael of Kent. She doesn’t become a princess in her own right by marriage (the Queen would have to confer that, and it’s not traditionally done), but she does automatically become Princess [Husband’s name]. Then, since that didn’t allow her to use her own name, they decided she would go by the Duchess of Cambridge.

      • LAK says:

        Esti – Someone needs to correct Wikipedia because the website link i have provided, and the extract is Buckingham Palace’s own website. i think they would know whether Kate is a Princess, secretly or otherwise.

        The morning of the wedding, a statement was released announcing titles. There was no Kate will be called ‘Princess William etc’ better known as ‘Duchess’. The website reflects that.

        This ‘princess William’ thing is one of those ‘factoids’ that seems believable especially due to the European tradition, but the British rules differ from the European ones. Many people assume that Royal rules for all European royal houses are the same. They are not.

      • Ollie says:

        Kate is not Princess William. Same with Diana, Camilla, Sophie and Fergie. None of them is/was “Princess Name of Husband”.

        Princess Michael is “Princess Michael” because her husband is a born Prince without titles. There was a problem how to call his wife Marie-Christine, this is why the Palace announced that she will be called Princess Michael. It´s an anomaly and not the rule! There was simply no title for her. You cannot call the wife of a british Prince Mrs. of Kent…

        William has a Dukedom etc. So Kate automatically gets these titles and nothing more. No need for this “Princess William”- stuff. Just gossip.

      • Ellen says:

        LAK, I hate to contradict the site’s resident royal expert, but you’re wrong about the Princess (Husband’s Name) issue, and the actual site of the Royal Family makes this clear in its discussion of Princess Michael:


        “Traditionally, all wives of male members of the British Royal Family, the aristocracy and members of the public take the style and title of their husbands. Princess Michael therefore would not be called Princess Marie-Christine, as she is not a Princess in her own right. It just so happens that Prince Michael is the only grandson of a king titled HRH who is a second son and so currently there are no other princesses with the name of their husbands.”

        In other words, if William and Andrew had not been made Dukes and Edward had not been made an Earl (because although William’s not a second son, the 1917 act didn’t account for so many living heirs to the throne), their wives would indeed have been Princess William and Princess Andrew and Princess Edward. That this fact wasn’t mentioned as the reason for the bestowal of new titles doesn’t make any difference — they didn’t say, “we’re going to style Camilla a Duchess of Cornwall so the public don’t collectively lose their minds,” either.

        This little quirk of naming was discussed in 2011 in the Telegraph and the Times and even in the Guardian (where it was mocked).

        Also, how Europe differs is precisely in the way that the wife of a prince becomes Princess [Her own name]. The obvious example is Princess Marie of Denmark, who was born just plain Marie Cavalier.

      • LAK says:

        Ellen – i don’t see how all that contradicts anything i said.

        It states very clearly that Princess Michael isn’t a princess nor was she made a princess by her marriage only that she STYLES herself by her husband’s style. AKA she calls herself MRS all the time. The point i have been making repeatedly.

        I repeat, there is no such thing as a Princess by marriage in Britain. The Palace [same website you’ve linked] makes it very clear that all the women are known by the ducal titles on marriage, which is consistent across the board for all of them. Why would the Palace hide the fact that these women are princesses? I can assure you some constitutional expert [or several] has pointed it out to them and if it was an error, that website would be changed.

      • Ellen says:

        LAK, Princess Michael is styled and titled a Princess, along with her husband, as the site about the style of their address — which I quoted above — says! And if there were any second sons of sons of a monarch other than Michael (the types of Princes who don’t traditionally get Dukedoms or other honorary new titles upon marriage), then their wives would also be styled and titled Princess [Husband’s Name].

        If Andrew had had a second son, that son (Prince Eugene?) would not have received a Dukedom and his wife would be Princess Eugene. It’s not like Princess Michael did something special, as the palace website quoted above makes clear.

        “It just so happens that Prince Michael is the only grandson of a king titled HRH who is a second son and so currently there are no other princesses with the name of their husbands.”

        It’s not something they made up for Prince Michael’s wife. It’s the rule. Lady Peter, Princess Michael, they’re both following the same established protocol.

        I really don’t understand what you mean when you say that women who marry British princes don’t become princesses themselves. Kate would never be Princess Catherine, no, because the British don’t do that — the European courts do, but the British don’t. But it’s absolutely clear that the wives of Princes are absolutely called Princess [Husband’s name] in the absence of any other, higher ranked title — such as Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of York, or Countess of Wessex.

        “Traditionally, all wives of male members of the British Royal Family, the aristocracy and members of the public take the style and title of their husbands.”

        Kate — and Sophie, and Sarah Ferguson, and even Diana — were all Princess [Husband’s name]. They were just never styled that because they all had much better titles to use instead. Duchess of Cambridge outranks Princess William. That’s why she uses it.

      • Flower says:

        LOL…confusing reigns once more ….. royal statutes and letters patent are a mine field and contradict each other with the misplacing of a comma .

        I see what you are getting at LAK about not having the personal title ‘Princess’ she is not ‘created a princesses’ but ‘named a princesses’ , but so is the name Duchess of Cambridge , just because she doesn’t hold the title Duchess in her own right doesn’t mean that she isn’t a real Duchess by virtue of her marriage. In a slightly different wording Kate and Co. are titled (named) not ‘entitled’ (born) princesses.

        There are legally three circumstances under which one may gain the title princess in Great Britain, you must be…

        1. The legitimate daughter of a British sovereign,(Princess Anne)

        2. The legitimate MALE line granddaughter of a British sovereign ( Eugenie and Beatrice and Alexandra of Kent)

        3. The wife of a British prince.( Camilla, Sophie, Kate, Birgitte of Gloucester and Katharine and Christine of Kent) Foreign born princesses would also fit into this category as foreign titles held by British citizens are not recognized by the Monarchy or the government.

        The easiest way to sort out if someone is permitted to use the title princess is the HRH, if they are given that holy grail by the Queen then they are also allowed the name Princess. Not all princess’s/ princes are HRH but all current HRH’s are .

        A good example is Katharine Worsley , she likes to be called just Katharine Worsley in her private life but is always called Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent, at official or family events, indeed her full title is Her Royal Highness Princess Edward, Duchess of Kent, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

        Similarly Kate’s full official title and style is Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus.

        Before their marriage an article by Dickie Arbiter ( former press secretary to the Queen and a noted royal expert ) said, if Prince William had turned down the new titles, he would have remained HRH Prince William of Wales and his wife would have simply been known as HRH Princess William of Wales, rather than the higher Duke and Duchess of Cambridge title.

        ….. And Wikipedia isn’t a bad source for royal information, Burke’s Peerage often quotes it as a source or for further reference on their web site , presumably they wouldn’t endorse specific entries there if they hadn’t checked them thoroughly first. I know for a fact they will go into wikipedia and alter entries that are wrong, I think they would be keeping a keen eye on any entry there dealing with the immediate Royal Family.

  13. Ellen says:

    Ok, I know this!

    All the grandchildren of the monarch, who were born to the monarch’s SONS, are HRH Prince or Princess. Hence Beatrice and Eugenie being HRH Princesses of York. BUT, the GREAT-grandchildren of the monarch are only styled lord/lady. This was because they wanted to limit the number of princes and princesses running around in a constitutional monarchy.

    It gets tricky now that people are living longer, because of course you don’t want a future king or queen not to have an HRH Princess title. So the queen has changed it so that now, the grandchildren of the Prince of Wales (i.e., the future monarch) will also be HRH, when those grandchildren are born to the other future heir.

    Under the normal course of events, Harry’s kids would become HRH when Charles ascends to the throne. It’s possible that the queen will issue a new patent royal when Harry has kids to avoid this weirdness. (You’re a lady! Now you’re a princess!)

    BUT there are rumors everywhere that Charles wants to further limit the HRH Prince/Princess title only to the monarch/heir and his or her siblings. So, in that situation, Charles and his siblings are all HRH Prince/Princess, but only Charles’s kids get the HRH titles, and then only the grandchildren of Charles’s first-born are HRH, and so on. In that scenario, Harry’s kids never become HRH, and there are no people in the same place as Eugenie and Beatrice in the future

    Charles and Andrew have Issues about this. But you’ll notice that Edward and Sophie went along with it. (There’s actually a little controversy about whether, no matter what the family says, the 1917 law is still in force and Edward’s children are still technically HRH Princess Louise and HRH Prince James.)

    Kate may be styled the Duchess of Cambridge but she is equally HRH Princess William. If you’ve read any of the Dorothy Sayers novels, it’s equivalent to how Harriet Vane becomes Lady Peter when she marries her husband.

    • Suze says:

      Standing up and applauding – what a clear and concise breakdown. Even I can understand it.

      Extra points for the Harriet Vane reference!

    • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

      Thank you!

    • LAK says:

      Kate is not Princess William.

      European royal families recognise ‘Princess by marriage’. Britain does not.

      • Funkfyfacecat says:

        But isn’t Princess Michael of Kent Princess Michael because her husband is Prince Michael?

        Also love the Harriet Vane reference!

      • jenny811 says:

        if she isn’t Princess William of Wales, can you explain how Princess Michael of Kent has her title? Because if that’s her title, wouldn’t that mean that technically, Kate can be known as Princess William of Wales, but she isn’t a Princess in her own right.

      • LAK says:

        In British constitutional law, and the letters patent 1917, the term/style ‘Princ[ess]’ can ONLY be used by the children/grandchildren of a Monarch, amended recently to include the children of the eldest son of POW. There is no recognition of a ‘Princess by Marriage’. It’s supposed to be a recognition of the bloodline, not the status. It’s not a title.

        In Europe, it’s different. They recognise ‘Princess by Marriage’. A person marrying a European ‘Prince’ is made a ‘Princess’ in their own right through the marriage.

        Princess Micheal insisted on using the European rules for herself since she is European. However, her husband only has a style, NOT a title. She uses the female version of her husband’s style.

        He is plain Mr Michael Kent. He is able to style himself ‘Prince’ because he is the grandson of a monarch [George V]. His older brother ‘Prince’ Edward inherited the ducal title of Kent, and is known by that. The Duchess of Kent isn’t the Princess of Kent. ditto the Duchess of Gloucester isn’t also the Princess of Gloucester even though both married ‘Princes’.

        In British terms, her insistence on being called Princess Michael of Kent is the equivalent of insisting that everyone call her Mrs Michael Kent at all times.

      • Ellen says:

        It is perfectly proper to refer to the Duchess of Gloucester as Princess Richard. The Duchess of Kent is also Princess Edward.

        For a discussion of why no one uses those styles when addressing the Duchesses, and why the queen awarded William a dukedom to avoid the whole “Princess William” thing, see the Guardian:

        On the morning of the wedding, the Telegraph noted that, if William had declined a dukedom, Kate would have been styled Princess William of Wales.

  14. LAK says:

    These are the rules.

    1. The children/grandchildren of a monarch are Princ[ess].

    2. Children of a Grandchild of the monarch are Lord/Lady. *Exception Prince William because he is the heir’s heir so his children are now also styled Princ[ess].

    3. There are titles that are reserved for each child of the Monarch by order if that child’s birth, granted and invested when the Monarch feels it is right. Sometimes they aren’t granted at all. They can be invested at any time.

    These titles are:

    The Heir = Prince of Wales
    2nd Son of Monarch = Duke of York
    Eldest Daughter = Princess Royal

    Charles was granted POW title at 6yrs old, but invested at 21.

    4. With exception of Prince of Wales and Princess Royal, The ducal title remains in the family of the holder if there are sons to inherit it. If no sons, title reverts back to the crown until the next available candidate eg It is widely accepted that Edward will be granted DoE when the current one passes. Edward’s son James will follow to inherit that title. However, Andrew has no sons, therefore unless he has a **legitimate son before he dies, the DoY title will revert back to the crown.

    5. The children of the title holders can either use the lesser title of their father if they are male eg James, Viscount Severn, son of Edward or the dominion title eg ‘of York’ or ‘of Wales per B/E or W/H respectively. On father’s death, the eldest son is upgraded to the father’s title. Any subsequent sons don’t receive an upgrade.

    6. On his Wedding Day, William ceased to be ‘of Wales’. His dominion title is now, ‘of Cambridge’. It’s self evident that any children they have will be ‘of Cambridge’. William’s title upon marriage became HRH The Duke of Cambridge. He continues to use William Wales in his private life, but technically his private surname should be William Mountbatten-Windsor. It’s probably simpler for everyone if he continues to use William Wales.

    7. When Charles becomes Monarch, If William is granted The POW title, then everyone change again to ‘of Wales’.

    7b. When William becomes POW, ‘of Cambridge’ may revert back to the crown, but that isn’t a certainty since we’ve never had a living heir’s heir with a ducal title. It may simply be absorbed into his POW titles like the Queen is still DoE amongst her many titles although that is because she’s married to Philip rather than being DoE in her own right.

    8. If Harry is given a title, he will cease to be ‘of Wales’.

    9. Ditto Beatrice and Eugenie will lose the ‘of York’ on their marriages.

    10. Prince Edward’s children are currently styled with the titles of children of an Earl, but legally are Princ[ess] which they can take up later if they choose as they are the grandchildren of a monarch.

    11. If Charles had a daughter, she would become Princess Royal after Anne’s death when Charles becomes Monarch.

    12. No provision has been made for the 2nd eldest [or more] daughter[s] of a monarch with regards titles eg if William has 2 daughters and no sons, the eldest is now destined to be POW, but the 2nd daughter can’t be Duchess of York nor Princess Royal. It’s one of many items overlooked in the succession bill.

    13. Neither Kate nor Diana are/were/will be Princess. There is no such thing as Princess by Marriage in Britain. They will be styled by their husband’s highest title, but that doesn’t make them Princesses. A princess in Britain is ONLY by Blood. Exception Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester who was made a Princess by the Queen.

    *this exception is probably because we’ve never had a living great grandson heir of a monarch. I suspect more of these rules will be changed because we are all live longer and have several simultaneously surviving successive generations.

    **I sincerely doubt Andrew will ever re-marry so no more legitimate children for him therefore his title will revert back to the crown on his death. Another point overlooked by the succession laws because he has legitimate a legitimate daughter who should be able to inherit the title.

    • FLORC says:

      I’m understanding this so much better after your easy to understand explanation of how this all works!

    • The Original Mia says:

      Thanks, LAK! It’s confusing, but clear.

    • MisJes says:

      Brilliant explanation, LAK.

      I always want to comment on the Royal Family posts, but refrain and wait for your input because I know you will do an infinitely better job than I!

    • rtms says:

      The Princess Royal is not an automatic title, but is given at the discretion of the reigning monarch. Hence why Anne was given it so late in life instead of when young like Charles or at her first marriage like Andrew.

      • LAK says:

        I thought that i had made that point very clear at no 3 :- “granted and invested WHEN the Monarch feels it is right” I also made it clear that “sometimes they AREN’T at all.”

        The point was regarding who, amongst the monarch’s children in order of birth, is entitled to hold them, not who their current incumbents are.

  15. TG says:

    Will someone explain why the all kings and queens on Game of Thrones are addressed as “Your Grace” rather than as “Your Highness”? I thought my love of all things regency had taught me that dukes and duchesses we “your graced” and the next level was a king or a queen.

    • Lauren says:

      People can call Kings your ‘Grace’ and have done so in history. Bishops and other high up Church officials are also called as such.

      Since GRRM’s game of thrones and ASOIAF series is essentially the War of The Roses I know that it was pretty common to call Henry V ‘your grace’ as well as William/ Richard and George. GRRM makes his own little rules for a fictional world but calling Kings and Queens your ‘Highness’ or ‘Majesty’ as well as ‘Grace’ were all used in England interchangeably up until the time of James I.

      • TG says:

        Thanks for the explanation. If I was a queen I would demand to be called Your Highness and nothing less, same for being a princess. I want to be a princess and not a duchess. I don’t think Waity schemed only to be a duchess. Though, I would settle for duchess if I couldn’t get a prince. Oh well, life is good in my fictional world!

      • LAK says:

        TG – ‘Highness’ rather than ‘Majesty’?

  16. Talie says:

    If Charles had a daughter and she married, I think her kids would be titled, but something lower on the totem pole. I don’t think Beatrice or Eugenie will get anything like this since their father will not be king.

    • LAK says:

      Under the current rules, females can’t pass on titles.

      If Charles had a daughter, unless the husband also had a title or he accepted a title, her children wouldn’t have titles. See the examples of Anne and MArgaret.

      Anne’s husband refused a title = no titles for her kids.

      Margaret’s husband accepted a title [Earl of Snowdon] = her kids have titles, and on his death, her oldest son will inherit the Earldom of Snowdon.

      If Charles’s daughter married someone with a title, who refused to upgrade to a new one, their children would inherit the husband’s title eg Mary, daughter of George V married future Earl Of Harewood. Her children inherited the Earldom of Harewood and none of her own titles. ditto the example of Margaret as far as inheriting her titles.

  17. bella says:

    Have to correct you on Kate’s official title: NAME, the DUCHESS of WHATEVER is reserved for a woman who is the divorced wife of the DUKE of WHATEVER.

    You can check Wikipedia for Kate specifically:,_Duchess_of_Cambridge#Titles.2C_styles.2C_honours_and_arms

    It’s always creeped me out that woman literally give up their names when marrying the aristocracy.

  18. Lisa says:

    It’s going to be a velociraptor. I can feel it in my bones.

    • Suze says:

      Oh, I hope your bones are accurate.

    • Shay Kay says:

      Your bones made me laugh out loud and that’s saying something after the day I’ve had!
      Hope the baby has Will’s eyes and Kate’s hair…. We can nickname it HRH Cousin It, Velociraptor of Cambridge!

  19. Kristen says:

    Can someone shed more light on why Zara and her brother declined titles? I understand why they didn’t receive them when they were born. But is it surprising that they declined them later?
    I always understood that Princess Anne didn’t want them to be titled. True?

    • hannah says:

      Titles are inherited from the fathers side . Zaras father had no title and declined a dukedom .

  20. Isa says:

    I just can’t get over how lovely she looks during this entire pregnancy. She doesn’t seem like she suffers from swollen ankles or a fat face. I’m 14 weeks with my third and I swear our bellies are the same size! Lol

    • Suze says:

      Kate looked her best ever during her pregnancy, particularly her second trimester.

      But I bet you look great, too. And it’s your THIRD, so give yourself a break.


      • Isa says:

        Thanks Suze! My face is covered in more acne than usual and I’m gaining weight too fast, but it will be worth it!

        Her face is fuller but still not fat.
        And pregnancy glow is overrated. All it is is a layer of oil and sweat! Haha

    • LAK says:

      i think she does have fat pregnancy face.

      She was horrendously skinny for the 2yrs after her wedding, but when she regained the weight, she went back to her old weight, or as close to it.

      This is a pic of her at graduation. This is the weight she went back to in preparation for the pregnancy. Note her face.

      wedding [and for next 2yrs until she started steadily regaining weight]×588/celebrity-kate-middleton-blue-ring.jpg

      her face now:

      • Suze says:

        I find her so much prettier with a fuller face! (I don’t know if I would call it fat – softer, rounder, maybe).

        I can clearly see what attracted Wills to her.

      • FLORC says:

        Agree LAK
        No woman should be criticized for weight gain while pregnant because your body is going through hell forming another human. Just getting that out of the way…

        Kate looks ok. I haven’t seen much of a glow. When it’s not an event with her unnatural smile she scowls a lot and doesn’t look pleased at all. And to make myself clear. Her smile has new teeth and something that happened during her engagement face work. It just looks off to me.

        She was so pretty and natural in that graduation pic. Healthy and happy looking.

      • LAK says:

        Suze/FLORC – i agree with regards her weight. She’s so much prettier when she has some weight on. The added weight softens the Middleton hard edges, and it really brings out her prettiness.

        FLORC – i know she doesn’t have the sparkle she used to have pre-2007 break-up, but i honestly feel that she’s been beaming and smiling in a very natural way since she became pregnant as opposed to the stiff hyena guffaw she used to do and smile that never reached her eyes. Perhaps she’s more confident in her role, but i really feel that her smile reaches her eyes in the few times we have seen her since pregnancy announcement.

  21. hannahF says:

    I admittedly skimmed some of the longer posts but I don’t think that anyone mentioned Diana. While married to Charles, Diana was HRH,the Princess of Wales. After the divorce Diana lost the HRH and became Diana, Princess of Wales. That was a huge issue in the divorce. I believe that posthumously Queen Elizabeth did offer to restore to Diana the HRH title but Diana’s brother told the Queen to take a hike.

    • hannahF says:

      Also, Camilla is currently the Princess of Wales but goes by the title Duchess of Cornwall. Obviously, given Diana’s popularity, it would not be good PR for Camilla to use the P of W title.

  22. Ravensdaughter says:

    Isn’t she overdue? WHERE IS THAT BABY???? I’m sure they know the gender, but I want to know. No offense, CB, but it’s a busy summer and the only reason I check in is to find out about the next royal heir!!!!
    That’s why I was ticked about yet another post about Glandi Blanville (intended)…

  23. Bert29 says:

    What I can’t believe is that they may end up waiting so long before bestowing a name. Like, I understand waiting to “meet” the baby, but I think it should be narrowed down to the point that it doesn’t take a week (or a month!) to decide.

  24. xxx says:

    I’m sure others have said it before me, but Duchess outranks a normal princess. Anne’s kids don’t have titles, not because they’re the kids of a female royal, but because their parents didn’t want them to have titles. They seem happier for it too! B & E on the other hand… Andrew always has his hand out for more so he definitely wanted them to be fully fledged princesses!

  25. gefeylich says:

    OMG Kate and Wills are in Diagon Alley!

  26. Mercy says:

    And= the baby related 2 Beywolff’s kid,&to BRANGELINA’s kids, & many more H’wood royalty..Where does the Dailymail get this nonsence?

  27. Sugarrbunny says:

    On William’s eventual investiture as HRH The Prince of Wales upon his fathe’s accession to the Throne, his wife will become HRH The Princess of Wales. Exactly like his mother did upon her marriage to Charles. The current heir to the Throne.

    And of course, none of his matters