Why Kate Middleton is not “Princess Kate”

Considering that Catherine “Kate” Middleton is the wife of Prince William, it seems that she should be known as “Princess Kate” or “Princess Catherine”. After all, when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, she became “Princess Diana”. To the right?

In fact, like The insider explains, it’s a little more complicated than that. In order for “Prince” or “Princess” to officially precede your name, you must usually be born a prince or princess; that is, descendant of a monarch. Prince Andrew’s daughters, for example, are “Princess Beatrice” and “Princess Eugenie” because Queen Elizabeth II is their grandmother.

If you, like Kate Middleton, married a British prince, you would take the female counterpart of his official title. Although Prince William is called “Prince William” because he is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, his official title is The Duke of Cambridge (among others). So, Kate Middleton is the Duchess of Cambridge.

Assuming William’s father Prince Charles eventually becomes King, William will likely inherit Charles’ current title: Prince of Wales. But even when that happens and Kate becomes the Princess of Wales, it would still be technically incorrect for us to call her “Princess Catherine”. Traditionally, when a woman becomes a princess because her husband is a prince, she is only called “Princess” if it precedes her husband’s name. Thus, Kate Middleton would be “Princess William of Wales”. It’s not a very common practice these days, but it still exists. The wife of Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, for example, passes by Princess Michael of Kent.

In this case, was it incorrect to call Diana, Princess of Wales – who was not a born royal – “Princess Diana“? Yes. But the moniker has been so widely adopted by the media and the public that people have paid little or no attention to its inaccuracy.

Additionally, the Royal Family have broken protocol on numerous occasions in the past and have the power to award atypical titles as they see fit. Descended from Greek and Danish royalty, Prince Philip was already technically a prince since birth, but in 1957, as City Country reports, Queen Elizabeth II named him “Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Whitehall”. From then on, he was officially “prince philippe“in the UK. Why he was never” King Philip “is a whole different matter.

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