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Queen Elizabeth II often gifts her family members a new royal title on their wedding days. Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. But the couple’s new titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had no bearing on the titles of Kate’s family, including her sister Pippa Middleton.
The televised wedding of Kate and William was watched by millions, and Kate’s sister Pippa was on hand to help her as her maid of honour.
Kate and William subsequently became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and one day are expected to be the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Eventually Prince William is expected to become King, while Kate will become Queen Consort.
But while Kate is expected to hold many royal titles over her lifetime, there is no precedent which would allow Pippa a royal title as the future Queen’s sister.
A few years after Kate’s wedding, Pippa got married in 2017 to James Matthews – the son of David Matthews and brother of Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews.
And through her marriage, Pippa is entitled to receive a title of her own like her sister Kate currently holds.
But unlike other royal titles, Pippa’s future title will be very different as it will not be directly given to her by the Queen.
In fact, the title is attached to land owned by the Matthews family, which will one day pass to Pippa’s husband.
David Matthews owns the Glen Affric estate in Scotland, which spans over 10,000 acres.
As owner of the estate, Mr Matthews is entitled to use the style of Laird of Glen Affric.
As she is married to Mr Matthews’ son, Pippa is currently entitled to use the style of Mrs Matthews of Glen Affric the younger.
But in the future, James Matthews could also use the title of Laird of Glen Affric when he inherits the estate, making Pippa Lady of Glen Affric.
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However there are some fundamental differences between the titles of Laird and Lady to other royal titles.
Highland Titles explains: “The term “Laird” tends to be reserved for the owner of an estate in Scotland, occasionally referred by the owner themselves, or most likely by those employed by the estate.
“The term is used as a description as opposed to a legal title.
“‘Laird‘, a Scottish term, is a title reserved for those who own larger estates or pieces of land in Scotland and can be interchangeable in a traditional sense with Lord.”
Royal historian Marlene Koenig explained to Town and Country: “[James’s] father bought a feudal barony.
“‘Laird’ is not a title, but a description applied by those living on and around the estate.
“Ownership of a souvenir plot of land does not bring with it the right to any description such as ‘laird,’ ‘lord,’ or ‘lady.'”
The titles of Laird and Lady are courtesy titles, which are different to peerages such as Duke or Earl.
So although the couple could use the titles, they may also decide to remain Mr and Mrs Matthews and forego the titles altogether.
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