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Prince William is second in line to the throne and is one day expected to be King. On his wedding day, Prince William was created the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. His new wife Kate was subsequently given the feminine equivalent of her new husband’s title.
Kate is known by the media and the public by her maiden name of Kate Middleton, or simply as Kate or Duchess Kate.
But since 2011, formally Kate’s title is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.
Only the Queen has the power to award royal titles, and over the course of her reign, she has given titles to many family members when they married.
In the Royal Family titles are usually only given to men, and women take on the female equivalent of their husband’s titles.
Had Prince William not been given a new royal title on his wedding day, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge would have been formally styled in a very different way.
Marlene Koenig, a royal expert for History Extra, told Insider: “If the Queen had not created William a Duke, Catherine would be styled as HRH Princess William of Wales.”
Kate’s formal title at the moment excludes her name of Catherine or her shortened nickname of Kate.
But according to Ms Koenig, Kate will see her first name incorporated into her title in the future, as she will likely be known as Queen Catherine when Prince William is King.
However, before Kate becomes Queen Consort, it is likely she will be given one more royal title.
When Prince Charles ascends the throne, he will leave his Prince of Wales title vacant.
The Prince of Wales title has been given to the male heir to the throne for centuries.
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The Constitution Unit at University College London (UCL) explained: “Charles was created Prince of Wales in 1958 when he was aged 10, with an investiture at Caernarvon Castle in 1969.
“As an adult, Prince William might expect to become Prince of Wales soon after his father’s accession; but that will be a matter for the new King to decide because, strictly, the title is not heritable.”
Although the decision to give William the Prince of Wales title is Charles’ alone, it is unlikely he won’t pass it on to his son.
And if Prince William becomes Prince of Wales, Kate’s formal title will also change.
Kate will likely become Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
But formally this title will not include her name of Catherine either, in the same way, her Duchess of Cambridge title does not.
The current holder of the Princess of Wales title is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as she is the wife of the Prince of Wales.
However, Camilla does not publicly use the title out of respect to the late Princess Diana, who became Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles in 1981.
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