It’s come up again. For those of you who aren’t aware, following a lot of big stories involving Kate’s name or title there often comes the assumption that because the Duchess of Cambridge is known as ‘a Princess of the United Kingdom’ or on the occasion that she is simply referred to as a Princess, that must mean she is Princess Kate/Catherine… Wrong.
The reason why she was referred to as a Princess of the United Kingdom on the birth document of Prince George today is because she is… but not quite as you think. Through marriage, she is Princess William because that is how British titles work. Just like how when you marry, a woman traditionally takes their husband’s name – the same is true for titles.
People also seem to think that Kate will be made a Princess one day. This is hugely unlikely for one simple reason. Whereas in many European Monarchies, things are kept simple by giving most members of the respective Royal Families the title of Prince or Princess, this title has a different use/meaning in the UK. Prince/Princess is a title almost exclusively reserved for ‘royals of the blood’ (i.e. those who were born into the family as opposed to marrying in).
The second side of this is ‘what about when William is Prince of Wales?’ – If the title of Prince of Wales is granted to Prince William when Prince Charles becomes King; he would be HRH The Prince of Wales and Catherine (currently Duchess of Cambridge) would become ‘HRH The Princess of Wales’, but she would NOT be ‘Princess Catherine’ still – the title of Princess of Wales is not the same as being a Princess.
Even though people call Diana, Princess of Wales ‘Princess Diana’, she was never actually ‘Princess Diana’, the same is true and will continue to be true for the Duchess of Cambridge.
She will one day be Queen Catherine, but until then it is highly unlikely she’ll ever be ‘Princess Catherine/Kate’.
CORRECT - ‘HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’ (FYI, she’s known as ‘HRH The Countess of Strathearn’ in Scotland)