When Catherine Middleton marries Prince William in April, Kate could be titled HRH Princess William of Wales, or HRH Catherine of Wales. There is the strong possibility, in keeping with tradition, that HM the Queen, would bestow a dukedom or earldom upon Prince William when they marry. Then Catherine would be HRH Catherine, Duchess of ________ or HRH Catherine, Countess of _______ (fill in the blank).
Once Prince Charles becomes king, William then becomes heir apparent. If William has an investiture ceremony he would then be known as the Prince of Wales as well as of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. At that time Catherine would become HRH Catherine, Princess of Wales (which was his mother Diana's title, even though everyone incorrectly shortened it to Princess Diana). Of course when William becomes king, she will be Queen Catherine.
Many have wondered why Camilla did not receive the title of Princess of Wales when she married Charles in 2005. (She is officially known as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.) Even though Diana passed away in 1997, I think the Queen realized that the public remains loyal to Diana and her beloved status as the people’s Princess. I do however believe that the public would embrace Catherine in such a title.
It has been rumored that Prince William prefers that the Queen not give him a title when he marries. While he is officially His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, throughout school and in his military career he was and is known simply as William Wales. The name derived of which his father holds title. The official family surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.
So what titles are currently available if the Queen wants to bestow one on Prince William? Duke of Clarence, Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex are all available. Another one is the Duke of Windsor. But given that that title was previously held by his great uncle, Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne for Wallis Simpson, I highly doubt that anyone will hold that title for a very long time.
Have you ever wondered about the ranking of titles? At the top of the royal heap is Emperor~ King of kings (i.e. other sovereigns, not to be confused with THE King of kings in religious terms) and is the ruler of an empire. The title of Emperor is known by other names elsewhere.
- Tsar (or Czar) in Bulgarian, Serbian, Russian, and Croatian countries. It is derived from the word Caesar.
- Maharajah in Thailand, India and Nepal. "Maha" is a prefix meaning highest, and "Rajah" meaning king, hence "highest king".
- Kaiser, German rank also derived from Caesar.
Shahanshah, Shah of Shahs
Sultan, a Turkish (Ottoman) title, ruler.
Archduke, the title of the ruler of the archduchy of Austria prior to 1806.
Grand Duke, ruler of a grand duchy. Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy.
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
From the title of emperor we then move onto King~ ruler of a kingdom addressed as “Your majesty”. Then Duke ~ ruler of a duchy (i.e. territory) and addressed as “Your Grace”.
Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York
We then have the title of Prince ~ ruler of a principality.
The title of Crown Prince was once reserved for the heir apparent of an emperor or king.
Dauphin is the title of the crown prince of the royal family of France
Infante is title of the cadet members of the royal families of Portugal and Spain
Marquess or Marquis was over a marquessate or march (i.e. a border region) and addressed as “the Most Honorable”.
Count (Countess) was theoretically the ruler of a county. In Britain the title is known as an Earl. An Earl ranks below a marquess and above a viscount. His wife would still be known as a Countess.
Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Viscount (Vicountess is feminine), theoretically the ruler of a viscounty (Above a Baron, below an Earl and addressed as "My Lord".)
Baron (Baroness), theoretically the ruler of a barony (i.e. an estate). Just as counties are no longer necessarily connected with a noble earl or count there are baronies which are not connected with a baron. The most famous Baroness was of course not really a Baroness at all.
There are of course numerous other titles.
Baronet is an hereditary title (meaning you are born into it) ranking below Baron but above Knight; this title is granted only in the British Isles.
Knight is the basic rank of the aristocratic system
Esquire is a rank of gentry ( i.e. minor aristocracy) originally derived from Squire and indicating the status of an attendant to a knight or an apprentice knight; it ranked below Knight but above Gentleman.
Gentleman is the basic rank of gentry, historically and primarily associated with land or manoral lords; within British Commonwealth nations it is also roughly equivalent to some lower nobility of some continental European nations.
While “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” I myself am thinking I am so glad that my name is not:
Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith, Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich, Duke of Lancaster, Lord of Mann, Duke of Normandy, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Garter, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath***, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Sovereign of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Micheal and Saint George, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sovereign of the Distinguished Service Order, Sovereign of the Imperial Service Order, Sovereign of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Sovereign of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Sovereign of the Order of British India, Sovereign of the Indian Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of Burma, Sovereign of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Sovereign of the Royal Family Order of King Edward VII, Sovereign of the Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Sovereign of the Royal Victorian Order, Sovereign of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
This portrait, as well as your most favored portrait of the Queen last week, was taken by Annie Leibovitz.
While I at times give *** the Order of the Bath in my own home, I can’t help but think I might persuade the H.M. the Queen about gracing me with a title just for typing out her full name.
Until then I remain humbly yours,
Laura, the Duchess of Décor
I am tremendously excited to have esteemed experts, Susan of Between Naps On The Porch and Yvonne from Stonegable presiding over our High Tea Tablescape Party NEXT WEEK. You can find all the details HERE.
Also start thinking about your entries for the Wedding Wear linky entries for on March 9th. The categories are as “Best British Baubles”, “Hats Off”, “Perfect Princess or Perfectly Putrid” ~ get out those horrific dresses and hats!!! Awards presented by an esteemed panel of experts to be announced in the future.