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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Kate Middleton: No more Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton, officially known as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, might never become Princess of Wales and Diana could be the last spouse of the future British King to have known as Princess of Wales. 

The current wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, is officially the Princess of Wales, but she was given the title Duchess of Cornwall, assuming the second title of Charles, Duke of Cornwall, to avoid public disapproval. Camilla is still viewed as the primary cause of the collapse of the royal marriage.

This royal love triangle and the sad story of the English Queen Consorts with a name Catherine is included in my royal book TRAGEDIES IN THE ROYAL COURT.

Although no discussion yet is brewing regarding the limitations and treatment of the Princess of Wales title in the present Britain, the speculation that Kate Middleton could no longer take this title is somehow logical.

Historically, in British monarchy, female Heir Presumptive could not take the title Princess of Wales because this is reserved for the wife of the Prince of Wales. 

In 1936, following the accession to the throne of King George VI, there were suggestions heard that he should grant his heir presumptive, Princess Elizabeth, with the title of Princess of Wales, but Buckingham Palace maintained this title would only be given to the future Queen consort and not to the future Queen regnant. 

However, the British monarchy already adopted the absolute primogeniture succession in 2013 which repealed some of the provisions in the succession law. The eldest child of the reigning sovereign, irrespective of gender, would be the next monarch, this means that an eldest daughter would no longer be pushed aside by a younger son in the line of succession.

Since the title of the British Heir-Apparent is always the Prince of Wales, his female counterpart naturally would be known as the Princess of Wales, this means further that the wife of the Prince of Wales could no longer take the title Princess of Wales since this is reserved for the future Queen regnant.

So what would be the title of Kate Middleton when Prince Charles ascends the throne and the Duke of Cambridge would be the new Prince of Wales? Would she retain her title Duchess of Cambridge? Or be given another one.

This title confusion was already raised in 2003 following the wedding of then Prince Wilhelm-Alexander, now the King of the Netherlands. As Heir-Apparent to the Dutch throne his title was Prince of Orange but his wife was not given the title Princess of Orange, instead, she was known as Princess of the Netherlands, because at that time, Netherlands already changed its constitutional law on succession from male-preference primogeniture to absolute. The Princess of Orange title is reserved for the future Dutch female sovereign.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

In April 2013, following his accession to the throne, King Wilhelm-Alexander’s eldest daughter, Catarina-Amalia, the Heir-Apparent, became known as the Hereditary Princess of Orange. 

This situation might be applied also to Kate Middleton following Britain's adoption of absolute succession law. She would never be called Princess Catherine because the British monarchy does not traditionally create the spouse of the royals Princess or Prince in their own rights. Unless the sovereign will issue a letter patent granting her the title Princess, she would never be known as such.

So far, this issue is not yet discussed publicly in the British establishment, however, granting history and the royal customs regarding correct styles and treatment of royal titles, the possibility that Kate Middleton would never become Princess of Wales is very probable.

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