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Kate Middleton is likely to become Princess of Wales following the Queen’s death — the same title Princess Diana held

  • The UK royal line of succession shifted with the Queen’s death — which means changes in titles. 
  • The title of Prince and Princess of Wales is likely to pass to William and Kate. 
  • Princess of Wales was last used by Princess Diana, and is most strongly associated with her. 

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is likely to take on the title of “Princess of Wales” following the death of Queen Elizabeth II — which was most famously formerly held by Princess Diana. 

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, ending a 70-year reign and automatically making her eldest son, Charles, the king.

The Queen’s death raises a swathe of questions about new titles for several in the royal family as the line of succession shifts down a generation. Charles, as of Thursday, became King Charles III — which means his title of Prince of Wales is now available. 

It has long been expected that Charles’ eldest son and now second in line to the throne, Prince William, will be offered his father’s former title — which would make Kate the Princess of Wales. 

According to an archived version of the Prince of Wales’ website, which was not online at time of publication, the title was created “for the male heir to the British throne.”

Passing it on isn’t automatic, the site said, but that still usually happens when the existing Prince of Wales accedes the throne — as happened on Thursday. 

The title has enormous talismanic significance in the UK, as it was last used by Charles’ then-wife, Princess Diana, who died in 1997 at the age of 36.

Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William during the 1994 Wimbledon Championships.

Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William during the 1994 Wimbledon Championships.

Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS via Getty Images

Charles remarried in 2005, to Camilla Parker-Bowles — but the public strength of feeling was so strong that although Parker-Bowles was formally granted the title Princess of Wales, she did not use it. The matter was so weighty that a question was raised in Parliament about the title

Instead, Camilla used the title of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall. Following the Queen’s death, Camilla is to take the title of Queen Consort, Sky News reported

Kate, who is Duchess of Cambridge until further notice, appeared to acknowledge that she would one day become Princess of Wales in an encounter with a member of the public at Cardiff Castle in Wales, in June this year. 

In a video tweeted by @hellen3030, the duchess was told: “You’re going to be a brilliant Princess of Wales.”

“Thank you, I’m in good hands,” Kate responded, indicating William a few feet away. 

To complicate things further, both Princes William and Harry have been able to add the title “of Wales” to their names — at least until Harry stepped back from royal duties and became the Duke of Sussex. This, however, is not the same as the official title of “Prince of Wales.”

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