Prince William and Kate Middleton Have Officially Been Named the New Prince and Princess of Wales

Following Queen Elizabeth II's death, King Charles III bestowed his former title on his oldest son—and his daughter-in-law is the first royal to be called the Princess of Wales since the late Princess Diana.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a National Service of Thanksgiving for the Queens reign at St Pauls Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England
Photo: Mark Cuthbert / GETTY IMAGES

So much has changed—and suddenly—in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death. Her passing, which was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon, marks the end of an era; Queen Elizabeth was the United Kingdom's longest serving monarch. The news also drums up many questions about royal title changes and the line of succession. As of today, one key title change has been confirmed: Prince William and Kate Middleton are now the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Quickly following the Queen's death, Prince William and Kate Middleton's titles were updated from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. However, their roles have been further elevated following a speech given today by the newly anointed King Charles III. "Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales," the King said about Prince William in his first speech as sovereign, reports Insider. "The country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear, during so much of my life."

The title is typically bestowed upon the person next in line for the throne, meaning that following King Charles' reign, Prince William is slated to become monarch. His Majesty also announced that Kate Middleton will assume the title of Princess of Wales—a title formerly held by Prince William's late mother, Princess Diana.

"With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conservations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground, where vital help can be given," the King said.

Other royals' titles have changed, too: In light of King Charles' elevation, Camilla, previously known as the Duchess of Cornwall, will now be referred to as Queen Consort, according to a release made by Buckingham Palace. This change was set into motion in February 2022, when Queen Elizabeth issued a statement noting that it was her wish for Camilla be named Queen Consort when her son, then Prince Charles, became sovereign. The announcement was made on the eve of the the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which marked a historic 70 years on the throne.

With title changes made for Camila, Prince William, and Kate, many wonder where that leaves the King's youngest son, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle; currently, they hold the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as titles. The royal couple relocated to Meghan's home state of California in 2020 and subsequently stopped using "His Royal Highness" and "Her Royal Highness," according to a report by The New York Times. As of right now, no changes have been made to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official social media accounts.

While it doesn't look like Prince Harry and Meghan's titles will change, their children, three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet, may possibly receive them; they are currently untitled. Under rules established by King George V in 1917, the children and grandchildren of the monarch automatically receive royal titles. Since they are the grandchildren of King Charles, The New York Times reports that they should now receive the titles of prince and princess.

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