Is Kate Middleton a Princess and why does she never use a Princess title?

Kate Middleton has multiple royal titles, including the Duchess of Cambridge, but is she a Princess?

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to host NHS Charities Together and NHS staff at a unique drive-in cinema to watch a special screening of Disney’s Cruella at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on day six of their week-long visit to Scotland on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland
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She became HRH the Duchess of Cambridge upon her marriage to Prince William in April 2011, but is Kate Middleton a Princess? 

Kate Middleton and Prince William were gifted the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by the Queen in honor of their marriage back in April 2011. This marked a huge moment for Kate as she officially became a member of the Royal Family and the couple have recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. The Queen once again bestowed a wonderful gift upon Kate in 2019, appointing her as Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, for services to the Sovereign. 

Though it’s not been confirmed that any additional titles have been granted to Kate in honor of their anniversary this year, following Prince Philip’s sad passing, it’s been claimed that senior royals will “step up” to support the Queen at future engagements. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have certainly been observed taking a more prominent role in royal life at this difficult time, as might be expected of the future King and Queen. 

However, there are many royal fans who might still be wondering one important thing—is Kate Middleton a Princess, and why does she never use a Princess title?

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greet crowd of admirers from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England

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Is Kate Middleton a Princess? 

Though Kate Middleton is generally never referred to as a Princess, she is understood to be technically entitled to a Princess title since she married Prince William. As reported by Town&Country, Kate Middleton took on her new husband’s title upon their marriage and effectively became Princess William of Wales, in addition to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

This is similar to the way in which the Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent’s wife, Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, is known as Princess Michael of Kent. This is because traditionally, all wives of male members of the British Royal Family take the style and title of their husbands. So whilst some might consider Kate to technically be a Princess, she isn’t "Princess Catherine" in her own right.

Will Kate Middleton become Princess of Wales? 

Princess Diana was the last member of the Royal Family to be officially known as the Princess of Wales and it’s understood that Kate Middleton will be the next to use this title as a mark of respect to her late mother-in-law. When Prince Charles becomes King, Prince William will become the heir apparent to the British throne and it’s expected that he will then be officially invested as Prince of Wales. 

Diana, Princess Of Wales, Talking To Her Husband, During A Visit To The British Embassy

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This means that Kate would in turn become the Princess of Wales and would likely be known as Catherine, Princess of Wales until such a time as she becomes Queen Consort. This would also be a very moving tribute to Diana, who was styled similarly as Diana, Princess of Wales. This iconic title currently belongs to Prince Charles’ second wife, Duchess Camilla, who also took on her husband’s titles upon their marriage in 2005. 

However, Camilla does not use this publicly, reportedly as a mark of respect for Princess Diana, who tragically passed away in 1997. Instead, she is known as Duchess of Cornwall due to Prince Charles’ secondary title as Duke of Cornwall.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive to officially open The Balfour, Orkney Hospital on day five of their week long visit to Scotland on May 25, 2021 in Kirkwall, Scotland

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Prince William and Kate Middleton might not yet be Prince and Princess of Wales, however, like Charles, they also have multiple titles. Prince William remains a prince in his own right, whilst the couple are known as Baron and Lady Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland and the Earl and Countess of Strathearn when they are in Scotland.

However, during their recent Royal Tour of Scotland, Kate cleared up a case of mistaken identity on their first trip to Orkney. Here she was heard confirming she was the Duchess of Cambridge to an adorable royal fan.

So it seems that whilst Kate Middleton and Prince William can use multiple styles, their Cambridge titles are still the most commonly associated with the couple.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.