The Real Reason Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Aren’t Referred to as Princesses

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are known as the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, respectively. Each woman earned her royal title from the queen when she married into the royal family. However, unlike Princess Diana, the two women are never referred to as princesses. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that.

Meghan Markle Kate Middleton
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are duchesses for a reason. | Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince William

Before marrying William, Kate was a commoner, meaning she was not a member of the royal family and had no royal title. However, upon marrying William, both of them were granted new royal titles: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This meant that William and Kate were now the sovereign rulers over Cambridge, which is a city in England. The dukedoms given to members of the royal family are in part how those members make their money. For example, Prince Charles is the Duke of Cornwall, a title that he earned back in 1973. Today, he is worth around $400 million, mostly due to revenue from the area.

Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, the two of them earned the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The queen endowed them with the titles on their wedding day — the same as William and Kate. The new titles meant that Harry and Meghan were the sovereign rulers over Sussex, which is a county in South East England. Again, this is where the Duke and Duchess will get a good portion of their income; they profit off of the revenue from the region, mostly relating to property.

Camilla Parker Bowles chose not to take on the title of princess as a form of respect for Diana — and because the public didn’t like her

Meghan and Kate are known as duchesses, and so is Camilla Parker Bowles, who is married to Prince Charles. After Princess Diana died, Camilla and Charles waited a while to wed. Then, when the day finally came, Camilla did not choose to take on the title of princess. This is because of Diana. The title became closely associated with Diana, and out of both respect to Diana and to avoid the public disliking her, Camilla opted to become the Duchess of Cornwall instead. When the two first wed, the public did not have much love for Camilla.

The two women followed in the tradition Camilla had started rather than receiving the ‘Princess’ title

When Kate married Will, people were expecting her to become Princess Catherine. However, when Camilla took on the title of Duchess of Cornwall, she unknowingly set a precedent for future commoners. Rather than become princesses, both Meghan and Kate were granted the duchess title just like Camilla. Ever since Camilla married Charles, it’s become a royal protocol that those who marry princes will now become duchesses rather than princesses. Although the public questioned why Kate was not given more of a regal title back 2011, people realized it was because of Camilla and expected the same to happen when Meghan married Harry in 2018.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!