Kate Middleton Will Become The Princess Of Wales When Queen Elizabeth Dies, But Is The Title Cursed?

As the palace continues to prepare for the eventual transition from Queen Elizabeth to Prince Charles as the British monarch, Prince William is preparing to take his place as heir to the throne, while Kate Middleton will likely become the Princess of Wales, despite the curse some believe the title has after the tragic death of Princess Diana.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Photo by Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

The title is not automatic

The world of royal titles is a confusing one, as some are automatically inherited based on birth order and property, while others are given by the monarch or are courtesy titles acquired when someone marries into the royal family.

Furthermore, members of the British royal family often have multiple titles ranked in order of importance and can choose to use whichever one they want.

When you get to the highest-ranking members of the British royal family, the male heir to the throne is often given the title of Prince of Wales, and his spouse automatically becomes the Princess of Wales, which would make Kate Middleton no longer the Duchess of Cambridge. But this has to officially come from the monarch and is not inherited.

Prince Charles became the heir to the throne in 1952 when his mother became Queen. However, she did not give him the title of Prince of Wales until 1958, and he had to wait until 1969 for his investiture, which is a ceremony similar to a coronation.

When Prince Charles married Princess Diana in 1981, she automatically became the Princess of Wales because she married the Prince of Wales, and she did use the title while she was part of the royal family.

Kate Middleton could be the first woman to use the title since Princess Diana

According to The Daily Star, experts say that Prince Charles will likely give Prince William the title of Prince of Wales when he becomes King, and William will also inherit his dad’s £1billion estate and the title Duke of Cornwall. If that happens, Middleton will automatically become Princess of Wales, even if the title is cursed.

“If William is given the title by his dad when Charles is king, Kate will be Princess of Wales… simple as that,” said royal commentator Robert Jobson.

Kate Middleton is not required to use the title, and considering its connection to Princess Diana, she might opt to use a lesser one, like Duchess of Cornwall. This is the choice Camilla Parker-Bowles made when she married Prince Charles because she didn’t want to upset Diana’s fans, so the People’s Princess remains the last woman to be recognized as Princess of Wales.

“The reason Camilla didn’t take the title is exceptional, she was Charles’s mistress,” says Jobson. “Camilla chose to use one of Charles’s other titles hence she is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in England and Wales. Should Camilla want to be styled HRH The Princess of Wales she could be.”

Jobson – the royal editor at the London Evening Standard – explained that the title has nothing to do with Middleton’s work or achievements. The title simply comes with being Prince William’s wife.

The Princess of Wales’ legacy lives on

Royal biographer and Diana’s confidant Andrew Morton says that a picture of Prince Charles as a little boy greatly affected how Diana raised William and Harry. When Charles was just five years old, Queen Elizabeth went on a seven-month tour of the Commonwealth, and when she returned home cameras captured her shaking her son’s hand instead of giving him a hug.

Morton says in his book William and Catherine that this image had “a lasting effect on Diana, Princess of Wales.” The former Kindergarten teacher wanted to do things differently than her mother-in-law, and her approach to motherhood was much less formal and much more loving.

Kate Middleton has taken a similar approach with Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. And, as the younger generation of royals continues their ascent to the throne, Diana’s legacy of being a beloved Princess as well as a much-loved mother who did things her own way lives on.