Kate Middleton’s Official Title Does Not Actually Include Her First Name

Royal fans and the British media have many names for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. Some call her Princess Kate and others refer to her as Duchess Kate or Duchess Catherine. But those titles aren’t technically correct. In fact, Kate’s official title doesn’t include her first name.

Kate Middleton talks to guests at an evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace on December 11, 2019
Kate Middleton | Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton inherited the ‘Duchess of Cambridge’ title

When Kate and William tied the knot in April 2011, Queen Elizabeth gave Prince William the title His Royal Highness Duke of Cambridge. As a result, Kate automatically inherited the title Her Royal Highness Duchess of Cambridge.

When in Scotland, she is known as the Countess of Strathearn. In Northern Ireland she is represented by the title Lady Carrickfergus. Kate has also received numerous honors since becoming a member of the royal family.

In 2017, she was granted the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2019, Queen Elizabeth made her the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. Her military appointments include Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and Canadian Ranger.

She is the Princess of the United Kingdom

Although she doesn’t use the title formally, Kate is technically the Princess of the United Kingdom. As Insider points out, she’s been officially acknowledged as a princess just three times since she married Prince William.

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Kate used the princess title in the occupation title section of her children’s birth certificates. The mom of three gave birth to Prince George in 2013. She and William welcomed Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

Kate Middleton could be known as Princess William of Wales

If Kate did want to use her princess title in a formal capacity, she wouldn’t be allowed to use her first name. Instead, she would be referred to as Princess William of Wales. This is because of royal rules.

According to royal expert Marlene Koenig, the British royal family uses the “older German style of royal wives.” This means that they style the wife by her husband’s name. Koenig explained that only blood princesses get to use their first name with their title.

Blood princesses are females who are born into the royal family, like Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice. Even though people refer to her as Princess Kate, this title is not correct because she married into the royal family.

She has a lot in common with Princess Diana

Koenig went on to explain that Kate has a lot in common with her late mother-in-law, Lady Diana Spencer. She was widely known as Princess Diana, but Koenig says “Diana was never Princess Diana.”

“The press called her Princess Diana as the press still uses Prince Charles even though Charles not been styled as Prince Charles since his mother became queen,” Koenig noted, referencing Charles’ title of Charles, Prince of Wales.

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Another thing Kate has in common with Diana is her popularity. Back in the 1980s and 90s, Diana earned the nickname the “People’s Princess” because of her commitment to public service. Recently, Kate earned the sweet nickname the “Children’s Princess” because of her natural rapport with young people.

Kate Middleton will eventually get a title with her first name

When Prince William does become king, Kate will finally get a title with her first name. As soon as William takes the throne, Kate will become queen consort and will be known as Queen Catherine.

This title is reserved for the wife of a king and indicates that Kate shares William’s social rank and status. The queen consort does not have the regent’s political or military powers. But when the media and fans call her Queen Catherine, it will be the correct title.