She isn’t Princess Kate?
Why isn’t Kate Middleton a pricess? Well, she is and she isn’t.
The world seems entranced with royalty; especially British royalty. However, those of us who do not come from a country with royalty can have a hard time understanding the traditions and rules about this very different culture. I can’t image curtseying to President or Mrs. Obama!! I read a lot of articles about royalty and I lived in England for several years whilst growing up. A lot of the articles published outside the UK do not seem to understand what to call Prince William’s new wife, despite a plethora of articles on the subject (albeit inaccurate or incomplete) What is the proper way to address her? What is she called? Hopefully, I will help with some of the confusion.
Here is where I explain that she is and she isn’t…Firstly, she is not Princess Catherine (Kate). She is not Duchess Catherine (Kate). Her correct title is Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales or Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. Most refer to her as the HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. The reason that she is not called Princess Catherine is because she is not a princess in her own right; for example HRH Princess Eugenie of York. Her royal status is dependent on her marriage.
Let’s look at others who have married into the family.
HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburg: He is a prince in his own right. He was a prince before he married the then Princess Elizabeth. In fact, before she ascended the throne she was known as HRH Princess Elizabeth, the Duchess of Edinburg.
Diana, Princess of Wales: Diana was styled “Lady” before her marriage. Upon her marriage she became HRH the Princess of Wales. She was the Princess of Wales–she was never Princess Diana. After her divorce the HRH was removed but she was still Diana, Princess of Wales.
Sarah, Duchess of York: She was a “Miss” before her marriage to Prince Andrew. Upon her marriage she became known as HRH Princess Andrew or HRH the Duchess of York. She was never Princess Sarah or Duchess Sarah. She was actually called a lot of other things as well, but we’ll save those for a different hub. Like the Princess of Wales above, after her divorce the HRH was removed and now she is known simply as the Duchess of York.
HRH the Countess of Wessex: The former Sophie Rhys-Jones was a “Miss” before marrying the Queen’s youngest son, Edward. Upon marriage she became, HRH Princess Edward or more commonly HRH the Countess of Wessex.
However, maybe the clearest example of this is when HRH Prince Michael of Kent married Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz. Prince Michael is a grandson of King George V and therefore he is entitled to an HRH. However, he is a younger son and was never given any dukedoms, earldoms, etc. Therefore, his wife is simply referred to as HRH Princess Michael…because she is not a princess in her own right. She is also commonly known as Princess Pushy but I won’t go there.
Still confused? Post your question and I’ll try my best to answer