The Titles of Will and Kate's Children

There’s been much excitement following the early announcement that William and Kate are expecting a baby. There’s much to discuss here at the Royal Post! To kick things off, let’s talk titles. Here we go!

The current state of titles in the British Royal family, and who can claim the title of HRH Prince and HRH Princess goes back to King George V in 1917. In an attempt to streamline the royal family, letters patent were issued stating “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour”.

So, when William was born he was HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales.

HRH Prince William in 1982
HRH Prince William in 1982

Under these rules, the children of the Queen, when she was Princess Elizabeth, would not have received titles. So,  in 1948 The Queen’s father, King George VI granted letters patent declaring that children of the marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, should “have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles and honour which may belong to them hereafter”.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles
HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Prince Charles

The 1917 letters patent also stated that “grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms”

HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor
HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor

So, what does this mean for William and Kate’s children? 

If the Queen is still on the Throne when their first child is born, an eldest son will receive the title of HRH Prince <name>. Other sons and daughters will have the titles of the children of a royal Duke. So, an eldest daughter will receive the title of The Lady <Name> and any subsequent sons and daughters will have the title of The Lord <name> and The Lady <name>.

Now, all of this changes again when Prince Charles becomes King. When this happens, all of William and Kate children will all become HRH Prince and HRH Princess, as children of the heir to the throne.

Isn’t that interesting? However, there are reports now that the Palace is saying that an eldest daughter will also receive the title of HRH Princess <name> since times have changes and a daughter will have the same rights to inherit as a son.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

UPDATED January 12, 2013: “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”

I’m surprised it doesn’t say “all LEGITIMATE children….” I mean, look at Prince Albert!

UPDATED June 2013: It has been announced that the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will hold the title Prince or Princess of Cambridge

BREAKING NEWS ~ William and Kate Baby Announcement

This is a big day! As you will have heard by now, William and Kate announced that they are expecting a baby today. This announcement was made earlier than originally planned due to Kate becoming ill with hyperemesis gravidarun while staying at the Middleton home in Bucklebury.

The decision was made to make the announcement early in case the story was leaked. The Queen and various family members and officials received word only shortly before the public announcement. The staff at St James Palace have been busy handling the press interest all day and the official website of the Duke and Duchess has crashed. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in that office right now?

WillandKate

We have a host of plans of posts to come over the next few weeks and months (Names! Titles! Godparents!) but for now, here are a few quick facts:

This baby will be:

  •  The Queen’s third great-grandchild (after Peter and Autumn Phillips’ two kids Savannah and Isla)
  • Third in line to the throne
  • Charles first grandchild
  • Carole and Michael Middleton’s first grandchild
  • Heir to the Duchy of Cornwall, regardless of gender, when William inherits the Throne
  • Titled as Lord or Lady upon birth, not as Prince or Princess, if the Queen is still on the Throne. Yes, you read that right! More information to come on the titles of this royal heir in a future post!
Back in their official engagement interview on November 16th, 2010, when asked about their plans for a family William answered:

 I think we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ll sort of get over the marriage first and then maybe look at the kids. But obviously we want a family so we’ll have to start thinking about that.

William has been photographed a few times holding babies, causing much ado in the press. Here he is in 2006 at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, West London (where William was also born):

And here is as godfather he at the London christening of Prince Konstantine Alexios in 1999. Prince Konstantine is the son of Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece (read more about Marie Chantal and her sisters here).  William’s arm is in a sling after breaking his finger playing rugby at Eton.

Greece

Let’s take a wee walk down memory lane. On November 5, 1981, Diana’s first pregnancy was officially announced. Here is a picture of Charles and Diana leaving the hospital after William was born:
And here is Kate at her christening with her parents, Carole and Michael:
katebaby
Stay tuned for more royal baby posts. We can wait to start talking about name predictions!  Also, we’re looking forward to breaking down the titles of the future heir!
 
In the mood for more royal babies? If you’d like, check out our christening post, or our Royals in Prams Part One and Part Two.