Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William paid a visit to Wales earlier this month to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and a clip of the visit was shared on Twitter by user @hellen3030. In the video, a member of the public can be heard telling Kate that she will be a “brilliant” Princess of Wales. Kate responded: “That’s very kind of you. I’m in good hands”, as she gestured to her husband Prince William.
Will Kate be the next Princess of Wales?
While it is highly likely Kate will be the next Princess of Wales, it is not guaranteed, and the decision will likely lie with her father-in-law, Prince Charles. Although the Prince of Wales title is usually held by the heir to the throne, but it is strictly allocated at the will of the reigning Sovereign. Prince Charles did not automatically become the Prince of Wales when the Queen ascended the throne in 1952. He had to wait until 1958 to be formally given the style.
However, as Charles has been the Prince of Wales for the majority of his life, it stands to reason that he will want to grant his elder son and heir the title too for continuity. If William is made the Prince of Wales, as his wife, Kate will also likely take on the style of Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. This title was also held by Kate’s late mother-in-law when she was married to Prince Charles, and she was later styled Diana, Princess of Wales, following their divorce in 1996.
As was the case with Princess Diana, Kate may be known as Princess Kate or Princess Catherine informally by the British public. If Charles doesn’t grant William the Prince of Wales title, a title change would still likely be in order for both him and Kate. William would automatically become the Duke of Cornwall as the title is reserved for the heir apparent to the throne. In Scotland, the couple would also likely be known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, as Charles and Camilla are known now.
How will William and Kate’s royal roles change as Prince and Princess of Wales?
When the Queen dies and Prince Charles becomes King, Kate and William may expect to take on higher profile royal roles as William will be the heir to the throne. William and Kate will likely pursue the charitable interests they have already centred on as senior royals over the last decade. Like his father, William has pursued environmentalism in his royal work, alongside his efforts to promote mental health support and homelessness.
Kate’s main interest lies in early years development, with the Duchess establishing The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood and visiting Denmark earlier this year to hear more from the world leader in the field about their approach. The couple’s prioritisation of a few key issues, or the ‘Cambridge Way’ as it has been dubbed, will likely continue when William becomes heir apparent, with a source close to him reportedly telling the Mail on Sunday earlier this year: “This approach isn’t a criticism of what has come before but just an acknowledgement of a desire for change.
“It’s about hope and optimism for the future. What is driving the Duke and Duchess in everything they do is urgency plus optimism equals action.
“Many of the causes adopted by the Duke and Duchess, whether it’s Earthshot [the annual prize awarded by the Royal Foundation for contributions to environmentalism] or the early years work, also touches on every other aspect of society so it’s not that they’re excluding other good causes by having a focus.”