Prince George’s future royal title has a long and sad history

The royal youngster may one day hold his father's previous title of Duke of Cambridge

Prince George
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince George will likely one day hold the title of Duke of Cambridge but the royal title has a long and sad history dating back to the reign of King Charles II.

While he will one day he will become King, perhaps taking on a different name than he is known by now upon his accession to the throne, Prince George will go through a series of title changes before that day comes. 

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are currently known by the last name of Wales thanks to their parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton, holding the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales. When their dad becomes King, they will receive new titles to reflect their more prominent positions in the royal line of succession. But the trio will not have to wait for that day to get their hands on some prestigious new titles as it is customary for members of The Firm to be bestowed with Dukedoms and Earldoms when they a married, though Princess Charlotte may miss out on this honour due to an outdated rule. 

Just as Prince William and Kate Middleton become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they tied the knot back in 2011, it is expected that William's heir, George, will be gifted the same title when he is married. 

But the royal youngster may not want the title. That's because it has a long and incredibly sad history within the Royal Family that dates all the way back to its creation in 1660. 

Prince George and Prince Louis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As reported by OK! Magazine, the title of Duke of Cambridge was created in 1660 by King Charles II as he gifted the prestigious title to his eldest nephew, Charles Stuart. Unfortunately, the young Charles Stuart died at the tender age of six months old after bing bestowed with the Dukedom. 

The title was then inherited by the next oldest Stuart child, Charles' younger brother, James Stuart but, in a horrific twist of fate, James died young from either smallpox or the bubonic plague.

The Stuart family continued to experience a series of heartbreaks as King Charles' third oldest nephew, the now oldest surviving Stuart child, died at just three years old after inheriting the title. Then, after being made the fourth Duke of Cambridge, the youngest Stuart son passed away at the meagre age of just 35-days-old. 

For whatever reason, likely with the coincidences of deaths associated with the Dukedom, the title of Duke of Cambridge was then not used again until 1706 when Queen Anne made the future King George II the fifth Duke of Cambridge. 

Prince George and the late Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The title continued to be passed down through the Royal Family until it was bestowed upon Prince Adolphus, King George III's seventh son. The Prince then passed the title down to his own son, Prince George, but it fell out of use after George died as his marriage had violated The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 through the fact he had not asked the monarch's permission to marry. This scandal made the title less than desirable. 

This longstanding history is largely forgotten now, with Prince William's good work while holding the title doing a lot to bring the Dukedom back into favour. But Prince George's claim to the title depends largely on whether or not his father is already on the throne when he gets married.

This is because Prince George will, as heir, become the Prince of Wales when Prince William, who now holds the title, takes to the throne. This is customary within the family. However, if King Charles is still the King when George marries, the monarch is expected to gift George and his future partner the same titles as William and Kate received on their marriage. 

If Prince George becomes the Prince of Wales earlier than is expected, it's expected that his younger brother Prince Louis will become the next Duke of Cambridge. 

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.