Why isn't Kate Middleton a Princess?

Kate Middleton and Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

The Duchess of Cambridge confirmed she isn't a Prince but she's also not a Princess either...

Kate Middleton wore her pretty pink 'Princess' dress for a chance meeting with a young cancer sufferer this week but while Duchess Kate kept her promise of wearing pink and is wearing a 'Princess'-style dress, not many people know that she is not technically a Princess.

Kate, 39, also joined her husband Prince William for a tour of Scotland and during the visit, Kate was asked by a little boy, "Are you a Prince?"

Shaking her head, Kate sweetly replied, "I'm not a Prince. I'm the Duchess of Cambridge. Lots of people call me Catherine."

A little girl shouted out, "She's a Princess!" Kate then asked her, "Are you? Are you a Princess?" The girl nodded, prompting Kate to respond, "Aww, you look like one in your beautiful pink coat."

We look at why Kate Middleton is known as the Duchess of Cambridge and not Princess Kate...

Why isn't Kate Middleton a Princess?

Kate Middleton will never hold the title of Princess Kate officially because through her marriage to Prince William (opens in new tab) she must be known as Princess William. While we don't call her it, her full title in England is 'Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergu.' Now that is a mouthful so no wonder she sticks to Duchess of Cambridge.

And when the Duchess of Cambridge becomes Queen - as husband William is currently third in line to the throne when it comes to royal succession (opens in new tab) - she will likely be called Queen Catherine.

The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary (opens in new tab) in April and recently re-visited the University of St Andrew's where they first met. During the trip, William revealed the bittersweet connection to Scotland (opens in new tab) as he paid a romantic tribute to his wife Kate.

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Why are Kate and Meghan not princesses?

A royal expert claims that Kate and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) are not princesses because the Queen (opens in new tab) decided they would not go by the title of Princess. It was previously thought that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was to blame for them not having a Princess title but royal expert Victoria Artbiter says it is due to the fact she gifted dukedoms to Prince Harry and Prince William.

"Had the Queen not conferred wedding day dukedoms on William and Harry, their wives would have been known as Princess William of Wales and Princess Henry of Wales in the same way Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz became Princess Michael of Kent (opens in new tab) upon her 1978 marriage to Prince Michael," Victoria wrote on 9Honey website (opens in new tab).

Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Credit: Getty

She continued, “Any changes are solely at the Queen’s discretion—not Camilla’s. Camilla, Catherine, Meghan, and indeed the rest of the Royal Family’s stylings are steeped in centuries of royal history. The only person able to implement revisions or bestow titles is the sovereign."

Will Kate Middleton be queen or princess?

Kate Middleton could soon become the next Princess of Wales and that's because Prince Charles is currently the heir apparent. When Charles becomes king (opens in new tab), it's understood that Prince William's title will automatically change to Prince of Wales, the title historically held by those first in line to the throne. That means that Kate could be the next Princess of Wales. The Princess of Wales is a title last held by Prince William's late mother Princess Diana.

The Queen with Kate Middleton and Prince William

Credit: GEOFF PUGH/AFP via Getty Images

Only when the Duchess of Cambridge becomes Queen, will she likely be referred to as Queen Catherine but reports suggest that if everything goes as planned, Kate will likely receive the title of queen consort. According to the official royal family website, it's tradition for royals-by-marriage to become consorts.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.