British Royal Family

Will Duchess Catherine become Queen? All your royal title questions answered

There's more to a name than meets the royal eye.

By Jess Pullar
When it comes to addressing royalty, titles are everything.
For the British royal family, the titles have remained stagnant for many years - we have the unstoppable 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth II to thank for that!
But inevitably, the rankings and titles will change when Elizabeth's reign comes to an end - and the Queen herself seems well aware of it.
The next generation of royals are preparing themselves. (Image: Getty)
In fact, she seems to be actively prepping the royals for the time when Prince Charles becomes King.
In a surprising move, Prince Charles' official 70th birthday portraits had one noticeably absent royal family member - the Queen herself.
Instead, the images showed the next three generations of royals in a particularly candid light, a sign that Elizabeth is ready to step down.
New official portraits feature the next generation of royals in a particularly candid light. (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Clarence House)
A palace aide also confirmed with Woman's Day that the Queen is not attending as many engagements as she used to.
"Instead, she's allowing Charles, William and Harry to take charge, she's preparing her family – and royal enthusiasts – for when she is no longer around. The monarchy is about to enter a new era."
And with that era comes some brand new titles.
We take a look at how this will impact the future Kings (and Queens!) of England...

What will Duchess Catherine be called when Prince William becomes King?

While Prince William's reign on the throne is still a while out, we're super intrigued by what former Kate Middleton - now Duchess Catherine - will be known as.
And to be honest, we're pretty chuffed with the answer - it appears that the royal mum-of-three will indeed be known as Queen Catherine.
According to Hello!, Kate will take the prominent-sounding title as opposed to being known as 'Princess Consort'.
"The wife of the king is by tradition a queen," royal historian Marlene Koenig told the publication.
Kate will indeed become known as a Queen! (Image: AAP)
But that does beg the question - why is Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth not known as King?
Marlene explained the inconsistency, saying men cannot share a wife's rank: "The husband of a queen, in most monarchies, has to be created a title. A husband does not share a wife's rank and the same goes for the husbands of Princesses."
As for when Prince Charles become King, it is believed William will assume his father's title - the Duke of Cornwall while in England, and the Duke of Rotheday while he's in Scotland.

What will Camilla be called when Prince Charles becomes King?

At the moment, Camilla is officially known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall.
But when Charles becomes King, Camilla will adopt the title of Princess Consort, as stated by Clarence House when the pair wed back in 2005.
However, historically, there isn't a precedent for Camilla to be titled Princess consort, as wives of Kings usually are known as Queen Consorts.
Charles and Camilla wed in a civil ceremony in 2005. (Image: Getty)
According to the Daily Express, there are laws that ultimately decide it.
"She cannot be forced to be called 'Queen Consort', but her role as the wife of the King is, by definition, that of Queen," a professor of law at Oxford University affirmed.
He continued to explain: "This is, however, a very limited role, which need not involve the use of the title 'Queen'."
So basically, this means Camilla will use the title 'Princess Consort' but is still effectively a Queen.
WATCH: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla dance together:
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What do the royals call each other?

While their formal names are all well and good, we can't really expect the royals to call each other 'Duchess' and 'Prince' as they're asking them to hand over the gravy at the dinner table.
In fact, the British royals have adopted some sweet nicknames for each other, as revealed over the years. We've highlighted the best below:
  • Prince George proved once again that he might well be the most adorable of them all when it was revealed he calls his Granddad, Prince Charles, "Gan Gan". We'll just be weeping happy tears in the corner now.
  • Duchess Meghan doesn't have to refer to the Queen as 'Your Majesty', as per tradition. Rather, the newly minted royal can call the Queen 'Ma'am', according to Majesty magazine. But it doesn't end there - Meghan may then like to adopt a name that Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, would call the Queen. That name? 'Mama' - we're not too sure how we feel about this one!
  • Princess Diana was known as 'Duch' to her family following her wedding to Prince Charles, as she acted like a Duchess. The name was revealed in a Christmas card from Prince Charles and Princess Diana back in 1986 that read: "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year and lots of love from the four of us, Duch and Charles."
  • Lastly, Duchess Meghan's new baby hasn't yet arrived, but it already has an affectionate name by it's doting father! Prince Harry recently referenced their royal bundle of joy as 'little bump' while he and Meghan were in New Zealand. "From myself, my wife and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here," he said. Swoon!

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