Kate Middleton will become Princess of Wales, but why has Camilla never used the title?

·3-min read
Kate Middleton will become Princess of Wales, but why has Camilla never used the title?

Although not yet official, it is likely King Charles will now officially pass on the Prince of Wales title to his son and daughter-in-law through an official letter patent.

Traditionally, the Prince of Wales is also formally acknowledged through an investiture ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle, in Wales.

When that happens, Kate will be the first person to go by the title of Princess of Wales since Diana.

In 1958, Prince Charles was given the Prince of Wales title by the Queen, which he has used throughout his royal career, until his recent accession to the throne. But, despite being the Prince of Wales’s wife, Camilla was always referred to as the Duchess of Cornwall rather than the Princess of Wales.

But what is the reason she has never been known as the Princess of Wales?

Why was Camilla never known as the Princess of Wales?

Women who marry into the Royal Family usually take the equivalent of their husband’s title but, out of respect for Charles’s late ex-wife, Princess Diana, it was agreed she would not use the Princess of Wales title.

Diana was titled Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales following her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, although she had to drop the HRH following their high-profile divorce in 1996. But Diana was still allowed to use the Princess of Wales title the world knew her by, and she was known as Diana, Princess of Wales until she died in 1997.

Surrounding Charles and Diana’s marriage were rumours of Charles’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, so it was decided inappropriate for Camilla to be known as Princess of Wales once married to Charles.

When Charles and Camilla wed in 2005, it was announced she would use the equivalent of Charles’s Duke of Cornwall title, becoming the Duchess of Cornwall.

It was also agreed that Camilla would not be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles is King.

For nearly two decades, it was believed Camilla would be known as Princess Consort rather than Queen Consort but, earlier this year, the Queen expressed that she did not want this to be the case.

What does queen consort mean?

Traditionally, the wife of a reigning king is given the title of the queen consort. She is crowned and anointed at the coronation ceremony.

“Unless decided otherwise, a queen consort is crowned with the king, in a similar but simpler ceremony. If the new sovereign is a queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony,” the royal website reads.

The queen consort’s primary role is to “provide companionship and moral and practical support” to the reigning monarch, Buckingham Palace said.

Why do we have the title Princess of Wales?

The Princess of Wales (in Welsh, Tywysoges Cymru) is a title historically used by the wives of native Britons, the Welsh princes.

However, since 1301, after the conquest of Wales, King Edward bestowed the title of Prince of Wales on his son, a tradition that continues to this day.

Princess of Wales is thus a British courtesy title of the wives of the heirs of the English, and later British, throne.