King's First Speech Confirms There Will Be A New Princess Of Wales

·3-min read
The King confirmed Prince William and his wife Kate's new titles during his first official speech (Photo: Getty/BBC News)
The King confirmed Prince William and his wife Kate's new titles during his first official speech (Photo: Getty/BBC News)

The King confirmed Prince William and his wife Kate's new titles during his first official speech (Photo: Getty/BBC News)

King Charles III revealed in his first speech as the reigning monarch that there will be a new Princess of Wales, 25 years after the royal family last used the title.

This is significant in terms of royal history – the title has not been used since his first wife, whom he divorced in 1992, died in 1997.

Diana, Princess of Wales, kept this title even after her divorce. As a much beloved figure who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 36, the royal family have refused to use the moniker since.

Addressing the nation the day after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the King acknowledged that it was a “time of change” for his family, particularly for his heir apparent, his oldest son Prince William, who will inherit Charles’ Scottish titles and Dukedom of Cornwall.

Then the King added: “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales.”

As William’s wife, Kate (whose full name is Catherine) will automatically become the Princess of Wales.

The King continued: “The country whose title I’ve been so greatly privileged to bear, during so much of my life and duty.

“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to lead and inspire our national conversations helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”

This is not a title which is automatically passed to the first-in-line to the throne – the late Queen, for instance, never had this moniker – but one which has to be declared by the monarch.

Charles was only appointed as the Prince of Wales six years after his mother became the reigning monarch.

The decision not to use Princess of Wales before now was a shift from protocol considering Charles, then known as the heir apparent and the Prince of Wales, married again in 2005.

His second wife – who now takes the title of Queen Consort Camilla – was technically Princess of Wales after their wedding, but she never used it out of respect for Diana. Instead, she was known by the lesser title of the Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles alluded to the furore around his second wife’s title during his speech, explaining: “I count on the loving help of my daring wife Camilla.

“In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort.”

Despite alleged tensions over their decision to leave the royal family’s way of life back in 2020, the King named his youngest son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan during his speech, too.

Tacitly acknowledging that they now have a new life in the US and have appeared to drop use of their royal titles, he said: “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives over seas.”

The pair’s two infant children, Archie and Lilibet, now automatically have the titles of prince and princess, as their grandfather is the reigning monarch.

However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may chose to forego those titles, or the King could alter the protocol – the matter was not mentioned in his speech.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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