Duchess or Princess?

Two years ago, Kate Middleton stepped out of the Goring Hotel looking absolutely resplendent in her custom Alexander McQueen wedding gown. She sped away to Westminster, waving happily and beaming from ear to ear in her glass top Rolls Royce. On that day, her fairy tale came true, much like it did back in 1981 when Lady Di wed Prince Charles.

There’s one subtle, yet significant distinction between the two happily ever afters though. Unlike her late mother-in-law, who became a Princess on her wedding day, Kate did not enjoy the same courtesy. At least not in an official capacity. Rather than confer the title of Princess, the Queen made Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. Not bad considering a Dukedom is the highest rank in the British Peerage, but still, everyone knows that when you marry a Prince, you become a Princess.

That may be how it plays out in many happily ever afters on screen, but not for the Duchess of Cambridge. Silly Disney for putting that notion in our heads when we were young and impressionable.

I, for one, believe the Queen didn’t want to act too hastily when it came to Kate’s title. Historically, marriages into the royal family haven’t gone so well, especially for the Queen’s children. In fact, many of them could be classified as train wrecks.

Queen Elizabeth claimed the year 1992 as her Annus Horribilis. It’s the year Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew all got divorces. It’s also the year Princess Diana published her scandalous tell-all book revealing both intimate and shocking details about her life as a member of the royal family. And it’s when Windsor Castle caught fire. The scandals nearly destroyed the royal family and their credibility with the general public. That’s not a lesson one forgets easily and I’m sure it played at least a minor role in Kate’s future title.

That’s not to say the Queen didn’t, or doesn’t, believe Kate and Wills’ relationship won’t last. From most reports I’ve read, Kate’s generally well accepted amongst the royal family, especially the Queen. I think when it came to her title though, past experience dictated what honor was bestowed. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither was the British monarchy. I think the Queen tread lightly when conferring Kate’s title.

Kate’s proven herself time and time again since her fairy tale wedding two years ago – on her North American tour, at the London Olympics, during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, at all her many charity events. She’s carried herself well and been a positive ambassador for the United Kingdom. Now that Kate’s the proud mother to a healthy baby boy, might the Queen revise her stance?

We already saw on Prince George’s birth registry that Kate’s occupation was listed as Princess of the United Kingdom. As the mother of a future monarch, I’m speculating that Kate’s title will get an upgrade in the near future.

What do you think? Should Kate have been made a Princess on her wedding day? Now that she’s the mother of a future King, should her title change?

2 thoughts on “Duchess or Princess?

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