EXPLAINER: Kate Middleton may inherit this special title one day – and we're sure Princess Diana would’ve been very proud

Kate Middleton (Photo: Getty Images)
Kate Middleton (Photo: Getty Images)

Cape Town – Kate Middleton may well inherit a very special title one day.

Kate Middleton, born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, met Prince William while studying at the University of St. Andrews in 2001. The couple only confirmed their relationship much later on and married in 2011. They formally became known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – but that may very well change in years to come. See, it all depends on the succession to the British throne, and the heir apparent. Here – let us explain:


The line of succession is the order in which members of the royal family stand to ascend to the throne. According to the Royal Household website, it's determined by both descent, as well as Parliamentary statute.

This is the current line of succession:

1. The Prince of Wales

2. The Duke of Cambridge

3. Prince George of Cambridge

4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

5. Prince Louis of Cambridge

6. The Duke of Sussex

7. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor

8. The Duke of York

9. Princess Beatrice of York

10. Princess Eugenie of York


After Queen Elizabeth named Prince Charles her official successor and assuming he takes the throne one day, his current title will fall away. Historically though, when he gets a title upgrade to King, so too will everyone else in the line of succession.

Provided Prince Charles names Prince William his heir apparent, the Duke of Cambridge will be next in line for the throne and will thereby inherit the title of Prince of Wales. Kate Middleton, of course, will, therefore, become Princess of Wales – a title once held by the late Princess Diana.

After her separation from Prince Charles, Diana lost both the title of Her Royal Highness, as well as Princess of Wales.  A former servant of the British Royal Household, Paul Burrell, tells a story in his book, A Royal Duty, of the time her title fell away. He recalls a moment between Diana and Prince William:

"She turned to William in her distress. She told me how he had sat with her one night when she had been upset over the loss of HRH, put his arms round her and said: 'Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day, when I am king,' which had made her cry even more."

When Diana separated from Charles, she undoubtedly struggled with the very many changes in her life. Even though she's said, she'd rather be the people's princess – "a queen of people's hearts, in people's hearts" – losing her official title must have deeply saddened her nevertheless.

But if someone is to inherit the title of Princess of Wales, we're sure she would've happily passed it on to her daughter-in-law. We, for one, think Princess Di would've approved and been very proud. 

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