While one may assume that the Duchess of Cambridge will automatically be named Queen when her husband becomes King, this isn’t actually the case.
When the Duke of Cambridge becomes the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom, his wife will inherit a royal title that differs slightly from that of her grandmother-in-law.
It’s understood that Kate will be named Queen consort when Prince William takes to the throne, as his great-grandmother, The Queen Mother, did previously.
This is in line with royal tradition, as is explained on the palace’s official website.
Royal couples with their newborns
Royal couples with their newborns
On 11 July 2013, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed their first-born child, Prince George Alexander Louis, weighing 8lbs 6oz. Just like Charles and Diana, the couple introduced the baby to the world outside the Lindo Wing the next day. Prince George was swaddled in a white G.H. Hurt & Son soft wool baby shawl, continuing the royal family's 70-year tradition. For her first photo as a new mother, Katie wore a blue polka dot dress by Jenny Packham with a pair of nude wedges.
The world gained a new Princess after the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, on 2 May 2015 at the Lindo Wing, weighing 8lbs 3oz. The baby royal made her public debut just 10 hours after her birth in the same shawl that was worn by Prince George. The newborn also wore a knitted a cap designed by Spanish brand Irulea. For her second appearance at the Lindo Wing after giving birth, Kate chose a pastel yellow and white floral print dress by British designer Jenny Packham, who also created her first post-pregnancy dress for her appearance following Prince George’s birth two years prior.
On 23 April 2018, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed royal baby number three, Prince Louis Arthur Charles. The newborn weighed 8lbs oz making him the heaviest Cambridge baby. As the weather in London was cold and windy the next day, the new prince was introduced to the world wearing a knit cap by Spanish brand Irulea like his sister, Charlotte, and the same G.H. Hurt & Son baby shawl. Kate opted for another Jenny Packham dress, this time in red and white - a look many speculated was a tribute to Diana's ensemble in 1984 following the birth of Prince Harry. Earlier that day, Prince George and Princess Charlotte met their new sibling for the first time. George was still wearing his Thomas’s Battersea school uniform, while Princess Charlotte wore a blue dress, cardigan, and black Mary Janes.
On 8 August 1988, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew welcomed their new baby daughter Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary at the Portland Hospital. The Duchess of York, who wore a navy floral print midi dress for the family's first outing, swaddled the baby in a white blanket.
Two years later, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew had another child, Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena. Born on 23 March 1990, Eugenie was introduced to the world covered by a cosy white blanket to shield her from the frosty temperatures. Sarah opted for a baby-pink, black and white pencil skirt suit with oversized buttons.
On 21 June 1982, Princess Diana and Prince Charles welcomed their first-born son, William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor. Diana gave birth at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London at 9:03pm. The next day, Diana and Charles introduced William, who was swaddled in a white lace shawl designed by from G. H. Hurt & Son, to the world. Diana wore a polka dot green midi dress that featured a bow neckline detail and sensible red flats.
Prince Harry - Henry Charles Albert David - was also born at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital on 15 September 1984. The newborn was presented to the world in a blanket designed by the same company, G. H. Hurt & Son, the following day. Princess Diana wore a red and white ensemble, including a dress with a long scarlet jacket by Jan van Velden and contrasting collar. The newborn was visited by his older brother, William, who wore red shorts and white embroidered shirt.
Princess Anne was the first member of the royal family to give birth at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital, with the birth of her son Peter Phillips in 1977, weighing 7lbs 9oz. The child made his appearance to the world in the arms of a nurse, who emerged from the wing with a group of her colleagues behind the princess before the royals were driven home.
In 1982, Princess Anne gave birth to her second child, Zara Phillips, at the Lindo Wing, weighing 8lbs 1oz. This time, the royal carried the newborn baby to the car herself.
“Unless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony,” the explanation states.
However, the same doesn’t go for the other way around if a Queen with a husband is crowned as the reigning monarch.
When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1952 following the death of her father King George VI, her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was made a consort.
He wasn’t crowned with the Queen at her coronation ceremony, as Kate will be as the future Queen consort, as the rules differ for male and female spouses of a British monarch.
There has been one instance in history when a male consort was awarded the elevated title of Prince Consort.
In 1857, Prince Albert, husband and consort of Queen Victoria, was given the title of Prince Consort following 20 years of his wife’s reign.
While the Duke of Edinburgh is technically a prince consort of the Queen, he never took after Prince Albert by being given the official title of Prince Consort.
When the marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was announced in 2005, it was revealed by Clarence House that the Duchess of Cornwall would receive the title of The Princess Consort, rather than Queen consort, when Prince Charles is crowned King.
However, in 2018 Clarence House removed this statement from its website.