When the Duke of Cambridge takes over the throne from his father Prince Charles, he will be styled as King William V. But there has been confusion as to how his wife Kate will be known, with some reporting that she will be Queen Catherine VI. When HELLO! spoke to royal historian Marlene Koenig, founder of Royal Musings blog, she confirmed that Kate will simply be styled as Queen Catherine.
Kate will indeed be the sixth woman with a variant of the name Catherine to be a consort but she will not have a regnal number; only the sovereign and not his or her consort has a number after their name.
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There is also no chance that Kate will be a Princess consort. "The wife of the king is by tradition a queen," said Marlene. But then why is Prince Philip, the Queen's consort, known as a Prince and not a King? Marlene explained: "The husband of a queen, in most monarchies, has to be created a title. A husband does not share a wife's rank and the same goes for the husbands of Princesses." This explains why Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank will not be given a new title upon their marriage.
The Duchess will be known as Queen Catherine, and not Queen Catherine VI
Marlene added: "Philip was not created a Prince of the UK until 1957. He was given the UK HRH and the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich by George VI before the wedding, but was not created a British Prince until nearly ten years later." Historian Tim Heald's view is that Philip was given the title Prince as a reward for ten years of marriage.
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William, meanwhile, will be King William V
As for what Prince William and Kate will be styled as when Charles is King, Marlene has previously said that William will inherit his father's titles. He will become the Duke of Cornwall, when in England, and the Duke of Rothesay, when in Scotland, while Kate would take the same titles but as a Duchess. And because William will always be the Duke of Cambridge, he may be styled as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.
The couple will also, most likely, have another title. While many assume that William will become the new Prince of Wales, as first-in-line to the throne, this title is actually not hereditary. It is given to the heir apparent, but at the discretion of the sovereign. The Queen did not name her eldest son Charles as the Prince of Wales until he was nine years old. It's safe to say that William will be given the title, but not within the first few weeks of his reign. But when he does, Kate would become HRH The Princess of Wales.