Kate Middleton became the Princess of Wales after she was named by her father-in-law King Charles III in his first speech since acceding the throne on Friday, September 9. Kate’s new title is very significant, as she’s the first member of the royal family to be named the Princess of Wales in 25 years. The title was previously held by King Charles’ ex-wife and her husband Prince William’s late mother Princess Diana, who died in 1997.
During his first address, King Charles gave Prince William the new title of Prince of Wales, as the heir apparent to the new king. “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, 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 inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given,” Charles said.
Diana became the Princess of Wales in 1981, when she married then-Prince Charles. After the couple divorced in August 1996, she retained the Princess of Wales title, but lost the HRH styling. A year after the divorce was finalized, she was tragically killed at age 36 in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Charles’ second wife, Queen Consort Camilla, did not receive the Princess of Wales title, but she did become the Duchess of Cornwall.
Before making William and Kate the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles also explained that his son would take on his previous title as the Duke of Cornwall. “As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me,” Charles announced. “He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall, and takes on the responsibilities for the Dutch of Cornwall, which I have undertaken for more than five decades.”
Aside from the new titles for William and Kate, His Majesty also sent love to his younger son Prince Harry and daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, as well as honored his mother Queen Elizabeth following her death on Thursday, September 8. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Megan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he said in the address.