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Members of the royal family that are in direct line of the throne do not go by a last name. However, they are still able to easily be distinguished thanks to their royal titles that they are given. Trying to understand the royal titles can be a bit confusing. Not only can they be extremely lengthy, but they can also change whenever they travel to other countries. 

Many people are confused about what Kate Middleton‘s actual title is. We all know that she is the Duchess of Cambridge, but is she also a princess as well? Why do we not refer to her as “Princess Kate” as we did her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana?

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Is Kate Middleton a princess?

In order to be a princess, you must be the daughter of the British Sovereign or marry a prince. In Kate Middleton’s case, she had married a prince. So does that make her a princess? Technically, yes, but she is not Princess Kate. If you become a princess by marriage, you are given the title of your husband. So the day Kate married William, she became Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge.

While many people may call her Princess Kate, the title ‘princess’ does not come directly before her first name because she was not born into the family. So, instead of calling her Princess William, most people choose to call her by her other title, Duchess of Cambridge. However, on son George’s birth certificate, her occupation was listed as “The Princess of the U.K.,” so she is an actual princess.

So, why was Kate’s mother-in-law called Princess Diana? Well, she wasn’t really supposed to be. Because she had married the Prince of Wales, she had inherited the title of Diana, Princess of Wales (notice her first name comes before the word ‘princess’ and not after). But instead of calling her the Princess of Wales, people started to refer to her as Princess Diana. Diana once admitted that her title was given to her by the public and was not her actual title.

Does Kate Middleton have any other titles?

To the people of England, and most other countries, Kate Middleton is known as the Duchess of Cambridge. However, when William and Kate visit Scotland, they are referred to as the Earl of Strathearn and the Countess of Strathearn. This is due to the fact that Scotland has a different nobility system that they had used before becoming a part of the U.K. back in the 1600s. For the same reason, Prince William is known as the Baron Carrickfergus and Kate is known as the Lady Carrickfergus when they are in Northern Ireland. 

Every title that Kate Middleton has was gifted to her by the queen. Earlier this year, as a way to celebrate Kate and William’s eight-year anniversary, the queen gave Kate yet another title: Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. The Royal Victorian Order was created by Queen Victoria. It was set in place to recognize anyone who has greatly served the royal family. Dame Grand Cross is the highest rank that is awarded for this title and it truly shows how much Kate is appreciated by her grandmother-in-law.

The royal titles are pretty confusing for anyone to understand. Some people believe that you have to either be a part of the royal family or have studied the monarch for many years to truly understand how the titles work. However, no matter what title Kate Middleton goes by, in our book, she will always be known as one of the most kind-hearted and considerate princesses that the British monarch has ever seen.