William and Kate's titles are finally official. Just one day after the death of Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) on September 8, 2022, King Charles III. (74) his first speech as monarch of the United Kingdom. In the televised speech, the new monarch announced that his son Prince William, 40, will be the new Prince of Wales and his daughter-in-law Kate, 41, will be the Princess of Wales.
However, the royal titles only became official this month when the "letters patent" received the Great Seal of the Kingdom on February 13. The Crown Office's full announcement was printed in The Gazette on Friday.
The notice read: "In accordance with the Direction of HIS MAJESTY THE KING, Letters of Incorporation have received the Great Seal of the Kingdom, dated 13 February 2023 in the appointment of His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cornwall Rothesay and Cambridge, Earl of Carrick and Strathearn, Baron of Renfrew, Baron Carrickfergus, K.G., K.T., Lord of the Isles and Prince and High Steward of Scotland, PRINCE OF WALES and EARL OF CHESTER."
The legal instruments known as "letters patent" are a public document issued by the monarch expressing the will of the sovereign.
William and Kate received the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from Queen Elizabeth on their wedding anniversary in 2011. With the creation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the couple were simultaneously created Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus, although these titles were used less frequently.
Immediately after the Queen's death, William and Kate's Twitter and Instagram accounts were updated to "Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge", as the title of Duke of Cornwall is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, while his wife takes over the title of Duchess. Prince William and Kate were also created Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, titles previously used by Charles and now-Royal Consort Camilla (75) when in Scotland.
The title Prince of Wales is not automatically conferred but must be conferred by the monarch.
King Charles III was three years old when his mother ascended the throne. He was only officially created Prince of Wales at the age of nine. The Investiture of the Prince of Wales - at which Charles was introduced to the Welsh people as their Prince - took place at Caernarfon Castle in 1969, when Charles was 20 years old.
Such a ceremony is not expected for Prince William, but he is likely to play a role in Charles's coronation on May 6th.