Royal titles are a hot-button issue. WIth Camila Parker Bowles officially set to become Queen Consort, folks are looking to see what other royals may get name changes. Princess Charlotte could get a very rare title when Bowles becomes queen.
A New Princess Royal?
The title princess royal was invented in 1641. King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria wanted to emulate the French custom of giving the eldest daughter a stylized title. Princess Mary became the princess royal. In nearly 400 years since then, only seven women have officially held this title.
The title is so rare because it’s not doled out automatically. It’s also given for life, so it sticks with a princess even if the reigning monarch dies. This was the case for Queen Elizabeth II. King George could not give her the title of princess royal before she became queen, because his sister Princess Mary was still alive and she held the title. Traditionally, the eldest daughter of the monarch would carry this title. When Mary died in 1965, it still took more than 20 years before Elizabeth bestowed the honor on her only daughter. Anne was named princess royal in 1987.
What Needs To Happen
As the eldest daughter of a presumptive monarch, six-year-old Charlotte could become the next princess royal. Prince Charles had no daughters, so the only person in the way is Anne. Should Anne die before William becomes king, something no one is rooting for, by the way, then William would be free to christen his daughter princess royal. Though given the history of the
Ponder this thought: she would only be the eighth person in nearly 400 years to hold this title. Not many things only happen twice a century. It’s like the Halley’s Comet of royal titles. Of course, this is the royal family. William is technically free to change his name as he sees fit, so he could really do whatever he pleases. Given his love of tradition, however, it’s unlikely you’d suddenly see, say, Lilibet Diana named princess royal.
Title Stories Abound
Royal titles used to seldom get discussed. Then Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved to America, and suddenly tabloids became experts in ancient royal prerogatives. Gossip Cop has debunked loads of stories about the Sussexes losing their titles. It’s even become a conservative flashpoint, with some American politicians demanding the duo lose their designations.
Questions have risen about Prince Andrew’s royal titles as well. Settling a Jeffrey Epstein-related pedophilia lawsuit led to him being stripped of his military titles, but he probably won’t lose much more than that. Like with everything in the royal family, titles are a complicated mess of rules and traditions.