The demise of Queen Elizabeth II on September 08th this year meant the whole hierarchy of the British Royal Family has changed. Her elder son Prince Charles of Wales became King Charles III, the moment Queen Elizabeth II died making Charles’ elder son Prince William the heir apparent. On September 09th in his first address to the nation, King Charles created Prince William The Prince of Wales hence making William’s wife Catherine The Princess of Wales.
“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, the country whose title I have 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” – King Charles III
The British Royal Family has always been one of the most famous and well-known Royal families in the world. Although the top-most female title of the Hierarchy in the British Royal Family is ‘The Queen’, there has always been one other female title in the British Royal Family that has always been the most popular Royal Title in the world – The Princess of Wales ‘Tywysoges Cymru’.
The brilliant fact about the title ‘Princess of Wales’ is that this title cannot exist without its male counterpart – the Prince of Wales. The Princess of Wales is the official courtesy title of the wife of The Prince of Wales – The heir to the British Throne. The title of Prince of Wales is not automatic. The Monarch invests his/her oldest son who is also the heir apparent to the British throne as The Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales title goes back to the 12th Century and the feminine version to the 13th century. No woman has ever held the title of Princess of Wales on her own due to the succession rights and also to the fact that it will make the Princess’ husband Prince of Wales – a title that belongs to the heir apparent.
Also, the Title does not make the holder a Princess in her own right, but she can be addressed as Princess ‘Name. Just as Diana, Prince William’s mother, was always addressed as Princess Diana as she became The Princess of Wales upon her marriage to the then Prince Charles in 1981. Queen Camilla was the last title holder but she was used to being addressed as The Duchess of Cornwall. And now Catherine can be addressed as Princess Catherine.
Prince William is the 23rd Prince of Wales and Catherine is the 11th Princess of Wales. Their three children also have new titles – Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales. So Cambridges will be known as Wales Family now. About the new position, a source said,
“The Prince and Princess of Wales are focussed on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time. They will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously. The new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path.”
First I would like to take a moment to say that it’s such a bittersweet moment. I am really happy and excited to see Catherin being the holder of this beautiful title – The Princess of Wales. But that also meant that we had to lose one of the most strong and stable leaders in our world – Queen Elizabeth II.
It was Catherine who brought me into the Royal watching world 100%. Before that, I used to just be a casual reader here and there. It was William and Catherine’s love story that changed my interest in the early 2000s when William and Catherine were University students. RegalFille was born out of that love.
Although the title is Welsh, there were seven Welsh ladies in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries- Joan, Lady of Wales, Isabella de Braose, Eleanor de Montfort, Elizabeth Ferrers, Gwenllian of Wales, Margaret Hanmer and Catrin ferch Owain Glyndŵr who could have been Princess of Wales either by birth or by marriage but only Eleanor de Montfort was officially titled as Welsh Princess of Wales.
The first officially recognized Princess of Wales was Joan of Kent – The Fair Maid of Kent, the wife of Edward the Black Prince. Since then there have been 9 more Princesses of Wales and Catherine is the 11th Princess of Wales.
While sometimes it feels fast and quick, the truth is Catherine has 20 years old Royal journey. As she has made her own path as The Duchess of Cambridge, I am sure she will have her own unique journey as The Princess of Wales too.