How Kate Middleton Is Stepping Into Princess Diana's Royal Shoes After Queen's Death

·3 min read

Kate Middleton and Prince William have already received new titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her eldest son King Charles III's accession to the throne. But could they be getting another?

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, titles previously held by his father and Queen Consort Camilla, they've adopted the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales, too—titles that had been given to Charles and William's mother Princess Diana.

Charles made the announcement in his first formal address as king on Sept. 9.

"Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty," he said in a pre-recorded statement from Buckingham Palace. "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."

A royal source said William and Kate are "focused on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time" in their new role.

"The Prince and Princess of Wales will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they've approached their work previously," the royal source continued. "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."

How Prince William and Prince Harry Have Paid Tribute to Princess Diana Over the Years

Though expected, it wasn't a given that the duke and duchess would pick up those titles as they're not hereditary. Ultimately, the decision for William to adopt the title was made by Charles, as the Prince of Wales' official website notes "the title becomes merged in the Crown and is renewed only at the Sovereign's pleasure."

Kate Middleton, Princess Diana
Getty Images

Back in July 1958, the queen named Charles, just 9, Prince of Wales, making him the 21st person to hold the title. Diana took on the title of Princess of Wales when she married him on July 29, 1981. They divorced on Aug. 28, 1996, but Diana kept her title as Princess of Wales. She died following a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

Kate—who wed William on April 29, 2011—has previously spoken about her admiration of Diana. "I would love to have met her," she told ITV News during the couple's engagement interview in 2010, "and she's obviously an inspirational woman to look up to."

Charles became king after Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral castle in Scotland on Sept. 8. She was 96 years old. In a statement, the King mourned her death, calling her "a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother."

"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," he shared. "During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held."

Before her passing, the queen expressed her desire for the public to support Charles and Camilla—who wed on April 9, 2005—when he becomes king, specifically making it clear she wanted Camilla to bear the Queen Consort title. ​

"When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me," she said in a February statement, "and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."

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