Shortly after Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday that the Queen, 96, had died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the official @KensingtonRoyal Twitter and Instagram accounts were updated as belonging to the "Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge." The Duke of Cornwall is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, with his wife taking the Duchess title.
Prince William and Kate, both 40, have been known by the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The titles were bestowed upon them on their April 2011 wedding day by the Queen, William's grandmother.
Chris Jackson/Getty Prince William; Kate Middleton
The couple is also expected to inherit the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales. King Charles III, who held the title of Prince of Wales until the Queen's death on Thursday, also previously held the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, which was used in Scotland.
The title of Prince of Wales is typically given to a male heir apparent. Edward VIII held the title for the bulk of his life before ascending to (and, within months, abdicating) the throne.
However, the title of Prince of Wales won't immediately pass to William upon his grandmother's death: It must be given to him by the sovereign. King Charles himself received the Prince of Wales title at just 9 years old from his mother. In an Investiture at Caernarvon Castle in 1969, Queen Elizabeth formally crowned Charles as the Prince of Wales.
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Prince William's late mother, Princess Diana, previously held the title of Princess of Wales, after she wed now-King Charles in 1981. (The two divorced in 1996, and she died in a car crash the following year.)
Pool/ Anwar Hussein/WireImage Queen Elizabeth ll
As Kate prepares for her future role as Queen Consort, the Queen's biographer Sally Bedell Smith told PEOPLE earlier this month that she "has learned by observing" Queen Elizabeth.
"She knows what resonates. She will have absorbed a lot from this Queen," Smith said.
Although separated in age by 56 years, the late Queen and Kate share key qualifications for the job: quiet stoicism, unerring discretion and firm loyalty.
Their opinions on contentious political issues are never heard, their commitment to the throne is unwavering and their public images are tightly controlled. Kate also embodies the Queen's unofficial motto for public life: "Never complain, never explain."