Immediately following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, her firstborn son, Charles, officially became the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms.
He and wife Camilla were crowned today, May 6, at Westminster Abbey. Now, what will they and the rest of their royal relatives be referred to?
A spokesman for His Majesty confirms to BAZAAR.com that the monarch will be known as King Charles III. Meanwhile, Camilla, formerly known as the Duchess of Cornwall, will now be recognized as the queen consort.
Ahead, we explain all the nuances behind their new titles, as well as what will change for other royals like William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan—and their kids.
King Charles III
Though it has since been confirmed that Charles will be known as King Charles III, not all British monarchs have stuck by their given names upon accession.
For instance, Charles's grandfather's baptized name was Albert Frederick Arthur George. But upon becoming king, he took on the regnal name George VI. Queen Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, also changed her name, having been baptized as Alexandrina Victoria.
The new monarch choosing to go by King Charles III has him following in the footsteps of his mother, who—upon ascending the throne 70 years ago—broke tradition by deciding to keep her given name.
Camilla, Queen Consort
After Camilla and Charles married in 2005, Buckingham Palace announced that Camilla would take on the title of Princess Consort once Charles ascended the throne.
However, Queen Elizabeth later expressed her "sincere wish" for Camilla to have the title Queen Consort.
In a letter released the day before her 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, the late monarch wrote, "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; 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."
To mark the 70th anniversary of her accession, the Queen has shared a letter reflecting on her life of service and her gratitude for Prince Philip’s support as consort.
She also shares her "sincere wish" for Camilla to take on the title of Queen when Charles becomes King. pic.twitter.com/mBMReGxdG6
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 5, 2022
At the time, a Clarence House spokesperson told BAZAAR.com that the couple were both "touched and honored by Her Majesty's words."
The title of consort is traditionally given to the spouse of a reigning monarch, while queen is solely given to female rulers. Therefore, the late Queen Elizabeth II inherited her title after she ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, while Camilla was given her title due to her marriage to Charles.
Though there are subtleties between the titles, Camilla's name will still likely be styled as Queen Camilla.
Prince William and Princess Kate
"As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me," the King said. "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. 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 centre ground where vital help can be given."
A royal source tells BAZAAR.com that the couple intend "on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time" and "will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously."
The source added that Princess Kate "appreciates the history associated with this role," and also wants "to look to the future as she creates her own path."
The couple's Twitter bio now reads, "The official account of The Prince and Princess of Wales and The Royal Foundation, based at Kensington Palace." They have also migrated to a new Twitter account, @princeandprincessofwales.
William and Kate briefly inherited the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, holding the titles along with Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before receiving the Wales titles. The two adopted the Cambridge title in 2011, following their marriage, and their new Cornwall title is one they have inherited from Charles and Camilla, who are now King and Queen Consort.
The couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, have also received new titles. They are now Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales.
The Sussex Kids
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's children, son Archie and daughter Lilibet, are now technically Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The change in title is an automatic right with the ascension of a new monarch. In 1917, King George V established a rule that stated the children and grandchildren of a sovereign would automatically be entitled to the titles His Royal Highness and prince or princess. (At the time of their births, Archie and Lilibet were the great-grandchildren of a sovereign, so they weren't given the titles.)
In March 2023, Buckingham Palace updated the royal line of succession on its official website to reflect the changes in their titles.
Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie
In March 2023, Charles named his younger brother, Prince Edward, the new Duke of Edinburgh. Edward takes the title after his father, Prince Philip, who held it for 70 years until his death on April 9, 2021. The title update means that Edward's wife, Sophie, is now Duchess of Edinburgh. The two were previously known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
James, Earl of Wessex
James, whose name was previously stylized as Viscount Severn, has been conferred with the title of Earl of Wessex following his father's update to Duke of Edinburgh.
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