Daughter of William and Kate will be a princess

 

The Queen has declared that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter she will be titled Princess.

Under past rules a girl born to William and Kate would have been styled Lady and not known as Her Royal Highness - only a first-born boy would automatically become a Prince.

But the Queen has taken action, by issuing new Letters Patent, to insure her great grandchild has a title suitable for a future monarch.

Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, said the alteration was expected, especially in light of moves to pass legislation removing discrimination surrounding women succeeding to the throne.

"It seemed a logical presumption that it would be amended," Mr Kidd said.

He added: "Letters Patent are simply a way that the Sovereign signifies making an alteration or proclamation that doesn't go through Parliament.

"It's not very rare. They're quite commonly used for example whenever a life peer is created.

"When Prince William was made Duke of Cambridge that was a new Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm."

A notice published in yesterday's London Gazette announced the decision: "The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour."

A Letters Patent in 1917, issued by William's great great grandfather King George V, had limited titles within the Royal Family.

It declared that "the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess".

This meant that if William and Kate had a son, he would take the title His Royal Highness (HRH) and be a Prince but a daughter would only be a Lady.

Similarly if the Duchess, who is believed to be just over 12 weeks pregnant, has twin boys or a second son at a later day, any second born son would be treated as the son of a Duke and would not be an HRH, but instead would have the title Lord.

But now all the children that follow the Cambridges' first child can be styled Prince or Princess.

The Queen brought about the change by signing the Letters Patent before January 1 and the elaborate document transcribed in calligraphy is now kept at Buckingham Palace.

The process of granting a new Letters Patent usually takes around a month with the Crown Office often advising on the wording of the draft before the monarch puts her signature to the final copy.

A Letters Patent was granted in 1948 just before the Prince of Wales' birth because the 1917 decree excluded the children of the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, from taking a royal style and title.

The then King, George VI, granted letters patent declaring that the children of Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh, should "have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles and honour which may belong to them hereafter".

The announcement was made on November 9, just five days before Charles was born.

The Princess Royal's children Peter and Zara Phillips, who do not hold titles, were in fact not entitled to be HRHs under the 1917 decree.

In 1996 a Letters Patent removed the title HRH from royal former wives, meaning Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York were, following their divorces, no longer entitled to use the style.

The Queen issued a Letters Patent to change William's title following his wedding, granting him "and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten the dignities of Baron Carrickfergus, Earl of Strathearn, and Duke of Cambridge".

The Earl and Countess of Wessex's children Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn are entitled to be a Princess and Prince as children of the son of the Sovereign.

But the couple decided, with the Queen's agreement, that their children would use the courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an Earl rather than the style Prince or Princess.

PA

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments