For years there were few changes in the royal family, but as the younger royals marry and have children of their own, there will be shifts of title, including the big one, which is king or queen. But while some titles are automatic when there is a change of regent, others can only be held one at a time, or one generation at a time.
This is the case with Princess Charlotte’s future title, which will be Princess Royal. Town & Country explains that when Prince William becomes King William, Kate Middleton will become Queen Catherine, and Prince George will be next in line, but Princess Charlotte will only become Princess Royal if Princess Anne is no longer living, according to royal watcher Duncan Larcombe.
“The title of Princess Royal is traditionally bestowed on the eldest daughter of the monarch. It is a title that remains for life, so Princess Charlotte will have to wait at least until the death of the current Princess Royal.”
But even upon the death of Princess Anne, it will be Princess Charlotte’s father who decides if and when she will get the new title, and depending on when Prince William takes the throne, he will likely wait until Charlotte is an adult.
When the title of Princess Royal was last bestowed (on Princess Anne), it had been vacant for over 20 years.
“Princess Anne had to wait until 1987 before her mother the Queen bestowed the title of Princess Royal on her, even though the title had been vacant since 1965.”
Before Princess Anne, the title belonged to Princess Mary, who died in 1965. Princess Mary was the daughter of George V and Queen Mary.
But Larcombe adds that Princess Royal isn’t only a title, and there are rules to accepting the designation, including strict dating rules that might not be welcome.
“Under ancient British law, any man who sleeps with the Princess Royal before they are married is guilty of high treason—punishable by execution! Perhaps Princess Charlotte’s future boyfriends had better look out. At the very least, Wills and Kate are likely to wait until after Charlotte marries before giving her the title.”
But a change which will surely take place at the time that Prince William is crowned is the crowning of Kate Middleton as Queen Catherine, Queen consort. At that time Prince George will remain Prince George, but he will be heir to the throne. At this time, Princess Charlotte is behind Prince George and ahead of Prince Louis as heirs to the throne.
Got all that?