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Royalty/duchess or princess


QUESTION: ok now that I have that part down, I have another. When Camilla married Prince Charles why is she duchess of Cornwall and not Princess Charles?

ANSWER: Hi Joyce,

Camilla's titles are a bit more complicated.

Like Catherine, Diana, as well as the Countess of Wessex, Duchess of Gloucester and Kent, Camilla is also a princess by marriage. However, their husband's dukedoms are higher ranking than their prince title. Their husband's are still princes, therefore they still have the princess title (i.e. Princess William, Princess Edward, Princess Richard) but they are known by their husband's higher ranking titles.

In Camilla's case it is a bit different. Remember how I said that the wife takes the titles of her husband? She married the Prince of Wales, therefore she is Princess of Wales. However, to placate the British public who seem to associate the Princess of Wales title exclusively with Diana, Camilla chose to be known as Duchess of Cornwall. One of Prince Charles' other titles. She is still a princess by marriage - and she is Princess of Wales whether she uses that title or not. If Charles was not Prince of Wales, she would be known as Princess Charles or as Duchess of Cornwall - since that is Charles' title by right of being the heir to the throne. Because he has other titles and because the Duchess of Cornwall title is higher, she is known as the Duchess of Cornwall instead. Which is why, when there is an announcement about them, they are referred to as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, instead of Prince and Princess of Wales.

Hope this helps!



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I never knew Charles was a Duke. That's new.

1 more question. At least for now. Just out of curiosity, I have heard that the Queen has to specifically by pass Charles to be King, that the Queen doesn't have a say and Charles is destined to be King anyway, and I've heard that he could never be King because of the divorce. (Remember Edward and the abdication) Unless the monarchy changed the rules and never told anyone. But then again, everyone seems to refer to Charles as next in line for the throne. So.. which one is it.

Hi Joyce,

Actually Prince Charles has several titles:

Although there has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding Prince William bypassing Prince Charles for the throne, this will not happen. Prince Charles is the Queen's eldest son and heir, he is first in line for the throne, therefore he is destined to be the future king. His divorce does not affect his position in line. Because of the trauma surrounding the abdication in 1936, it is highly unlikely that it would happen again. It is also very unlikely that the Queen would agree to bypass Charles, even if that was an option. The monarchy isn't a popularity contest where people get to vote on who inherits the throne. Provided he doesn't die before the Queen, Prince Charles will be the next king.

Thanks for your question.



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Marilyn Braun


I can answer questions on British Royalty from Queen Victoria's time to the present.


A life long interest in British Royalty.

I have acted as a royalty expert on and I currently answer royalty questions on Yahoo Answers. I also update royalty articles on Wikipedia.

I have my own royalty blog called Marilyn's Royal Blog: I have written articles on royal weddings, births, engagement rings, protocol, as well as short royal profiles. I have also appeared on CBC Newsworld, CTV News, BBC Radio, CBC Radio.

A lifelong interest in the topic and over 400 books on the subject.

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