Royal family titles: how Prince Charles became King Charles III after Queen’s death, how is William now known?

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Prince William is just one member of the royal family who now has a new royal title following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The UK is going through a period of extraordinary change due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the subsequent beginning of the reign of King Charles III.

The nation is mourning, and the royal family is also going through a period of private grief.

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Only time will tell what kind of king Charles will be, but one thing is for certain - the Queen’s passing changes the line of succession and that will also mean a change of title for some members of the royal family.

So, just which members of the royal family have a new title now and what will those titles be?

Here’s everything you need to know.

How did Charles become King?

KIng Charles III immediately became the reigning sovereign of the UK following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday 8 September 2022.

Under the rules of royal succession, the crown is immediately passed to the eldest child of the serving monarch when they pass away.

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If the serving monarch does not have a child, the crown passes to their eldest sibling instead.

What will Prince William’s new title be?

Prince William, King Charles III’s eldest son who is now the heir to the throne, now has a new title.

Formerly known as the Duke of Cambridge, in the hours following the Queen’s death he was named as the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.

In the new King’s first address to the nation at 6pm on Friday 9 September, Charles announced that Prince William would become the new Prince of Wales.

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He will still also continue to be known as the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The title of Prince or Princess of Wales is traditionally adopted by the heir to the throne, and indeed the King was known as the Prince of Wales before becoming the reigning monarch.

The title is, however, not an inherited title and so King Charles III decided to give his son this honour.

In announcing the news, King Charles III said: “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.”

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The Royal family line of succession, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III.The Royal family line of succession, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III.
The Royal family line of succession, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III. | NationalWorld/Kim Mog

Will Prince William’s family also receive new titles?

Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, had been known as the Duchess of Cambridge prior to the death of the Queen,

In similarity to her husband, for the first few hours after the Queen’s death she was known as the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

King Charles III gave her the title of Princess of Wales. The last person to have this title was Prince Willam’s mother, the late Princess Diana who died in a car crash in Paris 25 years ago.

Kate will also still continue to be known as the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, nine-year-old George, seven-year-old Charlotte and four-year-old Louis were already known as prince or princess.

Prince George is now third in line to the throne.

What will Camilla’s new title be?

The wife of King Charles III, Camila Parker Bowles, was formerly known as the Duchess of Cornwall. She will now be known as Queen Consort.

On 5 February 2022, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II said she wished for Camilla to become Queen Consort.

The late Queen shared her “sincere wish” for the Duchess of Cornwall to one day be known as Queen Consort, and called on the nation to support both Camilla as Queen and the then Prince of Wales as King.

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Elizabeth II said in the written message: “I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me.

“And 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.”

Will any other royal family members receive new titles?

King Charles III’s youngest son, Prince Harry, will not receive a new title following the death of his grandmother.

He and his wife Meghan Markle were known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following their wedding in 2018, but in 2021 they stepped away from royal life and announced they would no longer be working royals.

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During his televised first speech, His Majesty the King did say he has “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have two children; three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet. Following the death of their great-grandmother, and the beginning of the reign of their grandfather, they are now Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

Rules set out by King George V in 1917 mean that as the children of a son of a sovereign they may use an HRH title.

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