After a very tense two days of waiting (What, you weren’t tense? Just me? Okay.) the name of the newest member of the British Royal Family has been announced.
The #RoyalBaby has officially been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and will be known as HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.
This name, of course, carried quite a bit of significance. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
- Charlotte – This is a very traditional royal name, and has been the name of many Princesses and even a Queen. This name is the feminine of the name Charles, which is the name of Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales. Interestingly, Queen Charlotte was the consort of King George III… is it a coincidence that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to name their children George and Charlotte after a married reigning couple? I doubt it.
- Elizabeth – Another important bit of family tradition, this name serves multiple purposes. Obviously it pays homage to The Queen, Elizabeth II (Charlotte’s great-grandmother) – but it also pays homage to the Princess’s mother – The Duchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Middleton) and grandmother Carole Middleton, who both share the middle name Elizabeth.
- Diana – Here’s the kicker. The one everyone has been hoping for. This name is an obvious tribute to Prince William’s dearly departed mother, Lady Diana Spencer, who later became HRH The Princess of Wales. Upon her divorce from Prince Charles she lost her HRH (which is said to have deeply wounded her and her sons), and became known as Diana, Princess of Wales. She was not – contrary to popular belief – ever officially Princess Diana, as she was not born a princess. However, the title Lady was hers in her own right, as the daughter and then sister of an earl.
And what about that “of Cambridge” bit?
The Princess will carry her father’s territorial designation “of Cambridge” for life, until either a) he becomes Prince of Wales, at which time she will become HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Wales, or b) she gets married and takes her husband’s title/territorial designation. (Unless, of course, she is granted her own peerage upon marriage and becomes the first Duchess of York in her own right – which I am really hoping for, but who knows if that would ever happen!)
When her father becomes King, she will become HRH The Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, dropping all territorial designations (note the The in her title).
When her father is King Princess Charlotte will also have the opportunity – as the eldest daughter of the King – to become HRH The Princess Royal. However, there can only be one sitting Princess Royal at a time, and the title is currently held by Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter.
That said, if she should marry before her father becomes Prince of Wales or King, she will then take the title of her husband, if he has one – becoming Princess Charlotte, Duchess/Countess/Baroness of [XYZ Territory]. It should be noted that if she does marry an untitled man, the monarch at the time – be it her grandfather or father – will bestow a title upon him. I myself have wondered if its possible that the title may be bestowed on her directly.
As she was born a princess, she will never lose the title Princess, even if she marries an untitled man.