Princess Charlotte Will Get a Major Title Upgrade When Prince William Becomes King

There’s a special title reserved for eldest daughters.

princess charlotte
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte may only be six, but she’s already carrying around some serious royal titles. She’s Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, and—to her parents, anyway—Lottie. And don’t forget that, at school, she’s just called Charlotte Cambridge so as not to set her apart from her classmates. That’s already a lot to keep track of, but with Prince William second in line to the throne, she’s also cued up to receive another major royal title.

There are a lot of title shifts when a new monarch is crowned. When Prince Charles, the first in line to the throne, ascends, Prince William and Kate will become the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. And then, when Prince William eventually becomes King William, Kate Middleton will become Queen Consort. As for their children George, Louis, and Charlotte, they’ll become Princes and Princess of Wales, respectively. 

But Charlotte, as the eldest daughter of the king, would also get the title of Princess Royal, according to the Mirror. The Princess Royal title has been around since the 1600s, when it was instituted to mimic the French monarchy’s Madame Royale. The title is currently held by Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II and Philip’s daughter, and Prince Charles’s younger sister. Princess Royal is a lifelong title, which means that if William becomes king before Princess Anne’s death, Charlotte will have to wait for it. 

The publication also notes that while the monarch’s descendants don’t usually use a last name—very Madonna of them—they can put “Mountbatten-Windsor” when differentiation is necessary. That's the last name that Harry and Meghan use for Archie and Lilibet, who don't have their own titles. The use of George Cambridge and Charlotte Cambridge at school is actually a nod to Prince William’s use of the title-as-last-name that he used when in the military. And, of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that it’s easier for a six-year-old to spell than Mountbatten-Windsor.