Queen Elizabeth II’s death means William and Kate get new titles. Here’s what to know – National

In his first address as Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III officially conferred the title of Prince and Princess of Wales to his son, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, on Friday.

William and Catherine, known colloquially by her maiden name Kate Middleton, also gain the title of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge; Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were previously held by King Charles and his Queen Consort, Camilla.

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“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall, which I have undertaken for more than five decades,” said the King.

“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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Along with the title of Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall comes the Duchy of Cornwall itself, along with several Scottish titles previously held by the King — the Duke of Rothesay, the Earl of Carrick and the Baron of Renfrew.

So what do those titles really mean? Here’s what we know.

What do the new titles mean?

As the new Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine will take on new duties and responsibilities in supporting the King.

William and Kate, both 40, have taken on central roles within the Royal Family in recent years, appearing regularly in public and increasingly taking their three young children to events such as the queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.

Now with their new titles, they’ll be taking on even more duties to support the king.

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According to the Prince of Wales website, a significant part of William’s new role as heir to the throne is to “highlight achievements and emphasize the importance of service and the voluntary sector by encouragement and example.”

He will do this by continuing to undertake a number of charitable activities and projects such as supporting initiatives to fund conservation and raising awareness of online bullying of young people.

Unlike Queen Elizabeth II, who refused to publicly discuss her views, Charles as Prince of Wales and heir to the throne delivered speeches and wrote articles on issues close to his heart, such as climate change, green energy, and alternative medicine.


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As king, however, Charles wouldn’t be able to speak out or interfere in politics because the role of the sovereign is different from being the Prince of Wales.

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“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others,” the king said in his speech.

This means that the charities and causes he supported will now be undertaken by other members of the royal family, like William who’s not only expected to perform those duties but will also “often represent The (King) by welcoming dignitaries to the UK and attending State dinners during State visits,” the official website states.

In addition, the prince is expected to “often represent the King and the U.K. overseas at state and ceremonial occasions such as state funerals,” which were previously undertaken by Charles.


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The Princess of Wales’ role is to support her husband the Prince of Wales in his work and role as heir to the throne. Catherine will also be “undertaking public engagements on behalf of the charities that she supports,” according to the Royal Family website.

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As the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine has “highlighted the need for open and honest conversations about the subject of mental health to try and combat stigma, and also the importance of early intervention mental health support for young people,” the Royal Family website states.

William’s position as the eventual heir to the throne was sealed at his birth on June 21, 1982, the first son of Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. That put him in the public eye from the second that Charles and Diana presented him to the TV cameras outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

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The world has watched William from his school days in London to his courtship of Kate Middleton at St. Andrews University in Scotland and their spectacular marriage at Westminster Abbey.

His charities and causes — from mental health to the environment — have given hints of what sort of monarch he might one day be.

“William has been very keen to kind of show how he will treat things differently,” royal expert Pauline Maclaran, author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture” told The Associated Press in June.

“And so we see that more and more, where the future of the line is being emphasized, with Charles being put more in a kind of holding position for William. We’re always reminded that William is after Charles,” she added.

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How does the Duchy of Cornwall work?

The Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate established by Edward III in 1337 to provide an income for the heir to the throne, will also be run by the Prince of Wales — now William.

The duchy includes land in 23 counties, mostly in South West England, which includes agricultural, commercial and residential property.

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“The Duchy currently provides an annual income of £21m which The Prince uses to support himself, his children and their families as well as his philanthropic work, which raises over £100m annually for a variety of good causes,” according to the Prince of Wales website.

The Prince of Wales also pays income tax on all revenue generated from the duchy.


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The duchy estate “includes over 600 residential leases and more than 700 agricultural tenancies,” according to the official website, “all leased with a goal to maintain strong links with the local community,” the website states.

King Charles III, a vocal environmentalist, aimed to incorporate those interests through the duchy’s work.

In Poundbury, he created an urban extension to the medieval town of Dorchester in southwest England on 400 acres of land owned by his Duchy of Cornwall based on traditional town planning principles he advocated.

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In a recent report by Reuters, critics say the project, which he started in 1987 and is due to be completed in 2025, is a fantasy throwback. Supporters and many of its residents say it is radical and successful.

— with files from The Associated Press, Reuters and Global News 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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