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Marie Claire
Marie Claire
Rachel Burchfield

Princess Charlotte is Likely to Receive a Prestigious Title—But It Won’t Be for a Long Time

Princess Charlotte in a headpiece at King Charles' Coronation.

We know that the Prince and Princess of Wales’ eldest child, Prince George, will one day be king. But as for Princess Charlotte? Well, we’re not totally sure, though it could eventually be the Duchess of Edinburgh (currently held by Sophie, the wife of Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh) or Princess Royal, a title currently carried by Princess Anne, the only sister of King Charles.

The prestigious Princess Royal title is generally held by the eldest daughter of a monarch—Anne is Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s only daughter, so that checks out here. There have only been seven Princesses Royal to date, the first being Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, The Sun reports. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty)
(Image credit: Getty)

But here’s the catch: there can only be one living Princess Royal, and the title is bestowed until death. Anne is obviously very much still alive (and may she be for many, many years to come). Anne herself wasn’t given the title until 1987, when she was 36 years old, and Charlotte won’t be able to take on the title until two (well, really three) occurrences happen: Anne’s death, and William’s taking the throne (which would also require King Charles’ passing).

Princess Anne, the current Princess Royal (Image credit: Getty)

For example, when her father King George VI was on the throne, then-Princess Elizabeth would have been a fit for the Princess Royal title, but she couldn’t take it, as King George V’s daughter Princess Mary was still alive. Mary didn’t die until 1965, and by then, Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne for 13 years.

When Anne does pass away, the Princess Royal title will revert back to the Crown; as Charles has no daughters, it will remain vacant likely until Charlotte takes it over, whenever that may be.

(Image credit: Getty)

When William takes the throne, George would be the natural fit to inherit his father’s Prince of Wales title (just as William inherited the title from his father, Charles, who had held that title since 1969), and Prince Louis will likely gain a dukedom—either the Duke of Cambridge or the Duke of York.

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