We all know Prince William and Kate Middleton as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, of course, but they actually could have been called something completely different.
A Telegraph article dating back to the time of the Cambridges’ engagement has been resurfacing everywhere lately, which had some pretty juicy things to say about the couple’s potential titles.
Firstly, Prince William apparently wanted to continue going by that name, and thus wanted his wife’s title to match his own: “He wants Kate to become Princess Catherine,” a royal courtier told the newspaper at the time.
However, according to royal protocol, if Prince William hadn’t been made a duke, Middleton would have had to take the title “Princess William,” since she wasn’t born a princess. For her to be known as “Princess Catherine” would have had a ripple effect throughout the various branches of the royal family.
”Kate is a commoner and could not be known as ‘Princess Catherine,'” royal historian Kenneth Rose told the Telegraph. “However, it is up to the Queen what title she gives her and there have been one or two exceptions.
”When Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester died, the Queen gave the Duchess of Gloucester the title Princess Alice. This was, though, to reward her for years of loyal service.”
But Rose imagined that there would be signs of protest among royals if Middleton were to take on the title Prince William originally wanted for her. “If this happened, I am pretty certain that Princess Michael of Kent, for example, would ask to become Princess Marie-Christine. I should think that there will be some pressure put on him [William] not to change the system.”
But wait, there’s more: The titles the pair was eventually given, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, could have gone to someone else entirely. In fact, that particular dukedom had originally been reserved for Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and the Queen’s youngest child. “Prince Edward was going to be the Duke of Cambridge, but he watched the film Shakespeare in Love, which had a character called the Earl of Wessex,” the courtier told the newspaper. “He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.” LOL, Prince Edward sounds like the kind of person who would exclaim, “gosh, I’m such a Samantha,” and I absolutely love that narrative for him.