Kate Middleton and Prince William: Origin of couple’s Cambridge royal title explained | Royal | News (Reports)

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Prince William, 38, is second in line to the British throne and was gifted a new dukedom upon his marriage to wife Kate. From their wedding day onwards Kate and William have been known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – a peerage they are expected to hold for life.

What is the history behind Kate and William’s royal title?

The Dukedom of Cambridge is one of the six current royal peerages in Britain and is named after the city of Cambridge in England.

King Charles II first brought the dukedom into use when he bestowed it upon his infant eldest nephew Charles Stuart in 1660.

However, sadly Charles Stuart died at just six months old and the dukedom of Cambridge was not officially recognised until years later.

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However, Edward is reported to have rejected the title because he wished to be styled under the Wessex name.

One source claimed Edward favoured the name Wessex due to a character in the film Shakespeare in Love and asked if he could have this instead.

A royal courtier told the Telegraph in 2010: ”He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”

So Prince Edward and Sophie became the Earl and Countess of Wessex on their wedding day, leaving the dukedom of Cambridge spare.

While an earl is lower ranking than a duke, it is understood Edward will inherit his father Prince Philip’s dukedom of Edinburgh upon his death.

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Prince William became the Duke of Cambridge by the Queen upon his wedding day to Kate in 2011.

The couple is the future head of the Royal Family and it is expected when William ascends to the throne his dukedom will merge with the crown rather than being passed on to any of his offspring.

Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “When William becomes King, the dukedom of Cambridge will merge with the crown.

“Upon William becoming king, George will cease being known as Prince George of Cambridge, and will be styled as The Prince George, and will automatically become Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay.

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“In the event, he marries before William becomes king, and if present custom prevails, then he will be created a duke on the morning of his wedding.

“As has previously been the case, when the dukedom of Cambridge is merged with the crown, it will be free to be used as and when decided by the monarch.

“It would be unusual for it to be given to Prince Louis in time.

“The passing of a title to a younger son, as is being contemplated with the dukedom of Edinburgh is to keep that title alive, which otherwise would itself eventually become merged with the crown with Charles becoming king.”

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