Saturday 24 February 2018

Queen bestows three titles on grandson William

Martin Beckford in London

PRINCE William and Kate Middleton were made the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day, as Queen Elizabeth bestowed three titles on her grandson.

The queen conferred the dukedom, the highest rank in the British peerage, on the prince as is customary on the occasion of a royal marriage. He was also given a Scottish title and a Northern Irish one: the Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus.

It had been expected that he would become the Duke of Cambridge, but he will hope to avoid the fate of the last holder of the title who became a figure of scandal after marrying a commoner.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The queen has today been pleased to confer a dukedom on Prince William of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. Prince William thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Miss Catherine Middleton on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge."

Charles Kidd, the editor of Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, said of the prince's dukedom: "It has a long royal tradition, and is immediately recognisable as an English title, it's one of those places everyone has heard of."

The mayor of Cambridge, Sheila Stuart, said: "We have been hoping for this ever since they announced their engagement. Cambridge has had some strong royal ties in the past -- the Duke of Edinburgh has been chancellor of the university for 34 years. It strengthens the already excellent relationship we have with the royal family."

The dukedom was created in 1664, and was first given to the second son of the Catholic King James II. But the title became extinct four times over the centuries, when its holders died without heirs.

One earlier Duke of Cambridge, the seventh son of George III, was chancellor of St Andrews University where the newlyweds met a decade ago. His only son, the last holder of the title, served in the army and married a commoner, like Prince William.

Prince George, born in 1819, refused to have an arranged marriage, and caused a scandal by marrying an actress with whom he already had two children. His marriage to Sarah Fairbrother was never formally recognised, so she did not receive the title Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William's wife may also be known as HRH Princess William of Wales. She does not have the title Princess Catherine, as she is not a princess in her own right. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent Supplement

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