On May 19th, Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry at Windsor Castle. People are waiting to see her dress, the wedding party, cake, and countless other things. But people are also wondering what title the American actress will have after she weds Prince Harry.
The press will likely begin referring to her as Princess Meghan, but she actually won't be given an official princess title. Just as Kate became Duchess of Cambridge after Prince William became Duke of Cambridge on their wedding day, Meghan will likely be a duchess.
There's been quite some conjecture about what title the queen will give her grandson when he marries Meghan. According to People, most royal insiders expect the queen to make Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex.
Other possibilities for Harry and Meghan’s titles include the Duke and Duchess of Clarence and Avondale, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. However, Windsor is an unlikely title given that the last Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) abdicated the throne in order to marry his divorced American wife.
“Unless they create a new title for them, I think the Duke of Sussex is the most likely title,” Joe Little of Majesty magazine told People. “Otherwise, Meghan would be known as Princess Henry of Wales and people wouldn’t not understand that these days. But they may surprise us," he added.
If a woman who marries into the royal family doesn't receive the title of Duchess, then she will be officially referred to by her husband's name along with the title princess.
Other royal experts believe the queen might bestow the title of Duke and Duchess of Connaught, which was a dukedom in Ireland created by Queen Victoria for her third son, Arthur, in 1874, which became extinct less than 70 years later.
While some believe that would be a symbolic gesture that would indicate the union between Ireland and England, others think it would be resented by Ireland. In that case, the queen may wish to avoid controversy.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams believes the choice of Connaught is unlikely: "I would suggest that one of the highlights of the queen's reign was her visit to Ireland and there is no doubt it would be seen symbolically as a very important continuation of the close relations that now exist, but we must remember that the Republic of Ireland has existed (for decades) and it just simply isn't conceivable that it could happen without being preceded by substantial debate in Ireland," he told The Independent. "This has not happened. I don't think it would even be considered at the palace."
Likewise, author Joe McGowan, who has written extensively on the history of Sligo County in Ireland, says he doesn't believe the Irish people would be happy.
"It would be appalling and an anathema to any real Irish person. If they want to give dukedoms over in England, they can give them away in abundance. It doesn't bother me, but I think they should keep their noses out of Connacht," he told The Independent.
Not everyone shares his doubts. Royal commentator Noel Cunningham believes Ireland is receptive to the decision.
"It is not beyond the realms of possibility that almost as a nod and a courtesy to Ireland and the new-found 'détente' that has developed between both countries, that the English foreign office would advise the queen that this is a good time to resurrect that title," he says.
Prince William and Kate Middleton's titles will likely be temporary. William, who is next in line to the throne behind his father Prince Charles, is expected to become the Prince of Wales when Charles ascends the throne. Kate will take on the title of Princess of Wales, which was last held by Princess Diana.
While Kate also does not have an official princess title yet, she did list her occupation as “Princess of the United Kingdom” on Prince George’s birth certificate. Likewise, William listed his occupation as “Prince of the United Kingdom.”
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