King Charles III bestows the title of Prince of Wales on his eldest son and heir, Prince William

On September 8, 2022, the United Kingdom not only experienced the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the key figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, but also immediately witnessed the accession to the throne of her eldest son, the hitherto Prince Carlos de Gales, who will reign with the name of Carlos III. From the moment his mother died, he ceased to hold the status of eternal heir to the British Crown, pending the royal proclamation on September 10 in which he would be recognized as such by the Government and announced in a public ceremony at St James’s Palace in London.

With Carlos III seated on the throne of the United Kingdom and in the rest of the 14 states in which he is also Head of State, such as Canada or Australia, there was a change in the line of succession, since his eldest son immediately passed to become the heir to the throne. Prince William, until then Duke of Cambridge, became the natural successor of his father and, with it, also inherited part of his titles, such as those of Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Lord of the islands. Obtaining these distinctions is automatic, but the same does not happen with the Principality of Wales.

Prince William of Wales, heir to the throne

During his first speech to the nation as British Sovereign, which was broadcast on September 9 at 6:00 p.m. local time, King Charles III dedicated a few words to his two sons, William and Harry. Regarding his eldest son, the greatest surprise was experienced when the new Sovereign decided to announce that he had granted the title of Prince of Wales to his successor, who is called to replace him on the throne when the time comes.

Prince William next to the Imperial Crown at the State State Opening of Parliament 2022Prince William next to the Imperial Crown at the State State Opening of Parliament 2022

From the moment that appointment became effective, the eldest son of King Carlos III has become William of Wales, the highest distinction that his father could grant him. The first-born of the monarch becomes the 23rd prince in the long history of characters who have held him throughout the ages. His father, without going any further, held this crown that his mother imposed on him in a pompous ceremony on July 1, 1969. Now, he has had to give it up to opt for another greater crown: that of King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

A new Princess of Wales, with the memory of Lady Di

In addition to communicating the news that many Britons expected, Carlos III also recalled in his historic speech that, with this decision, the United Kingdom has a new Princess of Wales, a role that falls to Kate Middleton, wife of his son William. The country once again recovers this distinction, which was used for the last time by Princess Diana, since the current Queen consort, Camilla Parker, preferred not to use it when she married the then Prince of Wales 16 years ago, as a sign of respect to the legendary Lady Di, opting for the Duchess of Cornwall.

Kate Middleton in a carriage at Trooping the Color 2022 for the Platinum JubileeKate Middleton in a carriage at Trooping the Color 2022 for the Platinum Jubilee

British society has always seen Princess Catherine, known to all simply as Kate, as the worthy successor of her mother-in-law Diana. That is why, unlike what would have happened if Queen Camilla had used the designation that corresponded to her due to her marriage, the people will welcome the new Princess of Wales with open arms, although with the constant memory of the one who was She is and always will be the princess of the people.

The title of Prince of Wales dates back to the 14th century

Wales is one of the historical kingdoms that make up the United Kingdom, and was annexed to England after its conquest and signing of the Statute of Rhuddlan, initialed in 1284. Years later, specifically in 1301, King Edward I of England carried out the creation of the title of Prince of Wales, in order to grant it to his heir, the future Edward II.

Charles of England being crowned Prince of Wales in 1969Charles of England being crowned Prince of Wales in 1969

Unlike the titles of Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Lord of the Isles, that of Prince of Wales is a distinction that the monarch grants to his successor because he so voluntarily decides, it is not an obligation or something that it is obtained naturally or automatically as it happens with the others at the moment in which the heir is born or assumes such condition. In fact, King George VI never granted his daughter, the future Elizabeth II, the title of Princess of Wales, since he considered that this distinction only corresponded to a consort. Therefore, it is also not mandatory that the heir be Prince of Wales in order to inherit the throne.

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