Queen names Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

April 29, 2011 12:00 am

, LONDON, Apr 29 – Prince William was made the Duke of Cambridge on his wedding day on Friday by Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate Middleton will become the Duchess of Cambridge once they are married, Buckingham Palace said.

"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," the palace said.

"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."

A spokesman for William at Clarence House said he was "honoured."

It is traditional for royal grooms to receive at least one title on their wedding day, and their brides take them on by default.

As well as being a duchess, Kate will also technically be Princess William of Wales, adopting her husband\’s name.

She will not officially be Princess Catherine because she was not born a princess in her own right, although she is likely to be known as this in the media, as William\’s late mother was known as Princess Diana.

The Duke of Cambridge has been a royal title since the reign of Charles II, and links William to the eastern English city where his father Prince Charles went to university. A dukedom is the highest rank in British peerage.

Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett\’s Peerage, the bible on the British aristocracy, said: "It\’s a well-known place and I think it will have some resonance with the public."

The last Duke of Cambridge was Prince George, a famous military figure who was born in 1819, the grandson of George III and the only son of Prince Adolphus Frederick, the 1st Duke of Cambridge.

George married an actress for love but the union was never recognised by the monarch. His mother, German-born Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Cassel, was therefore the last to hold the title Duchess of Cambridge.

The earldom of Strathearn links William to Scotland, where he met Kate while at university at St Andrews in 2001, and where they fell in love.

Strathearn has had royal connections since Robert Stewart, high steward of Scotland and future king Robert II of Scotland, was created its earl in 1357.

It was also given to Queen Victoria\’s father in 1799, but as a dukedom, and then to her third and favourite son, Prince Arthur, in 1874. The title became extinct in 1943.

The barony of Carrickfergus links William to Northern Ireland — Carrickfergus is the oldest town in County Antrim, predating Belfast.

The title was created in 1625, although it only existed as a title on its own between 1841 and 1883. The Marquess of Donegall currently holds an Irish Viscountcy of Chichester of Carrickfergus.

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