Princess Diana title: How Diana’s title bucked the trend

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Prince Charles was one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors for many years before he finally announced his engagement in 1981. His future wife, Lady Diana Spencer, would become one of the most beloved members of the Royal Family to date. She was known to the public as Princess Diana, although this title wasn’t strictly correct.

Was Princess Diana born titled?

Lady Diana Spencer was a member of the aristocracy, as the daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer.

At the time of her birth, Diana’s father had yet to inherit his earldom and Diana was therefore born The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer.

Once Lady Diana Spencer was married, her title changed to reflect her husband’s royal title.

How did Diana’s title change after marriage?

As heir apparent to the throne, Prince Charles was given the Prince of Wales title by his mother, the Queen, in 1958.

The Prince of Wales title has a long association in the Royal Family with the eldest son of the reigning monarch.

Diana subsequently became officially titled as Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales after her wedding day.

Diana also inherited other female equivalent titles that her husband possessed.

So Diana was additionally the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Rothesay.

Although she was known to the public and media as Princess Diana, this title was not exactly accurate.

‘Princess Diana’ was a spin on Diana’s official title as Princess of Wales.

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In the British Royal Family, only certain women born royal can use the Princess title with their first names.

Under a Letters Patent issued by King George V, only the daughters of the monarch and granddaughters through the male line can be known as princesses.

Under these rules, the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne was eligible for a Princess title.

But Anne’s daughter Zara was not eligible for a Princess title as the granddaughter of the Queen through the female line.

Did Diana lose her HRH status?

After her divorce, Diana was no longer publicly known as Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.

She was no longer allowed to use the style of Her Royal Highness.

But she was allowed to keep her Princess of Wales title, however, and was known as Diana, Princess of Wales until she died in 1997.

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