Why do Prince William and Kate Middleton’s titles change in Scotland?

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive in Manchester

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Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge start a two-day trip to Scotland today (May 11) and their diary is packed with engagements focusing on mental health. The Duke and Duchess are expected to visit a project in Glasgow operated by the Wheatley Group, which helps to transform the lives of vulnerable people and those at risk of homelessness. The couple, who are known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, will also stop to visit Glasgow University to discuss mental health with staff and students.

Why are Kate and William known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland?

When Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, the Queen conferred a new title on her grandson, and he became the Duke of Cambridge.

But William was also given subsidiary titles that, as his wife, also applied to Kate after her marriage.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on William and Kate’s wedding day read: “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.”

As they hold Scottish titles, when Kate and William visit Scotland they are known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn.

Strathearn has been used in royal titles for centuries – notably, Queen Victoria’s father Prince Edward was known as the Duke of Kent and Strathearn in the 19th Century.

Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur was created the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1874 and his grandson later took on the title, but it was left vacant upon his death in 1943.

Do other Royal Family members have Scottish titles?

Many members of the Royal Family hold Scottish titles, including Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.

Although Charles holds many Scottish titles as the heir to the throne, he is best known as the Duke of Rothesay when he visits Scotland.

Like his brother, Prince Harry was given a Dukedom by the Queen when he married Meghan Markle in 2018, and the pair are primarily known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

But when the couple visits Scotland, their Scottish titles are the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton.

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Prince Andrew was made the Duke of York when he married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, but his Scottish title is the Earl of Inverness.

Prince Edward was made the Earl of Wessex when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. But on his 55th birthday in 2019, the Queen allocated her youngest child another title.

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “The Queen has been pleased to grant The Earl of Wessex the additional title of Earl of Forfar.”

The title was particularly fitting as Forfar is nearby to the family home of Edward’s late grandmother, the Queen Mother.

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