Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Titles Made Official

Prince William and Kate Middleton have officially become the Prince and Princess of Wales. Prince William became the heir to the British throne in September when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II passed away, but formal ceremonies like the Coronation of King Charles III still need to be held. Last week, the simple step to make Prince William and Middleton's titles official was carried out.

The U.K. has an official public record called The Gazette, which makes royal statements official and available to the entire country. On Monday, Feb. 13, The Gazette published new "Letters Patent" from King Charles. The Letters of Patent are defined by the Royal Collection Trust as "an open document from the Sovereign, which can be used to express the Sovereign's will, for example to confer an office or create a new peerage." Last week's letters confirmed all of Prince William and Middleton's titles – including their new status as Prince and Princess of Wales.

"In accordance with the direction of HIS MAJESTY THE KING Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the Realm, dated the 13th February 2023 for creating His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cornwall Rothesay and Cambridge, Earl of Carrick and Strathearn, Baron of Renfrew, Baron Carrickfergus, K.G., K.T., Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, PRINCE OF WALES and EARL OF CHESTER," the Letters Patent read.

Prince William and Middleton have been using the titles Prince and Princess of Wales since September, including on their official social media pages. Technically, these titles do not pass to the heir automatically – they must be bestowed by each monarch. However, it is a long-standing tradition for the heir to the British throne to be referred to as the "Prince of Wales," and in more recent years the style has been conferred on their spouse as well.

Prince William and Middleton were already the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and in September they also took on the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall – titles previously held by King Charles and his wife Camilla. Prince William and Middleton's other new titles include Duke and Duchess of Rothesay and Earl and Countess of Chester. The royal family's dispensation of new titles will continue, and King Charles III's coronation is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.