Introducing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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Have you heard? They're getting married.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that, after their wedding today, Prince William is to be made the Duke of Cambridge and his wife will become Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The prince will also take the titles Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. And if William is either happy or upset about the monikers, praise or blame will have to go to his grandmother, the Queen, as she has given him the titles. But to be fair, the title of duke is the highest rank in the British peerage. And tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on their wedding – and often more than one.

Rather interestingly, the last Duke of Cambridge, exactly as with Prince William, married a commoner for love. Prince George, known as the 2nd Duke of Cambridge, was born in 1819. He was a grandson of George III and the only son of Prince Adolphus Frederick, the 1st Duke of Cambridge.

One of the earliest bits of reaction came courtesy of Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett’s Peerage. He said of the dukedom: “It’s a well-known place and I think it will have some resonance with the public.”

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “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.”

(More on See pictures of Kate Middleton)

As well as a duchess, Kate is also technically Princess William of Wales. According to protocol, she’s not officially Princess Catherine as she wasn’t born a princess in her own right. So instead she adopts her husband’s first name, but one imagines that in the eyes of the media and public, she may now be known as Princess Catherine or Princess Kate. And when she walks down that aisle today, she’ll certainly feel like one. (via BBC)