Some of the hottest news to come out of England in quite some time is the engagement of Prince William and his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. News outlets are understandably abuzz with the announcement, and each has its own angle, from what Kate does for a living to what sheâ€™ll wear on the happy day.
Several articles, including this one from the New York Daily News, refer to Kate as Englandâ€™s â€œfuture queen.â€ And if one does the math, itâ€™s almost certain that her soon-to-be husband will be king someday. (Charles is already 62, and unless heâ€™s planning on living into his hundreds, William, who is only 28, will have a crack at the crown.)
But hereâ€™s the thing. Queen Elizabethâ€™s husband Philip is a prince, not a king. So why would Kate be queen when William becomes king?
Hereâ€™s an explanation from Yahoo Answers:
â€œA queen regnant is a female monarch who possesses all the monarchal powers that a king would have without regard to gender. This is in contrast with a queen consort, who is merely the spouse of a reigning king, and on her own has no official powers of state.
â€œTechnically, a king may also be a â€˜king regnantâ€™ or a â€˜king consort,â€™ but this distinction is unusual and has been used only twice in the history of the British and its predecessor monarchies. In all current monarchies that allow for a queen regnant to take the throne, the husband of such queen is not titled king, generally ranking as a prince, often with the style â€˜Prince Consort.â€™â€
So what will Kateâ€™s title be? Well, according to USA Today, when Charles becomes king, William will likely be given the title Prince of Wales. If so, Kate would become Her Royal Highness Catherine, Princess of Wales. And when William becomes king, she would be Queen Catherine.
King William and Queen Catherine. Itâ€™s got a nice ring.