Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have stepped away from their official duties, we can’t help thinking about what’s next for the royal family. For example, will Kate Middleton become queen?
While the answer is yes, you might be surprised to learn that it won’t happen for quite some time, since her husband, Prince William, is second—not first—in the British line of succession. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Will Kate Middleton become queen?
This is a loaded question, but the straightforward answer is yes. Middleton will eventually become queen when Prince William is named king, but that won’t happen until after his dad, Prince Charles.
There’s a common misconception that Prince Charles will abdicate the throne to Prince William when Queen Elizabeth steps down as monarch (or passes away). However, that’s almost certainly not the case. The reality is, Prince Charles will become king when Queen Elizabeth decides to give up the throne.
2. Will Kate Middleton be called 'queen'?
Not really. If everything goes as planned, Middleton will likely receive the title of Queen consort. According to the official royal family website, it’s tradition for royals-by-marriage to become consorts. For example, Prince Philip was technically a prince consort to the queen—not the King of England—prior to his retirement in 2017.
“Unless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony,” the website reads.
3. When will Kate Middleton become queen?
We don’t have an exact answer, but it might not be too far off. You see, Prince Charles is already 71 years old, so when he takes over the throne, he won’t have a historically long rule like Queen Elizabeth. This means Prince William and Middleton could become king and queen in another decade or so. You know, right when their three children—Prince George (6), Princess Charlotte (4) and Prince Louis (2)—are in their prime teenage years.