What it Means to be a Princess

When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with Princess Diana. Who wasn’t in the 80’s? I collected every magazine she was in, memorized what clothes she wore and dreamed of one day becoming a Princess myself. Then her marriage fell apart, she lost her title, and her tragic death rocked the world {read more about that here.} As I got older, Princess Diana still held a special place in my heart, and I finally had a full understanding of what it meannt to be a Princess.  Basically, just because your parents call you one, it doesn’t make you one.

What’s in a Title

Let’s talk about what the title actually means. I will tell you up front, it’s confusing as hell. Diana was born into British Nobility; he father was an Earl, so that made her a Lady.  Lady Diana Spencer to be exact. She married Charles, His Royal Highness and Prince of Wales so she became Diana, Her Royal Highness and Princess of Wales. But, Charles has other titles as well, including Duke of Cornwall and the Scottish Duke of Rothesay. So, Diana was also the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Rothesay.

What it Means to be a Princess

When Charles and Diana got divorced, she was no longer married to the Prince of Wales, so she could no longer be the Princess of Wales, and she was no longer Her Royal Highness. Lots of people were upset about this, myself included, but royal rules are rules.  To make it more confusing, when Charles married Camilla, she became the Duchess of Cornwall, and not the Princess of Wales.

Princess Responsibilites

Okay, so that’s just the titles. You can see how this princess thing may not be as fun as you thought it was going to be when you were 5-years-old.  Along with the title of Princess comes the responsibility of Princess.  Now let’s talk about Kate. Kate is also a Princess. Her title gets even more confusing because she is married to Prince William {here the Prince title is more of a courtesy, he is really a Duke,} son of Charles and Diana.  So, Kate, aka Catherine’s title is Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness of Carrickfergu. William and Kate prefer to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  You can read more about her title in this Huffington Post article.

So, Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge is the mother of Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. On top of keeping up with all of her titles, she is also a very busy woman. Here is a list of the Charities and Patronages in which the Duchess of Cambridge participates:

  1. 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives
  2. Action on Addiction
  3. Anna Freud Centre
  4. East Anglia Children’s Hospices
  5. National Portrait Gallery
  6. Natural History Museum
  7. Places2Be
  8. SportsAid
  9. The 1851 Trust
  10. The Air Cadet Organisation
  11. The Art Room
  12. The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry

#12 just launched a mental health initiative called #HeadsTogether Campaign.  These three young royals are trying to help erase the stigma associated with mental health issues such as depression.  You can read all about it here on the Royal Foundation page.

While Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York {she was married to Charles’ brother Andrew,} had grueling schedules with multiple meetings and events each day, which kept them away from their husbands {because they had an equally grueling schedule,} the new crop of Royals seem determined to find a work life balance.

But in the life of a Princess, or a Duchess, work life balance will always mean that work takes center stage; because her work is serving the people. And serving the people is a full time, life long commitment.

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