In ‘Letters Patent Under the Great Seal of the Realm’ dated December 31, the queen said her great-grandchildren will have ‘the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names’.
They will be entitled to be formally addressed as “your Royal Highness.” The queen’s decree was published on Wednesday in the Royal Gazette.
Under a 1917 decree by her grandfather, George V, only the oldest son of the prince of Wales is automatically entitled to the rank of prince at birth.
The royal succession is currently in a state of flux with Britain and the Commonwealth countries that have the British monarch as head of state agreeing to make the process gender neutral.
If Kate’s first child is a daughter, she has a good chance of becoming queen. Under past rules, a girl born to William and Kate would have been styled ‘Lady’ and not known as ‘Her Royal Highness.’