Queen Elizabeth II was heir to the throne from the age of 10, following the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII and her father’s accession to the throne. Known at the time as Princess Elizabeth, she was the eldest child of King George VI and the Queen Mother, and she was known as heir apparent until her father’s death in 1952.
As well as being a prince, Charles was also Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay when he visited Scotland.
All these titles are exclusively reserved for the heir to the British throne.
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But Princess Elizabeth was never allowed to use any of these titles due to her status as a woman.
Due to old-fashioned royal rules, it was always assumed that Elizabeth would only ascend the throne if her father did not have a son.
The King and Queen Mother had two daughters, but if they had had a son he would have taken precedence over Elizabeth in the succession.
Elizabeth was therefore simply known as Princess Elizabeth, until she inherited the crown and became Queen Elizabeth II.
As the male heir to the throne, Prince Charles was automatically given the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay upon his mother’s succession.
The Duchy of Cornwall comprises extensive wealth and land, and has been used exclusively by the male heir to the throne for centuries.
The official website states: “The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate created by Edward III in 1337 to give independence to his son and heir, Prince Edward.
When Prince Charles becomes King, his eldest son Prince William will automatically inherit the title of Duke of Cornwall and the Duchy with him, as he will then be heir to the throne.
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However, as with the title of Prince of Wales, William will not receive it automatically.
Although unlikely, Charles might even decide not to give the title to William after he ascends to the throne.
The constitution unit at University College London (UCL) explained how the decision to create the title of Prince of Wales rests solely with the monarch.
The Constitution Unit said: “Charles was created Prince of Wales in 1958 at the age of 10, with an investiture at Caernarvon Castle in 1969.
“As an adult, Prince William might expect to become Prince of Wales soon after his father’s accession; but it will be for the new king to decide because, strictly, the title is not hereditary.
Although the Queen has never had the right to use the titles of the Duke of Cornwall or the Prince of Wales, there is a unique title that she currently holds as Queen.
The Duchy of Lancaster is a source of funding for the British monarch, and as she is the current holder of the Duchy, she is also entitled to the Duke of Lancaster style.
The Duchy of Lancaster website explains: “The title of Duke of Lancaster continues to be used, even for a monarch.
“At the gatherings of Lancastrians in County Palatine and around the world, the toast is: ‘The Queen, Duke of Lancaster! “”