Kate Middleton was given new titles by King Charles III — one of which has a meaningful connection to her late grandfather.
The 41-year-old, her husband Prince William, and seven other members of the working royal family were the recipients of 21 honorary military appointments in the British armed forces, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
Middleton and William, 41, each received three additional royal roles less than a year after Charles bestowed the titles of the Prince and Princess of Wales upon the couple when he ascended to the throne last September.
“Following His Majesty’s Accession, The King is pleased to announce further military appointments for working Members of the Royal Family,” the palace stated in its announcement. “The new appointments will continue to reflect the close relationship between the Armed Forces and the Royal Family in His Majesty’s reign.”
Middleton was named the Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards and Royal Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Coningsby.
The latter appointment marked the princess’s first senior role in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and also carried with it a meaningful tie to her paternal grandfather Captain Peter Middleton. According to the Mirror, Peter Middleton co-piloted a plane with William’s late grandfather Prince Philip during the late Duke of Edinburgh’s two-month aerial tour of South America in 1962.
By assuming the role, Middleton is taking over for her husband, who previously held the position. William was appointed Colonel-in-Chief, The Mercian Regiment, Colonel-in-Chief, The Army Air Corps, and Royal Honorary Air Commodore, RAF Valley.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge already hold roles within the RAF with William acting as the Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby while Middelton is the Honorary Air Commodore of the Air Cadets.
William also previously worked as a helicopter pilot in the RAF, flying for both for the air ambulance and the search and rescue force. The royal served for three years and was based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales. In 2017, William gave up flying to become a full-time member of the working royal family.
However, he and his family have maintained their close ties to the RAF. Last month, the couple took all three of their children — Prince George, 10; Princess Charlotte, 8; and Prince Louis, 5 — on an outing to an RAF station.
The family had the chance to look at the insides and outsides of a variety of planes as preparations were being made for the Royal International Air Tattoo show, the world’s largest military air show.
In addition to Middleton and William, Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, Prince Richard and Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester also received new military appointments.
Following his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death and his ascension to the throne in September 2022, Charles, 74, became Head of the Armed Forces. Following Friday’s announcement, he is also now serving as Sponsor of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Tank Regiment, Captain General of the Royal Artillery, Captain General of the Honourable Artillery Company, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Marham and Air Commodore-in-Chief of RAF Regiment.
Camilla, 76, was appointed patron of The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department. The queen also serves as Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Lancers, Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles and Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
Anne becomes Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The 72-year-old sister of Charles is also Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Battalion, The Ranger Regiment and 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Charles’ brother Edward, 59, was named Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Dragoon Guards and Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Royal Hussars.
Edward’s wife Sophie, 58, will act as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment and Royal Colonel of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry.
Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Richard, 77, became Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Richard’s wife Birgitte, 77, assumed the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Adjutant General’s Corps.
Both Camilla and Sophie now hold military roles that were previously held by Charles’ brother Prince Andrew. The Duke of York served as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, a role that was given to Camilla at the end of last year. Andrew was also Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment, which now has been appointed to Sophie.
Andrew lost the use of his “HRH” title, his military roles and his royal patronages in January 2022 following allegations of sexual abuse, which he strongly denied.
In February 2022, Andrew settled a lawsuit with his accuser Virginia Giuffre, an American woman who alleged that the royal raped her when she was a teenager at the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.