KATE, Duchess of Cambridge will be Queen Consort when Prince William is King. While the royal couple will share the same status they will not have equal powers.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, became a member of the Royal Family in 2011 when she married Prince William, 38, in a spectacular royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. Since then, Kate has proven herself to be a much-valued member of the Firm and well-prepared for her future role as Queen.
Prince William is currently second-in-line to the throne and he and Kate share equal status as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
However, the couple will undergo a huge change in their official relationship when William becomes king.
That’s because certain powers only belong to the reigning sovereign and are not shared by their spouse.
The presiding monarch has military and political powers which are unique to only them – as is currently the case with Queen regnant Queen Elizabeth II, 94.
While the Queen has weekly meetings with the British Prime Minister and must officially oversee the comings and goings of new governments, her husband Prince Philip does not share these powers.
The British monarchy has moved from being absolute to constitutional so that the presiding sovereign has more of a ceremonial role than a political one.
However, there can still only be one head of state which is why Kate will face an inevitable power shift when Prince William is king.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “Historically, and generally, consorts were female.”
He added: “Kings ruled politically and militarily, and held sovereign power.”
Mr MacMarthanne explained that historically the role of a Queen Consort was to “produce legitimate heirs.”
He said: “Their consorts might have aided and supported their spouse’s role but their primary duty was to produce legitimate heirs.
“Unless required sovereign power was never shared between a ruler and their consort.
“In short it was a matter of expediency and ensuring a satisfactory command structure.”
Despite the British monarchy’s historic shift to a constitutional model, the customs around sharing power have not changed.
Mr MacMarthanne added: “Despite monarchy moving from being absolute to constitutional this sensibility has never changed.
“There can be only one sovereign, holding and dispensing sovereign power, unless at the will of Parliament.
“The most recent exception was the reign of William and Mary in the seventeenth century.
“Other than this case, sovereign power has always rested, short of the monarch’s indisposition and the need arising for a Regency or Council of State, in the lawful King or Queen of the day.”
This royal custom echoes analysis by body language expert Debbie Bolton, who recently told Express.co.uk William tended to be more dominant in social situations than Kate.
Analysing a photograph of the couple sitting at a table, the energy reader said: “William is engaged with who is talking as he is leaning her direction.
“He also feels as if he is in his own power or in charge of the situation as he is taking up as much room as possible in the seat.”
Kate’s body language at the table reveals she is more submissive, hinting at a less empowered side to the Duchess, according to Ms Bolton.
Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge and a Princess of the United Kingdom when she married Prince William.
The Dukedom of Cambridge peerage is expected to merge with the crown when the couple become King and Queen and is therefore unlikely to be passed down to their children.