The Queen bestows new title on Prince William amid royal changes

WATCH: Prince William and Kate Middleton greeted crowds in Centenary Square in Bradford, England, on Wednesday just days after the Royal Family came together for crisis talks over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's surprise announcement they would step back from royal duties.

The Queen has granted Prince William a new title: Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The news was released on Saturday with a statement shared to the Royal Family’s official website as well as on its Twitter account.

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The prince also carries the titles of Duke of Cambridge and Earl of Strathearn, a title given to him on his wedding day in 2011. His wife, Kate Middleton, is known as the Countess of Strathearn.

According to the family’s website, Her Majesty appoints a lord high commissioner to represent the sovereign at the General Assembly every year.

It’s part of the monarchy’s 313-year-old relationship with Scotland and its vow to maintain the Church of Scotland and “preserve the settlement of the true Protestant religion,” the statement reads.

As part of the Duke of Cambridge’s duties as commissioner, he is required to make opening and closing addresses at the General Assembly and report to the Queen, his grandmother, on its proceedings.

He also is allowed to reside at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and receives a guard of honour, a 21-gun salute and keys to the City of Edinburgh. He will also invite guests to stay at the palace.

During this time, William will observe debates and carry out engagements that align with the work of charities and the church.

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The announcement comes just after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were stripped of their royal titles. The couple, who retain their duke and duchess status, will no longer be referred to as His and Her Royal Highness.

At the same time, they also said they would no longer receive public funds and would repay the millions of taxpayer dollars used to renovate their Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage.

“With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.”

Harry and Markle first announced their departure from royal duties on Jan. 8 with an Instagram post saying they’d be splitting their time between the U.K. and North America.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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