Being a duchess is not the same as being a princess is not the same as being a queen. For a start, a duchess is not necessarily royalty; she may be the mother or wife of a duke, such as Duke of Northumberland. This is a very old and venerable title, but it's not in line for the throne and (despite a lot of wars where they tried to change this) it never has been. Even a royal duchess is most likely not in line for the throne (Cambridge notwithstanding). These titles are "courtesy titles" that are granted to senior royals to give them a rank that distinguishes them from the heirs. That means all duchesses are expected to run substantial estates - which these days, have to pay for themselves, meaning it's mostly like being the CEO of a midsize business. They must engage in philanthropy, giving back from their incredible good fortune.
Princesses used to be in training to simply marry well, but these days they are also philanthropists and potential heirs. They have to learn statecraft, as well as how to run a charity and host events. Then there are queens, who have to hold onto national secrets and comfort, lead and represent the people in times of strife. It's a delicate balancing act that is above politics and beyond partisanship.
Which of these sounds most like you? Let's find out!
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!