According to the rules set by Queen Elizabeth I in the late 15th century, blood relatives will always be set above any other member of the royal family. Royal princesses such as Princess Annen are ranked above the duchesses and are to receive curtsy from these duchesses.
Anyone who marries the royal family and claims a title, such as Kate and Meghan, hold a lower rank than those who are born with the title. This hierarchy helps the royal princesses to maintain their status in the family despite the new family member joining the family. However, the public only notices the visual representation of these title trends such as who leaves the room first, the order in which they stand together when in public, etc.
The titles of the royal family are a mess and sometimes very difficult to understand. Of course only for those of us who are not part of the royal family.
Given the ancient rules that are still followed by a monarchy steeped into tradition Kate’s and Meghan’s titles are related to those of their husbands. This explains why Kate and Meghan always stand closer to the Queen and why Princess Anne, Eugenie, and Beatrice stand furthest from Elizabeth; since Prince William and Prince Harry have a much higher status than the Princesses and their status reflects on the duchesses.
William is the eldest son and first in line to the throne after Charles, this means that Meghan must curtsy Kate whenever they meet in the public, which is highly unlikely to happen. The biggest twist in all these royal doctrines is the status of the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, who always outranks Kate and Meghan, even the royal nieces whether or not Charles is in the room.
Despite her immediate succession to the throne after Elizabeth, Camilla still remains slightly dependent on her husband’s physical presence in family events as she has to show curtsy to the Queen’s direct cousins, Princess Alexandra and the Prince of Whales.
These complications further lead to the matter of Camilla and Kate’s positions once they step into the position of the Queen. Once they are titled as the Queen of England, all the other female members will have to curtsy to them, the Queen always outranks them all regardless of her blood.
It has become increasingly clear that Kate Middleton is already being prepared for her eventual role as queen when the Queen steps down. She is getting more and more impressive with her royal duties and is proving herself to be very perfect for the job. She has also been a recent part of many foreign tours as the Queen herself once did when she was the Queen in waiting before the untimely demise of her father.