Marriage means more for Prince William and Kate Middleton than their union in Westminster Abbey on Friday. It also brings with it new titles for the royal couple.

A few hours before the ceremony, the Queen named William the Duke of Cambridge. Kate becomes the Duchess of Cambridge.

William was also given the titles Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, making Kate Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus.

The Strathearn title ties the couple to Scotland, where they met and fell in love. Carrickfergus refers to a small town in Northern Ireland.

Jennie Bond, an expert on the monarchy and consultant for The Associated Press, said the title of Duke of Cambridge is "a personal gift from the Queen, a mark of her esteem for her grandson."

The new titles follow a tradition that members of the Royal Family be honoured in that way by the monarch at the time of their marriage. A dukedom is the highest rank in the British peerage.

The Dukedom of Cambridge had been empty since the death in 1904 of Prince George, the second person to be given the title.

Prince William is not the first Duke of Cambridge to fall in love with a commoner. Prince George refused to have an arranged marriage. He fell in love with actress Sarah Louisa Fairbrother, and they were married in 1847.

Royal ties

In contrast to William and Kate's relationship, which has been warmly received by the Royal Family, Prince George and Fairbrother were ostracized. Fairbrother was never given the title of Duchess of Cambridge.

Cambridge, a city north of London, has had strong royal ties for many years. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been the chancellor of Cambridge University for more than 30 years. The dukedom's history stretches back to medieval times.

There had been rumours that William would be named Duke of Cambridge.

"The Queen went to visit Cambridge the day before yesterday, so a lot of people thought that was how it was going to be," said Bond.

William's earldom dates back to 1357 when Robert Stewart, High Steward of Scotland, was created Earl of Strathearn.

The title hasn't been used since 1943, when Alastair Windsor, the second Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, died.

He had taken on the title after the death of his grandfather, the third son of Queen Victoria, who had been named the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1874.

Link to Northern Ireland

William's barony of Carrickfergus links him to Northern Ireland and is a title that hasn't been used since 1883.

Carrickfergus means Rock of Fergus and is County Antrim's oldest town. Carrickfergus castle, which dates from about 1180, is in the town and is one of the best-preserved castles in Ireland, according to the official royal wedding website.

While there had been rumours William would become the Duke of Cambridge, speculation also surrounded other titles such as Duke of Clarence.

But that title also had some less-than-desirable memories linked to it.

"Queen Victoria's grandson Albert Victor, who was second in line to the throne, was made Duke of Clarence when he reached full age, but he was a womanizing philanderer who died in the 1890s," Prof. David Carpenter of King's College, London, told the BBC.

With files from The Associated Press