Gareth Southgate has shared the leadership role around since taking over as manager in 2016 but has now appointed the Tottenham striker for the tournament in Russia.
The 24-year-old was first given the armband for the qualifier against Scotland last June and has led the side on three further occasions.
Southgate announced his decision during a team meeting at St George’s Park and said: “Harry has some outstanding personal qualities. He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day.
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“He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time and that has been his drive.
“My feeling is that over the last 18 months in the camps that he’s been with us he has shown that he has got the desire to take that into a team environment and he recognises the importance of bringing others with him.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson - preparing for the Champions League final with the Reds - and Kane’s clubmate Eric Dier were seen as the other likeliest contenders.
The retired Wayne Rooney, the dropped Joe Hart and Gary Cahill - who is heading to Russia after a last-minute reprieve - have also captained the Three Lions under Southgate.
“To be leading the lads out is going to be special,” said Kane.
“Obviously you always dream of playing for England, growing up. To be the captain is that little bit more. It’s an amazing honour.
“(I’m) so excited, obviously excited for the World Cup. I just can’t wait to be there and experience it. But for me nothing changes - I’m the same person, the same player, and it’s just about the team. We’ve just got to do what we can and go as far as we can.”
Just because Kane has been installed as the figurehead, the notion of collective responsibility will not abandoned any time soon.
“Harry will need the support of the other good leaders that we have got around him,” said the manager.
“You don’t become a top team by just having a good captain with good values because that has got to spread right throughout the group but I think he is the one who is ready to take that challenge on.”