Duke of Edinburgh: What does Prince Edward’s title change mean for him and Sophie?
Prince Edward was created Duke of Edinburgh, a title previously owned by his late father, Prince Philip.
King Charles III conferred the title on the former Earl of Wessex in celebration of Edward’s 59th birthdayth Birthday on Friday (March 10). This also accommodates the wishes of her late parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Philip.
But while it was long expected that the duchy would pass to Edward upon Philip’s death, the king was reportedly reluctant to give the title to his youngest brother.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement today that Charles was “delighted to bestow the Duchy of Edinburgh on Prince Edward”, adding that the title would be held during Edward’s lifetime.
“The Duchy was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, following his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before ascending the throne in 1952,” the statement continued.
“The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.”
However, it has taken the king six months since ascending the throne to bestow the title on Edward. He became the new monarch after Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022.
Here’s everything you need to know about what the title change will mean for Edward and his family.
What are Prince Edward and Sophie’s new titles?
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie received the titles Earl and Countess of Wessex when they married in 1999.
You will be known and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
Edward’s old title was passed to his 15-year-old son, James. James was previously the Viscount Severn but is now the new Earl of Wessex.
The couple also have a daughter, Lady Louise. She will stay.
The follow-up page on the Royal Family’s website has been updated to reflect the title change.
Why did it take six months for King Charles III. awarded the title?
It was reported in 2021 that Charles was unwilling to pass their father’s title to his youngest brother.
After Philip’s death that year, the title of Duke of Edinburgh was inherited by Charles, who had previously been Prince of Wales.
When Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022, Charles ascended the throne and became king. The title of Duke of Edinburgh was then returned to the Crown.
It was the wish of the late Queen and Philip that, in due course, Edward should inherit his father’s title. In a 1999 statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have also agreed that in due course Prince Edward should receive the Duchy of Edinburgh, the present title now being held by Prince Philip will eventually revert to the crown.”
But a source close to Charles said The times in 2021, when Charles held the title: “The Prince is the Duke of Edinburgh by the looks of it and it’s up to him what happens to the title. It won’t go to Edward.”
It was also reported last year that the king favored a slimmed-down monarchy, which would have meant Edward would not have inherited the title.
A source said Daily Mail: “The king wants to slim down the monarchy [so] It wouldn’t make sense to make the Earl the Duke of Edinburgh
“It is a hereditary title which would then be passed on to the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son James, Viscount Severn.”
It seemed that Edward knew of his eldest brother’s reluctance. During an interview with the BBC to mark her father’s 100th birthdayth On his birthday he was asked: “You’re going to be the next Duke of Edinburgh when the Prince of Wales becomes king, is that quite a challenge?”
Edward replied: “It was fine in theory, ages ago when it was kind of a pipe dream for my father… and of course it will depend on whether the Prince of Wales, when he becomes king, will do that or not, so we’ll wait and see.” and see. So yeah, it’s going to be quite a challenge to embrace that.”
Will Prince Edward’s son inherit the title if he dies?
No. The dukedom will not pass to James when Edward dies – instead paving the way for one of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ children to potentially receive the title in the future. The most likely candidate is her youngest son, Prince Louis, as her eldest, Prince George, will be the heir apparent when William becomes king.
James will become the Earl of Wessex and Forfar when the title of Duke of Edinburgh reverts to the crown, the palace said.
Edward will also remain Earl of Forfar for life, another of his titles, but he will use Duke of Edinburgh because it is the older Scottish title.
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/royal-family/prince-edward-sophie-new-duke-duchess-edinburgh-b2299015.html Duke of Edinburgh: What does Prince Edward’s title change mean for him and Sophie?