LONDON, UK: King Charles’ youngest brother and his wife, Edward and Sophie, have been honored with a new title months after Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The royal couple will now be known as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. According to reports, Charles gave them the new top titles as it was their late mother’s wish.
Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing the development. It read: “His Majesty the King has had the pleasure of conferring the Duchy of Edinburgh on Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’ 59th birthday. The title will be held by Prince Edward for the lifetime of His Royal Highness.
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“Proud to carry on the legacy of Prince Philip”
“The Duchy was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, when he married Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before assuming the throne in 1952. The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to carry on the legacy of Prince Philip. promote opportunities for young people from all walks of life to reach their full potential,” the official statement continued.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex helps Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex put on a kitchen apron during celebrations marking the Platinum Jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on June 4, 2022 in Bangor, United Kingdom (Clodagh Kilcoyne – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
He added: “His Royal Highness has been created [for] Earl of Wessex in 1999, on the occasion of his marriage to Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones. In 2019, Queen Elizabeth II granted the Earl of Wessex the additional title of Earl of Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’ 55th birthday.
With the promotion, Edward and Sophie’s teenage son will also receive a new title, The Mirror reported. He is believed to be now called Earl of Wessex but the couple’s 19-year-old daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, would not receive a new title.
Britain’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex pose with their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn as they take part in the Great British Beach Clean on September 20, 2020 in Southsea, United Kingdom (Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“A chimerical dream of my father”
According to reports, it had long been understood that a day would come when Edward would be the Duke of Edinburgh since the late Queen pledged the title on June 19, 1999, when Edward married Sophie. A statement at the time read: “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have also agreed that Prince Edward should receive the Duchy of Edinburgh in due course when the current title held by Prince Philip eventually comes to an end. return to the Crown.”
Britain’s Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Rhys Jones attend the wedding of Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby on August 25, 2001 at Oslo Cathedral in Oslo, Norway (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Earlier, Sophie also spoke about when the late Prince Philip expressed his desire to give the title to her husband. She reportedly said, “We sat there slightly stunned. He literally walked right in and said, ‘Good. I would love for you to consider this.
But Edward had once made it clear that granting the title would only be his older brother’s decision. He said: ‘It was fine in theory, centuries ago, when it was some kind of pipe dream of my father…and of course it will depend on whether or not the Prince of Wales, when he will become king, if he will. I will, so we will wait and see. So yes, it will be quite a challenge to meet that.