Prince Edward given Duke of Edinburgh title previously held by his father Prince Philip
As part of the changes, Edward’s son James, Viscount Severn, takes his father’s former title and is the new Earl of Wessex.
Prince Edward has been named the new Duke of Edinburgh, taking his late father’s title.
In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, it said Prince Edward will take on the title from today, 10 March, his 59th birthday.
Following the death of Prince Philip in 2021, Edward took over many of his responsibilities, including the development of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The title will be held by Edward for the rest of his life and will also remain the Earl of Forfar, but will use the Duke of Edinburgh as it is the more senior title.
His wife, Sophie, the former Countess of Wessex, is now the Duchess of Edinburgh and their 15-year-old son James, Viscount Severn, becomes the new Earl of Wessex.
“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,” the palace statement read.
They will be in Edinburgh on Friday – their first outing with their new titles – for a reception to mark the first year of conflict in Ukraine.
Despite the title being hereditary in the past, James will not take on the dukedom when Edward dies.
Instead he will become the Earl of Wessex and Forfar when the title of The Duke of Edinburgh reverts to the Crown, the palace said.
Philip had always wanted his youngest son Edward to inherit his title, but the decision was down to Charles, who briefly inherited the dukedom after his father’s death, but never used it.
Despite agreeing to his father’s wishes in 1999, Charles was reported to be reluctant to hand Edward the title when he became king, as he is known to favour a slimmed-down monarchy.
In order to grant it to Edward, Charles would have issued a new Letters Patent – a document from a sovereign issued under the Great Seal of the Realm.
The changes in titles have already been updated on the Royal Family’s official website.
The line of succession on the website now lists Edward as the Duke of Edinburgh and the 13th in line, with his son James 14th in line, as the Earl of Wessex.
On Thursday, the website had been updated to name the children of Prince Harry and Meghan as prince and princess for the first time.
Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet are sixth and seventh in line to the throne respectively.