King Charles III Has Handed His Late Father’s Title The Duke Of Edinburgh To His Brother Prince Edward.
02:48 PM WAT, Fri March 10, 2023
Prince Edward has been named as the new Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The title, granted by King Charles III on the prince's 59th birthday, will be held for his lifetime.
The former Duke of Edinburgh was Prince Philip, who died in 2021, and was given the title on the morning of his wedding to Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth II.
The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie, will be in Edinburgh later, as the couple are expected to attend an event in the Scottish capital, which marks the first year of conflict in Ukraine.
Prince Edward became the Duke of Edinburgh almost two years after the death of his father, Philip, who held the title for more than 70 years.
It was understood that Philip had wanted Edward, his youngest son, to take on the title, but the decision was left in the hands of King Charles.
It means that Edward, 13th in line in succession to the throne, will attend the coronation in May as a duke, with a title that was synonymous with his late father.
With Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, no longer a "working royal", there could be a more high-profile role for Edward, the King's youngest brother.
At the end of last year, Parliament fast-tracked a change in law to add Prince Edward and his sister Princess Anne to the "counsellors of state" who can act on behalf of the King, if the monarch was ill or abroad.
In his earlier career, Prince Edward had worked in theatre and television production, but had increasingly focused on public duties, including taking on a number of roles from Prince Philip as he grew older.
This included supporting the Duke of Edinburgh awards, created by Prince Philip in 1956, which provides activities and training programmes for young people in the UK and overseas.
When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, Buckingham Palace had announced that "in due course" it was expected that he would eventually become Duke of Edinburgh.
Although it's a prestigious title, it doesn't come with any land or income.
The title of Duke of Edinburgh will not be hereditary, so when Edward dies it will not go to his children, but could be given to another senior member of the future Royal Family.
But Prince Edward's former title of Earl of Wessex will now go to his son, the 15-year-old Viscount Severn.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon the Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness's 59th birthday.
"The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness's lifetime.
"The Dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952.
"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 first Duke of Edinburgh was created in 1726, when the Hanoverian monarch, George I gave the title to his grandson, Prince Frederick. Queen Victoria re-created the title in 1866 for her second son, Prince Alfred and it was created again in 1947 for Prince Philip.