UK's King Charles hands Duke of Edinburgh title to brother Prince Edward
Britain's King Charles III has conferred the title of Duke of Edinburgh upon his youngest brother Prince Edward to mark his 59th birthday, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
The Dukedom was last created for the King’s late father, Prince Philip, in 1947, upon his marriage to then Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
It was widely expected that the title would pass on to Edward as per the wishes of his father, who died in April 2021, and will be held by him for his lifetime.
“His Majesty the King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’s 59th birthday,” Buckingham Palace said.
“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 said.
Prince Edward – 13th in the line of succession to the British throne – becomes the Duke of Edinburgh almost two years after the death of his father, Philip, who held the title for more than 70 years.
His wife, Sophie, the former Countess of Wessex, is now the Duchess of Edinburgh and their 15-year-old son James, Viscount Severn, becomes 14th in line to the throne as the new Earl of Wessex – the title previously held by Edward.
To mark their new titles, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will be in the Scottish capital on Friday for a reception to mark the first year of conflict in Ukraine.
To formalise the change, the 74-year-old monarch issued a new Letters Patent, a document from a British sovereign issued under the Great Seal of the Realm.
The title will remain associated with the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, one of Prince Philip’s key initiatives involving activities, training and challenges for young people since 1956. It will mean a more active role for the King’s youngest brother, who, with his sister Princess Anne is also among the "Counsellors of State" – or the senior royals who can act on behalf of the King.
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