12 Mar 2023, 15:51
Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, will be “pivotal” to the monarchy’s future, a royal commentator has said.
Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace announced Edward and Sophie’s new titles to mark his 59th birthday.
The couple have become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh with Edward taking over the title which once belonged to his father Prince Philip.
But what does this mean for Edward and Sophie’s roles within the monarchy in the future?
Edward and Sophie are now the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (Credit: SplashNews.com)
Prince Edward and wife Sophie new titles
On March 10, which is Edward’s birthday, the Palace released a statement.
It said: “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’ 59th birthday.
“The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’ lifetime.”
It added: “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 King gave Edward and Sophie the titles on his brother’s 59th birthday this week (Credit: BBC)
According to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, Edward and Sophie’s titles mean they’ll likely take on more royal duties.
He told Entertainment Daily!: “The bestowing of the title Duke of Edinburgh on Prince Edward with his wife Sophie becoming the Duchess is a recognition of their remarkable work for the royal family.
“They are likely to take on more royal duties as the Palace is currently reviewing royal patronages.
“The title was promised when they married in 1999 and is synonymous with Prince Philip worldwide.
“Edward will be particularly proud to use it. His work for his father’s famous Award Scheme is impressive too as is his charitable activity.”
Prince Edward’s title change was announced on his birthday this week (Credit: SplashNews.com)
Royal Family future
Mr Fitzwilliams added: “With most of the royals carrying out engagements being advanced in years, it is very likely that, with the monarchy likely to be ‘slimmed down’, Edward and Sophie will be even more pivotal to its future.”
There had been much speculation over the Duke of Edinburgh title and which royal it would go to.
They are likely to take on more royal duties as the Palace is currently reviewing royal patronages.
Following Prince Philip’s death in 2021, the title was given to Prince Charles, now King Charles.
When the Queen died in September 2022, the title reverted to the Crown.
After that, many speculated who would get the title with reports claiming that Charles was considering giving the title of Duchess of Edinburgh to Princess Charlotte when she became old enough.
However, reports claimed that the King would keep with Philip and the Queen‘s wishes and give Edward the title.
Since the change, Edward and Sophie’s son James has become the Earl of Wessex – the title Edward previously held.
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