British Royal Family

King Charles III Gives Brother Prince Edward a Royal Birthday Gift: The Duke of Edinburgh Title

King Charles III celebrated Prince Edward's 59th birthday on March 10 by giving him the title of Duke of Edinburgh, a role previously held by the late Prince Philip

Prince Charles, Prince Edward
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

King Charles III is celebrating Prince Edward's 59th birthday in a major way. 

The monarch, 74, marked the March 10 occasion by bestowing the title of Duke of Edinburgh upon his youngest brother. 

The announcement was made in a statement shared to the royal family's website that read, "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." 

Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip was the previous Duke of Edinburgh. As the website noted, he took on the role in 1947 when he married Her Majesty, who served as the Duchess of Edinburgh until she acceded the throne in 1952.

Prince Edward's wife, Sophie, has also been named the Duchess of Edinburgh. The statement noted the couple are honored to continue the work of Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 followed by Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

As the statement read, "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."

Near the end of Prince Philip's life and after his passing, Prince Edward helped support many of his father's initiatives, including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

While the decision about the dukedom was ultimately left to King Charles III, there had reportedly been an understanding that Prince Edward would eventually take on Prince Philip's title. According to People, a 1999 statement from Buckingham Palace announcing Prince Edward and Sophie being named Earl and Countess of Wessex read, "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales [now King Charles] have also agreed that the Prince Edward should be given the Dukedom of Edinburgh in due course, when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown."

The title of Earl of Wessex has now gone to Prince Edward's son James, Viscount Severn, 15 (Prince Edward and Sophie also have a 19-year-old daughter, Lady Louise Windsor).

They aren't the only royal family members to get new titles since Charles has become king. His wife has now taken on the title of Queen Consort Camilla and Prince William and Kate Middleton are serving as the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In addition, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's children are now Prince Archie, 3, and Princess Lilibet of Sussex, 21 months.

"The children's titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became Monarch," a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told E! News March 9. "This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace."

Copyright E! Online
Contact Us