King Charles III gives brother Edward a birthday present: His late father's Duke of Edinburgh title
King Charles III marked his brother Prince Edward's birthday by giving him a new title. Already the Earl of Wessex and Forfar, Edward was given the title of Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace announced Friday.
Prince Edward, who turned 59 on Friday, is the youngest of the late Queen Elizabeth II's children. The Dukedom of Edinburgh was last held by his father, Prince Philip, who was given the title when he married then-Princess Elizabeth, who was then the Duchess of Edinburgh. She then became the queen in 1952.
When Elizabeth died in September 2022, her eldest son Charles immediately became the king. Edward will hold the Duke of Edinburgh title for the rest of his life, the statement from the royal family said.
Prince Edward was first given the Earl of Wessex title when he married his wife, Sophie Rhys-Jones, in 1999, and the Earl of Forfar title in 2019 when he turned 55.
Only four other members of the royal family have had the Dukedom of Edinburgh bestowed upon them: Prince Frederick, King George II's son, who was the first to hold the title (1726), Prince William, King George III's brother (1764), Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's son (1866), and Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband (1947).
Although Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, moved to the U.S. and stepped down as "working" members of the family, they have kept their titles, as has King Charles' other brother Prince Andrew, despite having many of his formal honors and patronages removed by the family in the wake of his legal battle over alleged sexual abuse.
Prince Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne after his brother, Prince William and William's children. Harry and Meghan's children follow him in the line of succession. Harry's young children Archie and Lilibet have taken the titles of prince and princess, which they have been entitled to since their grandfather ascended the throne late last year.
Eighth in line after the Sussex children is Prince Andrew. Prince Edward, the newly named Duke of Edinburgh, is 13th in line.
Last year, King Charles III made a move to allow his youngest siblings — Prince Edward and Princess Anne — to stand in for him.
Traditionally the four most senior royals and the sovereign's spouse can fill in for the monarch. When Charles became king, that list included his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort; his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; his brother, Prince Andrew; and his niece, Princess Beatrice. Charles included his younger sister and brother because both Harry and Andrew have left their roles as senior working royals.
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