Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal titles ‘nearly given away’ | Royal | News

April 13, 2024
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Prince William and Princess Kate’s former titles – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were originally offered to Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the now Duchess of Edinburgh ahead of their wedding day.

However, Prince Edward had his heart set on an alternative title, according to a palace courtier.

A courtier explained to the Telegraph in 2010: “Prince Edward was going to be the Duke of Cambridge, but he watched the film Shakespeare in Love, which had a character called the Earl of Wessex. He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”

The news came as a shock to many, as tradition dictated the Queen’s youngest son be given a Dukedom upon marriage, just like his elder brothers.

He became the first son of a monarch to have become an Earl since the Tudors, and instead, Prince William and Kate were stylised as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they married in 2011.

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones first met at a charity event at Queen’s Tennis Club in London in 1993, when Sophie was working as a public relations executive. Their first date was said to be a tennis match and dinner at Buckingham Palace, and the relationship blossomed.

The pair announced their engagement six years later on January 6, 1999.

When the late Queen’s youngest son, Edward, married Sophie on June 19, 1999, he was not awarded a dukedom but instead instead became Earl of Wessex. This meant Sophie became the Countess of Wessex.

Last year, Edward and Sophie did see their titles change once more when they became the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Edward was created Duke of Edinburgh on his 59th birthday back in March in honour of his late father Prince Philip – meaning Sophie became Duchess of Edinburgh.

Duchess Sophie and Prince Edward’s son James, who was given the title of Viscount Severn in accordance with Edward’s earldom, became the new Earl of Wessex.

Edward will be the Duke of Edinburgh for the rest of his life, however, it will no longer be a hereditary role. This means it won’t be passed down to James when he passes away.

This could mean the title could be passed to one of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s children in the future, with Prince Louis the most likely candidate.

In a poll that ran in Januar 2023, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should Prince Edward be given the Duke of Edinburgh title?”

Overall, 10,781 readers cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 94 percent (10,087 people) answering “yes” in support of Edward having the Edinburgh dukedom.



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