Prince Edward honoured with Duke of Edinburgh title by brother King Charles III

What a birthday treat!

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visit Shallowford Farm
(Image credit: Getty)

There have been a number of royal title changes in recent weeks, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, Prince William and Kate Middleton who are known as the Prince and Princess of Wales, and now it's Prince Edward's turn. 

The Earl of Wessex has received quite the gift on his 59th birthday, as he was appointed the new Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. 

The royal - who has daughter Lady Louise Windsor, and son James, Earl of Wessex, with wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex - received his Dukedom by his brother King Charles III. 

The title of Duke of Edinburgh was previously held by Charles and Edward's late father Prince Philip, who sadly passed away in April 2021, for almost six decades. 

The news was confirmed on the official Royal UK website, which reads: "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.  

"The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’s lifetime."

Prince Edward had been promised the title by his late parents when he married Sophie in 1999. 

The new title means a lot to Edward, who has vowed to continue his late father's legacy. 

The site continues: "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."

As Edward receives his Dukedom, Sophie now takes on the title of Duchess, while their 15-year-old son will be recognised as the new Earl of Wessex, instead of Viscount. 

However, 19-year-old daughter Louise, will not have a change of title. 

Edward will be the fifth royal to acquire the Duke of Edinburgh name, which was previously associated to Prince Frederick, the late Prince William in 1764, Prince Alfred and Prince Philip.

The Royal UK site explains: "The Dukedom has previously been created four times for Members of the Royal Family. 

"1726 - Prince Frederick, eldest son of King George II

"1764 – Prince William, brother of King George III, as part of the joint title , The Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

"1866 – Prince Alfred, second son of Queen Victoria

"1947 – Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II."

The Duke of Edinburgh previously received an additional title of Earl of Forfar on his 55th birthday, back in 2019, which was granted by his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, who  died in September last year. 

It is expected the Duke of Edinburgh will keep the Earl of Forfar title, but will be referred to as Duke as it is a more senior title. 

As well as the title shared by Philip, Edward has taken on some of his father's responsibilities too. 

Edward is a trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, as well as patron of the Edinburgh International Festival. 

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.