The Real Reason Queen Elizabeth Wants Prince Edward and Sophie to Become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh

Despite the royal title tradition that the sons of a monarch earn dukedoms upon marriage or majority, Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son, Prince Edward is not a duke — at least not yet. According to reports, Queen Elizabeth held off on naming her son a duke when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 for a very specific reason. And, instead, the queen named her son the Earl of Wessex, making Sophie the Countess of Wessex.

Rumor has it, the reason she didn’t make Prince Edward a duke was because she hopes he can one day take over her husband, Prince Philip’s royal title, the Duke of Edinburgh — which is fitting now that Prince Edward has taken over many of his father’s royal responsibilities since he retired in 2017. But, his duties aren’t the only reason why she wants Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex to become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Will Prince Edward and Sophie become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh?

If Prince Philip dies before Queen Elizabeth, she will likely pass on his title to Prince Edward, which would automatically make Sophie the Duchess of Edinburgh. However, should she pass before her husband, it is up to the future king, Prince Charles (Prince Edward’s eldest brother) to make the decision. Some reports claim that the queen’s hope is for them to receive the dukedom, which Prince Charles will likely honor. After all, he respects his mother’s wishes.

Why are the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh titles so special?

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex | Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

What’s the big deal with the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh title? It would not only honor Prince Philip but also Queen Elizabeth as she was once the Duchess of Edinburgh before ascending the throne. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are reportedly very close with their son and daughter-in-law, making them the perfect fit for Prince Philip and the queen’s former royal title.

According to some reports, Prince Edward is Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh’s favorite child. And, Sophie, Countess of Wessex is their favorite daughter-in-law, which could be why she is eyeing her husband’s title (and her former title) for the couple. “Edward has molded into a quiet and efficient figure who does not seek attention or acquire headlines,” a source told Express. “He and Sophie are liked for being dutiful and uncomplaining,” they added.

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The queen and Sophie share many similar interests and Her Majesty even considers Sophie her closest confidant. “She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall,” a royal aide revealed to Daily Mail. “She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.” In addition to earning the queen’s trust, Sophie is also her go-to person for emotional support. “She talks to Sophie in the way she used to talk to Princess Margaret. Sophie has filled a terrible gap in the queen’s life that was left when her sister and Queen Mother died in 2002.”

What do the queen and Sophie, Countess of Wessex talk about? The two reportedly share an interest in history. “Sophie loves listening to the Queen talk about great historical events, and the pair are sometimes gone for hours, pouring over ancient documents in the Royal Archives, which are kept at Windsor Castle,” Daily Mail’s source explains.

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Camilla Parker Bowles’ title will change once Prince Charles is crowned king.

But on the online forum site Quora, royal fans are wondering if she will inherit the title of Duchess of Edinburgh. At present, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband is the Duke of Edinburgh.

Since he is married to the head of the monarchy, royal fans are curious if the female version of Prince Philip’s title will be given to Camilla once Prince Charles becomes the head of the monarchy.

Jordan James, who has an interest in monarchies, said that Camilla won’t be known as the Duchess of Edinburgh. This is because the wife of the king usually uses the feminine version of her husband’s titles.

After Prince Charles is crowned king, he will not be given the title of Duke of Edinburgh. Thus, Camilla won’t be called Duchess of Edinburgh.

There are rumors suggesting that another member of the royal family will actually receive the Duchess of Edinburgh title. At present, Prince Edward is known simply as an Earl and not as a Duke.

After his father dies, he will most likely inherit Prince Philip’s dukedom and will be called Duke of Edinburgh. After he receives the title, his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will be known as the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, Antonio Baldascini, who is fascinated with the British royal family, said that Prince Philip received the title of Duke of Edinburgh because before Her Majesty was crowned as Queen, she was also known as the Duchess of Edinburgh.

In the past, Clarence House claimed that Camilla will be given the title of Princess Consort when Prince Charles is crowned King. However, royal experts have also claimed that this is highly unlikely.

When Prince Charles takes over the throne and the monarchy, royal experts believe that Camilla will be called Queen or Queen Consort.

Collection online

  • Object type

    • newspaper/periodical
  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Reception of H.R.H. the Duchess of Edinburgh in London
  • Description

    Portrait of Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Edinburgh; half length; looking to right; seated in carriage, with crowds behind; the Duchess holding flowers, the Queen wrapped in ermine muff; illustration from unknown publication (21 March, 1874).
    Wood engraving

  • Producer name

  • School/style

    • British
  • Date

    • 1874
  • Materials

    • paper
  • Technique

    • wood-engraving
  • Dimensions

    • Height: 277 millimetres (image)
    • Width: 238 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with date and price of publication and image, continuing: “No. 3. Vol. 1”

  • Curator’s comments

    The marriage of the Duke and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna took place in St Petersburg on 23 January, 1874. This shows their return to London in March

    Cataloguing supported by the Pilgrim Trust

  • Location

    Not on display (BH/FF10/Portraits British CI)

  • Associated names

    • Portrait of: Queen Victoria
    • Portrait of: Marie Alexandrovna, Duchess of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • Acquisition name

    • Bequeathed by: William Meriton Eaton, 2nd Baron Cheylesmore
  • Acquisition date

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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