Spread the love

Prince Philip and Prince Edward

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Shortly before his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip was given the title of Duke of Edinburgh, becoming the fourth royal to hold the dukedom. It was first created in 1726, when it was given to Prince Frederick, King George I’s grandson. The next holder was Prince George, future King George III. The third holder was Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria’s second son. Several decades passed before it was used again, this time for the royal consort.

It is a title that Prince Philip has of course become synonymous with, not least because of his namesake Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, which encourages children from all backgrounds to learn new skills, meet new people and give back to their communities.

But with Buckingham Palace announcing at midday today that the Duke had died aged 99, many are asking, who will inherit his title?

According to the Letters Patent George VI issued when he gave Prince Philip the title in 1947, Prince Charles will become the next Duke of Edinburgh upon his father’s death. However, in an announcement in 1999 ahead of Prince Edward’s wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones, Buckingham Palace stated that the Queen and Prince Charles had agreed that upon her death and his ascension to the throne, Prince Edward, her youngest son, would become the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is because when a royal ascends to the throne, any titles that they hold merge with the Crown and ceases to exist, and can then be granted anew to somebody else instead. This means that Edward will be granted the title when Charles becomes King.

The usual convention is for a dukedom to be conveyed upon a royal wedding, as it was in the cases of the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, yet Edward chose the title Earl of Wessex instead. His brothers, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, hold the dukedoms of Cornwall and York, respectively. His wife, the Countess of Wessex, will become Duchess of Edinburgh when he is granted the title of Duke.

Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh at the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s 60th Anniversary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 2016

Dominic Lipinski – WPA Photo / Getty Images

Edward worked alongside his father on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and was a trustee and chairman of the International Duke of Edinburgh Award, and will no doubt be keen to continue his work. It has been speculated that Edward’s son, James, Viscount Severn, would inherit the title after him.

Subscribe now for a trial offer of 3 issues for £1 plus free digital editions and home delivery.

More from Tatler

In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. Open my cookie preferences.