- By Sean Coughlan
- royal correspondent
Prince Edward has been named the new Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The title, granted by King Charles III on the occasion of the prince’s 59th birthday, will be retained throughout his life.
The former Duke of Edinburgh was Prince Philip, who died in 2021, and received the title on the morning of his wedding to Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth II.
The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie, will be in Edinburgh later.
The couple are due to attend an event in the Scottish capital on Friday marking the first year of conflict in Ukraine.
Prince Edward becomes Duke of Edinburgh almost two years after the death of his father, Philip, who held the title for more than 70 years.
It was understood that Philip had wanted Edward, his youngest son, to take the title, but the decision was left in the hands of King Charles.
It means Edward, 13th in line to the throne, will attend the coronation in May as Duke, with a title that was synonymous with his late father.
With Prince Andrew, the Duke of York no longer a “royal job”, there could be a bigger role for Edward, the king’s younger brother.
Late last year Parliament fast-tracked a change to the law to add Prince Edward and his sister Princess Anne to the ‘advisers of state’ who can act on the King’s behalf, if the monarch was ill or in the stranger.
During his earlier career, Prince Edward had worked in theater and television production, but had increasingly focused on public duties, including taking on a number of Prince Philip roles as he got older.
This included supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, established by Prince Philip in 1956, which provide activities and educational programs for young people in the UK and overseas.
When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, Buckingham Palace announced that “in due course” he was expected to eventually become Duke of Edinburgh.
Although this is a prestigious title, it does not come with any land or income.
The title of Duke of Edinburgh will not be hereditary, so when Edward dies it will not go to his children, but could be given to another senior member of the future royal family.
But Prince Edward’s former Earl of Wessex title will now go to his 15-year-old son, Viscount Severn.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “His Majesty the King has had the pleasure of conferring the Duchy of Edinburgh on 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 the lifetime of His Royal Highness.
“The duchy was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, when he married Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before assuming the throne in 1952.
“The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people from all walks of life to reach their full potential.”
The first Duke of Edinburgh was created in 1726, when the Hanoverian monarch George I gave the title to his grandson, Prince Frederick. Queen Victoria recreated the title in 1866 for her second son Prince Alfred and it was created again in 1947 for Prince Philip.