What will happen to Prince Philip’s titles? Edward will be the Duke of Edinburgh, but will have to wait until Charles is king due to royal protocols
- Palace decided in 1999 that the Earl of Wessex would eventually succeed his father
- Decision taken in recognition of his continued work with the Duke of Edinburgh Prize
- Letters Patent Said Prince of Wales Will Initially ‘Inherit’ Prince Philip’s Title
- But this will be combined with the crown on Charles’ eventual accession to the throne
- Hence, the title can then be reassigned to Edward to take it on
The title of the Duke of Edinburgh will eventually pass to his youngest son, Prince Edward, it was confirmed today – but he will have to wait until after the queen’s death and his brother Charles will become king due to royal protocols.
Buckingham Palace decided that he would one day succeed his father as Duke of Edinburgh after marrying Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, when the couple were awarded the titles Earl and Countess of Wessex.
In accordance with the Letters Patent issued when George VI gave Philip the title in 1947, the Prince of Wales, as the Duke’s eldest son, inherits the title from the Duke of Edinburgh.
However, on Charles’s eventual accession to the throne, the title will merge with the crown and may be reassigned to Edward.
The title of the Duke of Edinburgh (left) eventually passes to his youngest son, Prince Edward (right)
The title will merge with the crown of Prince Charles’ eventual accession to the throne
After Edward’s marriage 22 years ago, the family agreed that he would become Duke of Edinburgh in due course, but only after the death of both his grandparents.
A title held by one who becomes a monarch would merge with the crown and cease to exist, so can be recreated for someone else.
The decision to give Edward the title was made in recognition of his work with and dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – of which he is a trustee, as well as Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Edward’s wife, the Countess of Wessex, will eventually become the Duchess of Edinburgh – a title of courtesy held by the Queen.
Philip was the sixth person – including two Dukes of Gloucester and Edinburgh – to bear the title of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The first was George I’s grandson, Prince Frederick, later the Prince of Wales, for whom the title was first created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1726.
George VI gave Philip the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, shortly before his wedding to Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.
Philip’s great-uncle, Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, the fourth child and second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was also a Duke of Edinburgh in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.