Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh proudly paraded their newfound royal titles on the Scottish capital’s iconic Royal Mile on Friday, 10 March.
The younger brother of King Charles III has bestowed the ‘Duke’ mantle on his 59th birthday– serving his late father Prince Phillip’s wish – and while marking the one-year anniversary since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Edward spoke of feeling overwhelmed by the honour itself, according to The Independent.
Addressing his audience, he shared to a chorus of cheers: “Thank you very much indeed for welcoming us to Edinburgh today on, indeed, a very special and slightly overwhelming day for – now – my wife, the Duchess.”
The 58-year-old’s former title was Countess of Wessex – equal in rank to Edward, the long-time Earl of Wessex.
Since their switch-around, Edward and Sophie’s teenage son James, Viscount Severn has officially inherited his father’s title.
Announcing the new title for Edward this week, Buckingham Palace shared in a statement: “His Majesty, the King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon Prince Edward, on the occasion of HRH’s 59th birthday today. The title will be held for HRH’s lifetime.
“The dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to 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 of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.”
When Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones tied the knot all the way back in 1999, the pair received the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex, but the palace went on to reveal that the former would one day succeed his father as the Duke of Edinburgh – although not until the time of both Philip’s and Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
“The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales have also agreed that Prince Edward should be given the dukedom of Edinburgh in due course when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown,” read the confirmation.