On Wednesday, the Earl and Countess of Wessex celebrated 20 years of marriage. Edward and Sophie were given their titles on their wedding day back in 1999, but why did the Queen break with tradition and style Edward as an Earl and not a Duke like his older brothers Charles and Andrew? Charles is known as the Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay while Andrew is the Duke of York.
Edward was, in fact, destined to have the title the Duke of Cambridge, which is now held by Prince William. But he was said to have loved the character Lord Wessex from the film Shakespeare in Love, that his mother humoured him and granted him the title, the Earl of Wessex. He couldn't be made the Duke of Wessex as there is no such dukedom in modern Britain.
The couple celebrated 20 years of marriage on Wednesday
While he was conferred the title of the Earl of Wessex, the Queen made it clear that she wishes her youngest son to be elevated from the rank of Earl to Duke of Edinburgh, when the current Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, passes away. Royal watchers can therefore expect Edward to take on his new title of Duke when the time comes.
Edward and Sophie marked their 20th wedding anniversary in private, although their special milestone was celebrated in the Twittersphere. The royal family's official Twitter account shared a photo of the couple at Royal Ascot this week and captioned it: "Wishing The Earl and Countess of Wessex a Very Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary!"
The couple attended Ascot this week, sharing a carriage with Princess Anne
Sophie looked stunning as usual, wearing a pale pink dress by Emilia Wickstead that featured a floral pattern. She wore a hat that also featured the same print under the brim. As always, Sophie's hair and makeup was on point; the mother-of-two wore her famous blonde hair up in an elegant chignon and she accessorised with pearl drop earrings.
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