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King Charles gifts Prince Edward new royal title on his birthday

Prince Philip previously held the title

edward and sophie
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The King has made the Earl of Wessex the Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The announcement coincided with Prince Edward's 59th birthday on Friday and means that the Countess of Wessex is now the Duchess of Edinburgh.

WATCH: Prince Edward granted new royal title

HELLO! understands that Edward will hold the title for his lifetime.

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As a consequence of the change, Edward and Sophie's 15-year-old son, James, Viscount Severn, is now known as the Earl of Wessex.

Here's everything we know.

Who previously held the title of Duke of Edinburgh?

Prince Edward alongside his father Prince Philip© Photo: Getty Images

Edward and his late father, Prince Philip

The late Prince Philip held the title of Duke of Edinburgh from 1947 until his death in April 2021, when the title reverted to the Crown.

Buckingham Palace previously announced Edward would eventually one day succeed his father as the Duke of Edinburgh – but not until after the death of both Philip and the Queen.

The palace said at the time: "The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and 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."

King Charles and Prince Edward pictured smiling© Photo: Getty Images

The King has finally conferred the Dukedom on his younger brother

It had been hoped that Edward would be granted the Dukedom immediately following his mother Queen Elizabeth II's death last September, given the Prince's work with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

However, it seems that Charles has waited until his brother's birthday.

How are Edward and Sophie celebrating their new titles?

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex on their wedding day© Photo: Getty Images

Edward and Sophie married in 1999

The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will be in Edinburgh on Friday afternoon, where they will attend a reception to mark the first year of the conflict in Ukraine.

Does Edward hold any other titles?

On his 55th birthday in 2019, the late Queen made her youngest son, the Earl of Forfar – his Scottish title.

Will Viscount Severn become Duke of Edinburgh in future?

Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward alongside their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn© Photo: Getty Images

Edward and Sophie are parents to Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn

No, the Dukedom is only for Edward's lifetime and will revert back to the Crown upon his death. James will then become Earl of Wessex and Forfar.

Does this mean that Princess Charlotte could be made Duchess of Edinburgh in future?

It's possible that her grandfather, King Charles, or her father, the Prince of Wales, could give Charlotte the title the Duchess of Edinburgh in future, but only after the passing of Prince Edward, when the title reverts to the Crown.

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