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Why Sophie and Edward's son James will NOT inherit Duke of Edinburgh title

James recently became the new Earl of Wessex

wessex family© Photo: Getty Images
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
March 16, 2023
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There have been some big changes for Prince Edward and his family in recent weeks.

It was announced on 10 March – his 59th birthday – that Edward was being bestowed with the Duke of Edinburgh title from his older brother, King Charles.

That meant, in turn, that wife Sophie became the new Duchess of Edinburgh, with the couple's son James taking over his father's former title as Earl of Wessex. See the exciting announcement here...

Does that mean that, in time, 15-year-old James will one day also inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title?

While the Earl of Wessex is a hereditary title, the Duke of Edinburgh is not. As such, at the time of his passing, Edward's role will not be passed on to his children. Instead, it will revert back to the Crown.

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james viscount severn© Photo: Getty Images

James, the new Earl of Wessex, with his sister, Lady Louise

It's likely that it will be given out to another senior royal at that point, but given his relatively low-profile, that is unlikely to be James.

Sophie and Edward have worked hard to give their two children as normal an upbringing as possible.

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It's normal protocol for the children of male descendants of the monarch to automatically get a royal title – such as Prince Andrew's children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

wessex fa,ily© Photo: Getty Images

James will not inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title from his father

However, just like Princess Anne, Sophie and Edward decided against it for Louise and James.

Sophie previously explained to The Sunday Times: "We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living.

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"Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but it’s highly unlikely."

james viscount severn sophie© Photo: Getty Images

Sophie and Edward have given their children as normal an upbringing as possible

Lady Louise is currently studying English at St Andrew's – the same prestigious Scottish university where the Prince and Princess of Wales famously met.

Her younger brother, meanwhile, has attended Eagle House School since 2020. The co-educational prep school is located near Sandhurst in Berkshire – a short drive from the family's home, Bagshot Park in Surrey.

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