Sophie Wessex and Edward: Expert expects to see more of couple
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, and Prince Edward, 57, have raised their two children James, Viscount Severn, 13, and Lady Louise Windsor, 17, outside of the royal spotlight. However, James is one day due to inherit his late grandfather Prince Philip’s Duke of Edinburgh title.
Prince Edward and Sophie were made the Earl and Duke of Wessex on their wedding day but it is understood their titles will change when Prince Charles, 72, becomes king.
Edward picked up the mantel of his father’s Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme following Philip’s retirement from public life in 2017 and is due to become the next Duke of Edinburgh.
According to a constitutional expert, it will be up to the Queen to decide when to make Edward the next Duke of Edinburgh but it is unlikely to happen until after her death.
Expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “In 1999, on the occasion of HRH The Prince Edward’s marriage, he was created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn, and subsequently Earl of Forfar.”
He added: “It was also announced at this time that in due course Prince Edward would become Duke of Edinburgh.
“No specific details as to when this would happen, after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, were given.
“It remains within the pleasure of the Queen to make a fourth creation of the title duke of Edinburgh, however, it has long been mooted that it will not be until the death of the Queen, and the accession of Prince Charles, that Prince Edward will finally be made Duke of Edinburgh.
“Royal titles and peerages are not one and the same thing. By George VI’s Letters Patent creating Philip Mountbatten a duke, earl and baron, so the normal rules of primogeniture apply.”
Peerages are passed down the male line of the family due to law of male primogeniture that still exists in Britain.
This means that James will inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title from Prince Edward following his death.
Will James become a working royal?
Despite Sophie and Edward’s promotion within the Firm following Megxit, their children are unlikely to ever become full-time working royals.
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James and Louise are 13th and 14th in line to the throne and were raised without their HRH styles and Prince and Princess titles.
It will be up to them to choose whether they want to adopt their official royal titles when they turn 18.
There mother Sophie has previously said it is unlikely that they will use the titles as adults.
She told the Sunday Times Magazine: “We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living.”
The Countess added: “Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles.”
She added: “They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
Louise will be able to make a decision when she turns 18 in November.
James lives with his parents at Bagshot Park in Surrey, he was the youngest royal to attend Philip’s funeral on April 17.
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