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EXCLUSIVE: Prince Philip’s title will eventually be passed on to his youngest son Prince Edward.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9 at age 99.
“When Prince Edward got married, he wasn’t made a royal duke like the other princes, such as Prince Harry and Prince Andrew,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News. “It’s my understanding that Edward wasn’t made a duke upon marriage because both the queen and Prince Philip wanted Edward to become the Duke of Edinburgh upon Philip’s death. I believe it will happen.”
The Earl of Wessex, 57, married Sophie, Countess of Wessex, in 1999. They share two children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, during a television interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor, following the announcement on Friday, April 9th of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99, on April 11, 2021 in Windsor, England.
(Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Bullen, an award-winning documentarian, has been making programs about the royal family for nearly 20 years and has worked closely with Edward’s eldest brother, Prince Charles, for eight.
The Prince of Wales, 72, is second in line to the throne.
Bullen pointed out that there are some protocols that need to be addressed before Edward eventually inherits the coveted title.
“In truth Prince Charles, as the eldest son, inherits his father’s titles,” Bullen explained. “So in truth, the title Duke of Edinburgh should really go to the Prince Wales. When Prince Charles becomes king, the title of duke would revert to the crown and become crown property.”
“So Prince Charles, as the new king, would hand over the duke title to Edward,” he continued. “But, I wouldn’t be surprised if, within the palace, certain things move slightly faster than that and Edward becomes the Duke of Edinburgh during the queen’s reign. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened instead.”
Prince Edward (left) with his eldest brother Prince Charles (right) who is heir to the British throne.
(Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Still, Bullen pointed out that Edward is already active in keeping his father’s legacy alive. According to the palace, Edward has been “deeply committed” to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award since earning his own Gold Award in 1986.
The following year, Edward became a U.K. Trustee of the charity and of the International Award Association and was chair of its International Council for 17 years.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, founded by Philip in 1956, is described as “a flexible programme which helps young people to develop skills for life and work.” Since 2015, Edward has been Chairman of the Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.
Previously, in 1999, Edward established the International Special Projects Group “to broaden the reach of the Award, especially to young people considered to be at risk or marginalised in society.”
The palace shared that over the past six decades nearly 2.5 million young people have achieved Awards.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (right) and Prince Philp, Duke of Edinburgh watch the flypast over the Mall of British and US World War II aircraft from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on National Commemoration Day, July 10, 2005, in London, England.
(Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
“There are currently one million participants in the initiative,” the palace added.
Bullen said we can expect to see Edward and Sophie, 56, take on more royal duties.
“Regardless of titles, I think you will see both of them doing more work,” he said. “With Harry and Meghan stepping back and Prince Andrew not allowed to take on public duties, there is a need for the other royals to step forward. And I think Edward and Sophie will be doing a lot more.”
Like his father, Edward is known to be passionate about organizations that provide opportunities to young people specifically. In addition, he is patron of the Edinburgh International Festival, and has already taken on patronages reflecting on Philip’s love of seafaring and sport, The Telegraph reported.
Prince Edward, Earl of Essex speaking to Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award Recipients at Sydney Town Hall on September 13, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. It is the largest of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award Ceremonies ever to take place outside the UK and is part of a series of events taking place to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia.
(Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images)
The outlet also shared that Sophie will eventually become the Duchess of Edinburgh, a courtesy title which was held by the queen, 94.
Philip is survived by the queen and their four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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