I have to admit that keeping track of all the Royal lineage is more than this commoner from “the colonies” can handle. Watching “The Crown” and the various documentaries that are appearing on Netflix have helped a bit, but the vastness of the traditions and the reasons behind every single move they make is quite foreign for someone from a country that is a mere 242 years old.
As you know, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, have four children: Charles, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Heir to The Throne; Anne, Princess Royal; Andrew, Duke of York; and Edward; Earl of Wessex!! Duke, Duke, and Earl! What’s that about?
Apparently, Edward was not given the title of “Duke” for a very good reason. When his father, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh dies, the title will pass to Edward to keep the line of succession unbroken.
When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, in keeping with the Royal tradition of “ennobling” sons on the occasion of their marriage, but still reserving the Duke of Edinburgh title for a future time, he was bestowed with the title, Earl of Wessex.
Although a bit confusing, it is reassuring to know the Royals have a plan for every eventuality. For example, if Charles ascends to the throne BEFORE the death of The Duke of Edinburgh, then Edward might NOT inherit his father’s title, after all.
In case I’m not doing a very good job of explaining this, you may want to watch the video, below. It gives a much better explanation for why Prince Edward is an Earl and not a Duke...yet!! Stay tuned!!