Almost 24 years ago in 1999, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and the then Prince Charles agreed that one day, Prince Edward and Sophie would become the Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh.
The announcement was made on the couple’s wedding day in June 1999, with Prince Edward one day destined to become Duke of Edinburgh.
However, movement appears to have stalled following the accession of Charles III to the throne, and the merging of the Dukedom of Edinburgh to the Crown.
Upon his father’s death in April 2021, the then Prince of Wales inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh as Philip’s eldest son.
When he became King on September 8 2022, the Dukedom effectively ceased to exist, returning to the Crown.
In order for Prince Edward to become Duke of Edinburgh, The King must grant assent for the fourth creation of the Dukedom of Edinburgh and bestow it on his youngest brother.
This was always the plan, so why hasn’t the final part been put into acton, with Edward being the only senior male royal without a Dukedom?
Part of the reason might be The King’s approach to streamlining The Royal Family, and not wanting to hand out any further Dukedoms.
Something His Majesty will acutely be aware of is the situation with the Dukedoms of Kent and Gloucester.
In just a generations time, neither of the Dukedoms will be held by a senior member of The Royal Family.
The current Duke of Kent has an heir – the Earl of St Andrews. Likewise, his grandson, Lord Downpatrick is second-in-line to become Duke of Kent.
Therefore, the future of that particular Dukedom is secure, with the title unlikely to return to the Crown.
The same is true for the Dukedom of Gloucester, with Alexander Windsor next in line to become Duke of Gloucester. Prince Richard’s grandson, Xan, is second-in-line.
This means that both the Dukes of Kent and Dukes of Gloucester of the future will be extended members of The Royal Family, and will not hold senior roles.
King Charles is likely to be acutely aware of this, with Viscount Severn destined to inherit the Dukedom of Edinburgh, should it be created for the Earl of Wessex.
It is unlikely that Viscount Severn will ever be a working member of The Royal Family, and should he one day have an heir, the Dukedom would become even further distant.
This does not fit in with The King’s vision of monarchy, with His Majesty keen to streamline The Royal Family.
Research by Lydia Starbuck