SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

British Royals

Prince Edward’s other Scottish title

The Duke of Edinburgh has just received an important honour on a visit to his titular city. During his time in Edinburgh, Prince Edward was made a member of the Order of the Thistle. It comes just over a year after the prince was created Duke of Edinburgh by his brother, King Charles III, fulfilling a promise made a quarter of a century earlier. However, Edward also holds another, much less famous Scottish title.

On his 55th birthday, in 2019, Prince Edward was made Earl of Forfar by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. It was in addition to the title of Earl of Wessex which he had been given on his wedding day, in 1999. For twenty years, Edward and his wife, Sophie, had been known as Earl and Countess of Wessex but, from March 2019, they were also Earl and Countess of Forfar.

The Earldom of Forfar was first created in 1661 and became extinct as a title in 1715. It was a subsidiary title to the Earl of Ormond and was a title held by the Douglas Family. The 1st Earl of Forfar (1653 to 1712) was Archibald Douglas. His son, also Archibald Douglas, became the 2nd Earl of Forfar (1692 to 1715). The 2nd Earl took the title at the age of 20 and died without issue leaving the Earldom extinct.

Forfar is the county town of Angus with a population of just over 14,000. It is the principal county town nearest to Glamis Castle, the seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne. The Earl’s grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was a daughter of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

However, since March 2023, Edward has had a far more famous Scottish title. On his wedding day, Buckingham Palace announced that, in time, the prince would be made Duke of Edinburgh, the title so famously held by his father, Prince Philip. However, it was a poignant gift. Prince Edward couldn’t become Duke of Edinburgh until both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had died and Charles III had ascended the throne.

Prince Philip was made Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, ahead of his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth. His dukedom followed the usual rules and would be inherited by his eldest son. So when Prince Philip died, in April 2021, the title automatically passed to his first child, Charles. On the death of Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8th 2022, Charles became king and every other title he held returned to the Crown.

At that point, The King was free to recreate the Dukedom of Edinburgh. He did so in March 2023, naming his youngest brother as the new Duke of Edinburgh on Prince Edward’s 59th birthday. However, the title is to be held for his lifetime only, meaning it can’t be passed on to his own son.

Instead, James, who is now known as Earl of Wessex could, one day, inherit Edward’s other Scottish title and become Earl of Forfar as well.

About author

Royal Central is the web's leading source for news on the Monarchies of the world.