Published On: Sun, Dec 1st, 2019

Royal news: Is this the real reason Sophie and Edward made shock decision? | Royal | News

Edward snubbed the usual royal title of Duke in favour of a more unconventional title – the Earl of Wessex. At the time, Edward reportedly asked to be named after Lord Wessex, a character in his favourite film, Shakespeare in love. A royal insider told The Telegraph: “He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”

The Queen agreed but could not make him the Duke of Wessex as there is no dukedom or indeed region in the modern UK called Wessex.

Wessex is in fact an Anglo-Saxon kingdom that existed before England united in the 10th century.

However, there could be another reason behind his decision and it involves Prince Philip.

It is believed Edward will be the next Duke of Edinburgh after his father dies.

READ MORE: Sophie and Edward’s decision that stands them out from other royals

He has been taking an increasingly active role with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in recent years and is poised to take over patronage of many of the nearly 800 organisations the 98-year-old Philip looks after.

A royal source told The Times in 2015: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is very much Prince Edward’s thing.

“This is a big part of what he does now, because he will be the next Duke of Edinburgh.”

This could therefore be a reason he decided to go by the lesser title of Earl – so that he was free to take his father’s dukedom when it was time.

“Until recently, he had been very active – carriage driving, fishing at Balmoral and driving around royal estates – although he no longer drives on public roads follow his crash in January.”

According to royal expert Ingrid Seward, he is “not in the best health”, sparking fears the Queen’s husband is feeling fragile.

As of last week, the Queen and Philip have been married for 70 years.

The Duke of Edinburgh title aside, Prince Edward’s decision to accept an earldom instead of a dukedom, makes him the first son of a monarch to do this since Tudor times, according to etiquette experts Debrett’s.

It has also had an impact on his family – his wife Sophie, instead of taking a duchess title, is the Countess of Wessex.

Meanwhile his two children, while entitled to HRH prince or princess status, have instead been styled as children of an Earl.

Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 11, are believed to be the Queen’s favourite grandchildren.

A royal source told The Sun in September: “The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral, and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favorite grandchild, closely followed by James.”

Louise also “endeared herself” to the Queen and the rest of the family by helping to look after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, while they were up at Balmoral together in the summer.

She and the Queen also took several gentle rides together through the hills around the castle.

Meanwhile, James “delighted” Her Majesty with his skill in fly-fishing, a sport beloved by the Queen Mother.

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