Prince Edward’s big royal snub

His lesser title has emerged
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Prince Edward was given a lesser title than his brother’s Prince Charles and Prince Andrew for the first time in centuries.

WATCH: Prince Edward refuses to shake hands on walkabouts

While Prince Charles and Prince Andrew are known as the Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of York respectively, Prince Edward is known as the Earl of Wessex.

His wife, Sophie, is known as the Countess of Wessex and their children are known as Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn instead of Royal Highness, prince or princess.

It is the first time in centuries that a child of a British monarch has been given a title of Earl instead of Duke upon marriage, according to Royal Central.

Prince Edward title
Prince Edward is the youngest of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s children. (Credit: Getty)

Receiving a lesser title was entirely Prince Edward’s decision.

After marrying Sophie in 1999, it was assumed he would take the Duke of Cambridge title that Prince William now holds or the Duke of Sussex (which Prince Harry holds).

However, he asked the Queen to be named after a character in his favourite film, Shakespeare in love – Lord Wessex, according to Express.

Prince Edward title
Princess Edward and Sophie Wessex have been married since 1999. (Credit: Getty)

“He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead,” a royal insider told The Telegraph in 2010.

The Queen obliged and offered him the title Earl of Wessex, as there no dukedom or region known as Wessex in the modern UK. The kingdom of Wessex existed in Anglo-Saxon England prior to the country’s unification in the 10th century.

Prince Edward title Lord Wessex
Prince Edward asked for the title of Lord Wessex because he loved the character in Shakespeare in Love. (Credit: Getty)

It’s also widely believed Prince Edward is poised to become the next Duke of Edinburgh when his father, Prince Philip passes.

In fact, the 55-year-old has taken more of an active role within the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in recent years, according to Express. If it proves to be true, Prince Edward will take patronage over nearly 800 organisations.

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

Prince Edward title Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward is Prince Philip’s youngest child. He is tipped to take over the Duke of Edinburgh title when the 98-year-old passes away. (Credit: Getty)

For now, it’s assumed the title of Duke of Edinburgh will return to the crown when Prince Philip dies and then go to the next-in-line (Prince Charles).

However, the monarch could reissue the title to Prince Andrew – meaning the Queen when her husband passes away or the Prince of Wales, should he succeed Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.

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