A royal insider revealed to the Telegraph in 2010: “He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”
The Queen agreed and gave him the title Earl of Wessex.
The reason that he could not be the Duke of Wessex as there is no such dukedom or even a region known as Wessex in the modern UK.
Wessex was one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England before the country unified in the 10th century.
The area of Wessex is prominent in the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and is home to Winchester, which was the capital of England for some time.
Sophie was given the title of Countess of Wessex when she and Edward married, as a Countess is the title given to the wife of a Count or Earl.
In contrast, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle stuck with tradition when they entered the royal family.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was the title given to Kate after her 2011 wedding to Prince William, when he became the Duke of Cambridge.
Whereas Meghan is now known as the Duchess of Sussex after she married Prince Harry, who became the Duke of Sussex, in 2018.