Prince Philip had wished that his Dukedom Edinburgh would pass to his youngest son Prince Edward, Earl Of Wessex, in the years preceding his 2021 death. But the politics of such an act are more complex than simply writing a will. The fate of the title rests as it is now in King Charles III’s hands.
The Current Duke of Edinburgh Is King Charles
Charles, then-Prince Philip, died in April 2021. He was made the Duke of Edinburgh. In accordance with the law of inheritance, Philip’s eldest son inherited his title. It wasn’t until Charles became king that he gained the ability to gift his inherited titles. Charles gave his Prince of Wales title, as an example, to Prince William, one of his first acts in his reign. However, Charles still hasn’t acted on his pledge to his father, and he remains the Duke of Edinburgh.
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His hesitancy has led many royalists to question Charles’ intentions. Now, it’s up in the air as to when or if Charles will bestow the Duke of Edinburgh title on his younger brother. The Royal Watchers speculate that Charles wants to usher a new era in minimalism for the British monarchy. This would fit with Charles’ original promise. However, there’s plenty of nuance to this decision, and various avenues remain perfectly plausible.
Charles Could Still Transfer The Title to Edward
There’s the possibility that Charles is saving the announcement for a special occasion, like Edward’s birthday in March. Then, there’s also the chance that Charles is simply waiting to sweeten the deal. Recent reports suggest that Parliament may be seeking to amend the Counsellors laws. As it stands now, the next four adults in line of succession can act as Counsellors to State.
However, two of those adults—Prince Andrew and Prince Harry—are not currently working royals. Recent reports suggest that Parliament could amend the lawfor Edward and Princess Anne as the substitutes. If this happens, Charles could be waiting to bestow the Duke of Edinburgh title on Prince Edward until he’s officially named as a Counsellor of State. This is, however, only if Charles plans to pass on the title.
Why Charles Could Not Grant Edward The Title
There’s no doubt that Charles is sure to face controversy if he decides not to make Prince Edward the Duke of Edinburgh. Charles could choose to follow this path for many reasons. First of all, it’s no secret that the Duke of Edinburgh is held in high regard. Edinburgh is a dukedom the royal family wants to keep close, unlike many others that have been passed down from distant branches of their family tree. The royal family might not want to grant the title to Edward.
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Charles granted Edward the title upon his death. If James has a child, the title will be passed to him. So the dukedom is now a highly honorable title in the monarchy and a gifted title in the lower ranks of the monarchy.
Charles Could Save The Title for A Different Royal
There is an alternative. Charles could keep the dukedom, and give it to Prince George. The dukedom would then remain in the line of succession. This is all the more plausible when you consider the number of untaken dukedoms. It’s completely plausible that Charles would want to save the Dukedom of Edinburgh for George or maybe even another royal.
Edward seems to be able to see the possibility of this scenario. “It was fine in theory, ages ago when it was sort of a pipe dream of my father’s,” Edward of his suggested inheritance of his father’s title. “Of course, it will depend on whether or not the Prince of Wales, when he becomes king, whether he’ll do that.”
This is all to say that we don’t know what Charles will do with his Duke-of-Edinburg title. No matter the outcome, he’s sure to please some and disappoint others. However, it’s fair to say that it isn’t just about fairness of desire to honor his brother. At the end of the day, Charles has to do what’s best for the monarchy.