Did you notice this awkward slip-up at the Commonwealth Day Service?
The Commonwealth Day Service seemingly ran without a hitch, but did you notice this awkward slip up?
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Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex stepped out at Monday's Commonwealth Day Service as the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, but did you notice this awkward slip up with their new titles?
- The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were amongst the senior royals in attendance at Monday's Commonwealth Day Service, but their new titles were missing from the day's Order of Service.
- Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex were referred to as the Earl & Countess of Wessex despite their title change being announced three days prior to the event.
- In other royal news, Princess Anne’s structured mint green fedora and teal asymmetric coat make serious statement at Commonwealth Day Service.
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Wessex joined other senior members of the Royal Family for Monday's annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. The royal couple marked King Charles' first service as Monarch, stepping out with new titles of their own, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
The King announced on Friday that Edward, his younger brother, was now to be known as the Duke of Edinburgh, gifting him the prestigious Dukedom previously held by their father, Prince Philip.
During an interview with the BBC to mark what would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday, Edward admitted that taking on his title of the Duke of Edinburgh, should he be awarded it, would be "quite a challenge."
Despite their new titles, Prince Edward and Sophie retained the titles of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar, which were given to them by the late Queen on their wedding day in 1999.
However, when The Order of Service for the Commonwealth Day event was published by Westminster Abbey, some eagle eyed readers noticed a slip up. The document listing the order of arrival for the event's attendees referred to Prince Edward and Sophie as "the Earl & Countess of Wessex," not as the more coveted Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
There is a surprisingly mundane reason for this and it likely has to do with admin. The day's programs are printed ahead of time, meaning the couple's titles had already been inked by the time of their title change just three days prior.
In a thoughtful touch, the news of Prince Edward's new title was shared on his 59th birthday, Friday 10 March. The Dukedom makes Prince Edward's wife, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, and their 15-year-old son James, who has previously been known as Viscount Severn, the new Earl of Wessex.
Edward and Sophie also have a daughter, Lady Louise, but her parents' and brother's new titles have not affected her and she will continue to be known as Lady Louise.
It had long been both the late Queen and Prince Philip’s wish for their youngest son Edward to inherit his father’s title. In 1999, when Buckingham Palace announced Edward and Sophie's titles of the Earl & Countess of Wessex, the intention for them to later be granted the dukedom of Edinburgh was first shared.
In the statement, The Palace announced, “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have also agreed that the Prince Edward should be given the Dukedom of Edinburgh in due course, when the present title held now by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.”
The dukedom is not an inherited title, meaning that, when Edward dies, his son, James, will not become the Duke of Edinburgh. Instead, the title will likely be awarded to one of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ children once it has reverted back to the crown.
The most likely candidate for the title is the couple's youngest son, Prince Louis, as their eldest, Prince George, will be known as the heir apparent, and also likely the Prince of Wales, when William becomes king.
Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.
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