King Charles grants himself important title formerly held by Prince Philip

King Charles' new title wasn't held by the Queen - so what does this unprecedented move mean for the centuries-old title?

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty)

King Charles' new title is one usually held by someone close to the monarch. Choosing to take on the role himself indicates the much talked about 'slimmed down' Royal Family and staff - but he's not the first King to hold the title.


Since the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and the Queen died, their many titles have needed to be filled. Apart from the obvious roles of the monarch and the Duchy of Edinburgh, there are countless other lesser-known titles that need to be filled. One of these, the Ranger of Windsor Great Park - the home of Windsor Castle - will be filled by King Charles. This role is more labor intensive than others awarded within the Royal Family, so what does it actually entail?

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News of King Charles' new title my not surprise royal fans as he's got a long history of loving the outdoors. Examples include smaller-scale offerings such as Highgrove House, more specifically the Highgrove Gardens, and large-scale interests like his interests in fighting the climate crisis. 

In his new role as the Ranger of Windsor Great Park, the King will offer oversight and guidance to the Deputy Ranger and his team in the day-to-day stewardship of one of the country’s oldest estates.

Horse chestnut and London plane trees lining the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle

(Image credit: photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

The important role has a long and illustrious history, that can be traced back 460 years to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Since the first ranger, Sir Henry Neville, was appointed, the post has been held by many famous historical figures, both male and female.

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who was played by Rachel Weisz in the Oscar-winning film The Favorite was made Ranger back in 1702. Prince Albert, beloved husband of Queen Victoria, held the title until his death in 1861 and King Charles' father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were Rangers too.

The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving Ranger of Windsor Great Park as he held the role from 1952 until he died in 2021. 

Although this title is an important one, many still wonder who is going to be awarded the late Prince's other title - the Duke of Edinburgh. Although many believed that Prince Edward would take on the mantel, which is one of the highest titles awarded by the Royal Family, owing to his involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh award - this is yet to be the case. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attends the annual Commonwealth Day service and reception during Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo byLONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attends the annual Commonwealth Day service and reception during Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

“The King wants to slim down the monarchy [so] it wouldn't make sense to make the Earl the Duke of Edinburgh,” a palace source told The Daily Mail (opens in new tab). "The King wants to slim down the monarchy, as is well known. That means it wouldn't make sense to make the Earl the Duke of Edinburgh."

As King Charles drags his heels on awarding this title, many believe the Duchy of Edinburgh may be culled as a part of the King's vision of a slimmed-down monarchy. However, reports that Princess Charlotte's new title may be Duchess of Edinburgh indicate that the Duchy will carry on.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.