The little-known title Sophie Wessex has that she doesn’t use - and she’s not the only one!

She might be best known as the Countess of Wessex but this isn't the only title Sophie received upon marrying Prince Edward...

The little-known title Sophie Wessex has revealed. Seen here she attends day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

There’s a little-known title Sophie Wessex has that she doesn’t use and it’s understood that the same thing is true of other prominent royals. 


Sophie might be best known as the Countess of Wessex since her 1999 marriage to the youngest of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s children, Prince Edward. The senior royal is also known as the Countess of Forfar in Scotland, but it seems like these might not be the only titles she gained upon her marriage. There’s a little-known title that Sophie Wessex has that might come as a surprise given that her daughter Lady Louise Windsor isn’t referred to as Princess and her son James, Viscount Severn isn’t called Prince. 

It’s understood that Sophie Wessex is also technically Princess - although not Princess Sophie. As the wife of the late Queen’s son Prince Edward and not a Princess by blood, she would be Princess Edward, although she’s never used this particular title. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visit Shallowford Farm

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The same is thought to be true of Kate Middleton, with Town & Country (opens in new tab) previously reporting that Kate took on her husband Prince William’s title when they married in 2011. This apparently meant she effectively became Princess William as well as Duchess of Cambridge - and now Princess of Wales. 

This also follows the pattern seen amongst the extended Royal Family where Prince Michael of Kent’s wife Marie-Christine is known as Princess Michael of Kent, as she’s also the wife of a Prince. Following this pattern, it seems that Meghan Markle is also technically Princess Henry as the wife of Prince Harry (whose full given name is Henry).

The only Princesses who are known by their own name in the immediate Royal Family are Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Princess Charlotte because they were all born into the Royal Family. But whilst Sophie Wessex might technically be Princess Edward, she has never been formally known as this. 

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones leave in an open carriage after their wedding

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

It’s also been suggested that Sophie Wessex could get a new title previously held by the Queen and become Duchess of Edinburgh if Prince Edward receives the Duke of Edinburgh title.

The title passed to King Charles after Prince Philip’s death and is now merged with the crown and yet to be bestowed upon anyone else. Although recent reports have claimed the King might want to make Princess Charlotte the Duchess of Edinburgh in her own right, in the past it was thought that Prince Edward would receive it. 

When Prince Edward and Sophie got married Buckingham Palace released a statement, as per Edinburgh Live (opens in new tab), which said as much at the time. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visit Forfar Golf Club

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

“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,” it declared. 

The final decision is King Charles’ to make though if he does make Prince Edward the Duke of Edinburgh and Sophie becomes the Duchess, then this will join the little-known title Sophie Wessex has as Princess Edward and her two best known ones as Countess of Wessex and of Forfar. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.