On Friday, the royal family announced in a statement that Queen Elizabeth’s husband of more than 70 years had died, stating: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Following the royal’s death, and in keeping with the Letters Patent issued when George VI gave Prince Philip the title in 1947, the Prince of Wales has now gained the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
However, when Prince Charles ascends the throne, the title will “merge with the crown” and can be regranted, according to the Evening Standard, with the title set to be bestowed upon Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, following the death of the Queen.
The decision for the title to be given to Prince Edward was one made by the Queen, Philip and Charles in 1999 when the Earl of Wessex married Sophie Rhys-Jones and in recognition of Edward’s work with the youth award programme The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, of which he is a trustee, according to the outlet.
Following their wedding, the couple was granted the titles the Earl and Countess of Wessex, with Buckingham Palace announcing at the time that Prince Edward would also eventually become Duke of Edinburgh following the deaths of both his parents.
The Countess of Wessex will also gain the title of the Duchess of Edinburgh, a title held by the Queen, after the monarch passes and Charles ascends to the throne, according to the DailyMail.
Prince Charles has become the seventh person to hold the title of Duke of Edinburgh, with Prince Edward to become the eighth.
The title of Duke of Edinburgh was first created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1726 for Prince Frederick, who was later granted the title the Prince of Wales.
Prince Philip was given the title by King George VI before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II in 1947, at which point he also gave up his former title as Prince of Greece and Denmark.
Queen Elizabeth also later granted her husband the title of prince, with the monarch announcing in 1957 that Prince Philip would henceforth be known as “His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.
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