The royal family has shared with the world the sad news that Prince Philip has died, aged 99. The husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather leaves behind his loved ones, as well as various patronages and titles, including Duke of Edinburgh.
But now Prince Philip has passed away, what happens to the Duke of Edinburgh title? Does it die with the owner, or is it passed down to someone else in the royal family? While nothing has been confirmed yet by the royal family, considering their loss is still fresh, it is generally typical for titles to pass on to another family member in the wake of a death. For example, when the Queen passes away and Prince Charles becomes King, his 'Prince of Wales' title will be passed down to Prince William, who is currently the Duke of Cambridge.
There's one family member in particular who's most likely to assume the Duke of Edinburgh title in the coming months: the Queen and Prince Philip's youngest son, Prince Edward. While his other siblings have very senior royal titles - Prince Charles is the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne is the Princess Royal, and Prince Andrew is the Duke of York - Prince Edward only has the title Earl of Wessex.
In 1999, Prince Edward married Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and the royal family announced that while the couple would be given Earl and Countess titles on their big day, the long-term plan was that Prince Edward would become the Duke of Edinburgh later down the line. What's not clear, however, is when that will be.
A BBC news report from the day of Edward and Sophie's wedding reads: "It has also been agreed that Edward will also become Duke of Edinburgh after the death of his mother, the Queen, and his father, Prince Philip, who currently holds the dukedom. It is believed to be in recognition of his work with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme."
It's not yet known whether Prince Edward will adopt the Duke of Edinburgh title in the coming weeks or months, following his father's death, or if he will need to wait until his mother passes away too for the change to come in.
Either way, it's a nice thought that the Duke of Edinburgh legacy will be passed down to a family member who will play an important part in the institution going forward, as the Earl and Countess of Wessex are both believed to be a part of the Queen's 'core eight' senior royals.
Our thoughts are with the whole family on this very sad day.
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