Prince Edward has been appointed Duke of Edinburgh by the King, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The title will be held by the former Earl of Wessex for the duration of the monarch’s lifetime.
The Duke of Edinburgh title was last given to Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth – who was Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952.
It was Philip’s wish that Edward should inherit his title – his wife Sophie, the former Countess of Wessex, will become the Duchess of Edinburgh.
Their 15-year-old son James, Viscount Severn is the new Earl of Wessex.
Prior to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh title was created for Prince Frederick, eldest son of King George II, in 1726; then for Prince William, brother of King George III, in 1764; and Queen Victoria’s second son Prince Alfred, in 1866.
It comes after another title change this week when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began officially using the titles Prince and Princess for their children Archie and Lilibet.
The new duke and duchess will be in Edinburgh – their first outing with their new titles in the city which inspired their name – later on Friday.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon the Prince Edward, on the occasion of HRH’s 59th birthday today.
“The title will be held for HRH’s lifetime.
“The dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952.
“The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.”
The dukedom – which in the past has been hereditary – will not, pass down to the Edinburghs’ son James when Edward dies.
Viscount Severn will become the Earl of Wessex and Forfar when the title of The Duke of Edinburgh reverts to the Crown, the Palace said.
Edward will also remain for his lifetime the Earl of Forfar, another of his titles, but will use the Duke of Edinburgh because it is the more senior Scottish title.
Philip had always wanted his youngest son Edward to inherit his title, but the decision ultimately was down to Charles as King.
When Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones married in 1999, they were given the titles the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
But Buckingham Palace also announced Edward would eventually one day succeed his father as the Duke of Edinburgh – but not until after the death of both Philip and the Queen.
The palace said at the time: “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales have also agreed that the Prince Edward should be given the dukedom of Edinburgh in due course when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.”
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