King Charles III had a special birthday surprise for his younger brother Prince Edward.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday, Edward’s 59th birthday, that the royal would be the new Duke of Edinburgh.
The title previously belonged to the late Prince Philip, who passed away at age 99 on April 9, 2021. He was given it the morning of his wedding to Princess Elizabeth, who then became Queen Elizabeth II, on Nov. 20, 1947.
Edward’s son, Viscount Severn, 15, is now the Earl of Wessex; a title that was previously given to Edward when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones back in 1999.
Sophie is now the Duchess of Edinburgh; a title that was previously held by the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, 2022 at age 96.
The Palace said in a statement, “His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’s 59th birthday.
“The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’s lifetime.”
The release also stated, “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.”
According to the BBC, it’s thought Philip always wanted Edward to become the Duke of Edinburgh after his death nearly two years ago. However, the decision was left up to King Charles, Philip’s eldest son.
The latest news comes after the royal family’s official website updated their line of succession to the throne list with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s kids Archie and Lilibet’s new Prince and Princess titles.
Princess Lilibet of Sussex, 1, who got christened on Friday, is seventh in line to the throne underneath her older brother Archie, 3, who is sixth in line.
NEW: The Royal Family’s website has been updated to reflect that Archie and Lilibet will use the titles Prince and Princess👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/Z9xaRGht2q
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) March 9, 2023