Sophie, Countess of Wessex is married to the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and the couple are known to be firm favourites of the Queen. Sophie is often entrusted to complete royal engagements on behalf of the Crown, and during the coronavirus pandemic it appears Sophie has been taking on more roles in the royal spotlight.
When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, the couple were given the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex respectively.
The move caused quite a stir, as usually the sons of a monarch are given the title of Duke on their wedding days.
According to reports, Edward was due to receive the title of Duke of Cambridge, which is currently held by Prince William.
However it seems Edward himself chose the Wessex title, having liked the character of Lord Wessex in the hit 90’s film, Shakespeare in Love.
And with no Dukedom of Wessex available, Edward and Sophie had to settle for the slightly lower rank of Earl and Countess.
One day Sophie and Edward are likely to see their royal rank boosted, however, as Edward is rumoured to receive a new title in the future.
Edward’s father, Prince Philip, was made Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI prior to his marriage to the future Queen, Princess Elizabeth, in 1947.
And when Prince Philip dies, the Duke of Edinburgh title is widely believed to be reserved for the Queen’s youngest son.
If Prince Edward does become the Duke of Edinburgh one day, his wife Sophie will also become the Duchess of Edinburgh.
This is a title that is currently technically in possession of the Queen, as she is married to the current Duke of Edinburgh – although she does not use it as the monarch.
So in the future, Sophie will hold the rank and title the Queen has held for the many years she has been married.
In recent years a number of Edward’s projects have suggested he will certainly receive the Duke of Edinburgh title one day.
Prince Edward’s royal warning inspired Prince Harry’s statement [ANALYSIS]
Sophie Wessex heartbreak: Countess dealt ‘devastating’ blow [INSIGHT]
Sophie heartbreak: Countess visits air ambulance which saved her life [PICTURES]
Since Prince Philip retired from royal duties in 2017 at the incredible age of 96, Edward has taken on a number of his father’s previous responsibilities.
Prince Philip started the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956, which helps young people to develop skills for the future.
Edward has picked up the reins with the organisation and is the Chairman of the Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation as of 2015.
The Royal Family website explains: “The Earl of Wessex has been deeply committed to the organisation’s work since achieving his own Gold Award in 1986.
“The following year, His Royal Highness became a UK Trustee of the charity and of the International Award Association, and was chair of its International Council for 17 years.”
In his role with the organisation, Prince Edward presents Gold Awards and travels around the world to promote the initiative.
A royal source told The Times in 2015: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is very much Prince Edward’s thing.
“That is a big part of what he does now because he will be the next Duke of Edinburgh.”