Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 55, joined the Royal Family when she married the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest son Prince Edward, 56, in 1999. Queen Elizabeth II has traditionally presented dukedoms to her sons and grandsons as wedding gifts, however, Prince Edward was made an Earl instead.
So when Sophie and Edward married the became the Earl and Countess of Wessex but they are likely to take on a new official title in the future.
Royal dukedoms are the highest titles in the British Roll of the Peerage and the holders must be Princes of the Blood Royal.
An Earldom is two ranks lower than a Dukedom and falls below the title of Marquess.
The Queen withholds the right bestow dukedoms on whomever she pleases and gave both her sons – Prince Andrew, 60, Duke of York and Prince Charles, 71, Duke of Cornwall the titles on their wedding days.
In recent years Prince William, 37, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, 35, Duke of Sussex also received dukedoms when they married.
According to the Telegraph, the Queen offered Edward the dukedom of Cambridge on his wedding day but he declined because of a character named Lord Wessex in Shakespeare in Love.
“He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead,” a royal courtier told the newspaper in 2010.
While Prince Edward missed out on this special wedding tradition it was decided he will inherit his father Prince Philip’s Duke of Edinburgh title following his death.
This means Sophie, Countess of Wessex will become Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh at some point in the future.
As the Queen’s son Prince Edward was born with the HRH style and his and Sophie’s royal status will not be affected by the new dukedom but he will have the honour of taking on his father’s famous title.
Prince Edward’s Duke of Edinburgh title will likely pass to his son James Viscount Severn, 12, following his death.
While Prince Edward has an older daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 16, the UK currently has a system of male primogeniture which applies to titles.
This means male heirs are given priority over female heirs, regardless of their age or relation to the titleholder.
Why will Sophie never be Queen?
While Sophie is well-respected in royal circles and is extremely hardworking she is unlikely to ever be Queen for one very simple reason.
Prince Edward is currently 11th in line to the throne and will continue to be bumped down as younger royals higher up the line have children.
As the Queen’s eldest son, Prince Charles, 72, is first in line to the throne followed by his eldest son Prince William and then William’s children – Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince, Louis.
Currently ahead of Prince Edward in the line of succession are: Princess Eugenie (10th), Princess Beatrice (9th), Prince Andrew (8th), Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (7th), Prince Harry (6th), Prince Louis (5th), Princess Charlotte (4th), Prince George (3rd), Prince William (2nd) and Prince Charles (1st.)
Even if some extraordinary occurrence wiped out the line of succession and led to Prince Edward becoming king, as his wife Sophie would be a Queen Consort.
Queen Consort is the title given to the wife of the presiding British monarch.