King Charles III has reportedly made a big decision for the royal family that contradicts a previous decision by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The queen had promised her younger son Prince Edward that he would inherit the title of Duke of Edinburgh, according to a report by The Sun. However, insiders now say that the king intends to hold onto that title for himself.
The king’s father and Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, passed away in 2021, and the title “Duke of Edinburgh” has hung in limbo ever since. However, sources close to the royal family said that a plan for the title has been in place for years. They said that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had promised the title to their son Prince Edward all the way back in 1999 when he married Sophie Wessex. The queen passed away in September of 2022, leaving her eldest son Charles as the new monarch, and insiders say he does not plan to formally pass over this title to his younger brother.
According to sources familiar with King Charles’ plans, his intention is to shrink the monarchy overall so that there are fewer people with grandiose titles in the U.K. To that end, he intends to name himself the new Duke of Edinburgh. He feels that his brother Prince Edward has enough titles, including Earl of Wessex.
“The King wants to slim down the monarchy, as is well known. That means it wouldn’t make sense to make the Earl the Duke of Edinburgh,” a source told The Daily Mail. “It’s a hereditary title which would then be passed on to the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son, James, Viscount Severn. Essentially, this was accepted by the Earl when he agreed that his children would not be a prince or princess.”
Of course, these plans remain unconfirmed by the king or palace officials, though reporters noted that the king did recently confer a different kind of honor onto Prince Edward. He recently wrote to the House of Lords, formally asking that his siblings Prince Edward and Princess Anne be added to his list of “Counsellors of State.” This means that they can be called on in an emergency for any royal matters if the king is out of the country or too ill to act.
“To ensure continued efficiency of public business when I’m unavailable, such as while I’m undertaking official duties overseas, I confirm that I would be most content should Parliament see fit for the number of people who may be called upon to act as counsellors of State under the terms of the Regency acts 1937 to 1963 to be increased to include my sister and brother, the Princess Royal, and the Earl of Wessex and Forfar. Both of whom have previously undertaken this role,” he wrote.
A king who is not responsible for his words and deeds will not rule for long and will call into question the existence of the monarchy.