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Prince Philip and the Queen will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary on November 20. During their life together they have had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. But what particularly special connection does Prince Philip share with his youngest son?
Prince Edward is the fourth child and third son of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen.
He was born on March 10, 1964, at 8.20pm weighing in at five pounds, seven ounces.
The Earl of Wessex was named Edward Antony Richard Louis and his birth was different to that of his siblings.
This was due to one special reason – Prince Philip was present at his birth.
In the royal book My Husband and I: The Inside Story Of 70 Years Of Royal Marriage, Ingrid Seward wrote: “The Duke of Edinburgh was actually holding his wife’s hand as their youngest was born.”
She added: “The Queen, by then aged 37, had asked him to be there; she’d been keenly reading women’s magazines that stressed the importance of involving fathers in childbirth and had become fascinated by the idea.
“Thus Philip became the first royal father in modern history to witness the arrival of one of his children…Compassion comes from the Queen.
“And the duty and discipline come from him, Philip.”
Ms Seward added that Philip was the most “sympathetic” when the Earl of Wessex left the Royal Marines in 1987.
She wrote: “Philip was in fact the most sympathetic. He understood his son’s decision, which he considered a brave one, and supported him fully.
“Edward had explained to him that he felt he was never going to be able to fit in as well as he’d hoped. ‘I was always going to have a policeman there.”
She added: “Many in their circle know that each has a personal preference for one son over the others.
“For the Queen, Andrew will always be her favourite, while for the Duke it is Edward.”
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This preference may also explain why Prince Edward decided to take an earldom upon his marriage instead of a dukedom.
Edward is the only son of the royal couple not to have a Duke title.
The earldom was instead Prince Edward’s own choice.
According to The Telegraph, the Queen intended to make him the next Duke of Cambridge but declined because of a character named Lord Wessex in Shakespeare in Love.
A royal source told the Telegraph: “He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”
But one day, Prince Edward will take over the Duke of Edinburgh title from his father.
Prince Philip’s title will be returned to the crown upon his death.
After which time it can be given to another member of the Royal Family.
Royal insiders claim this title has long been intended for Prince Edward.
A royal source told the Sunday Times: “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.”
Prince Philip was president and patron of around 800 organisations and Prince Edward took on many of these duties when he retired in 2017.
It is thought that when Edward becomes the Duke of Edinburgh he will take on even more of the roles once held by Prince Philip.
Royal Biographer Hugo Vickers told the Sunday Times: “Prince Edward has never been personally ambitious … He has taken on the role with the [Duke of Edinburgh’s] award to support his father, so it’s a wonderful thing that he could take on his title when the time comes.”
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