Queen’s special gift to Prince Edward ahead of his wedding day references a film

Queen told stripping Andrew's titles was 'too little, too late'

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Prince Edward, 57, is an Earl while his two brothers and nephews are all Dukes. However, the reason he wasn’t given a dukedom on his wedding day was something he asked for. According to MyLondon, the Queen had offered Edward the Dukedom of Cambridge (the current title of Prince William and Catherine), but he refused it for a very surprising reason.

The Earldom of Wessex had not been in use since the 11th century, however Edward reportedly asked the Queen to be named after a character called Lord Wessex in his favourite film, Shakespeare in Love.

A royal insider told the Telegraph in 2010 why Edward chose that name, explaining: “He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”

Agreeing to his request, the Queen agreed to give Edward the Wessex title, but also explained to him the move would mean that he couldn’t be a Duke as there was no such Dukedom and the region of Wessex doesn’t exist anymore in the modern UK.

According to Debrett’s, “An Earl is the third rank of the Peerage, standing above the ranks of Viscount and Baron, but below Duke and Marquess.”

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He is 14th in line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis was born at Buckingham Palace on March 10, 1964. He is the youngest child of the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones at the Queen’s Tennis Club in London and the pair announced their engagement six years later on January 6, 1999.

When the news came of the surprising title, it was revealed that the Royal Family intended for Edward to be created Duke of Edinburgh upon both the death of his father and accession of elder brother, although questions over whether or not this will happen were recently called into question.

The fact that Prince Edward is an Earl and not a Duke has also affected how his children are known.

Lady Louise Windsor was born in 2003 and James, Viscount Severn was born in 2007.

The Palace explained at the time that the couple had agreed with the Queen that any children they have would be styled as the children of an Earl, not a Duke.

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This means that the children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex are known as Lady Louise Mountbatten Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, rather than Their Royal Highnesses Princess Louise and Prince James of Wessex.

The Wessex children are the first male-line descendants not to have royal titles and are also the first to properly use the Mountbatten-Windsor surname, in accordance with the Queen’s 1960 Order-in-Council.

The Queen’s other male line grandchildren are Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Her other grandchildren are The Princess Royal’s children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

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