With the death of Prince Philip at age 99 last week, his most honored title, Duke of Edinburgh, reverted to his male heir, Prince Charles. According to one tabloid report, Prince Charles and his youngest brother, Prince Edward, are now in dispute over who will be the future title-holder. Gossip Cop can explain what’s really going on here.
The New Duke
While the royal family is still grieving for the loss of Prince Philip, Woman’s Day has published a report claiming that there is a major disagreement brewing between two of his sons, Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the throne, and Prince Edward, the youngest of Queen Elizabeth’s four children. The magazine reports that Prince Philip’s wish was for the title to passed on to Prince Edward after Prince Philip’s death, but Charles, who legally inherited the title, doesn’t want to give it up.
A source tells the outlet, “It’s obvious the Duke of Edinburgh title will carry a lot of weight in the future,” adding that Prince Charles has “always had a jealous streak and some courtiers worry it might rear its ugly head here.” The article also contends that Prince Charles’ jealousy already made an appearance after Prince Edward’s kind words following his father’s death supposedly overshadowed Prince Charles’ statement. “The Wessexes are having a bit of a moment,” the source says, “and Charles doesn’t like that one bit. Especially since his mother, the queen, counts [Prince Edward’s wife] Sophie as one of her closest confidantes.”
Really, It’s All Decided
Of course, this supermarket tabloid has it wrong. It is correct when it explains that the title of Duke of Edinburgh has passed to Prince Charles for the time being, and eventually, Prince Edward will inherit the title. In fact, it was all decided decades ago when Prince Edward married Countess Sophie. The queen announced after Prince Edward’s wedding that he would not only be created the Earl of Wessex, his current title, but that he would be eventually inherit the title of Duke of Edinburgh when the title reverts to the crown.
So when could it happen? It’s unlikely to happen before Prince Charles becomes king, but, according to the royal family’s official website at the time of Prince Edward’s marriage, Prince Edward “will be given the title Duke of Edinburgh in due course, when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.” Not only was it Prince Philip’s wish, but Queen Elizabeth also hoped that Prince Edward would inherit the title. It’s impossible to imagine a scenario where Prince Charles ignores both his parent’s wishes.
The Tabloids Have No Idea
This tabloid has a nasty habit of counting on its readers not understand the inner workings of the monarchy, and this is just the latest example. Gossip Cop has debunked dozens of stories like this in the past. The most common trope this tabloid (and plenty others) returns to over and over are stories claiming that Queen Elizabeth plans to bypass Prince Charles for the throne in favor of her eldest grandson, Prince William.
Last September, we busted a story by Woman’s Day’s sister publication, New Idea, that said that Prince Charles was moving to Italy to “make room” for Prince William’s ascension. The article claims that Prince Charles was “frustrated” being the longest-serving heir apparent in history and decided to give it all up to retire to Italy.
Even going as far back as 2017, New Idea has pushed this phony narrative when it declared that Queen Elizabeth planned to retire by Christmas of that year so Prince William could have a “Christmas Coronation.” Obviously, the queen did not retire, and if she did, Prince Charles would have been the new king, not Prince William. That is decided by parliamentary law, not the whims of the current monarch.