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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Alice Peacock

5 royal title changes this week - from new Duke of Edinburgh to Prince Archie

Five royals have been given new titles this week in a major shake-up announced by King Charles III.

An announcement from Buckingham Palace on Friday - Prince Edward's 59th birthday - stated the royal and his wife Sophie have been granted the titles of Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

The change comes after the royal family’s official website was changed on Thursday to reflect that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children will use the titles prince and princess.

Edward and Sophie's new titles signify King Charles upholding a promise made to them by the late Queen.

Meanwhile, Lilibet and Archie's change in title comes as Meghan and Harry believe Lilibet's princess title is a "birthright", according to a new statement.

Prince Edward, promoted to Duke of Edinburgh

Edward's new title, previously held by his father the late Prince Philip, is set to be with him for life.

The granting of the Dukedom of Edinburgh to Edward comes as there is also a change for Edward and Sophie's son, 15-year-old James.

He now becomes Earl of Wessex - the title that his father was granted on his wedding day - however, there is no change Lady Louise Windsor, Edward and Sophie's daughter, whose title will remain the same.

A statement from Buckingham Palace today said: "His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’s 59th birthday. The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’s lifetime.

"The Dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have received the titles of Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (Getty Images)

"The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to reach their full potential."

Edward will also remain for his lifetime the Earl of Forfar, another of his titles, but will use the Duke of Edinburgh because it is the more senior Scottish title.

The changes in titles have already been updated on the royal family’s official website. The line of succession list on now shows 13th in line Edward as the Duke of Edinburgh, and 14th in line James as the Earl of Wessex.

It has long been known that Edward would one day become the Duke of Edinburgh after a pledge made by the late Queen on his wedding day in June 1999.

Sophie, the new Duchess of Edinburgh

Edward and Sophie seen in 2014 (Getty Images)

As her husband becomes a titular Duke, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will now be known as the Duchess of Edinburgh.

The new duke and duchess will appear in Edinburgh – their first outing with their new titles in the city which inspired their name – later on Friday at a reception to mark the first year of conflict in Ukraine.

Sophie once told the Telegraph of the moment she and Edward were told Philip would like her husband to take on the titles.

She said: “We sat there slightly stunned. He literally came straight in and said, ‘Right. I’d like it very much if you would consider that’.”

The dukedom – which in the past has been hereditary – will not, however, pass down to the Edinburghs' son James when Edward dies.

This paves the way for one of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s children to potentially be given the title in the future, with Prince Louis the most likely candidate.

James, the new Earl of Wessex - but nothing for Louise

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s children were christened Viscount James and Lady Louise (UK Press via Getty Images)

James will become the Earl of Wessex and Forfar when the title of The Duke of Edinburgh reverts to the Crown, the Palace said.

The change comes after the royal family’s official website was changed on Thursday to reflect that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children will use the titles prince and princess.

There will, however, be no title changes for Lady Louise, Sophie and Edward's other child.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, now a prince

Archie and Lilibet are now listed as prince or princess on the official website of the royal family (alexilubomirski/Instagram)
Harry and Meghan reportedly want to let their children make their own decisions about titles when they're older (Getty Images)

Archie is now listed on the royal family's official website as Prince Archie of Sussex.

Previously, he featured on the line of succession page as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Lilibet, one, and her older brother Archie, three, weren't given HRH titles at birth due to their position on the list - sixth and seventh, respectively.

Despite this, when they were born they were great-grandchildren of the Monarch, which meant they were eligible for the titles.

Harry and Meghan are understood to be keen to not deny their children, both Lilibet and Archie, their birthright, but to allow them the chance to decide for themselves when older whether to drop or keep using them.

Archie and Lilibet's new titles have been revealed by the royal family (Getty Images)

A spokesman for the couple said: "The children's titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became Monarch. This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace."

It is understood Archie's title as a prince - along with Lili's new title - will be used in formal settings, but not in everyday conversational use by the couple.

The rules set out by King George V in 1917 mean Archie and Lili, as the children of a son of a sovereign, are automatically a prince and a princess and also now have an HRH style if they choose to use it.

It was the same situation for Prince William and Princess Kate's children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, however the Queen stepped in to change the rules.

In addition, Prince George needs to be a HRH as he will one day be king.

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, now a princess

Meghan and Harry believe Lilibet's princess title is a "birthright", according to their latest statement.

The one-year-old will now be known as Princess Lilibet of Sussex.

The news comes after the couple confirmed their daughter was baptised on Friday as Princess Lilibet Diana earlier this month.

The christening took place privately at the Sussexes’ home in California with around 20 to 30 people in attendance for the celebration.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's spokesman said: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”

However, it is the first time Lili has been publicly referred to as Princess.

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