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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Antony Thrower

Lady Louise Windsor 'unfairly left out of 900-year-old royal title inheritance rule'

The inheritance rule that meant Lady Louise Windsor was leapfrogged by her younger brother to become Earl of Wessex is “unfair”, it has been claimed.

Lady Helen Nall, wife of Sir Edward Nall, is fuming at the law of primogeniture which means titles are passed down the male line and ignore any women.

As a result of the rule, which has been in place since Norman times, Lady Louise’s younger brother has succeeded Prince Edward as the Earl of Windsor.

Lady Helen Nall said: “Imagine if you had a school, the boys have lunch first and the girls have whatever’s left over.”

She had previously written to then Prime Minister Boris Johnson to demand an overhaul of the male-only succession.

Lady Louise Windsor was overlooked for the Wessex title owing to a 900-year-old law (Getty Images)
The new Earl of Wessex with his sister in 2022 (UK Press via Getty Images)

She said at the time: “The government is quite reluctant to tackle this as an issue.

“It is a difficult one given that it involves changing a 900-year-old law."

It comes as Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, was elevated to Duchess of Edinburgh after it was announced her husband Prince Edward has been passed his late father's Duke of Edinburgh title.

Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, received the title on his 59th birthday from the King.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said of the title change: "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.

Prince Edward has taken his father's title (Getty Images)

"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 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."

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

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

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh and Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, this week (Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey (Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock)

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.

At the time, eyebrows were raised when he was given an Earldom rather than a Dukedom. However, it was announced at the time of the nuptials that Edward would succeed his father as the Duke of Edinburgh with the blessing of his parents after his death.

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