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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Chiara Fiorillo

Prince Edward shares why he doesn't shake hands with crowds - and people understand

Prince Edward has been praised after sharing why he does not shake hands with crowds during royal walkabouts.

The Duke of Edinburgh was given a new title by his brother, King Charles, honouring the late Queen and Philip's wishes.

The monarch conferred the title on the former Earl of Wessex in celebration of Edward's 59th birthday on Friday.

Sophie, the former Countess of Wessex, is now the Duchess of Edinburgh and their 15-year-old son James, Viscount Severn is the new Earl of Wessex.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh today visited the capital of Scotland and greeted crowds, but Prince Edward did not shake people's hands.

The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh meet members of the public (PA)

In September, when Edward and Sophie met well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the former Earl of Wessex apologised for not shaking people's hands.

He was heard telling a well-wisher that he was trying not to shake hands in order to meet more people and ensure he did not fall behind as he attended to speak to as many crowd members as possible.

As he quizzed the crowd on where they had travelled from, he politely waved as he walked past the mourners.

Sophie is now Duchess of Edinburgh (PA)

He later shook a mourners hand, before explaining: "I've been trying to avoid it, only if I do it once, then I get everybody doing it."

Today, Sophie and Edward met crowds in Edinburgh before joining a reception to mark the first year of the conflict in Ukraine.

After they were granted their new titles, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon the Prince Edward, on the occasion of HRH's 59th birthday today.

"The title will be held for HRH'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 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."

Prince Edward said he doesn't shake hands as he wants to meet as many people as possible (PA)

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

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.

Philip had always wanted his youngest son Edward to inherit his title, but the decision ultimately was down to Charles as King.

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