Lucky Royal? Why Prince William Wasn't Supposed To Be The Duke Of Cambridge
Prince William got himself a new title when he married Kate Middleton in 2011. However, royal historians say that the title wasn't supposed to be his.
The Duke of Cambridge just got lucky.
Prince William and Kate Middleton were officially granted the royal titles the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day in 2011. William received the royal dukedom as a gift from his grandmother the Queen.
The title is hereditary among the male members of the royal family. It has always been part of tradition except for a few times, including that of Prince William. The wife of the titleholder usually gets the female counterpart, which why Kate has become known as the Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal title the Duke of Cambridge comes with a rich history going way back in the 17th century. It succeeds the earlier title Earl of Cambridge.
The title has been extinct several times before being revived after its hiatus for over a hundred years.
In 2011, it was bestowed upon Prince William on the day he got married. However, royal experts said that the title was originally offered to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's youngest son Prince Edward in 1999 when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones.
Instead, Edward was given a lower rank than a Duke. Prince Edward has been granted the title the Earl of Wessex while his wife Sophie became the Countess of Wessex.
Traditionally, the younger sons of the monarch are granted dukedoms at the time of their marriage, so the royal experts expected Prince Edward to be granted the title Duke of Cambridge.
However, in a twist of fate, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Edward is to eventually be given the title the Duke of Edinburgh, a title currently held by his father.
A Simple Royal Life
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Prince Edward has been given the title the Earl of Wessex after the 1998 film "Shakespeare In Love" where Colin Firth played the character of the Lord of Wessex. He could not be made the Duke of Wessex as there was no existing dukedom in modern Britain.
Edward and Sophie have kept themselves away from the public eye. In fact, both their children Louise and James were given titles out of the ordinary.
As the son of the current reigning monarch, Edward could have chosen to call his daughter a Princess and his son a Prince. However, he and his wife Sophie opted to give their kids royal titles that go further down the British ranks.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have their daughter known as Lady Louise Windsor while their son is known to the public as James, Viscount Severn. The couple was quick to decide to give their children the "courtesy titles."
Although it remains unknown why the royal couple chose to live with rather simpler royal titles, BBC thought that the decision was to help their children avoid the burden that comes with the royal titles.