The coronation of King Charles III is fast approaching, and ahead of the historic event, the King has bestowed a new title onto his eldest son.
William is already known as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of Cambridge, but new public records have shown that earlier in the month Charles made William the Earl of Chester. The news was revealed when documents from the Crown Office were made public on Friday, and it shows that the move was made on 13 February.
The Earldom has great historical significance and since 1301 has been title used by the heir apparent to the throne; from the 14th century onwards the title was only able to be used by the Prince of Wales.
King Charles has been the Earl of Chester since 1958, assuming it at the same time that he became the Prince of Wales, although William had already been the Prince of Wales for several months before gaining the title.
Charles currently has another title that he will need to decide on, as the death of his father, Prince Philip, in 2021 means that the Duke of Edinburgh is vacant.
It is understood that Philip and the Queen had agreed their youngest child, Prince Edward, would inherit the title upon their deaths, which would also make his wife, Sophie Wessex, the Duchess of Edinburgh.
King Charles passed the title down onto his son
The palace said at the time: “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales have also agreed that Prince Edward should be given the dukedom of Edinburgh in due course when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.”
The decision to give Edward the title was taken in recognition of his work with, and commitment to, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – of which he is a trustee, as well as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Edward is currently the Earl of Wessex, and in Scotland he is known as the Earl of Forfar.