Sophie Lewis – CBS News
Prince Philip, the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 99 on Friday. With his death, the title of the Duke of Edinburgh gets passed down to another member of the royal family — but who?
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the royal family said Friday, announcing the death of the Queen’s husband of more than 70 years and the longest-serving royal consort. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Prince Charles, the oldest of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip‘s four children, inherited his father’s title upon his death, as well as his other titles, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London.
According to the College of Arms, which creates and maintains official registers of coats of arms and pedigrees, “these peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son, HRH The Prince of Wales. In the event of the Prince of Wales or any subsequent holder of these titles succeeding to the Crown, these titles and all others held will merge with the Crown.”
However, Charles won’t always be the Duke of Edinburgh. Rather, the title will eventually be given to his younger brother, Prince Edward.
The title was first given to Prince Frederick by his grandfather, King George I, in 1726. Prince Philip was first granted the title when he gave up his former title as Prince of Greece and Denmark to marry the Queen in 1947.
The Letters Patent, issued when George VI gave Prince Philip his title in 1947, established that Charles, the Prince of Wales, has now gained the title of Duke of Edinburgh through the line of succession.
But when Queen Elizabeth II dies and Prince Charles becomes king, the title will “merge with the crown,” meaning it can be regranted. It will then be bestowed to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Buckingham Palace announced the decision in 1999, when Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones. He earned the honor for his work as a trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a youth awards program founded by Philip in 1956.
When Edward is granted the title, his wife will become the Duchess of Edinburgh — a title currently held by the Queen herself.
When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, Philip wasn’t given the title of king. According to BBC News, the title is only given to males who inherit the throne. After Prince Charles, Prince William is next in line for the title, followed by his eldest son, Prince George.
Buckingham Palace officials said Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17 at Windsor Castle in a family service that will be closed to the public. The palace said Philip took part in planning his funeral and the focus on family was in accordance with his wishes.