Why is Sophie Countess of Wessex not a duchess? Royal bride has lesser title than Fergie

Sophie Countess of Wessex is a former-PR professional who married into the Royal Family.

She married Prince Edward in June 1999 after becoming engaged in January of that year.

Sophie and Edward have two children, Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11.

She is said to be a favourite of the Queen, so why does Sophie have the lower rank of Countess, rather than Duchess?

It is because Edward was given the rank of Earl of Wessex on his wedding day.

As a result, his royal bride would take the feminine version of the title, which is Countess.

Prince Edward is also His Royal Highness The Earl of Forfar in Scotland, making Sophie the Countess of Forfar. He was granted this title recently on his 55th birthday.

He is the first royal prince since the Tudors to become an earl, and the Sunday Telegraph reported he wanted the title after being inspired by Shakespeare in Love.

However, it is thought that Edward was given the Earldom on his wedding as he is tipped to take his father’s title, the Duke of Edinburgh, when he dies.

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This means Sophie Countess of Wessex will become the Duchess of Edinburgh.

What are the rankings of British royal titles?

The King or Queen is the most important member of the Royal Family at any given time.

Prince and Princess, who are children or grandchildren of the King of Queen, comes next – as they are directly descended from the ruler.

Dukes and Duchesses come next, and the Queen has given this title to her two eldest sons.

The Queen’s first cousin has also been given the rank of Duke.

Next up is marquess, followed by earl, viscount and baron.

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