Why isn’t Sophie Countess Of Wessex a duchess like Kate & Meghan? – How royal is addressed


Sophie, Countess of Wessex recently celebrated her 20 year anniversary with Prince Edward. The royal, 54, got married to the Queen’s youngest son in 1999 and they have two children – Lady Louse, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11. Both Edward and Sophie work full time for the Royal Family, with Sophie often spotted out on royal affairs with the Queen. Meghan Markle is married to the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and she is officially referred to as the Duchess of Sussex. Meanwhile, Kate Middleton – who is the wife of Prince William – is also a duchess.

So why isn’t Sophie a duchess just like the other royal women?

Sophie doesn’t have this title because on her wedding day to Edward in 1999, the prince was given the rank of Earl of Wessex.

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.

This means Sophie Countess of Wessex could eventually become a duchess, as she would then go by the Duchess of Edinburgh.

How should Sophie be addressed?

On the official royal website, Sophie is described as: “A full-time working member of the Royal Family, The Countess of Wessex splits her time between her work in support of The Queen and visits to a large number of her own charities and organisations. She has a wide range of interests which include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.”

The website adds that “there are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms”.

However, for female members of the Royal Family, people may choose to address them formally with the site stating: “For other female members of the Royal Family the first address is conventionally ‘Your Royal Highness’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am’.”

Express.co.uk recently revealed the special bond Sophie shares with Meghan Markle.

Both women have a lot in common and according to sources, the Queen has earmarked Sophie as royal mentor for Meghan.


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