Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

Sophie Countess of Wessex: Why isn’t the Queen’s daughter-in-law a princess?


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. But why isn’t she a princess? Women in the Royal Family take the feminine version of their partner’s name.So many would have assumed that Sophie – formerly known as Sophie Rhys Jones – would have automatically been given a “princess” title on their wedding day, however, that wasn’t the case.

On their 1999 wedding day, Prince Edward was actually made the Earl of Wessex, therefore Sophie became the Countess of Wessex to match her husband.

But why isn’t Sophie a Duchess like Kate?

When Prince Edward married, he took on the title of the Earl of Wessex, reportedly by request.

Had he been made a Duke, Sophie would have been made a Duchess.

There is still a chance Sophie could become a Duchess though, as it was announced that Edward would one day be made into the Duke of Edinburgh.

So how should Sophie be addressed?

On the official royal website, Sophie is descried 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’.”



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Sophie Countess of Wessex: Why isn’t the Queen’s daughter-in-law a princess?