Sophie Countess of Wessex: Why has her title changed? Does she still have HRH status?

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 54, entered into the Royal Family when she married the Queen’s youngest child, Prince Edward, 55.  The pair wed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor castle on 19 June 1999 after dating for six years.  They have since had two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James Viscount Severn, 11.  Formally Sophie Rhys-Jones, she was given her an official title when she got married, but this has recently changed.

Sophie Countess of Wessex: Prince Edward’s wife has this HRH title

What is her title?

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

That gave her the title of the Countess of Wessex, and Buckingham Palace released a statement at the time to say any children they had would be titled as the children of an Earl and not as the grandchild of the Queen.

As well as becoming a Countess, Sophie was given Her Royal Highness status, according to

However, her title was recently changed by the Queen when Prince Edward was given an extra title on his 55th birthday on 10 March 2019.

He was granted the Earldom of Forfar for use in Scotland, which meant Sophie’s title changed too, and she was given the additional title of Countess of Forfar to use when in Scotland.

Although Sophie and Prince Edward have been given this honour, their children do not have HRH status.

Letters patent issued in 1917 assigned princely status to any child of the Monach’s son’s, which should apply to Prince Edward’s children.

Many of Louise and James’ cousins have been given the status such as Prince William, 36, Prince Harry, 34, Princess Beatrice, 30, and Princess Eugenie, 29.

As Buckingham Palace issued a statement following the wedding to say they would be titled as the children of an Earl, they missed out on the status of Prince and Princess like their cousins.

They have been given the titles of the children of an Earl, which is different to the title of a Prince.

The children could still be given HRH status in the future, as the Queen has the power to change their titles.

Sophie and Edward are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year and they married just five months after they announced their engagement.

She was given a stunning engagement ring which featured a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white fold.

The ring was made by royal jeweller Asprey and Garrard and cost an estimated £105,000.

Royal journalist, Camilla Tominey, shared why their marriage has been so successful in the 2011 documentary William and Kate: Into the Future. 

She said Sophie’s former career in PR and her personality is thought to have made her a “perfect fit” for the royal role.

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