Prince Edward received a very special gift to mark his 59th birthday on Friday.
The father-of-two was conferred with the title Duke of Edinburgh by his older brother King Charles, with Edward’s wife becoming the new Duchess of Edinburgh. Check out the announcement video below…
Royal fans were delighted by the announcement, citing the couple’s enduring hard work and dedication to their royal duties for a great many years.
But there was some confusion as to what their new titles meant for their position in the royal family – particularly in relation to Sophie.
Twitter users noted that Sophie was now a Duchess – just like Prince Harry‘s wife Meghan Markle. While Harry and Meghan are higher in the line of succession that the Edward and Sophie, the Sussexes are no longer working royals, unlike their counterparts.
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Questions focused on the couples flooded social media, with many questioning whether the new title meant Sophie no longer had to curtsy to Meghan since they are now both Duchesses.
But the fact of the matter is Sophie has never had to curtsy to Meghan, nor had Edward ever bowed to Harry.
Members of the royal family do not bow or curtsy to each other – it is an act reserved only for the King and Queen.
Back in December, the Princess of Wales was seen curtseying for the first time to Queen Camilla.
Kate, 41, could be seen kissing Charles and Camilla on both cheeks before bobbing into a curtsy, as the monarch and his wife arrived at Westminster Abbey for her Christmas Carol Concert.
Male members of the royal family must use the title ‘Your Royal Highness’ in the first instance and then use ‘Sir’ when addressing the King. Camilla, meanwhile, is first addressed as ‘Your Royal Highness’ later followed by ‘Ma’am’.
The British Monarchy website offers guidance for members of the public when meeting the King or Queen.
It confirms there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour” but notes that many people prefer to “observe the traditional forms”. For ladies, that includes a small curtsy when meeting the monarch, while for the men it is a “neck bow”, from the head only. Alternatively, it notes, some opt to shake the royal’s hand.
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