William almost wasn’t Duke of Cambridge as Edward rejected title ‘due to film’

Prince William almost never became the Duke of Cambridge after an older royal rejected the title before him.

Typically, royals are given new titles by the Queen on their wedding day and it was no different for William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, when they became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

However, this wasn't the original plan as it turns out Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, turned down the title because of his favourite film, reports the Express.

The sons of the monarch traditionally receive dukedoms ‒ Prince Charles is the Duke of Cornwall and Prince Andrew the Duke of York.

Edward was reportedly going to be the Duke of Cambridge, but he liked the sound of the name Wessex due to a character in the film Shakespeare in Love.

Instead, the title was given to William when he married Kate 12 years later.

A royal courtier told The Telegraph in 2010, a few months before the wedding, how the title was supposed to be Edward’s.

The courtier said: “Prince Edward was going to be the Duke of Cambridge, but he watched the film Shakespeare in Love, which had a character called the Earl of Wessex.

“He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen if he could have that instead.”

The newspaper also claimed William did not want to be a Duke.

The courtier said: “He says he was born Prince William and wants to continue to be known as that.

“He wants Kate to become Princess Catherine.”

It is understood that Edward will become the Duke of Edinburgh when Charles becomes King, succeeding his late father Prince Philip in the title.

Edward's wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said in an interview with The Telegraph in June that Philip had personally asked Edward if he would take the title.

She said: “We sat there slightly stunned. He literally came straight in and said: ‘Right, I’d like it very much if you would consider that.’”

Edward had already taken on some of his father’s patronages and serves as a trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

When Edward and Sophie married in 1999, a Buckingham Palace statement said the Queen, Philip and Prince Charles had agreed that Edward would be given the title after Philip’s death.

Edward addressed the matter in July when speaking to the BBC.

He said: “Yes, it was fine in theory ages ago, when it was sort of a pipe dream of my father’s and of course, it will all depend on whether or not the Prince of Wales, when he becomes king, will do that.

“So we’ll wait and see.”

Charles inherited his father’s title upon his death.

However, when he ascends the throne, the Duke of Edinburgh title will be reabsorbed by the crown.

Should Edward then be given the title Sophie would become the Duchess of Edinburgh, a position formerly held by the Queen and now held by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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