The Royal Family

Duchess Sophie Almost Granted Kate’s Title, But Received An Unconventional Alternative

Sophie and Kate are said to enjoy a “naughty friendship” and are often seen sharing a joke at royal events, while just last night she had a rare joint outing with William at a documentary screening.

Her down to earth and honest approach to duty has won the Duchess of Edinburgh a number of plaudits – and it seems she shares a close bond with the Prince and Princess of Wales.

But despite her popularity, eyebrows were raised with the title she was awarded ahead of marrying the late Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward.

And it’s said this is because a plan to give her a title that is now held by Kate was axed in favour of a more unusual choice.

When Edward married Sophie in 1999, he was not awarded a dukedom like his older brother Prince Andrew and instead became Earl of Wessex.

This meant Sophie, who celebrates her 58th birthday today, became the Countess of Wessex.

However, it is thought that she did almost end up with another title – and it was the same one the now Princess of Wales was awarded on her wedding day.

According to one palace courtier, Edward was originally going to be offered the title Duke of Cambridge, which was eventually given to Prince William.

If this original plan had gone ahead, Sophie would have been the Duchess of Cambridge – the title that eventually went to Kate.

However, the courtier explained to The Telegraph in 2010: “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.

READ: Prince William Expresses Gratitude In The Face Of Difficult Conditions

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

However, earlier this year, Edward and Sophie did see their titles change once more when they became the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Edward was created Duke of Edinburgh on his 59th birthday back in March in honour of his late father Prince Philip – meaning Sophie became Duchess of Edinburgh.

During last night’s rare outing with her nephew William, Sophie attended a London screening of Rhino Man, a documentary which follows the next generation of South African wildlife rangers.

The duchess also has a strong interest in wildlife protection so was the perfect companion for the outing. She wore a chic Erdem floral dress with heels with William was smart in a blue suit.

More than 150 guests attended the screening at Battersea power station on Tuesday hosted by United for Wildlife (UfW), William’s initiative to fight the illegal wildlife trade.

And during the event, William paid tribute to a ranger who was murdered in front of his family.

Anton Mzimba was head of ranger services at Timbavati private game reserve in north-east South Africa, near the Kruger National Park, when he was shot outside his home last year.

He had previously spoken to William via video link when the royal visited a technology company to learn about a new device to combat ivory smugglers.


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