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Prince Edward is not Harry or Meghan and that's a blessing

OpinionPrince Edward is not Harry or Meghan and that's a blessing

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As Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, celebrates his 60th birthday on March 10, 2024, his profile within the British monarchy has surged, particularly in the wake of King Charles III’s health crisis and other family controversies.  

Edward and his much-admired wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, stand in stark contrast to the family’s black sheep. These include Edward’s brother Prince Andrew, sullied by the Epstein scandal, and toxic Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who must be kept at arm’s length lest the family’s private affairs be sold to the highest bidder for financial enrichment and maximum damage infliction. 

Edward is the youngest child of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He is also the youngest sibling of Charles. Like his father and brothers, Edward attended the Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He later pursued a career in film production.  

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Edward and then-commoner, Sophie Rhys-Jones, met in 1993 at a charity event. After six years of dating, Edward and Sophie married in a low-key ceremony at Windsor Castle in 1999. Their marriage has been characterized by stability and dedication to their royal duties. The couple has since built a strong family life together, with two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. 

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales greet well-wishers along the Long Walk outside Windsor Castle

Prince Edward waves as he attends a Big Lunch with residents and representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Scouts and the Guides, in Cranleigh village, Britain, May 7, 2023. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls/Pool )

I had the great honor to meet Sophie in New York City in 2015. Her natural warmth and charm were apparent. It is easy to see why Elizabeth trusted and relied upon this devoted daughter-in-law, as if she were a blood relative. 

Exactly one year ago, in March 2023, Edward was given the prestigious title, Duke of Edinburgh, by Charles. No mere symbolic gesture; this act carried significant weight as the title does not pass automatically.  

Rather, it emphasizes the king’s deliberate choice in recognizing his trusted brother’s contributions and importance within the royal family. Indeed, the Duke of Edinburgh title will not automatically transfer to Edward’s son James upon Edward’s passing one day, underscoring the unique and personal significance of the appointment. 

Edward’s journey within the monarchy has certainly evolved. In 2002, he transitioned from his professional role in the private sector to become a full-time working member of the royal family. Engaging in official royal duties, Edward has steadily increased his involvement and responsibilities over the years.  

The Duke of Edinburgh title, awarded in 2023, represents a significant milestone, signaling how Edward earned trust for dedication and service to the crown. This followed his 2022 appointment as a counselor of state, an important role that enables the holder, under some circumstances, to stand in for the monarch. 

The monarchy has undergone notable changes under Charles’ leadership, with a particular focus on “streamlining,” so the monarchy isn’t perceived as wasteful. Edward has been at the forefront of these changes, exemplified by his recent appointment as the Duke of Edinburgh. Previously held by Prince Philip (widely regarded as a “national treasure”), this honor displays plainly the esteem in which the king holds his youngest sibling. 

Edward’s involvement reflects his embrace of Charles’ vision to make the monarchy more approachable and efficient. His growing importance is not just a matter of filial recognition but a strategic positioning within a monarchy undergoing a transformation to meet the challenges of the modern era.  

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The recent health crises faced by Charles and Princess Kate have added urgency to the need for a strong and reliable support system within the royal family. Edward, alongside the Duchess of Edinburgh, has stepped into a pivotal role as a stabilizing force during these uncertain times. Charles’ vision has found resonance in Prince Edward’s appointment as the Duke of Edinburgh, as it aligns with the vision of a more streamlined but impactful royal family. 

I had the great honor to meet Sophie in New York City in 2015. Her natural warmth and charm were apparent. It is easy to see why Elizabeth trusted and relied upon this devoted daughter-in-law, as if she were a blood relative. 

Edward is essential at this moment, while the monarchy faces serious health challenges, because Princes Andrew and Harry and Meghan Markle have rendered themselves “out of service.” The bad behavior of those three made them toxic and unfit for service. 

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh — along with stalwarts Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Anne — have become integral figures in supporting Charles during this period of turbulence, emphasizing their importance in maintaining stability and continuity. 

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As Prince Edward marks his 60th birthday, his late parents would be proud of this son whose brother the king can rely upon to help ensure the continuation of Britain’s constitutional monarchy.  

The United Kingdom is uniquely well-served by its monarchy, which anchors the nation’s history and culture and undoubtedly assists it diplomatically. But the monarchy can only survive if the public deem it to provide value. The late queen worked until the day she died. King Charles soldiers on in his state duties through cancer treatment. The Duke of Edinburgh’s dedication seems worthy of these relations. May he enjoy many happy returns of the day and continue to serve valiantly.  

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