The Queen awards Prince Edward a major honour to celebrate Earl‘s 55th birthday

The Earl and Countess of Wessex will be known as The Earl and Countess of Forfar when in Scotland – a nod to the Queen Mother’s heritage. Edward and Sophie, 54, will use the new monikers which are steeped in royal history when carrying out royal engagements  north of the border, filling tittles which were extinct for more than 300 years. The Earldom of Forfar was established in 1661 and ended in 1715.

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The 2nd Earl of Forfar, Archibald Douglas II, died leaving no children to carry on the family name. 

Forfar, 13 miles north of Dundee in Angus, Scotland, is the principal county town nearest to Glamis Castle, the seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne. 

The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, was the daughter of Lord Glamis, the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kingshorne, and spent much of her childhood at Glamis Castle, her father’s sprawling ancestral home which is open to the public. 

The Royal Family announced on Sunday that the sovereign had bestowed the titles on her youngest child and his wife to mark the special occasion. 

Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed new titles on Prince Edward and his wife for his 55th birthday (Image: GETTY)

Prince Edward, pictured in the pram, is the youngest child of the Queen and Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

A tweet posted on the Royal Family’s Twitter page read: “Wishing The Earl of Wessex a very happy birthday”, accompanied by a photo of the Queen holding Prince Edward as a baby. 

Another tweet said: “The Queen has been pleased to grant The Earl of Wessex the additional title of Earl of Forfar.

“Their Royal Highnesses will use the title The Earl and Countess of Forfar when in Scotland.” 

Edward, who is 10th in line to the throne, and Sophie share daughter Lady Louise, 15, and 11-year-old James, Viscount Severn. 

Prince Edward was born on March 10 1964 at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

The Queen‘s youngest child and his wife will use the new titles when in Scotland (Image: GETTY)

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Prince Edward and his wife Sophie will be known as the Earl and Countess of Forfar (Image: GETTY)

The couple are parents to Lady Louise, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11 (Image: GETTY)

The British Army in London celebrated the prince’s birthday by posting a video on Twitter showing a military band performing in honour of the father-of-two. 

The Royal Family’s Twitter page responded by posting: “Thank you for this wonderful performance to mark The Earl of Wessex’s birthday #HappyyBirthdayHRH”.

Edward holds a number of military titles and down through the years he has been an ardent supporter of the armed forces and visited troops in Afghanistan. 

He is also a trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh Award and has supported the non- formal education of thousands of youngsters in Scotland. 

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