Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May wedding is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated royal events in decades.
And as is customary with all significant royal unions, the couple are expected to gain new titles on their wedding day – bestowed on them by the Queen.
Harry, 33 and Meghan, 36, have been widely predicted to become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex once they wed, but they are also tipped to take on Scottish titles.
The bookies’ favourite for the title they’ll take is currently the Earl and Countess of Ross – even though this particular Earldom comes with a rather gruesome history attached.
Princess Harry and Meghan Markle will be given a Scottish title when they marry on May 19. Tradition dictates that they will not find out their new titles until their big day
The Earl of Ross title was previously carried by King Charles I, who was executed for high treason in 1649 – which may render it too ‘unlucky’ to bestow upon the couple.
Another potential contender is the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton, which is currently the second favourite with the bookies.
Wendy Bosberry-Scott, who is co-editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, told The Press and Journal: ‘The Scottish title Prince Harry receives is likely to be an earldom but there are very few clues here.’
‘One potential candidate is Ross, but this was last held by Charles I – who was executed in 1649 – so it may well be considered unlucky.
The frontrunner title is the Earl of Ross, which was once held by King Charles I. He was executed for high treason in 1649 – which may make the title ‘unlucky’ according to experts
‘Dumbarton is another possibility but, at this point, it is merely speculation and many factors will have to be considered before a suitable title is chosen.’
The title has a history of being given to second sons, including the second son of James III, James Stewart, and the second surviving son of James IV, Alexander Stewart.
Harry’s father, Prince Charles, is known as the Duke of Rothesay when he is in Scotland while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Scottish titles are the Earl and Countess of Strathearn.
The Queen is likely to bestow the titles on the day of the wedding, which will take place in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Bookies are currently taking bets on what their titles will be
The Queen usually waits until the day of the wedding to bestow a title, meaning royal watchers will have to find out on May 19 when the couple tie the knot in Windsor.
The Ross title currently has 6/4 odds of being chosen for Prince Harry and former TV actress Meghan.
Paul Petrie of McBookie.com told Royal Central: ‘This might seem like a bit of royal pass-the-parcel but actually a lot of thought and research goes into bestowing a title.
The Earl of Ross title has traditionally been given to second sons like Prince Harry, who is currently fifth-in-line to the throne
Meghan and Harry announced their engagement on November 27 after months of speculation. The Ross title currently has 6/4 odds of being chosen for Harry and Meghan
‘There is history and prestige behind each one and the Queen will be advised on what is the best fit for the couple and no doubt have her own ideas too.
‘These titles are used officially when members of the royal family come to Scotland; it ensures we continue to have our own distinct identity within the United Kingdom and don’t just followed the lead from England.’
Meghan and Harry announced their engagement on November 27, with the American actress showing off her sparkling ring complete with diamonds owned by his mother Princess Diana.
They live in Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace next door to William, Kate, George and Charlotte.
What are the titles of the male members of the royal family?
Prince Harry is expected to be given titles to mark his marriage to Meghan Markle, with the bookies’ favourite being the Duke of Sussex.
But what titles do the other men in the royal family have?
- Prince Phillip is The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich
- Prince Charles is The Duke of Cornwall, The Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
- Prince William is The Duke of Cambridge, The Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
- Prince Andrew is also called The Duke of York, The Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh.
- Prince Edward is The Earl of Wessex in England and Viscount Severn.