Sophie is the new Duchess of EdinburghPhoto: Getty Images

Sophie Wessex: Confusion over ‘curtsy’ to Meghan Markle following new title

On Friday, Prince Edward celebrated his 59th birthday with a very special gift.

King Charles, Edward’s elder brother, bestowed the title of Duke of Edinburgh upon the father of two, making his wife the new Duchess of Edinburgh.


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The couple’s longtime commitment to their royal duties as well as the announcement’s positive reception from royal fans.

However, there was some ambiguity regarding what their new titles meant for their roles in the royal family, particularly with regard to Sophie.

Like Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, Sophie is now a duchess, as was noted by Twitter users. Despite being higher in the line of succession than Edward and Sophie, Harry and Meghan are no longer active members of the royal family like their counterparts.


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Social media was flooded with inquiries about the couple, with many asking whether Sophie no longer needed to bow to Meghan because they are now both duchesses in light of the new title.

But the truth is that neither Sophie nor Edward have ever had to bow to Harry or Meghan.

The King and Queen are the only people who are allowed to bow or curtsy to other members of the royal family.

The Princess of Wales was first seen bowing to Queen Camilla back in December.


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As the monarch and his wife arrived at Westminster Abbey for her Christmas Carol Concert, Kate, 41, was spotted giving Charles and Camilla a cheek kiss before bowing.

Male royal family members must address the King as “Your Royal Highness” in the first instance and as “Sir” thereafter. Camilla, meanwhile, is first addressed as ‘Your Royal Highness’ later followed by ‘Ma’am’.

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When meeting the King or Queen, the public can find advice on the British Monarchy website.


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It confirms there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour” but notes that many people prefer to “observe the traditional forms”. When greeting the monarch, women are expected to bow slightly, whereas men should only “neck bow” from the top of their heads. It adds that some people choose to shake the royal’s hand instead.

Royal News Prince George Catherine