Prince William and Kate Middleton, during a photocall in the State Apartments of St James's Palace, London to mark their engagement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 16, 2010. See PA story ROYAL Wedding Parents. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
PRINCE William and Kate Middleton could take the Dukedom of Sussex once married.
Amidst this week's excitement over the royal engagement, the Courier spoke to Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett's Peerage.
He said the Duke of Sussex was the most likely title to be created for Prince William when he and miss Middleton wed next year.
"The Dukedom of Sussex is one of the titles currently available traditionally associated with the Royal Family, and is possibly the most likely that Prince William will be created – probably on the eve of his marriage.
"It was last used by Prince Augustus, sixth son of King George III."
Since Prince Augustus died without an heir in 1843, the title became extinct.
Other available royal titles are Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Clarence, but Mr Kidd said Sussex was the clear front-runner.
Duke is the highest of the five ranks of the peerage, standing above the ranks of marquess, earl, viscount and baron.
A prince of the royal blood is usually created a duke either shortly after coming of age or upon his marriage.
The Queen's second son, Prince Andrew, was created Duke of York upon his marriage in 1986.
When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 experts suggested the Dukedoms of Sussex or Cambridge were the most likely to be granted to Prince Edward, but he broke with royal tradition when he chose the title of Earl of Wessex.
Leader of East Sussex County Council Peter Jones said: "I think it would be terrific (if they became Duke and Duchess of Sussex).
"It is nice to see that Sussex is right up there and if that is the case let's hope the pair of them want to be associated with Sussex and I'm sure they would be great ambassadors for us."
Clarence House announced the engagement on Tuesday, stating: "The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.
"The wedding will take place in the spring or summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course."
Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.
An authoritative figure on etiquette and the British aristocracy, Mr Kidd said he believed the wedding would be more restrained than the wedding of Charles and Diana.
"It will reflect something of the different times financially and the sort of character that Prince William and Kate Middleton have – they would probably prefer a slightly more modest affair."