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and Sophie’s ‘promotion’ to Duke and Duchess of should be a lesson to Meghan and Harry about how ‘knuckling down’ can repair royal reputations, experts told MailOnline today.

on his 59th birthday – honouring the late Queen and Philip’s wishes.

Edward will continue his father’s work while his wife is also front-and-centre as one of a reduced number of working royals, as King Charles begins to slim down the monarchy.

The couple had a series of scrapes after they married that saw Sophie boasting to the News of the World’s ‘Fake Sheik’ about her PR firm’s royal connections.

Edward’s film company, Ardent, then made attempts to get around a ban on filming his nephew, , at university in St Andrews.

There was also his disastrous appearance on It’s a Knockout at Alton Towers in June 1987.

Both were lambasted for trying to cash in on royal links. But unlike the Sussexes, Sophie and Edward wound down their businesses and dug in to royals duties, rebuilding their reputations within the Royal Family. 

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: ‘This rewards hard work and dedication to royal duty.

Since they have decided that their children should have the option of titles, Harry and Meghan might take note that, in the face of initial adversity when they too had problems and bad press, Edward and Sophie have done remarkable service to the Royal Family.

They deserve this reward.’ 

The elevation to William and Kate’s second in command shows how far Edward and Sophie have come. Sophie has also become something of a confidante for the new Princess of Wales, who admires the way the new Duchess of Edinburgh balances royal duties with motherhood. 

Edward and Sophie, pictured at The Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall in December, are the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh

The Sussexes have been urged to follow their example and dedicate themselves to royal duties rather than cashing in

Experts have said the couple were the Harry and Meghan of their day – before making the decision to give up their business activities and opt to concentrate on royal duties.