The Prince of Wales at 70: Happy Birthday!


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In honor of the 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales I will give some limited biographical information along with sharing some of my own thoughts.


His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was born Prince Charles Philip Arthur George; born on this day November 14, 1948. At the time of his birth he was the eldest son and eldest child to HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh (Princess Elizabeth) and her husband HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark). Prince Charles was born second in line to the throne and was the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was baptised in the palace’s Music Room by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, on 15 December 1948.

Britain Prince Charles

The death of his grandfather and the accession of his mother as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 made Charles her heir apparent. As the monarch’s eldest son, he automatically took the titles Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. Charles attended his mother’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since 1958.

Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 26 July 1958, though his investiture was not held until 1 July 1969, when he was crowned by his mother in a televised ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle. He took his seat in the House of Lords in 1970, and he made his maiden speech at a debate in June 1974, becoming the first royal to speak in the Lords since his great-great-grandfather, later Edward VII, also speaking as Prince of Wales, in 1884. Charles began to take on more public duties, founding The Prince’s Trust in 1976, and travelling to the United States in 1981.


In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons: Prince William (b. 1982)—later to become Duke of Cambridge—and Prince Henry (b. 1984)—later to become Duke of Sussex. In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year. In 2005, Charles married long-time friend Camilla Parker Bowles. Instead of assuming her rightful title of HRH Princess of Wales, Camilla has assumed the title Duchess of Cornwall.


My thoughts.

Yesterday I watched the BBC special on the Prince of Wales 70th Birthday. It is an excellent program that highlights his life without being biographical. One of the issues he put to rest was if he’ll continue with his charities and other issues he is passionate about. He said he would not and that he understands the differences between the role he is in now and the role he will someday take on. This puts to rest the question, the rumor, that the Prince would reign differently than his mother when he becomes king. The fear has been that if the Prince of Wales continues with his charities and causes he may overstep his constitutional bounds as king and meddle in affairs of State. I for one am glad to hear he will not for it will maintain the tradition of the Crown being above Party Politics.


I have a great admiration for the Prince of Wales. He is an intelligent, articulate man with warmth and charm and a sense of humor and very personable. He has a passionate care and concern for the environment and the wellbeing of people in general. Though he has been in training for his ultimate role of king for years he has carved out his own meaningful life and identity and developed qualities that will serve him well as king. Though I hope it will be many more years before the Prince of Wales assumes the august role for which he was born, in his own time I believe the personal qualities he possesses will enable the Prince to become an excellent king and a noble servant to his nation. God bless the Prince of Wales.



History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales. Conclusion.


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The Earl of Chester

The County of Cheshire was the seat from which powerful Earls (or “Counts” from the Norman-French) of Chester rose from the late eleventh century. The Earls held land all over England, comprising ‘the honour of Chester’ and by the late twelfth century the earls had established a position of power as quasi-princely rulers of Cheshire that led to the later establishment of the County Palatine of Chester and Flint. The Earls of Chester held so much power that the Magna Carta set down by King John did not apply to Cheshire and the sixth earl was compelled to issue his own versions.

HRH The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester

The earldom passed to the Crown by escheat in 1237 on the death of John the Scot, Earl of Huntingdon, seventh and last of the Earls. William III de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle, claimed the earldom as husband of Christina, the senior co-heir, but the king persuaded them to quitclaim their rights in 1241 in exchange for modest lands elsewhere. The other co-heiresses did likewise. It was annexed to the Crown in 1246. King Henry III then passed the Lordship of Chester, but not the title of Earl, to his son, the Lord Edward, in 1254; and as King Edward I, this son in turn conferred the title and lands of the Earldom on his son, Edward, the first English Prince of Wales (future Edward II of England).

Earldom of Chester

The establishment of royal control of the Earldom of Chester made possible King Edward I’s conquest of north Wales, and Chester played a vital part as a supply base during the Welsh Wars (1275–84), so the separate organisation of a county palatine was preserved. This continued until the time of King Henry VIII. Since 1301, the Earldom of Chester has always been conferred jointly with the title Prince of Wales.

Chester was Briefly promoted to a principality in 1398 by King Richard II, who titled himself “Prince of Chester.” It was reduced to an earldom again in 1399 by King Henry IV. Whereas the Sovereign’s eldest son is born Duke of Cornwall, he must be made or created Earl of Chester it is not an hereditary title similarly to the title Prince of Wales; which also is not hereditary.

Prince of Wales

For most of the post-Roman period, Wales was divided into several smaller states. Before the Norman conquest of England, the most powerful Welsh ruler at any given time was generally known as King of the Britons. In the 12th and 13th centuries, this title evolved into Prince of Wales (see Brut y Tywysogion). In Latin, the new title was Princeps Walliae, and in Welsh it was Tywysog Cymru. The literal translation of Tywysog is “leader”. (The verb tywys means “to lead”.)


Only a handful of native princes had their claim to the overlordship of Wales recognised by the English Crown. The first known to have used such a title was Owain Gwynedd, adopting the title Prince of the Welsh around 1165 after earlier using rex Waliae (“King of Wales”). His grandson Llywelyn the Great is not known to have used the title “Prince of Wales” as such, although his use, from around 1230, of the style “Prince of Aberffraw, Lord of Snowdon” was tantamount to a proclamation of authority over most of Wales, and he did use the title “Prince of North Wales” as did his predecessor Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd.

In 1240, the title was theoretically inherited by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn, though he is not known to have used it. Instead he styled himself as “Prince of Wales” around 1244, the first Welsh prince to do so. In 1246, his nephew Llywelyn ap Gruffudd succeeded to the throne of Gwynedd, and used the style as early as 1258. In 1267, with the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery, he was recognised by both King Henry III of England and the representative of the Papacy as Prince of Wales. In 1282, Llywelyn was killed during Edward I of England’s invasion of Wales and although his brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd succeeded to the Welsh princeship, issuing documents as prince, his principality was not recognised by the English Crown.

Three Welshmen, however, claimed the title of Prince of Wales after 1283.

The first was Madog ap Llywelyn, a member of the House of Gwynedd, who led a nationwide revolt in 1294-5, defeating English forces in battle near Denbigh and seizing Caernarfon Castle. His revolt was suppressed, however, after the Battle of Maes Moydog in March 1295, and the prince was imprisoned in London.

In the 1370s, Owain Lawgoch (“Red Hand”), an English-born descendant of one of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd’s brothers, claimed the title of Prince of Wales, but was assassinated in France in 1378 before he could return to Wales to claim his inheritance.

It is Owain Glyndŵr, however, whom many Welsh people regard as having been the last native Prince. On 16 September 1400, he was proclaimed Prince of Wales by his supporters, and held parliaments at Harlech Castle and elsewhere during his revolt, which encompassed all of Wales. It was not until 1409 that his revolt in quest of Welsh independence was suppressed by Henry IV.

As title of heir apparent

The tradition of conferring the title “Prince of Wales” on the heir apparent of the monarch is usually considered to have begun in 1301, when King Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon with the title at a Parliament held in Lincoln. According to legend, the king had promised the Welsh that he would name “a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of English” and then produced his infant son, who had been born at Caernarfon, to their surprise. However, the story may well be apocryphal, as it can only be traced to the 16th century, and, in the time of Edward I, the English aristocracy spoke Norman French, not English (some versions of the legend include lack of knowledge in both languages as a requirement, and one reported version has the very specific phrase “born on Welsh soil and speaking no other language”).

William Camden wrote in his 1607 work Britannia that originally the title “Prince of Wales” was not conferred automatically upon the eldest living son of the King of England because Edward II (who had been the first English Prince of Wales) neglected to invest his eldest son, the future Edward III, with that title. It was Edward III who revived the practice of naming the eldest son Prince of Wales, which was then maintained by his successors:

Nevertheless, according to conventional wisdom, since 1301 the Prince of Wales has usually been the eldest living son (if and only if he is also the heir apparent) of the King or Queen Regnant of England (subsequently of Great Britain, 1707, and of the United Kingdom, 1801). That he is also the heir apparent is important. Following the death of Prince Arthur, the Prince of Wales, Henry VII invested his second son, the future Henry VIII, with the title—although only after it was clear that Arthur’s wife, Catherine of Aragon, was not pregnant; when Frederick, Prince of Wales died while his father reigned, George II created Frederick’s son George (the king’s grandson and new heir apparent) Prince of Wales. The title is not automatic and is not heritable; it merges into the Crown when a prince accedes to the throne, or lapses on his death leaving the sovereign free to re-grant it to the new heir apparent (such as the late prince’s son or brother). Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales on 26 July 1958, some six years after he became heir apparent, and had to wait another 11 years for his investiture, on 1 July 1969.

The title Prince of Wales is always conferred along with the Earldom of Chester. The convention began in 1399; all previous Princes of Wales also received the earldom, but separately from the title of Prince. Prior to 1272 a hereditary and not necessarily royal Earldom of Chester had already been created several times, eventually merging in the Crown each time. The earldom was recreated, merging in the Crown in 1307 and again in 1327. Its creations since have been associated with the creations of the Prince of Wales.

History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales: Part X


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Dukes of Rothesay

David Stewart, son of Robert III of Scotland, King of Scots, was first to be granted the Dukedom of Rothesay from its creation in 1398. After his death, his brother James, later King James I of Scotland received the dukedom. Thereafter, the heir-apparent to the Scottish Crown held the dukedom; an Act of the Scottish Parliament passed in 1469 confirmed this pattern of succession.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay

The Earldom of Carrick as we previously noted was created as early as the twelfth century. In 1306, Robert de Bruce, Earl of Carrick, became King Robert I of Scotland, with the earldom merging in the Crown. In the following years, successive Kings of Scots created several heirs-apparent Earl of Carrick. The Act of 1469 also finally settled the earldom on the eldest son of the Scottish monarch. The other titles we have discussed thus far, Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, were also officially attached to the heir of the Scottish Crown with the Act of 1469.

Between the 1603 Union and Edward VII’s time as heir apparent, the style “Duke of Rothesay” appears to have dropped out of usage in favour of “Prince of Wales”. It was Queen Victoria who mandated the title for use to refer to the eldest son and heir apparent when in Scotland, and this usage has continued since. This may have been as a result, direct or indirect, of the 1822 visit of King George IV to Scotland.


Duke of Rothesay and its adjoined titles became linked with the heir to the English throne and his titles Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, between 1603-1707. During this time the Kingdoms of England and Scotland were not politically united and the titles the heir held were for each kingdom separately.

The titles were unified to the heir of the throne when England and Scotland were united in 1707 as the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the title mandated for use by the heir apparent when in Scotland, in preference to the titles Duke of Cornwall (which also belongs to the eldest living son of the monarch, when and only when he is also heir apparent, by right) and Prince of Wales (traditionally granted to the heir apparent), which are used in the rest of the United Kingdom and overseas. The Duke of Rothesay also holds other Scottish titles, including those of Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. The title is named after Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, but is not associated with any legal entity or landed property, unlike the Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy of Cornwall

The Duke of Cornwall holds both the dukedom (title) and duchy (estate holdings), the latter being the source of his personal income; those living on the ducal estates are subjects of the British sovereign and owe neither fealty nor services to the duke per se.[citation needed] In Scotland the male heir apparent to the British crown is always the Duke of Rothesay as well, but this is a dukedom (title) without a duchy. Similarly, the British monarch rules and owns the Duchy of Lancaster as Duke of Lancaster, but it is held separately from the Crown, with the income of the duchy estates providing the Sovereign’s Privy Purse.



The historical record suggests that, following the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, Cornwall formed part of the separate Kingdom of Dumnonia, which included Devon, although there is evidence that it may have had its own rulers at times. The southwest of Britain was gradually incorporated into the emerging Kingdom of England, and after the Norman Conquest in 1066 the new rulers of England appointed their own men as Earl of Cornwall, the first of whom was in fact a Breton of ‘Cornwall’ in Brittany. Edward, the Black Prince, the eldest son of Edward III, was made the first Duke of Cornwall in 1337, after Edward III had lost the title of Duke of Normandy After Edward the Black Prince predeceased the King, the duchy was recreated for his son, the future Richard II. In 1421 a Charter designated that the duchy passes to the sovereign’s eldest son.


The dukedom of Cornwall can only be held by the oldest living son of the monarch who is also heir apparent. In the event of a Duke of Cornwall’s death, the title merges with the Crown even if he left surviving descendants. George III of the United Kingdom was an example of this rule. The monarch’s grandson, even if he is the heir apparent, does not succeed to the dukedom. When his father, Frederick-Louis, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall died in 1751 his son, George, did not inherit either the title Prince of Wales or Duke of Cornwall. Similarly, no female may ever be Duke of Cornwall, even if she is heir presumptive or heir apparent (that being a distinct and even likely possibility in the future after the passage of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013) to the throne. However, if a Duke of Cornwall should die without descendants and has no sister older than his next brother, his next brother obtains the duchy, this brother being both oldest living son and heir apparent.

It is possible for an individual to be Prince of Wales and heir apparent without being Duke of Cornwall. The title “Prince of Wales” is the traditional title of the heir apparent to the throne, granted at the discretion of the Sovereign, and is not restricted to the eldest son. George IIII was again and example of this rule. Though both titles, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall merged with the Crown on the death of his father, King George II created the future George III, Prince of Wales, but not Duke of Cornwall, because he was the King’s grandson rather than the King’s son. When the Sovereign has no legitimate son, the estates of the Duchy of Cornwall revert to the Crown until a legitimate son is born to the Sovereign or until the accession of a new Sovereign who has a son (e.g. between 1547 and 1603.

James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II, was born Duke of Cornwall in 1688. Although his father lost the throne, James Francis Edward was not deprived of his own honours. On a Jacobite perspective, on his father’s death in 1701 the duchy of Cornwall was merged in the Crown. On a Hanoverian perspective, it was as a result of his claiming his father’s lost thrones that James was attainted for treason on 2 March 1702, and his titles were thus forfeited under English law.

Rights of the duke

The Duchy includes over 570 square kilometres of land, more than half of which lies in Devon. The Duke has some rights over the territory of Cornwall, the county, and for this and other reasons there is debate as to the constitutional status of Cornwall. The High Sheriff of Cornwall is appointed by the Duke, not the monarch, in contrast to the other counties of England and Wales. The Duke has the right to the estates of all those who die without named heirs (bona vacantia) in the whole of Cornwall. In 2013, the Duchy had a revenue surplus of £19 million, a sum that was exempt from income tax, though the Prince of Wales chose to pay the tax voluntarily.

Until 2011, if there was no Duke of Cornwall at any time, then the income of the Duchy went to the Crown. Since the passing into law of the Sovereign Grant Act 2011, revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall pass to the heir to the throne, regardless of whether that heir is the Duke of Cornwall. In the event that the heir is a minor, 10% of the revenues pass to the heir, with the balance passing to the Crown (and the Sovereign Grant is reduced by the same amount).


Abdication of the German Emperor & the end of The Great War.


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With the abdication of German Emperor, his flight to the Netherlands and the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918 brought the Great War to its close.

His Imperial Majesty Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia

By October, German Emperor, Wilhelm II was at the Imperial Army headquarters in Spa, Belgium, when the uprisings in Berlin and other centres took him by surprise in late 1918. Instead of obeying their orders to begin preparations to fight the British once more, German German sailors, exhausted by four years of war, led a revolt in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven on October 29, 1918, followed by the Kiel mutiny in the first days of November.

These mutinies were the first salvos in the German Revolution of 1918-1919. When a mutiny occurred among the ranks of Emperors beloved Kaiserliche Marine, this profoundly disturbed him. Wilhelm struggled between acceptance denial and could not make up his mind whether or not to abdicate. Up to that point, he accepted that he would likely have to give up the imperial crown, but still hoped to retain the Prussian kingship. However, this was impossible under the imperial constitution. While Wilhelm thought he ruled as emperor in a personal union with Prussia, the constitution actually tied the imperial crown to the Prussian crown, meaning that Wilhelm could not renounce one crown without renouncing the other.

Wilhelm II

Wilhelm’s hopes of retaining at least one of his crowns was revealed as unrealistic when, in the hope of preserving the monarchy in the face of growing revolutionary unrest, Chancellor Prince Max of Baden announced Wilhelm’s abdication of both titles on 9 November 1918. Wilhelm was furious! He had not agreed to abdicate and heard the news like anyone else when it was announced over the radio and in special additions of the news paper. For Prince Max it was a desperate last ditch to save the Monarchy and Germany itself. Prince Max believed that by announcing the abdication it would quell the mutinies and the growing rebellions.

Prince Max could also feel power was lost and he himself was forced to resign later the same day, November 9, 1918. It had become obvious that only Friedrich Ebert, leader of the SPD, could effectively exert control. Later that day, one of Ebert’s secretaries of state (ministers), Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann, proclaimed Germany a republic.

Wilhelm consented to the abdication only after Ludendorff’s replacement, General Wilhelm Groener, had informed him that the officers and men of the army would march back in good order under Paul von Hindenburg’s command, but would certainly not fight for Wilhelm’s throne on the home front. The monarchy’s last and strongest support had been broken, and finally even Hindenburg, himself a lifelong royalist, was obliged, with some embarrassment, to advise the Emperor to give up the crown.

On 10 November, Wilhelm crossed the border by train and went into exile in the Netherlands, which had remained neutral throughout the war. Upon the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles in early 1919, Article 227 expressly provided for the prosecution of Wilhelm “for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties”, but the Dutch government refused to extradite him, despite appeals from the Allies. King George V wrote that he looked on his cousin as “the greatest criminal in history”, but opposed Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s proposal to “hang the Kaiser”. President Woodrow Wilson of the United States opposed extradition, arguing that prosecuting Wilhelm would destabilize international order and lose the peace.

Wilhelm first settled in Amerongen, where on 28 November he issued a belated statement of abdication from both the Prussian and imperial thrones, thus formally ending the Hohenzollerns’ 400-year rule over Prussia. Accepting the reality that he had lost both of his crowns for good, he gave up his rights to “the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected therewith.” He also released his soldiers and officials in both Prussia and the empire from their oath of loyalty to him.

Huis Doorn, the Netherlands.

Wilhelm purchased a country house in the municipality of Doorn, known as Huis Doorn, and moved in on 15 May 1920. This was to be his home for the remainder of his life. The Weimar Republicallowed Wilhelm to remove twenty-three railway wagons of furniture, twenty-seven containing packages of all sorts, one bearing a car and another a boat, from the New Palace at Potsdam.

History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales: Part IX


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Since the history of one the titles of the Prince of Wales is rather short today I’ll include two for the price of one!

Baron of Renfrew is a title held by the heir apparent to the British throne. It was held by the Scottish heir apparent beginning in 1404 when it was bestowed on the future King James I of Scotland. It is closely associated with the title Duke of Rothesay. An act of the Scottish Parliament passed in 1469 confirmed the pattern of succession of attaching the Barony of Renfrew with the heir to the Scottish crown. Renfrew is a town near Glasgow, is sometimes called the “cradle of the royal Stewarts.”

HRH The Baron of Renfrew and Earl of Carrick.

In Scotland, the title of Baron is a feudal titles, not peerages: a Scottish Lord of Parliament equates to an English or British baron. There is a debate however if the Barony of Renfrew is actually a peerage title. Some historians claim that the Act of 1469 elevated the Barony of Renfrew to the dignity of a peerage when it officially attached the Barony to the other peerage titles connected to the heir to the Scottish Crown. Other historians suggest that the barony became a peerage upon the Union of the Crowns in 1603. Finally, some scholars argue that the uncertainty surrounding the text of the 1469 Act leaves the barony as only a feudal dignity, not a peerage dignity. The title of Lord Renfrew was used by the traveling Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII and Prince Edward, Duke of Rothesay, later King Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor, when he traveled in a private capacity or when he wished to pay visits incognito.

Earl of Carrick or Mormaer of Carrick is the title applied to the ruler of Carrick (now southern Ayrshire), subsequently part of the Peerage of Scotland. The position came to be strongly associated with the Scottish crown when Robert the Bruce, who had inherited it from his maternal kin, became King of the Scotland in the early 14th century. Since the 15th century the title of Earl of Carrick has automatically been held by the heir apparent to the throne, meaning Prince Charles is the current Earl.

The earldom emerged in 1186, out of the old Lordship of Galloway, which had previously encompassed all of what is now known as Galloway as well as the southern part of Ayrshire. Though the Lords of Galloway recognised the King of Scotland as their overlord, their lordship was effectively a separate kingdom, and had its own laws.

The first Lord of Carrick recorded is Fergus, who died in 1161 leaving two sons: Uchtred and Gille Brigte (Gilbert). As was the custom then, the two brothers shared the lordship and the lands between them. In 1174, they joined with King William I the Lion of Scotland in his invasion of Northumberland. During the invasion King William was taken prisoner by the English, the Galwegians broke into rebellion. Uchtred remained loyal to the Scottish king, while Gille Brigte took control of the entirety of Galloway. Uchtred was savagely murdered by Gille Brigte and his son Máel Coluim. In 1175, King William was restored to liberty, and he marched an army into Galloway to bring justice upon Gille Brigte. However, he seems to have contented himself with exacting a fine, leaving Gille Brigte to go unharmed.

In 1176, Gille Brigte obtained an agreement with King Henry II of England, in which he became his vassal; in exchange, he paid the English king the then enormous sum of £919 and gave his son Duncan (Donnchadh) as a hostage. Gille Brigte then spent the next decade carrying out devastating raids on King William’s territory, with the protection of the English.

Gille Brigte’s death in 1185 created general turmoil amongst the Galwegians. Roland, son of the murdered Uchtred, defeated the supporters of Gille Brigte in 1185, and planted forts across Galloway to secure his authority. This angered King Henry II and he marched a large force to Carlisle in preparation for invasion. However, war was averted at a meeting between Roland, William I of Scotland and Henry II of England, where it was agreed that Roland would rule the main part of Galloway, while Gille Brigte’s son Duncan would rule the northern section, known as Carrick. Duncan agreed to these terms, and renounced all claims to the Lordship of Galloway, becoming the first Earl of Carrick.

Duncan married Avelina, daughter of Alan, High Steward of Scotland. His son or grandson Niall’s eldest daughter Marjorie succeeded him, becoming Countess of Carrick in her own right. She married firstly Adam de Kilconquhar. In 1269, Adam journeyed to the Holy Land under the banners of King Louis IX of France, as part of the Eighth Crusade. He never returned, dying of disease at Acre in 1270. The next year, the widowed Countess happened to meet Robert de Brus hunting in her lands. According to legend, Marjorie imprisoned Robert until he agreed to marry her. They were married at Turnberry Castle, without their families’ knowledge or the requisite consent of the King. When news got out, Alexander III seized her castles and estates, but she later atoned for her foolishness with a fine, and Robert was recognised as her husband and Earl of Carrick jure uxoris.; They had five sons and five daughters: Robert, Edward, Thomas, Alexander, Nigel, Isabel, Mary, Christina, Matilda and Margaret.

Royal earls

Marjorie and Robert were succeeded by their eldest son. When the old House of Dunkeld became extinct, this Robert, known as “the Bruce”, became a principal candidate for the throne as the great-great-great-great grandson of David I. He was crowned at Scone in 1306, causing his titles (Earl of Carrick, Lord of Annandale and Baron Bruce in the Peerage of England) to merge into the Crown. It would take more creations of the title before it became associated with the heir to the Scottish throne.

Around 1313, King Robert created his younger brother Edward, the Earl of Carrick. Edward had no issue, save a natural son, Alexander, he had by Lady Isabella Strathbogie, daughter of John, Earl of Atholl. The title therefore became extinct on his death at the Battle of Faughart in 1318.

After briefly being held by Robert’s son David prior to his accession to the throne, the title was granted in 1332 to Alexander, Edward’s bastard. However, Alexander was killed the next year at the Battle of Halidon Hill and the title once again became extinct.

In 1368, King David created his great-nephew John Stewart the Earl of Carrick. David died unexpectedly in 1371. He had no children, meaning he was succeeded by his nephew Robert Stewart, John’s father. After Robert’s death in 1390, John succeeded him, taking the regnal name Robert III; thus the Earldom of Carrick again merged with the Crown.

The title was next held by Robert III’s son David, who was also created Duke of Rothesay and Earl of Atholl. David died childless in 1402, and the Earldom was regranted to his brother James; however he was generally known by the higher title Prince or Steward of Scotland. James acceded to the throne in 1406, and his titles merged with the Crown.

In 1469, the Scottish Parliament passed an Act declaring that the eldest son of the King and heir to the throne would automatically hold the Earldom of Carrick along with the Dukedom of Rothesay. After the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, the Dukedom and Earldom have been held by the eldest son and heir apparent of the kings and queens of Great Britain. Thus Prince Charles is the current Duke of Rothesay and Earl of Carrick.

Stewart earls (1628)

Despite the Earldom of Carrick being connected to the Duke of Rothesay and therefore the heir to the throne a separate Earldom of Carrick was created for an illegitimate scion of the House of Stuart/Stuart.

In 1628, King Charles I created John Stewart the Earl of Carrick. He had already been made Lord Kincleven in 1607, also in the Peerage of Scotland. Stewart was a younger son of Robert, Earl of Orkney, bastard son of King James V; thus he was Charles’s half-great-uncle. This title was deemed not to conflict with the Earldom of Carrick held by the heir to the throne, as it referred not to the province in Ayrshire, but to the lands of Carrick on Eday in Orkney. John married Lady Elizabeth Southwell, daughter of Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham and widow of Sir Robert Southwell. By her he had one daughter, Margaret. He is also known to have had two natural children: a son, named Henry, and a daughter, whose name is unknown. As he had no legitimate son, his titles became extinct on his death around 1645.

The History of the titles of the Prince of Wales: Part VIII


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The History of the Lordship of the Isle is long and complex, so for the sake of brevity and staying on topic I will limit the scope of this entry to a basic understanding how the title Lord the Isles came to be part of the titles to the heir to the British throne.

HRH The Lord of the Isles

The Lord of the Isles (Scottish Gaelic: Triath nan Eilean or Rìgh Innse Gall) is a title of Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. The Isles refers to west coast and islands off of present-day Scotland were those of a people or peoples of uncertain cultural affiliation lived until the 5th century.

The Isles

The Isles emerged from a series of hybrid Viking/Gaelic rulers in the Middle Ages, who wielded sea-power with fleets of galleys (birlinns). Although they were, at times, nominal vassals of the Kings of Norway, Ireland, or Scotland, the island chiefs remained functionally independent for many centuries. Their territory included the Hebrides (Skye and Ross from 1438), Knoydart, Ardnamurchan, and the Kintyre peninsula. At their height they were the greatest landowners and most powerful lords in Britain after the Kings of England and Scotland. Though seen as a title of Scottish Nobility at one point the Lords of The Isles held the title of King along with sovereignty.

In 973, Maccus mac Arailt, King of the Isles, Kenneth III, King of the Scots, and Máel Coluim I of Strathclyde formed a defensive alliance, but subsequently the Scandinavians defeated Gilla Adomnáin of the Isles and expelled him to Ireland.

In the late 11th Century the Norse nobleman Godred Crovan became ruler of Man and the Isles, but he was deposed in 1095 by the new King of Norway, Magnus Bareleg. In 1098, Magnus entered into a treaty with King Edgar of Scotland, intended as a demarcation of their respective areas of authority. Magnus was confirmed in control of the Isles and Edgar of the mainland. Lavery cites a tale from the Orkneyinga saga, according to which King Malcolm III of Scotland offered Earl Magnus of Orkney all the islands off the west coast navigable with the rudder set. Magnus then allegedly had a skiff hauled across the neck of land at Tarbert, Loch Fyne with himself at the helm, thus including the Kintyre peninsula in the Isles’ sphere of influence. (The date given falls after the end of Malcolm’s reign in 1093.)

Clan Donald, also known as Clan MacDonald (Scottish Gaelic: Clann Dòmhnaill is a Highland Scottish clan and one of the largest Scottish clans. By the Thirteenth Century the Norse-Gaelic Clan Donald came to rule the independent Isles. The Norse-Gaelic Clan Donald traces its descent from Dòmhnall Mac Raghnuill (d. circa 1250), whose father Reginald or Ranald was styled “King of the Isles” and “Lord of Argyll and Kintyre”. Ranald’s father, Somerled was styled “King of the Hebrides”, and was killed campaigning against Malcolm IV of Scotland at the Battle of Renfrew in 1164. The chiefs of the Clan Donald held the title of Lord of the Isles until 1493 and two of those chiefs also held the title of Earl of Ross until 1476.

Successive Lords of the Isles fiercely asserted their independence from Scotland, acting as kings of their territories well into the 15th century. Then in 1462, John MacDonald II, Lord of the Isles, signed a treaty with Edward IV of England to conquer Scotland with him and the Earl of Douglas. The treaty between Edward IV and MacDonald II has been used to show how the MacDonald Lords were viewed as independent rulers of their kingdom, freely entering into national and military treaties with foreign governments.

King James IV of Scotland 1488-1513

Unfortunately for the MacDonald sovereigns, the civil war in England, known as the Wars of the Roses, prevented the completion of the alliance between Edward IV and MacDonald II. Upon the discovery of his alliance with Edward IV in 1493, MacDonald II had his ancestral lands, estates, and titles taken from him by James IV of Scotland. In addition to James IV seeking revenge on MacDonald II, he possessed a larger military force and was able to impose his will on the West Coast of Scotland, though uprisings and rebellions were common.

Though the Lordship was taken away from the MacDonald family in the 15th century, waves of successive MacDonald leaders have contested this and fought for its revival ever since. However, once the land and title where seized by the Scottish Crown the eldest male child of the reigning Scottish (and later, English then British) monarch has been styled “Lord of the Isles.” The office itself has been extinct since the 15th century and the style since then has no other meaning but to recall the Scottish seizure of the ancient Norse-Gaelic lordship and crown. Thus Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, is the current Lord of the Isles.

The History of the titles of the Prince of Wales: Part VII


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Now that I’ve examined the origins and usage of the titles of Prince, Duke, Earl and Baron, I’ll now begin to address the the history behind the specific Dukedoms Earldoms etc that the Prince of Wales has. I’ll start with the lowest titles and work our way up. Today I start with Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

HRH Prince of Scotland and Great Steward of Scotland

Prince of Scotland

The title of Prince of Scotland originated in a time when Scotland was a kingdom separate from England. Prior to the House of Hanover which set in stone, or legislation, the usage of titles such as Prince wasn’t universally carried by male members of the Royal Family. Prince of Scotland was a title designated solely to the heir of the Scottish throne. Prior to the English and Scottish crowns being united under James VI of Scotland (James I of England and Ireland) the title Prince of Scotland was designed to be used in much the same way the title Prince of Wales was used to designate the heir-apparent to the English throne, although the Scottish heir-apparent was addressed only as Duke of Rothesay until that time.

Principality of Scotland

We tend to think of Scotland as a Kingdom rather than a Principality, so the natural question is, what is, or where is, the Principlality of Scotland? The designation “Principality of Scotland” implied (and implies) not Scotland as a whole but lands in western Scotland, in areas such as Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Kirkcudbrightshire appropriated as patrimony of the Sovereign’s eldest son for his maintenance. This is similar to the Duchy of Cornwall which was established to be a source of income for the English heir. The title of Prince of Scotland originated from a charter granting the Principality of Scotland to the future James I of Scotland, the then heir apparent, granted on December 10, 1404, by Robert III. During the reign of James III, permanency was enacted to the title.

Historically there was a feudal aspect to the title. The Prince collected feudal duties and privileges for the principality while The Crown serves this role in the rest of Scotland. However, The Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, abolished most remaining feudal duties and privileges attached to the Principality, leaving the Prince’s status as mainly titular. Before the 2000 Act the Principality was entirely feued out to tenants and brought in a small income. All title deeds in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire required to be sealed with the Prince’s seal. Revenue gained from feudal dealings were counted as income for the Duchy of Cornwall, a more substantial estate held by the monarch’s child who is heir apparent.


Great Steward

The Great Stewardship of Scotland was granted to Walter Fitz Alan by David I, and came to the Sovereign with the accession of the last High Steward, Robert Stewart, 7th High Steward of Scotland, who inherited the throne, as King Robert II of Scotland (1371-1390). Robert II was a grandson of Robert I via his daughter Marjorie and Walter Stewart, 6th Great Steward of Scotland.

Since that date it has been enjoyed by the Sovereign’s eldest son. Thereafter the title of High Steward of Scotland has been held as a subsidiary title by the heir-apparent to the Scottish throne, then the heirs to both the Kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland and later the United Kingdom.

History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales: Part VI


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Baron. A title of Nobility.

In this section on the History of the titles of the Prince of Wale I will focus on the title of Baron.

HRH The Baron of Renfrew

In the Peerage of England, the Peerage of Great Britain, the Peerage of Ireland and the Peerage of the United Kingdom (but not in the Peerage of Scotland), barons form the lowest rank, placed immediately below viscounts. A female of baronial rank has the title baroness. The Scottish equivalent of an English baron is a Lord of Parliament.

The word baron comes from the Old French baron, which, in turn comes from a late Latin word barō which mean “man; servant, soldier, mercenary” (so used in Salic law; Alemannic law has barus in the same sense). The 7th century scholar Isidore of Seville thought the word Baron was from Greek βᾰρῠ́ς “heavy” (because of the “heavy work” done by mercenaries). However, the majority of scholars believe the word is of Old Frankish origin, cognate with Old English beorn meaning “warrior, nobleman”.


The rank of Baron was introduced into the English feudal system by William I (1066-1087). The introduction of the title of baron in England was to distinguish those men who had pledged their loyalty to the king. As stated in the my previous entry, during the Anglo-Saxon period in the kingdom of England, the king’s companions held the title of earl. In Scotland the equivalent title for Earl was that of thane. All who held their feudal barony by right of the king, meaning the king as his immediate overlord, were known as barones regis (“barons of the king”), bound to perform a stipulated annual military service, and obliged to attend his council.

There are different types of barons and it can get confusing. Originally, those who held land directly from the king, via their military service, from earls downwards, all held the title of baron. Under King Henry II, the Dialogus de Scaccario already distinguished between greater barons, those who held per baroniam by knight’s service, and lesser barons, those who held manors. Technically, Lords of Manors are barons, or freemen, however they are not entitled to be styled as such.

Within a century of the Norman Conquest of 1066, an example is the case of Thomas Becket in 1164, there arose the practice of sending to each greater baron a personal summons demanding his attendance at the King’s Council. The practice of sending a baron to the king’s council later evolved into the Parliament and then even later into the House of Lords. This practice was incorporated in Magna Carta of 1215 though not ever baron was chosen.

HRH The Baron Carrickfergus

The lesser barons of each county would receive a single summons from the sheriff and would meet as a group. A single representatives would be elected to attend the king’s council on behalf of the group. These representatives developed into the Knights of the Shire, and were elected by the County Court that was presided over by the sheriff.

The sheriffs of each county themselves formed the precursor of the House of Commons. This created a definite distinction between Sheriff (Commons) and Barons (Peers) which eventually had the effect of restricting the barons alone the privileges and duties of peerage.

Later, the king started to create new baronies in one of two ways: by a writ of summons directing a chosen man to attend Parliament, and in an even later development by letters patent. Writs of summons became the normal method in medieval times, displacing the method of feudal barony, but creation of baronies by letters patent is the sole method adopted in modern times.

The feudal aspect of the role of the Barons ended with the practice of summons by writ to the king’s council, thus Barons were no longer relate directly to land-holdings. With no more feudal baronies needed thenceforth this type of baron were no longer created. However, it would take the Modus Tenendi Parliamenta of 1419, the Tenures Abolition Act 1660, the Feudal Tenure Act (1662), and the Fines and Recoveries Act of 1834, until titles of feudal baronies became obsolete and without legal force.

Prince Harry Lords
HRH Baron Kilkeel

In the twentieth-century Britain introduced the concept of non-hereditary life peers who have a seat in the House of Lords with all appointees to this distinction have (thus far) been at the rank of baron. In accordance with the tradition applied to hereditary peers they too are formally addressed in parliament by their peers as “The Noble Lord.”

As nobles grew in both stature and power it became the tradition that baronies were, and are, often used by their holders as subsidiary titles. An example is that a baronies is frequently used as courtesy titles for the son and heir of an Earl or higher-ranked peer. The Scottish baronial title tends to be used when a landed family is not in possession of any United Kingdom peerage title of higher rank, subsequently granted, or has been created a knight of the realm.

Several members of the royal family with the style of Royal Highness are also titled Barons. For example, HRH The Prince of Wales is also The Baron of Renfrew. I will get into the history of that specific title in a later post. Similarly, his eldest son HRH The Duke of Cambridge is also The Baron Carrickfergus. HRH The Duke of Sussex was recently granted the title Baron Kilkeel in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. HRH The Duke of York is The Baron Killyleagh. Some non-royal Barons are somehow related to the royal family, for example Maurice Roche, 6th Baron Fermoy is William’s first cousin once removed, through William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the 4th Baron Fermoy’s granddaughter.


A person holding a peerage in the rank of baron is entitled to a coronet bearing six silver balls (called pearls) around the rim, equally spaced and all of equal size and height. The rim itself is neither jeweled, nor “chased” (which is the case for the coronets of peers of higher degree). The actual coronet is mostly worn on certain ceremonial occasions, such as the coronation of a new monarch, but a baron can bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield. In heraldry, the baron’s coronet is shown with four of the balls visible.

Style of address

Normally one refers to or addresses Baron [X] as Lord [X] and his wife as Lady [X]. Women who hold baronies in their own right may be styled as Baroness [X],[10] or Lady [X]. In direct address, they can also be referred to as My Lord, Your Lordship, or Your Ladyship, but never as My Lady (except in the case of a female judge). The husband of a Baroness in her own right gains no title or style from his wife. Children of Barons and Baronesses in their own right, whether hereditary or for life, have the style The Honourable [Forename] [Surname]. After the death of the father or mother, the child may continue to use the style The Honourable.

History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales: Part V


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HRH The Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick.

Earl is a title of the nobility. The title is of Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, which meant “chieftain”, particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king’s absence. However, for a time period in Scandinavia, jarl could also mean a sovereign prince. Prior to the unification of Norway there were rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway that had the title of jarl and in many cases they had power identical to their neighbors who held the title of king. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a duke and marquess and above a baron and a viscount. A feminine form of earl never developed and instead the wife of an earl is called a countess.

An earl in medieval Britain was more akin to a duke and as time moved forward it devolved into equivalent of the continental count which was seen as a lesser title. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to “Earl/Count” in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era.

In Anglo-Saxon England, when earls held the power equivalent to that of a duke, an earl had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated of the king, and originally functioned essentially as royal governors. Another role an earl had was that they collected fines and taxes and in return received one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king’s armies. Some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria—names that represented earlier independent kingdoms—were much larger than any shire. As stated earlier the title of Earl was nominally equal to that of a duke, specifically a continental duke. However, the main difference was that continental dukes held a measure of sovereignty and earls in were not de facto rulers in their own right, they remained vassals of the king under the feudal system.

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG, PC (10 November 1565 – 25 February 1601)

After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional feudal system but eventually modified it to his own liking. Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms al but completely vanished. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most. Their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, and shires became “counties”. Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers dwindled.

King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his civil war with his cousin Empress Matilda. It was during the reign of King Stephen that earls once again returned to a more powerful status. He gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and even minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king.

It fell to Stephen’s successor Henry II to again curtail the power of the earls. He took back the control of royal castles and even demolished castles that earls had built for themselves. He did not create new earls or earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control.

The English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an already powerful aristocracy, so gradually sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marches and Welsh Marches and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them. The loosening of central authority during the Anarchy also complicates any smooth description of the changeover.

Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not necessarily more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen. The only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one—and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king personally tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl’s rights came from the King.

Earls still held influence and, as “companions of the king”, were regarded as supporters of the king’s power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II. They would later do the same with other kings of whom they disapproved. In 1337 Edward III declared that he intended to create six new earldoms.

Earls, land and titles

A loose connection between earls and shires remained for a long time after authority had moved over to the sheriffs. An official defining characteristic of an earl still consisted of the receipt of the “third penny”, one-third of the revenues of justice of a shire, that later became a fixed sum. Thus every earl had an association with some shire, and very often a new creation of an earldom would take place in favour of the county where the new earl already had large estates and local influence.

Also, due to the association of earls and shires, the medieval practice could remain somewhat loose regarding the precise name used: no confusion could arise by calling someone earl of a shire, earl of the county town of the shire, or earl of some other prominent place in the shire; these all implied the same. So there were the “earl of Shrewsbury” (Shropshire), “earl of Arundel”, “earl of Chichester” (Sussex), “earl of Winchester” (Hampshire), etc.

In a few cases the earl was traditionally addressed by his family name, e.g. the “earl Warenne” (in this case the practice may have arisen because these earls had little or no property in Surrey, their official county). Thus an earl did not always have an intimate association with “his” county. Another example comes from the earls of Oxford, whose property largely lay in Essex. They became earls of Oxford because earls of Essex and of the other nearby shires already existed. Eventually the connection between an earl and a shire disappeared, so that in the present day a number of earldoms take their names from towns, mountains, or simply surnames.

In England, as the centuries wore on, the term earl came to be disassociated from the office, and later kings started granting the title of earl without it, and gradually without even an associated comitatus. By the 16th century there started to be earls of towns, of villages, and even of isolated houses; it had simply become a label for marking status, rather than an office of intrinsic power. In 1746, in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising, the Heritable Jurisdictions Act brought the powers of the remaining ancient earldoms under the control of the sheriffs; earl is now simply a noble rank.

Forms of address

An earl has the title Earl of [X] when the title originates from a placename, or Earl [X] when the title comes from a surname. In either case, he is referred to as Lord [X], and his wife as Lady [X]. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right also uses Lady [X], but her husband does not have a title (unless he has one in his own right).

The eldest son of an earl, though not himself a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title, usually the highest of his father’s lesser titles (if any), for instance the eldest son of The Earl Of Wessex is styled as James, Viscount Severn. Younger sons are styled The Honourable [Forename] [Surname], and daughters, The Lady [Forename] [Surname] (Lady Diana Spencer being a well-known example).

In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, and indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of [X], and successive sons as younger of [X]

171BEEB4-14E5-4276-8189-B27ECD181F26A coronet of a British earl.

A British earl is entitled to a coronet bearing eight strawberry leaves (four visible) and eight silver balls (or pearls) around the rim (five visible). The actual coronet is mostly worn on certain ceremonial occasions, but an Earl may bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield.

Former Prime Ministers
An earldom became, with a few exceptions, the default peerage to which a former Prime Minister was elevated. However the last Prime Minister to accept an earldom was Harold Macmillan, who became Earl of Stockton in 1984. In the 1970s life peerages (baronies) became the norm for former Prime Ministers, though none has accepted any peerage since Margaret Thatcher in 1992.

History of the Titles of the Prince of Wales: Part IV.


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HRH The Duke of Cornwall, The Duke of Rothesay

The next title I will examine is that of Duke. A duke (male) or duchess (female) can be a confusing title. A duke can be a monarch ruling over a duchy in their own right with sovereignty equal to that of a king or queen, though duke has been considered lesser title. A duke can also be a titled or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch. The title originates comes from the Latin dux, which translates to “leader” a title first applied a military commander in Roman Republic who otherwise to did not have an official rank (particularly one of Germanic or Celtic origin). As the title and position evolved a duke came to mean the leading military commander of a province.

Duchy and dukedom

A duchy is the territory or geopolitical entity ruled by a duke. In Continental Europe (France, Holy Roman Empire, German Empire etc) a duchy was often a Sovereign or semi-Sovereign state where the ruling duke was the monarch. In the English system the title of duke has never been associated with independent rule in the British Isles. Therefore a duke was a title of nobility, called a dukedom, not duchy (excepting the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster, more on that later), and the holder did not rule over a territory, and as the political system evolved a duke was allowed to be a member of the House of Lords.

In Anglo-Saxon England, after the Roman Legions exited Britain the typical Roman political divisions were largely ignored and the highest political rank beneath that of king was ealdorman. The title ealdormen were referred to as duces (the plural of the original Latin dux). However, gradually with the Danish invasions of England the title ealdorman was replaced by the Danish eorl (later earl). After the Norman conquest, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. The titles of Earl and Baron became the most dominant until the reign of Edward III of England (1227-1277).

Edward III created the first English dukedom when he created his eldest son Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales, as Duke of Cornwall in 1337. This creation was motivated by the loss of the title Duke of Normandy by the king. After the death of the Black Prince, the duchy of Cornwall passed to his nine-year-old son, who would eventually succeed his grandfather as Richard II.

The title of Duke of Lancaster was created by Edward III in 1351 for Henry of Grosmont, 4th Earl of Lancaster, a great-grandson of Henry III in the male line. He died in 1361 without a male heir and the peerage expired. The second creation was on November 13, 1362, for John of Gaunt, 1st Earl of Richmond, who was both the 1st Duke of Lancaster’s son-in-law and also fourth son of King Edward III. John had married Blanche of Lancaster, 6th Countess of Lancaster, daughter of Henry Grosmont and heiress to his estates. On the same day Edward III also created his second son, Lionel of Antwerp, as Duke of Clarence.

All five of Edward III’s surviving sons were created dukes but the last two were made duke’s by Edward III’s grandson and successor, Richard II. In 1385, Richard II invested his last two uncles with dukedoms on the same day. Thomas of Woodstock was named Duke of Gloucester and Edmund of Langley became Duke of York. From the Dukes of Lancaster and Dukes of York came the Houses of Lancaster and York respectively who’s descendants battled for the throne during the Wars of the Roses.

By 1483, a total of 16 ducal titles had been created: Those associated with the Royal Family were; Cornwall, Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, and York. Those dukedoms established for the nobility were; Ireland, Hereford, Aumale, Exeter, Surrey, Norfolk, Bedford, Somerset, Buckingham, Warwick and Suffolk. Some dukedoms became extinct, others had multiple creations, and those associated with the Royal Family merged with the crown upon the holder’s accession to the throne.

Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, 1st Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Aubigny (illegitimate son of Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland. (July 29, 1672 – May 27, 1723)

In the United Kingdom, the inherited position of a duke along with its dignities, privileges, and rights is a dukedom. However, Dukes in the United Kingdom are addressed as “Your Grace” and referred to as “His Grace”. Currently, there are thirty-five dukedoms in the Peerage of England, Peerage of Scotland, Peerage of Great Britain, Peerage of Ireland and Peerage of the United Kingdom, held by thirty different people, as three people hold two dukedoms and one holds three

Royal Dukedoms

A Royal Duke is a duke who is a member of the British Royal Family, entitled to the style of “His Royal Highness”. The current Royal Dukedoms are, in order of precedence:
* Duke of Lancaster, held by Elizabeth II
* Duke of Edinburgh, held by Prince Philip
* Duke of Cornwall (England) and Duke of Rothesay (Scotland), held by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
* Duke of York, held by Prince Andrew
* Duke of Cambridge held by Prince William
* Duke of Sussex held by Prince Harry
* Duke of Gloucester, held by Prince Richard
* Duke of Kent, held by Prince Edward (who should not be confused with the Earl of Wessex)
With the exceptions of the dukedoms of Cornwall and Rothesay (which can only be held by the eldest son of the Sovereign), royal dukedoms are hereditary, according to the terms of the Letters Patent that created them, which usually contain the standard remainder to the “heirs male of his body”. The British monarch also holds and is entitled to the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster, and within the borders of the County Palatine of Lancashire is by tradition saluted as “The Duke of Lancaster”. Even when the monarch is a Queen regnant, she does not use the title of Duchess.

Forms of address

* Begin: My Lord Duke
* Address: His Grace the Duke of _____
* Speak to as: Your Grace (formal and employees), Duke (social)
* Ceremonial, formal, or legal title: The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince His Grace [forename], Duke of _____


A British or Irish Duke is entitled to a coronet (a silver-gilt circlet, chased as jewelled but not actually gemmed) bearing eight conventional strawberry leaves on the rim of the circlet. The physical coronet is worn only at coronations. Any peer can bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield.