[LMB] OT: monarchies and aristos

Andrew Barton andrew.157barton at btinternet.com
Sat Jul 5 16:34:01 BST 2014

On Fri, July 4, 2014 7:37 pm, T Neill wrote:
> I can't speak to the rest of the countries in your post but for England,
> Dukes aren't really offshoots of the Royal Family.

Tony Zbaraschuk:
> Depends on definitions.  Quite a few of the current dukedoms are descended
> from one of Charles II's offspring.  Not many of the older ducal lines
> survived the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor period.

Wikipedia lists six dukedoms as being created from Charles II's offspring, out of:
11 current Dukes of England,
7 of Scotland,
2 of Great Britain,
2 of Ireland,
10 of the United Kingdom.

New ducal titles are bestowed all the time for sons of royalty - the most recent example being Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.  Younger sons, such as Prince Andrew, Duke of York, may potentially have the title held by their descendants for many generations (probably not in the case of Prince Andrew who has only daughters and is not currently married).

It is also possible to get to the rank of Duke by either a single person, or successive generations of the same family, being given multiple promotions in the peerage until they get to the top level.  The most recent example seems to be the Grosvenors, who have been Dukes of Westminster since 1874.

The Dukes of Marlborough and Wellington were both peers of first creation and gained their ranks as a reward for military success.  Wellington is notable because he was made Baron, then got four successive steps in the peerage, each for a different major battle won - not including Waterloo.

John Howard was made Duke of Norfolk in 1483 without apparently having held any peerage previously, for his support of Richard III.  His descendants still hold the title, despite many reverses over the years caused by being Catholic.


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