Duke of Gloucester

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For the 1954 steam locomotive of the same name, see BR Standard Class 8.
Dukedom of Gloucester
Coat of Arms of Richard, Duke of Gloucester.svg
Creation date 31 March, 1928
Created by King George V
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Prince Henry
Present holder Prince Richard
Heir apparent Alexander Windsor,
Earl of Ulster
Remainder to the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Earl of Ulster
Baron Culloden

Duke of Gloucester /ˈɡlɒstə/ is a British royal title (after Gloucester), often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the Peerage of England, the next in the Peerage of Great Britain, and the last in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden.

The title was first conferred on Thomas of Woodstock, the thirteenth child of King Edward III. The title became extinct at his death, as it did upon the death of the duke of the second creation, Humphrey of Lancaster, fourth son of King Henry IV.

The title was next conferred on Richard Plantagenet, brother to King Edward IV. When Richard himself became king, the dukedom merged into the crown. After Richard's death, the title was considered ominous, since the first three such dukes had all died without issue to inherit their titles. The title was not awarded for over 150 years: the next to receive the dukedom was the son of King Charles I, Henry Stuart, upon whose death the title again became extinct.

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, son of the future Anne, Queen of Great Britain (Queen Anne), was styled "Duke of Gloucester" for his whole life (1689–1700), but was never formally created duke. Frederick, Prince of Wales, was styled "Duke of Gloucester" from 1718–1726, but was then created Duke of Edinburgh rather than of Gloucester.

The next creation was for the brother of King George III, Prince William Henry, the full title being "Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh".

The fifth and final creation was for Prince Henry, son of King George V. Upon Prince Henry's death, the dukedom was inherited by his son Prince Richard, who still holds the title. The heir to the title is Alexander Windsor, styled Earl of Ulster. The next in the line of succession is the Earl of Ulster's son Xan Windsor, known by his grandfather's third title of Lord Culloden. The royal dukedom will devolve into an ordinary one when it will be inherited by the Earl of Ulster; as a great-grandson of a sovereign he lacks any royal style.

HRH Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester


Dukes of Gloucester[edit]

First creation, 1385–1397[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Thomas of Woodstock
House of Plantagenet
also: Duke of Aumale (1385–1397), Earl of Essex (1376–1397), Earl of Buckingham (1377)
Thomas of Woodstock 7 January 1355
Woodstock Palace
son of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault
Eleanor de Bohun
5 children
8 September 1397
aged 42
Thomas of Woodstock's son died two years after his father, but never succeeded to his titles except that of Earl of Buckingham. At the time of Thomas's death, he was regarded as a traitor and thus, his titles were forfeit after his murder (except Earl of Buckingham). His son had no issue and his male line died out in 1399.

Second creation, 1414–1447[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Humphrey of Lancaster
House of Lancaster
also: Earl of Pembroke (1414)
Humphrey of Lancaster 3 October 1390
Lancaster Castle
son of Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
1422–1428 (annulled)
1 child (stillborn)

Eleanor de Cobham
1428–1441 (annulled)
2 children
23 February 1447
Bury St Edmunds
aged 56
Before marrying Humphrey, Eleanor de Cobham was his mistress. At the time of Humphrey's 1447 death, he had two children, Arthur and Antigone. However, both children were born before his marriage to Eleanor and were thus illegitimate and could not succeed to his titles.

Third creation, 1461–1483[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Richard Plantagenet
House of York
Richard Plantagenet 2 October 1452
Fotheringhay Castle
son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville
Anne Neville
1472–1485 (her death)
1 son
22 August 1485
Bosworth Field
aged 32
In 1483, Richard Plantagenet ascended to the throne as Richard III and his titles were merged with the crown. His only son and child died young.

Fourth creation, 1659–1660[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince Henry
House of Stuart
also: Earl of Cambridge (1659)
Prince Henry Stuart 8 July 1640
Oatlands Palace
son of Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France
Never married 18 September 1660
Palace of Whitehall
aged 20
Prince Henry died of smallpox one year after his creation, unmarried and childless, at which point his titles became extinct.

only styled[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince William
House of Oldenburg
Prince William of Denmark 24 July 1689
Hampton Court Palace
son of Prince George of Denmark and Anne Stuart (later Queen Anne)
Never married 30 July 1700
Windsor Castle
aged 11
Prince William lived and died before his mother's accession as Queen. Although styled Duke of Gloucester from birth, he died before he could be formally created as such.
Prince Frederick
House of Hanover
Prince Frederick of Great Britain 1 February 1707
Electorate of Hanover
son of Electoral Prince George of Hanover and Caroline of Ansbach
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
9 children
20 March 1751
Leicester House
aged 44
Prince Frederick was styled Duke of Gloucester between 1718 and 1726, after which he was created Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales.

Dukes of Gloucester and Edinburgh[edit]

After the Union of Great Britain, the Hanoverian kings liked to grant double titles (one from one constituent country, one from another) to emphasise unity.

Only creation, 1764–1834[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince William Henry
House of Hanover
also: Earl of Connaught (1764)
Prince William Henry of Wales 25 November 1743
Leicester House
son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Maria Walpole
3 children
25 August 1805
Gloucester House
aged 61
Prince William Frederick
House of Hanover
also: Earl of Connaught (1805)
Prince William Frederick of Gloucester and Edniburgh 15 January 1776
Teodoli Palace
son of Prince William Henry and Maria Walpole
Princess Mary of the United Kingdom
no children
30 November 1834
Bagshot Park
aged 58
Prince William Frederick and Princess Mary had no children and all his titles became extinct on his death.

Dukes of Gloucester[edit]

Fifth creation, 1928–present[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince Henry
House of Windsor
also: Earl of Ulster, Baron Culloden (1928)
Prince Henry of York 31 March 1900
York Cottage
son of George, Duke of York and Mary of Teck (later George V and Queen Mary)
Alice Montagu Douglas Scott
2 sons
10 June 1974
Barnwell Manor
aged 74
Prince Richard
House of Windsor
also: Earl of Ulster, Baron Culloden (1928)
Prince Richard of Gloucester 26 August 1944
Hadley Common
son of Prince Henry and Princess Alice
Birgitte van Deurs
3 children
now 69 years, 334 days old
Line of succession[edit]
  1. Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (b. 1974), Prince Richard's only son
  2. Xan Windsor, Lord Culloden (b. 2007), Lord Ulster's only son

See also[edit]

External links[edit]