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There is no "Duke of Lancaster", the Queen holds the DUCHY of Lancaster but not the dukedom - the Sovereign is the fount of honour and can't hold any peerage as s/he can't hold an honour from his/herself. Removed error. (unsigned)

The Duchy of Lancaster itself cites the Queen as being the current Duke of Lancaster [1] Apoliheres (talk) 15:20, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

The Duchy of Lancaster is held separately from the Crown, as it has since the time of Henry Bolingbroke. Several sovereigns have reinforced that separation to ensure that the person of the Duke, rather than parliament or the Exchequer, benfitted from the income of the Duchy. In my own village, a manor that was established in the Honour of Pontefract, which in time became a constituent part of the Duchy of Lancaster, the manor was held by the Lord of the Manor as a tenant of the Duchy. The sovereign owned lands directly here by right as the Duke of Lancaster, and held other land here by right of the Crown. Then there was also some land held by the Savoy Hospital (created by Henry VII as Duke of Lancaster), given by Mary I (as Duke of Lancaster) to the hospital, which is a constituent part of the Duchy of Lancaster. The present Queen is indeed the Duke of Lancaster.Moonraker55 (talk) 20:52, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

The last section of the introduction concerning Queen Elizabeth II needs amending. She is not Duke of Normandy (this was renounced by the King of England under the Treaty of Paris (1259). She is still referred to as 'notre Duc' in the Channle Islands but that is not a claim on the Duchy. Also, all of the Queen's predecessors as Queen in England, since the reign of Edward III, have been known as Duke in relation to the Duchy of Lancaster. Moonraker55 (talk) 21:42, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

The Queen is known as Duke of Lancaster outside of Lancashire as well! The Duchy of Lancaster is not the county, it has large holdings all over the place, many of them in Yorkshire and also in London.Moonraker55 (talk) 21:44, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Is it me or does the first line seem very similar[edit]

to the Webster entry for duke, which is copyrighted material? Kent Wang 07:35, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

"These (royal dukedoms) remain in the royal family and are not inherited beyond the second generation"[edit]

This is not exactly correct. Dukedoms given to members of the British Royal Family ARE inherited beyond the second generation - all dukedoms that have been given to members of the royal family go for an unlimited number of generations. Just think of the dukedom of Connaught and Strathearn which became extinct with the 2d duke, who was the grandson of the 1st Duke; or of the dukedom of Cumberland and Teviotdale, whose third duke - also a member of the third generation - was deprived from it because he was German. Likewise, The Earl of Ulster, will inherit the Dukedom of Gloucester as member of the third generation. The Earl of St. Andrews, a member of the third generation, will inherit the dukedom of Kent, and he in turn will be succeeded by his son Baron Downpatrick, of the 4th generation. What is true, is that the dukes of the third generation will not be Princes and Royal Highnesses - but this has nothing to do with the dukedoms, but with an entirely different letters patent, which granted the title Prince to the children and male-line grandchildren of monarchs (and I believe also to the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales). Exceptions are the dukedom of Cornwall and Rothesay, which are only granted to the eldest son of the sovereign and which are not inherited by his son (So if Charles, who is Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, dies before his mother, Prince William will not become Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay). Erwin 11:44 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

just remove the error. Royal dukedoms don't remain within the royal family (if enough heirs are produced) as the holders will no longer be entitled to the HRH, and though they often die out by the second generation that's circumstance, not an intrinsic limitation. -- Someone else 11:54 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)
That's exactly what I meant (but shorter). Sorry that I didn't change it myself, I'm new to Wikipedia, so I haven't got used yet to the idea that I can just change other people's pages on the internet without asking or giving an explanation. I've also taken the liberty of explaining the situation in Belgium, Spain and Sweden. Erwin 14:56 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I removed the following text from this article: " Tradtionally British dukedoms can only be males, however recently it has been decided that if HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York doesn't have a son on his death his elder daughter Princess Beatrice of York become Duchess of York in her own right." This incorrect information was added by IP address on 24 November 2003.

In the United Kingdom, the remainder of peerages are always determined by the Letters Patent that create them.[edit]

This is a frequent topic on the newsgroup It is also discussed in that group's FAQ on British Royalty and Noble Families. Queen Elizabeth II's 23 July 1986 Letters Patent creating the dukedom of York, the earldom of Inverness, and the barony of Killyeah in favor HRH The Prince Andrew contained the standard remainder, "heirs male of his body." This means that only a legitimate son of the Duke of York could succeed to these peerages. Unless the Duke of York remarries and has a son, his peerages (or rather, the 1986 creation of them) will revert to the Crown upon his death. HRH Princess Beatrice of York could not succeed to the 1986 creation of the dukedom of York anymore than HRH The Earl of Wessex could succeed to the 1947 creation of the dukedom of Edinburgh (contary to what appears on the official website of the British Monarchy).

But the letters patent, the common law, statutes and secondary legislation were all overridden by the new Human Rights Act, which asserts the right of sexual equality. Even before that, the UK's commitment to the European Human Rights agenda meant that sexual inequality could be challenged in the ECHR (not an EU court, by the way); but now sexual inequality can be challenged in the UK courts too. So Pss. Beatrice would be perfectly within her rights to adopt the dukedom on her father's decease, and would be able successfully to defeat a challenge in the courts. (A similar effect of the Act has caused the abolition of the death penalty in the few remaining instances : arson in a naval dockyard, high treason, etc.) OrangUtanUK 15:32, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
While dukedoms in the peerages of England, Scotland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom have traditionally been bestowed upon and succeeded to by males, there have been two instances in the past 200 years were women were duchesses in their own right. First, Queen Victoria created, Celia Underwood, the wife of her uncle, the Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, Duchess of Inverness in her own right on 5 April 1840. When the Duchess of Inverness died in 1873, her title became extinct. Second, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, the elder daughter of Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, succeeded to the dukedom of Fife and earldom of MacDuff in her own right in 1912. This only happened because in 1900, Queen Victoria bestowed a second dukedom in the peerage of the United Kingdom on Alexander Duff that allowed the first duke's daughters and their male descendants to succeed to his titles in default of a son. Jeff 26 November 2003

"anymore than HRH The Earl of Wessex could succeed to the 1947 creation of the dukedom of Edinburgh (contary to what appears on the official website of the British Monarchy)." I don't think that the Royal website makes any such claim. It merely points out that the Earl of Wessex will be created Duke of Edinburgh on the death of his father, which is not the same thing as inheriting the title directly from his father. The Queen made this decision as it is her right so to do. There are few instances of adult male children of the reigning monarch who are not eventually created as Duke from one of the many Royal Dukedom titles that have been used over the past couple of hundred years. Moonraker55 (talk) 21:02, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Chinese duke[edit]

Confucius and some other articles use the word "duke" in a Chinese context. This is a very common translation, but it very much misleads. It makes no sense to assume that the Chinese title that is often translated as "duke" is so similar to the English title as to warrant such links. What is needed is an article each on the actual ranks in each system, and notes within each that they have parallels, such as, a duke being just below a prince or successor to the role of king, queen or emperor, and probably not a successor. -- 142

Hardly any translation of ancient Chinese culture is "correct". Are princesses of China really like those of Europe? Are the princes? The queens? The eunuch? But those are long-established translations. Without them, half of Sinological literature would be inaccessible romanization. --Menchi 07:36, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Incidentally, UK Dukes have precendence before princes. A prince is raised to a dukedom. OrangUtanUK 15:35, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

UK Dukes do not have precedence before Princes. The order of precedence is dependent on many factors. One of these is the 'rank' in the order of sucession - well that, until recently, ruled out many Dukes and Princes and therefore left people without titles above them in that particular order of precedence. The current Earl of Wessex, is given higher precedence than say the Duke of Kent, as the Earl is the son of the sovereign, whereas the Duke is merely an grandson of one. The Duke of Cornwall's precedence comes because he is the eldest son of the sovereign not because he is Duke. He was created Duke soon after his birth but he was a Prince at the very moment of birth, as the son of the sovereign, and ranked as 'Royal Highness'. All these things are in the gift of the sovereign, which is why the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, outranks them all, except the Queen, although nominally without the express wish of the Queen, he would not be. The non-Royal Dukes rank after their Royal counterparts, and mostly after any 'Royal Highness'. The idea that a Prince is 'raised' to a Dukedom has no bearing on his status and rank - he remains an HRH (unless he renounces it or is otherwise disqualified) and a Prince of the Blood Royal - that is his rank. The rest are titles. However, in the complications of precedence then in certain situations a whole range of people will 'outrank' Princes and Dukes (except the Sovereign and the immediate heir to the throne (and during his lifetime exceptionally the Duke of Edinburgh), including the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Lord Chancellor, The Speaker of the House of Commons and the Mayors and Lord Mayors within their town or city limits.Moonraker55 (talk) 21:59, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I came here looking for an explanation of duke as found at [[1]]. This could be explained here or in a separate page. Wakablogger2 (talk) 20:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


appears before Charlemagne in the Latin history of the Lombards, I believe. Wetman 07:34, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It appears in the history of Roman Britain too. See below. Moonraker55 (talk) 22:00, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Duke collage![edit]

"Dux" in Anglo-Saxon time[edit]

  • "There were no Anglo-Saxon dukes;"
  • "The Black Prince was created Duke of Cornwall in 1337. He was the first Duke in England."

SIGERED DVX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM was apparrently the latin title of Sigered of Essex after Mercia reduced his rank from King of Essex (SIGERED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM). I would have though this would translate as "Sigered, Duke of the East Saxons" but this would appear to be incorrect based on the extracts above. Anyone got any ideas as to what we would call his later title in modern english? MrWeeble 14:07, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

While I'm no expert on Essex, it's wortwhile taking into account two things: 1° the Latin Dux must not mean Duke (that always translates as Dux, not vice versa), it may simply mean a military commander or vague -e.g. 'tribal'- leader, both conceivable for the former last King within the victor's wider kingdom; some use unauthentical 'descriptive' terms like Subking, but there simply seems to be no 'correct' term, especially if this is -quite plausible- a temporary arrangement for an individual, not the incumbent of a duchy; 2° 'in England' may be taken to mean post-Hastings as before the Anglo-Saxon system never quite produced a permanently unified kingdom known as England, rather a succession of Overlords (see Bretwalda) more 'in' then 'of' England. Fastifex 13:00, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree that there were no Dukes in Anglo-Saxon England but whereas the Black Prince was the first English Duke to be created, there was a much earlier precedent for the title of Duke in these islands. The Notitia Dignitatum an important set of documents surviving from the late Roman period was a list of the titles and their staffs and resources for the ranking administrators and military commanders throughout the Empire. For Britain, this was the very end of the Romano-British period, but whereas in the south you could find the Comes litoris Saxonici per Count of the Saxon Shore, in the north, especially centred upon Yorkshire, there was a military commander whose title was Dux Brittaniarum (Duke of the Britains). He commanded fourteen various military units which are listed with their named bases, such as the Praefectus equitum Crispanorum (commanding mounted troops)based at Dano {Danum} Doncaster. The writ of the Duke covered what we would later recognise as the traditional counties of Yorkshire (all the modern counties and districts), Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland (Cumbria) and Westmoreland (Cumbria).Moonraker55 (talk) 21:28, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Anne of Brittany[edit]

In the "Territory of Today's France" section, it states that "Other duchies of note include... Duke of Brittany (considered a sovereign state until personal union with France, by the marriage of Anne of Brittany with French King Francis I)."

However, clicking on the link to the article on Anne of Brittany reveals she did not marry Francis I, but the French kings Charles VIII and Louis XII. I would correct this in the former article, but instead feel it should be done by someone who may be more knowledgeable in the historical facts. Thanks for reading. Raphael S.

Good point- about to be fixed in the article Fastifex 13:11, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Spanish dukes[edit]

I believe the awfully long list of Spanish dukes from the article which I reproduce below would be better off forked into its own article. Also, this article would need some reorganization and tightening, it is too big and messy now. Here's the awful list in the article now. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Although length as such should NOT by a criterion (if properly structured, one can easily navigate around- what is still messy?) thes ensible rule for this kind of articles on common titles is to list only specific cases of some importance and/or peculiarity. Obviously the long Spanish list, containing almost no cases of note for non-Spaniards, qualifies, BUT before exporting it to some List of Spanish Ducal titles (in fact most are no true duchies, just titular), the list must FIRST be weeded, for it contains several types of titles in Spanish that are NOT in chief of a place in Spain; I group below some cases I think I can spot on sight (followed by some bonafide Spanish Dukes, and even utterly pointless Spanish translations), for which Spanish titles usually appear in sources because personal unions lead to the Spanish crown awarding them in its other realms and overseas territories, but most likely there are more, as many names don't ring a bell with me - so please keep plucking from the original list until its completely sorted before actually exporting the Spanish titles; we'll see after sorting what is best to do with the other titles, each may fit in another section or page or require one or more other lists of some length. Fastifex 12:49, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Colonial titles[edit]

Italian titles[edit]

Low Countries[edit]

Portuguese titles[edit]

Victory titles[edit]

Actual SPANISH titles[edit]

According to the Spanish Wikipedia, Duque is the highest non-royal title in Spain, and all incumbents are Grandees of Spain, while in the lower classes only a minority has that distinction. The following are places in Spain

ABSURDly translated titles: abroad, not under the Spanish crown[edit]

Obviously corrections, if needed (e.g. there may be less-known homonyms in Spain, or victory titles after less famous battles- please provide some link in such cases), are welcome. Contributors to the sorting ABOVE are invited to sign below Fastifex 12:49, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

How about keeping only the ones you are sure about, and deleting and exporting to a standalone list the other ones? Having a long list, and full of redlinks, is, in my opinion a poor thing. The only purpose of having such a list would be for your to use the "page down" key several times to scroll to more interesting material down the article. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:37, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

This needs a lot of work.[edit]

Useful sources might be [2], which lists Grandees of Spain (many of them Dukes), and [3] which also lists Dukes. I think this site does a good job of keeping the Neapolitan and Bonapartist titles out of the mix. I agree that this material most certainly ought not be on this page. That said, that doesn't mean that the list isn't interesting in and of itself - there are those of us who are interested in such things. john k 20:24, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Distinction between "royal" and "garden" dukes in the UK[edit]

Is "garden" duke the actual name for dukes not styled "HRH"? In duchies in the United Kingdom, we are two told that there are only two duchies in existence, yet the UK is littered with dukes. Do these dukes not have duchies? Some greater elaboration would be helpful. Fishhead64 18:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

UK dukes[edit]

As there are only now 26 (?), it could be helpful to list them.

Big split[edit]

I've split off most of the content into separate articles. I had to; the article was much too large, and had too much detail, including attempts it seems to list every ducal title defunct and extant. It still needs work. m.e. 13:56, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Duke University[edit]

An italic should be added at the top of the page which has a link to Duke University:

For the North Carolina research university, see Duke University. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC).

There's already a link to the Duke disambiguation page; there's no need for a separate dablink for just one of the articles there. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 08:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


Under The Modern Age it says that Ireland has dukes. I have chnaged this to North Ireland, due to the Republic of Ireland does not uses titles. Refer to Constitution of Ireland, Prohibition on titles of nobility: The state may not confer titles of nobility and no citizen may accept such a title without the permission of the Government (in practice this is usually a mere formality) (Article 40.1). —Preceding unsigned comment added by AdmRiley (talkcontribs) 18:44, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The text was referring not to states but to peerages, and there's no such thing as the Peerage of Northern Ireland – for historical reasons it's the Peerage of Ireland, regardless of current political geography. I changed the text to make it clearer that this is what is intended. -- Jao (talk) 15:27, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Please refer to the title it is listed as Modern Age and where is says Currently. Theses two terms are misleading due to it is in the past not modern times. I would recommend that the title is changed to something like The 19th century and the word currently is removed and changed to a past tense word. AdmRiley (talk) 15:01, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
No, it's not just in the past. There are still two dukes in the Peerage of Ireland (the Duke of Leinster and the Duke of Abercorn). It's just that the Peerage of Ireland has nothing to do with Ireland (the republic). I can see how the text could be seen as unclear on that point before my revision, but hardly after it. -- Jao (talk) 15:15, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


I have edited the section about Italy, Germany and Austria. It said: "It must be noted that in contrast to countries such as France, United Kingdom and Spain, the title of duke was not the highest one for a family not belonging to the Royal one in these three countries: the highest title was in fact prince ("principe" in Italy and "Fürst" in Germany and Austria)." This is wrong, and hence I changed it. Firstly, "prince" has two translations in German, the "Prinz" as in member of a royal family and the "Fürst" as in ruler of a principality ("Fürstentum"). However, in the Holy Roman Empire, Dukes were a princely (fürstlich) rank. Dukes, Margraves, Landgraves, plain old Princes and Princely Counts ("Gefürstete Grafen") were all Princes of the Empire, standing a station higher than the Counts. And among the Princes, "Duke" was indeed the highest title, and hence also the highest noble (non-royal) title in the Empire. Well, there were the Prince-Electros, but officially that was an office and all Prince-Electors were Dukes, Margraves or Prince-Bishops, too.

Just in case somebody wondered why its been changed it.

It depends, a member of a royal family could be called "Prinz" which actually is higher dan a non-royal duke. Just look to the styles they used: His Royal Highness for a royal German Prince and His Ducal Serene Highness for a non-royal reigning duke and His Highness for a non-royal non-reigning duke. Both last two examples are lower ranking than the first example. By-the-way, junior princes were styled His Highness or non-royal princes His Serene Highness (not perfect translation), both are lower ranking than the style of a reigning duke ;-) Demophon (talk) 09:17, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


a duke wears head to toe dresses prefertably white or black they even some times wore coifs —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

The intro is wrong[edit]

The first paragraph already contains errors. Firstly Dukes were originally rulers, not nobles - but almost all ducal titles that are still extant are noble titles now so I suppose you can let that slide. But the intro then goes on to say they control a duchy when noble dukes actually have a dukedom. A Duke would hold a duchy if they were sovereign or vestigially semi-sovereign (i.e. Duke of Normandy/Lancaster/Cornwall), not noble dukes. HansNZL (talk) 11:04, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Belgian Ranks[edit]

Does a non-royal prince rank higher than a duke in the Belgian nobility ? (talk) 12:05, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Dukedom/duchy distinction[edit]

The dukedom/duchy distinction is not supported by sources. (talk) 13:35, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Baron which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 08:29, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Duke, Chancellor and the Officers". Duchy of Lancaster. Retrieved 12th January 2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)