Baron Carrickfergus is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, referring to Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Its current holder, since its creation on 29 April 2011, is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who was granted the title as a personal gift, by Queen Elizabeth II, on the day of his marriage to Catherine Middleton. On the same day he was also created Duke of Cambridge and Earl of Strathearn, with his bride becoming Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge as well as Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus as a result of the marriage. Traditionally, when male members of the British royal family marry, they are granted at least one peerage.
History of title and town
A barony, referring to Carrickfergus, had previously existed between 1841 and 1883. In 1841, George Chichester, 3rd Marquess of Donegall, was created by Queen Victoria as Baron Ennishowen and Carrickfergus, of Ennishowen, in the County of Donegal, and Carrickfergus, in the County of Antrim, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. When he died in 1883, the Barony of Ennishowen and Carrickfergus became extinct; the Marquessate of Donegall was inherited by his brother, Lord Edward Chichester.
Carrickfergus is the oldest town in County Antrim. It has been a major port and town in the Province of Ulster for centuries. Its name translated from Irish means 'Rock of Fergus', and it is an older settlement than the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Carrickfergus's main feature is Carrickfergus Castle, on the north shore of the Belfast Lough, which was built around 1180 by John de Courcy.
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- "Kate and William become Duke and Duchess of Cambridge". BBC 29 April 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
By becoming Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus, the royal couple will be linked to County Antrim's oldest town...
- "Media pack for the birth of the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge" (PDF). Kensington Palace. July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
On the occasion of his marriage, The Queen conferred a Dukedom on Prince William of Wales. The Duke received the titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. As a result Miss Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus.
- Rayner, Gordon (2 August 2013). "Duchess Kate: Princess of the United Kingdom (but you can call me mummy)". The Daily Telegraph.
Although she has never used the name, the Duchess is entitled to refer to herself as Princess William of Wales, as well as being Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus.
- "Letter of thanks from royal couple". Carrick Times. 16 September 2013. Archived from the original on 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
The letter from the Duchess' private secretary continued: 'Thank you also so very much for inviting Lord and Lady Carrickfergus to visit your beautiful borough.'
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- "Whitehall, August 11, 1841". The London Gazette. 20007. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 13 August 1841. p. 2072. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Marquess of Donegall". Cracrofts Peerage. Heraldic Media Limited. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
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- "Titles announced for Prince William and Catherine Middleton". The Royal Wedding: Prince William & Catherine Middleton. Clarence House. 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- DeBreffny, D. (1977). Castles of Ireland. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 104–105.