David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort
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The Duke of Beaufort
The Duke photographed by Allan Warren
|Member of the House of Lords|
5 February 1984 – 11 November 1999
|Preceded by||Henry Somerset, 10th Duke of Beaufort|
|Succeeded by||House of Lords Act 1999|
|Born||David Robert Somerset
23 February 1928
|Died||16 August 2017
Badminton, Gloucestershire, U.K.
|Spouse(s)||Lady Caroline Jane Thynne
(m. 1950; d. 1995)
Miranda Elisabeth née Morley
|Children||Henry Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort
Lady Anne Mary Somerset
Lord Edward Alexander Somerset
Lord John Robert Somerset
|Parents||Henry Robert Somers Fitzroy de Vere Somerset
Bettine Violet née Malcolm
|Years of service||1946–?|
He was educated at Eton College. His father was the grandson of Lord Henry Somerset, second son of the 8th Duke of Beaufort, and the temperance activist Lady Isabella Somers-Cocks. He and his family descended in the male line from Edward III of England; the first Somerset was a legitimised son of Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, whose grandfather was a legitimized son of John of Gaunt. He was therefore considered to be the senior representative of the House of Plantagenet, through a legitimised line.
He held the office of Hereditary Keeper of Raglan Castle, was President of the British Horse Society between 1988 and 1990, and was chairman of Marlborough Fine Art. He ranked 581st in the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, with an estimated wealth of £135m in land. The Duke was nominated to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1988.
River Tawe footbridge
The Duke was criticised in January 2009 when a Swansea councillor, Ioan Richard, discovered via the Freedom of Information Act that the duke had been paid £281,431 for a 70 ft bridge to be built over the River Tawe near Swansea. The dukedom was granted the ownership of the river bed 400 years ago, so when the local council wanted to build a bridge linking a shopping centre to the Liberty Stadium, home of Swansea City football club and the Ospreys rugby team, the council had to pay the duke for the right to build it. Richard stated that he was "furious that public money had to be used to pay one of Britain's richest estates. For centuries Swansea folk have paid rents to the Duke of Beaufort and we don't owe this powerful and wealthy family anything." A spokesman for the duke's estate at Badminton House responded: "We do not want to comment about a private transaction."
He married, firstly, Lady Caroline Jane Thynne (28 August 1928 – 22 April 1995), daughter of Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath, on 5 July 1950. The marriage took place at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, in the presence of the King and Queen and members of the royal family.
They had four children:
- Henry John FitzRoy Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort (b. 22 May 1952), married Tracy Louise Ward (a granddaughter of the 3rd Earl of Dudley, former actress and environmental activist) and has issue, two sons and one daughter.
- Robert Somerset, styled Marquess of Worcester (b. 1989)
- Lady Isabella Somerset
- Lord Alexander Somerset
- Lady Anne Mary Somerset (b. 21 January 1955), historian, married Matthew Carr (deceased) and has issue, one daughter.
- Lord Edward Alexander Somerset (b. 1 May 1958). He married in 1982 the Hon. (Georgiana) Caroline Davidson (2nd daughter of John Davidson, 2nd Viscount Davidson) and is reported as divorcing her after he was jailed. They have issue:
- Francesca Somerset
- Rose Somerset
- Lord John Robert Somerset (b. 5 November 1964) also known as Lord Johnson Somerset, married to (now divorced from) Lady Cosima Vane-Tempest-Stewart (daughter of Alexander Charles Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 9th Marquess of Londonderry), and has issue.
- Lyle Somerset
- Romy Somerset
The Duke married, secondly, Miranda Elisabeth Morley (born 1947), on 2 June 2000. She is a daughter of Brigadier General Michael Frederick Morley.
|Ancestors of David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort|
Titles, styles and arms
Titles and styles
- 23 February 1928 - 5 February 1984: Mr David Somerset
- 5 February 1984 - 16 August 2017: His Grace The Duke of Beaufort
- "No. 37753". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 October 1946. p. 5028.
- "No. 38618". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 May 1949. p. 2554.
- Vanity Fair Archived 1 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Duke gets £280,000 of public funds for bridge over his river
- "David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort dies, aged 89". BBC. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Their Majesties at society wedding 1950". British Pathe.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Beaufort
- David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort
|Peerage of England|
|Duke of Beaufort