David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort

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His Grace
The Duke of Beaufort
11th Duke of Beaufort.jpg
The Duke photographed by Allan Warren
Member of the House of Lords
In office
5 February 1984 – 11 November 1999
Preceded by Henry Somerset, 10th Duke of Beaufort
Succeeded by House of Lords Act 1999
Personal details
Born (1928-02-23) 23 February 1928 (age 89)
Spouse(s) Lady Caroline Jane Thynne
(m. 1950; d. 1995)

Miranda Elisabeth née Morley
(m. 2000)
Children Henry John FitzRoy Somerset, Marquess of Worcester
Lady Anne Mary Somerset
Lord Edward Alexander Somerset
Lord John Robert Somerset
Parents Henry Robert Somers Fitzroy de Vere Somerset
Bettine Violet née Malcolm

David Robert Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort (born 23 February 1928), known as Mr David Somerset until 1984, is a British peer.

Early life[edit]

He is the son of Henry Robert Somers Fitzroy de Vere Somerset and Bettine Violet Malcolm and 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 descend in the male line from Edward III of England; the first Somerset was a legitimized son of Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, whose grandfather was a legitimized son of John of Gaunt. He therefore must be the senior representative of the House of Plantagenet, through a legitimized line.

He is a sixth cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth II, through their common ancestor William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire.

Military career[edit]

The Duke of Beaufort
Born (1928-02-23)23 February 1928
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1946–
Service number 370772

He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards on 6 September 1946 as a second lieutenant.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 January 1949.[2]


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.

River Tawe footbridge[edit]

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."[3]


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.[4]

They had four children:

The Duke married, secondly, Miranda Elisabeth Morley (born 1947), on 2 June 2000. She is a daughter of Brigadier General Michael Frederick Morley. The Duke was nominated to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1988.[6]


Titles, styles and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 23 February 1928 - 5 February 1984: Mr David Somerset
  • 5 February 1984 - present: His Grace The Duke of Beaufort



External links[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Somerset
Duke of Beaufort
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
His Grace The Duke of Grafton
Gentlemen Succeeded by
His Grace The Duke of St Albans