Duke of Cambridge

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Dukedom of Cambridge
Coat of Arms of William, Duke of Cambridge.svg
Creation date29 April 2011 (announced)[1]
26 May 2011 (Letters Patent)[2]
CreationFifth
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
Present holderPrince William
Heir apparentPrince George
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten[2]
Subsidiary titlesEarl of Strathearn
Baron Carrickfergus
StatusExtant
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Duke of Cambridge, one of the eight current royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom as of 2021, is a hereditary title of specific rank of nobility in the British royal family. The title (named after the city[3] of Cambridge in England) is heritable by male descendants by primogeniture, and has been conferred upon members of the British royal family several times. The wife of the titleholder bears the title Duchess of Cambridge.

The title of Duke of Cambridge, first created in 1660, superseded an earlier title of Earl of Cambridge. The title became extinct several times before being revived in 2011, when Queen Elizabeth II bestowed it on her grandson Prince William on 29 April 2011 upon his marriage to Catherine Middleton.

History[edit]

The title was first granted in 1660 by King Charles II (immediately following the Restoration of the Monarchy) to his infant eldest nephew Charles Stuart (1660–1661), the first son of the Duke of York (later King James II), though he was never formally created Duke of Cambridge as he died at the age of six months. The first officially recognised creation of the dukedom was in the Peerage of England in 1664, when King Charles II granted the title to his next eldest surviving nephew James Stuart, the infant second son of the Duke of York, who died early in 1667 at the age of three, when the title again became extinct. The title was then granted later that year by King Charles II to his next eldest surviving nephew Edgar Stuart, the third son of the Duke of York, who also died in infancy, in 1671 at the age of three, when the title became extinct the third time. The Duke of York's 4th son Charles (his eldest son by his second wife) was also styled Duke of Cambridge in 1677, but died when about a month old, not having lived long enough to be formally created duke.

The title was recreated by Queen Anne in 1706 who granted it to George Augustus (later King George II), son of the Elector of Hanover (later King George I), her distant cousin (both being descended from King James I). When the title was created George Augustus was third in line to the throne, after his grandmother Sophia and his father. When he ascended to the throne as King George II in 1727, the dukedom merged with the crown.[1]

The title was again recreated in the peerage of the United Kingdom and was granted in 1801 by King George III to his seventh son Prince Adolphus (1774-1850), then aged 27.[4] Following his death in 1850 the title was inherited by his only son Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, whose three sons were barred from inheriting the title as his marriage had been in violation of the Royal Marriages Act 1772. Thus on the death of the 2nd Duke in 1904 the title again became extinct.[5]

During the period leading up to the 1999 wedding of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, experts speculated that the Dukedom of Cambridge or Sussex were the most likely to be granted to him, and The Sunday Telegraph later reported that Prince Edward was at one point set to be titled Duke of Cambridge.[6] Instead, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, and it was announced that he would eventually be created the next Duke of Edinburgh after his father.[7]

On 29 April 2011, the day of his wedding, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had created her grandson Prince William as Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus,[1] titles relating respectively to the ancient kingdoms of England, Scotland and to the region of Northern Ireland, all within the United Kingdom.

The letters patent granting these titles received the great seal on 26 May 2011.[2] They were illuminated by Andrew Stewart Jamieson.[8]

Dukes of Cambridge[edit]

Styled, 1660[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles Stuart
House of Stuart
1660–1661
22 October 1660
Worcester House, London
son of King James II and Anne Hyde
not married 5 May 1661
Whitehall Palace, London
aged 6 months

First creation, 1664[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
James Stuart
House of Stuart
1664–1667
also: Earl of Cambridge and Baron of Dauntsey (1664)
James Stuart 12 July 1663
St James's Palace, London
son of King James II and Anne Hyde
not married 20 June 1667
Richmond Palace, London
aged 3

Second creation, 1667[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Edgar Stuart
House of Stuart
1667–1671
also: Earl of Cambridge and Baron of Dauntsey (1667)
14 September 1667
St James's Palace, London
son of King James II and Anne Hyde
not married 8 June 1671
Richmond Palace, London
aged 3

Styled, 1677[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles Stuart
House of Stuart
1677–1677
7 November 1677
St James's Palace, London
son of King James II and Mary of Modena
not married 12 December 1677
St James's Palace, London
aged 35 days

Third creation, 1706[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince George
House of Hanover
1706–1727
also: Marquess of Cambridge, Earl of Milford Haven, Viscount Northallerton and Baron Tewkesbury (1706–1727);
Prince of Wales (1714), Duke of Cornwall (1337) and Duke of Rothesay (1398)
Prince George Augustus 30 October / 9 November 1683O.S./N.S.
Herrenhausen, Hanover
son of King George I and Sophia Dorothea of Celle
22 August 1705
Caroline of Ansbach
10 children
25 October 1760
Kensington Palace, London
aged 76
Prince George succeeded as George II in 1727 upon his father's death, and his titles merged with the crown.

Fourth creation, 1801[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince Adolphus
House of Hanover
1801–1850
also: Earl of Tipperary and Baron Culloden (1801)
Prince Adolphus 24 February 1774
Buckingham Palace, London
son of King George III and Queen Charlotte
18 June 1818
Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel
3 children
8 July 1850
Cambridge House, London
aged 76
Prince George
House of Hanover
1850–1904
also: Earl of Tipperary and Baron Culloden (1801)
Prince George 26 March 1819
Cambridge House, Hanover
son of Prince Adolphus and Princess Augusta
8 January 1847
Sarah Fairbrother
3 children
17 March 1904
London
aged 84
Prince George's marriage to Sarah Fairbrother produced three sons. However, due to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, the marriage was invalid and all his titles became extinct on his death.

Fifth creation, 2011[edit]

Duke Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Prince William
House of Windsor
2011–present
also: Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus (2011)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.jpg 21 June 1982
St Mary's Hospital, London
eldest son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
29 April 2011
Catherine Middleton
3 children
Current Age 39

Future dukes[edit]

If Prince William dies before becoming king, then his sons are eligible to inherit the dukedom:

  1. Prince George of Cambridge (born 2013)
  2. Prince Louis of Cambridge (born 2018)

If Prince William becomes king, his titles, including the dukedom, will merge with the crown.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Announcement of Titles: Statement issued by the press secretary to The Queen". The Royal Household. 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "No. 59798". The London Gazette. 1 June 2011. p. 10297.
  3. ^ "The city of Cambridge – Modern history | A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3: The City and University of Cambridge (1959)". 1959. pp. 15–29. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  4. ^ "No. 15429". The London Gazette. 21 November 1801. p. 1403.
  5. ^ Tim Ross (16 November 2010). "Could William and Kate be the next Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  6. ^ Richard Eden (12 December 2010). "Royal wedding: Prince William asks the Queen not to make him a duke". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  7. ^ "The Earl of Wessex-Styles and Titles". The Royal Household. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ "An original Jamieson for a Royal Prince". The Grand Armorial Registry. Retrieved 4 August 2019.