Duke of Sussex

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Dukedom of Sussex
Coat of Arms of Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.svg
Creation date 27 November 1801
Monarch George III
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
Last holder Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
Remainder to the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Earl of Inverness
Baron Arklow
Extinction date 21 April 1843

Duke of Sussex was a substantive title, one of several royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom. Once used at the British court it takes its name from the historic county of Sussex in England. It was conferred on 24 November 1801 upon Prince Augustus Frederick,[1] the sixth son of King George III. He was made Baron Arklow and Earl of Inverness, at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Early history[edit]

A title associated with Sussex first appeared with the Kingdom of Sussex, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom that was annexed by the Kingdom of Wessex around 827[2] and that later became part of the Kingdom of England. In charters, Sussex's monarchs were sometimes referred to as ealdormen, or Dux in Latin, which is sometimes translated as 'duke'.

Duke of Sussex (First creation)[edit]

The title of Duke of Sussex was conferred upon Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III on 24 November 1801.[3] Prince Augustus Frederick married Lady Augusta Murray at St George's, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1793 and then, Lady Cecilia Gore at Great Cumberland Place, London, on 2 May 1831. Both marriages were in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, meaning that the couple's children were illegitimate. Not being the Prince's legitimate wife, Lady Cecilia could not be received at court. She was eventually (on 30 March 1840) given the title of Duchess of Inverness in her own right by Queen Victoria.[4] Since Augustus Frederick had no legitimate issue, his titles became extinct on his death in 1843.

Speculation about second creation of title[edit]

In 1999, during the time leading up to the wedding of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, experts had suggested the Dukedom of Sussex or Cambridge as the most likely title to be granted to him. Instead, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, and it was announced that he would eventually be created Duke of Edinburgh, a title currently held by his father, Prince Philip.[5] There was again speculation that Prince William of Wales might be given the Sussex title on his wedding to Catherine Middleton in April 2011,[6] but he was instead created Duke of Cambridge. In the same year, it was reported that Prince Henry of Wales had been promised the title on the day of his wedding.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "No. 15429". The London Gazette. 24 November 1801. p. 1403. 
  2. ^ Edwards, Heather (2004). "Ecgberht [Egbert] (d. 839), king of the West Saxons in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "No. 15429". The London Gazette. 24 November 1801. p. 1403. 
  4. ^ "No. 19842". The London Gazette. 31 March 1840. p. 858. 
  5. ^ "His Royal Highness was born with the title Prince Edward, as he is a son of The Sovereign. He was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn on his marriage in 1999". Royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Kate Middleton will inherit a host of titles". Cambridge News. 16 November 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Prince Harry promised the title Duke of Sussex". Daily Mirror. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2014.