Duke of Gloucester (/ˈɡlɒstər/ GLOST-ər) is a British royal title (after Gloucester), often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the Peerage of England and the last in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden.

Dukedom of Gloucester
Creation date31 March 1928
CreationFifth
Created byGeorge V
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderThomas of Woodstock
Present holderPrince Richard
Heir apparentAlexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titlesEarl of Ulster
Baron Culloden
StatusExtant
Former seat(s)Barnwell Manor

The title was first conferred on Thomas of Woodstock, the thirteenth child of King Edward III. The title became extinct at his death, as it did upon the death of the duke of the second creation, Humphrey of Lancaster, fourth son of King Henry IV.

The title was next conferred on Richard, brother to King Edward IV. When Richard himself became king, the dukedom merged into the crown. After Richard's death, the title was considered ominous, since the first three such dukes had all died without issue to inherit their titles. The title was not awarded for over 150 years: the next to receive the dukedom was the son of King Charles I, Henry Stuart, upon whose death the title again became extinct.

Prince William, son of the future Queen Anne, was styled "Duke of Gloucester" for his whole life (1689–1700), but was never formally created duke. Frederick, Prince of Wales, was styled "Duke of Gloucester" from 1718–1726, but was then created Duke of Edinburgh rather than of Gloucester.

There was next a creation of a double dukedom (not two dukedoms) for the brother of King George III, Prince William Henry, his proper title becoming "Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh".

The fifth and most recent creation was for Prince Henry, third son of King George V, styled as His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. Upon Prince Henry's death, the dukedom was inherited by his only surviving son Prince Richard, who still holds the title. The heir-apparent to the title is Alexander Windsor, styled Earl of Ulster. The next in the line of succession is the Earl of Ulster's son Xan Windsor, known by his grandfather's third title of Lord Culloden. The royal dukedom will devolve into an ordinary one when inherited by Alexander Windsor; as a great-grandson of a sovereign he is not entitled to royal style, and will be styled as His Grace The Duke of Gloucester.

Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester

Dukes of Gloucester edit

First creation, 1385–1397 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Thomas of Woodstock
House of Plantagenet
1385–1397
also: Duke of Aumale (1385–1397), Earl of Essex (1376–1397), Earl of Buckingham (1377)
  7 January 1355
Woodstock Palace
son of Edward III of England and Queen Philippa
Eleanor de Bohun
1376
5 children
8 September 1397
Calais
aged 42
Thomas of Woodstock's son died two years after his father, but never succeeded to his titles except that of Earl of Buckingham. At the time of Thomas's death, he was regarded as a traitor and thus his titles were forfeit after his murder (except Earl of Buckingham). His son had no issue and his male line died out in 1399.

Second creation, 1414–1447 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Humphrey of Lancaster
House of Lancaster
1414–1447
also: Earl of Pembroke (1414)
  3 October 1390
Lancaster Castle
son of Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
1422–1428 (annulled)
1 child (stillborn)

Eleanor de Cobham
1428–1441 (annulled)
2 children
23 February 1447
Bury St Edmunds
aged 56
Before marrying Humphrey, Eleanor de Cobham was his mistress. At the time of Humphrey's 1447 death, he had two children, Arthur and Antigone. However, both children were born before his marriage to Eleanor and were thus illegitimate and could not succeed to his titles; so, accordingly, all his titles became extinct on his death.

Third creation, 1461 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Richard Plantagenet
House of York
1461–1483
  2 October 1452
Fotheringhay Castle, Oundle
son of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville
Anne Neville
1472–1485
(her death)
1 child
22 August 1485
Bosworth Field
aged 32
Richard succeeded as Richard III in 1483 upon his nephew's disappearance, and his titles merged with the crown.

Fourth creation, 1659 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Henry Stuart
House of Stuart
1659–1660
also: Earl of Cambridge (1659)
  8 July 1640
Oatlands Palace, Oatlands
son of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria
Never married 18 September 1660
Whitehall, London
aged 20

Only styled, 1689 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince William
House of Oldenburg
1689–1700
  24 July 1689
Hampton Court Palace, London
son of Queen Anne and Prince George
Never married 30 July 1700
Windsor Castle, Windsor
aged 11

Only styled, 1717 edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince Frederick
House of Hanover
1717–1726
  1 February 1707
Leineschloss, Hanover
son of King George II and Queen Caroline
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
17 April 1736
9 children
31 March 1751
Leicester House, London
aged 44

Prince Frederick became Duke of Edinburgh in 1726 and then Prince of Wales in 1729.

Fifth creation, 1928 edit

Also: Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden (1928)[1]
Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince Henry
House of Windsor
1928–1974
  31 March 1900
York Cottage, Sandringham
son of King George V and Queen Mary
Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott
6 November 1935
2 children
10 June 1974
Barnwell Manor, Barnwell
aged 74
Prince Richard
House of Windsor
1974–present
  26 August 1944
St. Matthew's Nursing Home, Northampton
son of Prince Henry and Princess Alice
Birgitte van Deurs Henriksen
8 June 1972
3 children
 –
now 79 years, 267 days old

Line of succession edit

Arms edit

Family trees edit

See also edit

References edit

External links edit

  • The Duke of Gloucester at the Royal Family website
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gloucester, Earls and Dukes of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 128–129.