Dukes in the United Kingdom
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Duke, in the United Kingdom, is the highest-ranking hereditary title in all four peerages of the British Isles. A duke thus outranks all other holders of titles of nobility (marquess, earl, viscount and baron).
The wife of a duke is known as a duchess, which is also the title of a woman who holds a dukedom in her own right, referred to as a duchess suo jure; her husband, however, does not receive any title. In the order of precedence in the United Kingdom, non-royal dukes without state offices or positions generally take precedence before all other nobility, in order of date of creation, but after royalty and certain officers of state.
A royal duke is a duke who is a member of the British royal family, entitled to the style of "His Royal Highness". The current royal dukedoms are, in order of precedence of their holders (that is, not in order of precedence of the dukedoms themselves):
- Duke of Lancaster, held by Elizabeth II
- Duke of Edinburgh, held by Prince Philip
- Duke of Cornwall (England) and Duke of Rothesay (Scotland), held by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
- Duke of Cambridge held by Prince William
- Duke of Sussex held by Prince Harry
- Duke of York, held by Prince Andrew
- Duke of Gloucester, held by Prince Richard
- Duke of Kent, held by Prince Edward (who should not be confused with the Earl of Wessex)
With the exceptions of the dukedoms of Cornwall and Rothesay (which can only be held by the eldest son of the Sovereign), royal dukedoms are hereditary, according to the terms of the letters patent that created them, which usually contain the standard remainder to the "heirs male of his body". The British monarch also holds and is entitled to the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster, and within the borders of the County Palatine of Lancashire is by tradition saluted as "The Duke of Lancaster". Even when the monarch is a Queen regnant, she does not use the title of Duchess.
These are extant non-royal dukes in the United Kingdom.
- Duke of Abercorn (Ireland)
- Duke of Argyll (Scotland), (United Kingdom)
- Duke of Atholl (Scotland)
- Duke of Beaufort (England)
- Duke of Bedford (England)
- Duke of Buccleuch (Scotland), Duke of Queensberry (Scotland) (currently all one person)
- Duke of Devonshire (England)
- Duke of Fife (United Kingdom)
- Duke of Grafton (England)
- Duke of Hamilton (Scotland), Duke of Brandon (Great Britain) (currently all one person)
- Duke of Leinster (Ireland)
- Duke of Manchester (Great Britain)
- Duke of Marlborough (England)
- Duke of Montrose (Scotland)
- Duke of Norfolk (England)
- Duke of Northumberland (Great Britain)
- Duke of Richmond (England), Duke of Gordon (United Kingdom), Duke of Lennox (Scotland) (currently all one person)
- Duke of Roxburghe (Scotland)
- Duke of Rutland (England)
- Duke of Somerset (England)
- Duke of St Albans (England)
- Duke of Sutherland (United Kingdom)
- Duke of Wellington (United Kingdom)
- Duke of Westminster (United Kingdom)
Forms of addressEdit
- Begin: My Lord Duke
- Address: His Grace the Duke of _____
- Speak to as: Your Grace (formal and employees), Duke (social)
- Ceremonial, formal, or legal title: The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince His Grace [forename], Duke of _____.
A British or Irish duke is entitled to a coronet (a silver-gilt circlet, chased as jewelled but not actually gemmed) bearing eight conventional strawberry leaves on the rim of the circlet. The physical coronet is worn only at coronations. Any peer can bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield.