The first three royal titles belong to the King or Queen , prince or princess, and infants . After these, there are the noble titles that are granted directly by the King or Queen, and in first place we find the Dukes. In this article we will make you inform What is a duke in England?
It is an honorary and symbolic title or distinction, know everything related to this title and what the granting implies.
What is a Duke?
It is the highest European noble title, which is assigned by a monarch to a person, in token of his gratitude . This title is only granted to upper-class people, as well as children of royalty who are not heirs . In feminine it is called a duchess and its lordship is called a duchy.
At the time of the feudalism of the Middle Ages and its regency system, this noble title was the best way to maintain order. Also during this period they were only granted by the King to the Knights of the Court who excelled in battles.
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History of the Duke title
It originated in the Byzantine and late Roman charges . In Latin it is dux and plural duces, which denoted the military rank of general. The word that derives its semantics is the duco verb that implies to guide from the front. In this way, it refers to a military man or caudillo, this is because before it was customary to give not only the noble title to the victorious generals, in addition, they were granted lands .
With the passage of time and for many centuries the title duke was used as a noble reference to a member of the upper class. In Venice it was used to designate the head of the Adriatic republic. As the Germanic kingdoms developed, the title duke was given to high officials, leaders and governors.
In the political and social system founded by Charlemagne the so-called feudalism, divided the dominions into counties . The kingdoms of France and Spain copied the strategy where the dukes occupied the upper level in the entire noble scale. It was with Capitular de Quierzy that this title changed to be granted only by inheritance from father to son. In the nineteenth century with the abolition of manorial rights, authority and power were taken away, remaining only in some countries but only as an honorific .
Hierarchy of a Duke
Its position within the noble titles is as follows:
- Above the rest of the noble titles.
- Grand Duke: It is a higher title than Prince , however, it is below Grand Prince King.
- Archduke: It is the Austrian title, where it is superior to that of duke . It was awarded only to the sons of the Habsburg family. And it was below the King and Emperor .
Powers of a Duke
Becoming a Duke does not have any particular powers or privileges . The appointment is only about an honorary recognition or distinction, which is usually accompanied by treatment, as it is in the case of a duke, it is of the most excellent gentleman in Spain, while in other countries it is most illustrious gentlemen.
It is believed that a duke may have some privilege, even a prosecutor, but this is not the case. Any person who has been granted the duke title , must pay a tax for its rehabilitation and transmission, be it the case by succession or transfer .
Requirements to be a Duke
It should be noted that this title is specially granted by the King, so that in order to enjoy this honor, the only requirement is to be the son of royalty , who has no possibility of inheriting the kingdom, and in very rare cases cases some upper class person very close to the crown.
Dukes in Spain
Today there are about 150 dukes and duchesses in various families in Spain , in these appointments there are differences in the titles granted by the King to members of the family for life. Some of the dukes we can mention are:
- Duke of Alba de Tormes, Carlos Juan Fitz James Stuart and Martinez de Irujo.
- Duke of Marchena , Juan Jacobo Walford Hawkins and Borbón.
- Duke of Seville , Francisco de Paula Enrique de Borbón y Escasany.
The kings not only have the power to grant the title of nobility, they can also revoke it, as was the case of the Infanta Cristina , leaving three people who can use the title in the Royal House who are:
- Pilar de Borbón as Duchess of Badajoz .
- Margarita de Borbón as Duchess of Soria .
- Elena de Borbón as Duchess of Lugo .
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Dukes in England
The dukes of the peerage of England who were granted before it became Great Britain:
- Duke of Cornwall , Titular Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
- Duke of Norfolk , Titular Edward Filtzalan Howard 18th Duke of Norfolk.
- Duke of Somerset , titular John Semour 18th Duke of Somerset.
- Duke of Richmond , Lennox and Gordon, titular Charles Gordon Lennox 10th Duke of Richmond.
- Duke of Grafton , incumbent Henry FitzRoy 12th Duke of Grafton.
- Duke of Beaufort , titular David Somerset 11th Duke of Beaufort.
- Duke of Saint Albans , titular Murray Beauclerk 14th Duke of St Albans.
- Duke of Bedford , titular Andrew Russel 15th Duke of Bedford.
- Duke of Devonshire , titular Peregrine Cavendish 12th Duke of Devonshire.
- Titular Duke of Marlborough , John Spencer Churchill 11th Duke of Marlborough.
- Duke of Rutland , incumbent David Manners 11th Duke of Rutland.
Recently, Queen Elizabeth II has just granted the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle . This is a custom that the Queen has of granting a duchy to her descendants when they marry.
Being called Duke, His Excellency, represents the greatest distinction and privilege before the monarchy . Although it does not report any type of economic gain, it means an honor and social prestige, to be considered a duke.