Tag Archives: Duchy of Cornwall

Who is a Duke in the British Royal Family?

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The title of Duke is given to males of the British Royal Family upon the death of a predecessor or in marriage. These dukedoms are established by Letters of Patent which is issued by a monarch, president or other head of state. Since 1413, a British sovereign also holds the title of Duke, regardless of gender. In the case of a Queen regnant (reigns in her own right), the title of Duchess is not used but Duke instead. Yes, Her Majesty, Elizabeth II is also a Duke.

Royal Style and Manner of Address

Those members of the Royal Family in possession of a dukedom are given the style of “His Royal Highness” and are addressed in these ways:

  • Announced As: His Royal Highness The Duke of (insert title here)
  • First Spoken to As: Your Royal Highness
  • Spoken to Thereafter: Sir

Current Royal Dukedoms

The title of Duke is the highest-ranking title of the United Kingdom, other than Sovereign. There are several members who hold this title in the British Royal Family.

Duke of Lancaster

Held by Queen Elizabeth II, daughter of George VI

Inception of the Duke of Lancaster

This dukedom was first created in 1351 for Henry of Grosmont, the 4th Earl of Lancaster. Its third and final creation, in 1399, was for Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales. In 1413, when he acceded to the throne as Henry V, this title merged into the crown.

This royal duchy was created to provide income for the British monarchy, specifically the reigning sovereign. The Duchy of Lancaster is the personal property of a British Sovereign and has currently 45,550 acres of land holdings. Only used while in Lancaster, England, Her Majesty is addressed as “The Queen, Duke of Lancaster”

Duke of Edinburgh

Held by Prince Philip, husband of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of Edinburgh

This title has been created 4 times since 1726. The final creation was in 1947 by King George VI for his son-in-law, Philip Mountbatten upon marriage to his daughter Princess Elizabeth. Prince Philip, who was in line for his own throne, had to renounce his Greek and Danish royal titles and any rights to the Greek throne before accepting this British dukedom.

Duke of Cornwall (England) and Duke of Rothesay (Scotland)

Held by Prince Charles – The Prince of Wales, eldest son of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay

The Duke of Cornwall is a secondary title held by the eldest son of a British monarch. This title was created many times since its inception in 1337 by King Edward III, for his son Edward, the Black Prince. This particular duchy was fashioned to supply income for the Prince of Wales via landholdings currently totaling 135,000 acres.

The Duke of Rothesay title was created in 1398 by Robert III, King of Scots for his son David Stewart. It became the title of the heir apparent (first in the line of succession) of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801 via the union between England and Scotland. The Acts of Union in 1801, united Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) with Northern Ireland, which now covers the United Kingdom. However, this title is only used in Scotland by the Prince of Wales.

These dukedoms were conferred upon Prince Charles after the accession of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II to the throne in 1952.

Duke of Cambridge

Held by Prince William, grandson of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of Cambridge

This title was first created in 1660 for Charles Stuart, son of James, Duke of York (later King Kames II). It became extinct after the death of Prince George of Hanover in 1904. It was revived for the fifth time in 2011 for Prince William and given upon his marriage to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Duke of York

Held by Prince Andrew, son of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of York

This title was first created in 1385 for Edmund of Langley, the 4th surviving son of King Edward III. This style died out after the death of Prince Albert, son of King George V in 1936. It was revived for the eighth time in 1986, for Prince Andrew upon his marriage to Sarah Ferguson.

Duke of Gloucester

Held by Prince Richard, grandson of George V and cousin of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of Gloucester

This dukedom was first created in 1385 for Thomas of Woodstock by King Edward III. It was revived for the fifth time in 1928 for Prince Henry of Windsor, son of George V. Upon the prince’s death in 1974, the title passed to his son, Prince Richard. This is one of the few dukedoms that survived and was inherited by the current Duke of Gloucester.

Duke of Kent

Held by Prince Edward, grandson of George V and cousin of Elizabeth II

Inception of the Duke of Kent

This title was first created in 1710 for Henry Grey, the son of Anthony Grey, 11th Earl of Kent. A double dukedom of Kent and Strathearn was given to Prince Edward Augustus, King George III’s son. This particular title died out since Prince Edward had no male successor. However, the single dukedom was created a 2nd time for Prince George, the fourth son of King George V in 1934. It was then inherited by Prince Edward in 1942 after the death of his father, Prince George.

What Dukedom Will Prince Harry Receive?

Since Prince Harry is not in line to inherit a dukedom, I’m curious as to which title he will receive. The title will probably be a past dukedom such as the Duke of Albany, Duke of Clarence, Duke of Hereford or Duke of Sussex. It will mostly likely be upon his marriage and he still has time for that, right? What dukedom do you think The Queen will give Prince Harry?


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British Royal Family and Their Sources of Income

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Flag of the Duke of Lancaster

Have you ever wondered where the Royal Family derives their income? Many of these revenue streams have been in place for centuries. How they are currently administered has changed somewhat from their inception. For the most part, tradition has prevailed.

Basic Financial Terms

Let’s start with some basic financial terms to give context to the sources of royal revenue.

  • Crown Estate – is a large estate, worth billions, managed by an independent organization headed by a board. All its profits go to the Treasury.
  • Duchy – a Crown-holding entity, consisting of territory and assets that generate revenue for the Royal Family, primarily the reigning British Sovereign and the Prince of Wales.
  • Duchy of Cornwall – established in 1337 by King Edward III for his eldest son. It is given at once to the firstborn son of a reigning monarch. This duchy encompasses some 135,000 acres and provides the primary income for the Prince of Wales.
  • Duchy of Lancaster – established in 1351 by King Edward III for his younger son. Over 45,000 acres, it is the personal property of a reigning British monarch. The Privy Purse derives its revenues from this duchy.
  • Her Majesty’s Treasury – also known as the Exchequer or simply the Treasury, it is responsible for the British government’s financial and economic policy. It is headquartered in Westminster, London.
  • Privy Purse – land, property, and other assets of England and Wales belonging to the current reigning monarch. The majority of its revenue comes from the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Source Depends on the Title

The majority of the earnings for the Royal Family come from the Privy Purse. There is both public and private income for Her Majesty and as well as the Prince of Wales.

  • The Queen – Her Majesty has 3 main sources of income:
    • Privy Purse – belonging to The Queen, this purse is managed and run for her with all the net profits going to the Sovereign. This income is used for both personal and official expenses.
    • Private Income – money from her personal investment portfolio and inherited private estates, which includes Balmoral Castle and the Sandringham Estate. Her Majesty pays personal income tax on these sources of revenue.
    • Sovereign Grant – given to the Queen in a lump sum by the Treasury, funded by taxpayers, to carry out her official duties such as royal travel, communications and information, also the maintenance of the royal palaces (i.e., Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace) This further covers expenses such as garden parties and investitures (a knighthood, Orders of Chivalry, etc.). Though mostly public funds, approximately 15% of this grant comes from the profits of the Crown Estate.
  • Duke of Edinburgh – an annuity, granted by Parliament, of nearly £360,000, is paid to Prince Philip by the Treasury.
  • The Prince of Wales – Prince Charles, also known as the Duke of Cornwall, receives his own income from the Duchy of Cornwall, including a personal investment portfolio as well. He, too, pays income tax on his personal sources of revenue.
  • Royal Family – Living costs for those of the Royal Family, who carry out royal duties, is funded mainly by the Privy Purse from Duchy of Lancaster.

How Much is The Queen Worth?

The Queen is worth £340 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2015. Even so, she is only the 302nd richest person in the country. Once upon a time, she was at the top of that list.

What Does it Cost Tax Payers?

The expenditures of the Royal Family, according to annual reports, are steep to be sure. Yet, when divided equally among the 64M residents of the UK, it works out to less than 60p per taxpayer.

Do You Think it’s Worth the Cost?

Many with republican political views would balk at the taxpayer’s expense to maintain the British monarchy. Others believe the PR value of the Royal Family is worth every penny. I myself could not imagine the United Kingdom without the institution, pageantry, and splendor of the British monarchy. It would utterly change the fabric of the UK as we know it. Do you think the Royal Family is worth the cost? Login and post your comments.


 

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