Duke of Edinburgh


Duke of Edinburgh, named after the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a substantive title that has been created three times for members of the British royal family since 1726. It does not include any territorial landholdings and does not produce any revenue for the title holder.

Duke of Edinburgh
Coat of Arms of Charles, Prince of Wales.svg
Creation date20 November 1947
MonarchKing George VI
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderPrince Frederick
(first creation; 1726)
Present holderPrince Charles[1]
Heir apparentPrince William[2]
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles
Seat(s)Clarence House
Prince Frederick Louis (1707–1751) was the first Duke of Edinburgh, from 1726 to his death.

As of 2022, the holder is Prince Charles, who inherited the title on 9 April 2021 upon the death of his father Prince Philip, for whom the title was created for the third time in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II.

1726 creationEdit

The title was first created in the Peerage of Great Britain on 26 July 1726 by King George I, who bestowed it on his grandson Prince Frederick, who also became Prince of Wales the following year. The subsidiary titles of the dukedom were Baron of Snowdon, in the County of Caernarvon, Viscount of Launceston, in the County of Cornwall, Earl of Eltham, in the County of Kent,[3] and Marquess of the Isle of Ely.[4] These titles were also in the Peerage of Great Britain. The marquessate was apparently erroneously gazetted as Marquess of the Isle of Wight[3] although Marquess of the Isle of Ely was the intended title. In later editions of the London Gazette the Duke is referred to as the Marquess of the Isle of Ely.[5][6] Upon Frederick's death, the titles were inherited by his son Prince George. When Prince George became King George III in 1760, the titles "merged in the Crown", and ceased to exist.[4]

1866 creationEdit

Queen Victoria re-created the title, this time in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, on 24 May 1866 for her second son Prince Alfred, instead of Duke of York, the traditional title of the second son of the monarch. The subsidiary titles of the dukedom were Earl of Kent and Earl of Ulster, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[7] When Alfred became the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1893, he retained his British titles. His only son Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, committed suicide in 1899, so the Dukedom of Edinburgh and subsidiary titles became extinct upon the elder Alfred's death in 1900.[4]

1947 creationEdit

The title was created for a third time on 19 November 1947 by King George VI,[8] who bestowed it on his son-in-law Philip Mountbatten, when he married Princess Elizabeth. Subsequently, Elizabeth was styled "HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh" until her accession in 1952. The subsidiary titles of the dukedom are Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London. Like the dukedom, these titles are also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[9] Earlier that year, Philip had renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles (he was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, being a male-line grandson of King George I of the Hellenes and male-line great-grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark) along with his rights to the Greek throne. In 1957, Philip became a Prince of the United Kingdom.[10]

Upon Philip's death on 9 April 2021, his eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, succeeded to all of his hereditary titles.[1] The current heir apparent to the dukedom is Charles's eldest son Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, although he will only inherit the title if Charles predeceases the Queen.

Dukes of EdinburghEdit

First creation, 1726Edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince Frederick
House of Hanover
also: Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham, Viscount Launceston, Baron Snowdon (1726–1729);
Prince of Wales (1729), Duke of Cornwall (1337), Duke of Rothesay (1398)
  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, Leicester Square, London
aged 44
Prince George
House of Hanover
also: Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham, Viscount Launceston, Baron Snowdon (1751–1760);
Prince of Wales (1751)
  4 June 1738
Norfolk House, London
son of Prince Frederick and Princess Augusta
Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
8 September 1761
15 children
29 January 1820
Windsor Castle, Windsor
aged 81
Prince George succeeded as George III in 1760 upon his grandfather's death, and his titles merged with the crown.

Second creation, 1866Edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince Alfred
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
also: Earl of Kent and Earl of Ulster (1866)
  6 August 1844
Windsor Castle, Windsor
son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
23 January 1874
6 children
30 July 1900
Schloss Rosenau, Coburg
aged 55
Prince Alfred and Grand Duchess Maria had one son, who predeceased him; and all his titles became extinct on his death.

Third creation, 1947Edit

Duke Portrait Birth Marriage(s) Death
Prince Philip
also: Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich (1947)
  10 June 1921
Mon Repos, Corfu
son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg
Princess Elizabeth
20 November 1947
4 children
9 April 2021
Windsor Castle, Windsor
aged 99
Prince Charles[1]
House of Windsor
also: Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester (1958), Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay (1952), Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich (2021)
  14 November 1948
Buckingham Palace, London
son of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II
Lady Diana Spencer
29 July 1981 – 28 August 1996
2 children
Camilla Parker Bowles
9 April 2005
now 73 years, 211 days old

Prospective creationsEdit

It was announced in 1999, at the time of the wedding of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, that he would eventually follow his father as Duke of Edinburgh.[11] It is expected that a new (fourth) creation will be bestowed on Prince Edward after the current (third) creation "eventually reverts to the Crown", i.e., when the current holder, Charles, Prince of Wales, becomes king. In this scenario, James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn, would be the heir apparent, as the son of Prince Edward. In July 2021, The Times reported that Charles has decided not to give the title to his brother upon accession.[12] Clarence House stated that "no final decisions have been taken" and refused to comment further.[13]

Line of successionEdit

Pursuant to the Letters Patent issued for the third creation of the dukedom in 1947, the Prince of Wales, as the duke's eldest son, automatically inherited the title on his father's death,[14] becoming the second Duke of the third creation. Although the following individuals are in the line of succession to the Dukedom, they are also in line of succession to the throne. As a consequence, should one of the following individuals become king while Duke, the Dukedom of Edinburgh would cease to exist, as it would merge with the Crown. (If the first Duke had outlived the Queen, the Dukedom would similarly merge with the Crown by passing to the then King upon the 1st Duke's death.)

The line of succession as of 2021 is as follows:

Family treeEdit

Fictional Duke of EdinburghEdit

A fictional Duke of Edinburgh appears in the 1983 sitcom The Black Adder. Rowan Atkinson plays the title character, Prince Edmund, who is granted the title Duke of Edinburgh by his father, a fictitious King Richard IV.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "HRH The Duke of Edinburgh". College of Arms. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  2. ^ Lewis, Sophie. "Who will be the next Duke of Edinburgh?". CBS News. Retrieved 29 August 2021. After Prince Charles, Prince William is next in line for the title, followed by his eldest son, Prince George.
  3. ^ a b "No. 6494". The London Gazette. 12 July 1726. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c Cokayne, G. E. (1926). Gibbs, Vicary; Doubleday, H. A. (eds.). The Complete Peerage. Vol. 5: Eardley of Spalding to Goojerat (2nd ed.). London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 6–8.
  5. ^ "No. 6741". The London Gazette. 4 January 1728. p. 2.
  6. ^ "No. 9050". The London Gazette. 16 April 1751. p. 1.
  7. ^ "No. 23119". The London Gazette. 25 May 1866. p. 3127.
  8. ^ "No. 38128". The London Gazette. 21 November 1947. p. 5495.
  9. ^ "No. 38128". The London Gazette. 21 November 1947. p. 5496.
  10. ^ "No. 41009". The London Gazette. 22 February 1957. p. 1209.
  11. ^ "The Earl of Wessex". Royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  12. ^ "Edward wants to be Duke of Edinburgh but his brother is not on his side". The Times. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Will Prince Charles Deny Brother Prince Edward the Duke of Edinburgh Title He Expects?". People. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  14. ^ Channon, Max (9 April 2021). "Prince Philip: Duke of Edinburgh title will be inherited by Earl - but not yet". Derbyshire Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2021.