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|
|Creation date||20 November 1947|
|Monarch||King George VI|
|Peerage||Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|First holder||Prince Frederick|
(first creation; 1726)
|Present holder||Prince Charles|
|Heir apparent||Prince William|
|Remainder to||the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten|
As of 2022[update], 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.
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, and Marquess of the Isle of Ely. These titles were also in the Peerage of Great Britain. The marquessate was apparently erroneously gazetted as Marquess of the Isle of Wight 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. 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.
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. 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.
The title was created for a third time on 19 November 1947 by King George VI, 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. 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.
Upon Philip's death on 9 April 2021, his eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, succeeded to all of his hereditary titles. 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.
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
son of King George II and Queen Caroline
|Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
17 April 1736
|31 March 1751|
Leicester House, Leicester Square, London
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
|29 January 1820|
Windsor Castle, Windsor
|Prince George succeeded as George III in 1760 upon his grandfather's death, and his titles merged with the crown.|
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
|30 July 1900|
Schloss Rosenau, Coburg
|Prince Alfred and Grand Duchess Maria had one son, who predeceased him; and all his titles became extinct on his death.|
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
20 November 1947
|9 April 2021|
Windsor Castle, Windsor
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
Camilla Parker Bowles
9 April 2005
| – |
now 73 years, 211 days old
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. 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. Clarence House stated that "no final decisions have been taken" and refused to comment further.
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, 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:
|Dukes of Gloucester, Dukes of Edinburgh, and the Dukes of Gloucester and EdinburghFamily tree of the|
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.
After Prince Charles, Prince William is next in line for the title, followed by his eldest son, Prince George.