A duke (male) or duchess (female) can either be a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch and princes of nobility. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank (particularly one of Germanic or Celtic origin), and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.
The title dux survived in the Eastern Roman Empire where it was used in several contexts signifying a rank equivalent to a captain or general. Later on, in the 11th century, the title Megas Doux was introduced for the post of commander-in-chief of the entire navy.
During the Middle Ages the title (as Herzog) signified first among the Germanic monarchies. Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the superiors of the counts in the cities and later, in the feudal monarchies, the highest-ranking peers of the king. A duke may or may not be, ipso facto, a member of the nation's peerage: in the United Kingdom and Spain all dukes are/were also peers of the realm, in France some were and some were not, while the term is not applicable to dukedoms of other nations, even where an institution similar to the peerage (e.g., Grandeeship, Imperial Diet, Hungarian House of Magnates) existed.
During the 19th century many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by Dukes or Grand Dukes. But at present, with the exception of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes ruling as monarchs. Duke remains the highest hereditary title (aside from titles borne by the reigning or formerly reigning dynasty) in Portugal (though now a republic), Spain, and the United Kingdom. In Sweden, members of the Royal Family are given a personal dukedom at birth. The Pope, as a temporal sovereign, has also, though rarely, granted the title of Duke or Duchess to persons for "services" to the Holy See. In some realms the relative status of "duke" and "prince", as titles borne by the nobility rather than by members of reigning dynasties, varied—e.g., in Italy and the Netherlands.
A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom, or is the wife of a duke, is normally styled duchess. Queen Elizabeth II, however, is known by tradition as Duke of Normandy in the Channel Islands and Duke of Lancaster in Lancashire.
A duchy is the territory or geopolitical entity ruled by a duke, whereas his title or area is often called a dukedom. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a fully independent state and its head, the Grand Duke, is a sovereign monarch reigning over his Luxembourgish subjects.
The Duke of Cornwall holds both the dukedom (title) and duchy (estate holdings), the latter being the source of his personal income; those living on the ducal estates are subjects of the British sovereign and owe neither fealty nor services to the duke per se. In Scotland the male heir apparent to the British crown is always the Duke of Rothesay as well, but this is a dukedom (title) without a duchy. Similarly, the British monarch rules and owns the Duchy of Lancaster as Duke of Lancaster, but it is held separately from the Crown, with the income of the duchy estates providing the Sovereign's Privy Purse.
The Channel Islands are two of the three remaining Crown Dependencies, the last vestiges of the lands of the Duchy of Normandy. The Islanders in their loyal toast will say "La Reine, notre Duc" (The Queen, Our Duke). Though the title was apparently renounced under the Treaty of Paris in 1259, the Crown still maintains that the title is retained: "In 1106, William's youngest son Henry I seized the Duchy of Normandy from his brother Robert; since that time, the English Sovereign has always held the title Duke of Normandy," and that "By 1205, England had lost most of its French lands, including Normandy. However, the Channel Islands, part of the lost Duchy, remained a self-governing possession of the English Crown. While the islands today retain autonomy in government, they owe allegiance to The Queen in her role as Duke of Normandy."
During the Middle Ages, after Roman power in Western Europe collapsed, the title was still employed in the Germanic kingdoms, usually to refer to the rulers of old Roman provinces.
In 1332, Robert of Taranto succeeded his father, Philip. Robert's uncle, John, did not wish to do him homage for the Principality of Achaea, so Robert received Achaea from John in exchange for 5,000 ounces of gold and the rights to the diminished Kingdom of Albania. John took the style of Duke of Durazzo (today Durrës).
The Visigoths retained the Roman divisions of their kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula and it seems that dukes ruled over these areas. They were the most powerful landowners and, along with the bishops, elected the king, usually from their own midst. They were the military commanders and in this capacity often acted independently from the king, most notably in the latter period before the Muslim invasions.
The army was structured decimally with the highest unit, the thiufa, probably corresponding to about 1,000 people from each civitas (city district). The cities were commanded by counts, who were in turn answerable to the dukes, who called up the thiufae when necessary.
When the Lombards entered Italy, the Latin chroniclers called their war leaders duces in the old fashion. These leaders eventually became the provincial rulers, each with a recognized seat of government. Though nominally loyal to the king, the concept of kingship was new to the Lombards and the dukes were highly independent, especially in central and southern Italy, where the Duke of Spoleto and the Duke of Benevento were de facto sovereigns. In 575, when Cleph died, a period known as the Rule of the Dukes, in which the dukes governed without a king, commenced. It lasted only a decade before the disunited magnates, in order to defend the kingdom from external attacks, elected a new king and even diminished their own duchies to provide him with a handsome royal demesne.
The Lombard kings were usually drawn from the duke pool when the title was not hereditary. The dukes tried to make their own offices hereditary. Beneath them in the internal structure were the counts and gastalds, a uniquely Lombard title initially referring to judicial functions, similar to a count's, in provincial regions
The Franks employed dukes as the governors of Roman provinces, though they also led military expeditions far from their duchies. The dukes were the highest-ranking officials in the realm, typically Frankish (whereas the counts were often Gallo-Roman), and formed the class from which the kings' generals were chosen in times of war. The dukes met with the king every May to discuss policy for the upcoming year, the so-called Mayfield.
In Burgundy and Provence, the titles of patrician and prefect were commonly employed instead of duke, probably for historical reasons relating to the greater Romanization of those provinces. But the titles were basically equivalent.
In late Merovingian Gaul, the mayors of the palace of the Arnulfing clan began to use the title dux et princeps Francorum: "duke and prince of the Franks". In this title, "duke" implied supreme military control of the entire nation (Francorum, the Franks) and it was thus used until the end of the Carolingian dynasty in France in 987.
The stem duchies were the constituent duchies of the kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty (the death of Louis the Child in 911) and the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century.
In Anglo-Saxon England, where the Roman political divisions were largely abandoned, the highest political rank beneath that of king was ealdorman, and the first ealdormen were referred to as duces (the plural of the original Latin dux) in the chronicles. The title ealdorman was replaced by the Danish eorl (later earl) over time. After the Norman conquest, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts.
Edward III of England created the first English dukedom by naming his eldest son Edward, the Black Prince, as Duke of Cornwall in 1337, after he lost his own title of Duke of Normandy. Upon the death of the Black Prince, the duchy of Cornwall passed to his nine-year-old son, who would eventually succeed his grandfather as Richard II.
The title of Duke of Lancaster was created by Edward III in 1351 for Henry of Grosmont, but became extinct upon the duke's death in 1361. The following year, Edward III bestowed the title (2nd creation) on his fourth son, John of Gaunt, who was also married to the first duke's daughter. On the same day Edward III also created his second son, Lionel of Antwerp, as Duke of Clarence.
All five of Edward III's surviving sons eventually became dukes. In 1385, ten years after their father's death, his heir Richard II created dukedoms for his last two uncles on the same day. Thomas of Woodstock was named Duke of Gloucester and Edmund of Langley became Duke of York, thereby founding the House of York, which later fought for the throne with John of Gaunt's Lancastrian descendants during the Wars of the Roses.
By 1483, a total of 16 ducal titles had been created: Cornwall, Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, York, Ireland, Hereford, Aumale, Exeter, Surrey, Norfolk, Bedford, Somerset, Buckingham, Warwick and Suffolk. Some became extinct, others had multiple creations, and some had merged with the crown upon the holder's accession to the throne. When the Plantagenet dynasty came to an end at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485, only four ducal titles remained extant, of which two were now permanently associated with the crown. John de la Pole was Duke of Suffolk and John Howard was Duke of Norfolk (2nd creation), while the duchy of Cornwall was reserved as a title and source of income for the eldest son of the sovereign, and the duchy of Lancaster was now held by the monarch.
Norfolk perished alongside Richard III at Bosworth field, and the title was forfeit. It was restored to his son Thomas thirty years later by Henry VIII, as one of a number of dukes created or recreated by the Tudor dynasty over the ensuing century. England's premier ducal title, Norfolk, remains in the Howard family to this day.
In the 19th century, the sovereign dukes of Parma and Modena in Italy, and of Anhalt, Brunswick-Lüneburg, Nassau, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen and Saxe-Altenburg in Germany survived Napoleon's reorganization.
Since the unification of Italy in 1870 and the end of monarchy in Germany in 1918, there have no longer been any reigning dukes in Europe; Luxembourg is ruled by a grand duke, a higher title, just below king.
In the United Kingdom, the inherited position of a duke along with its dignities, privileges, and rights is a dukedom. However, the title of duke has never been associated with independent rule in the British Isles: they hold dukedoms, not duchies (excepting the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster). Dukes in the United Kingdom are addressed as "Your Grace" and referred to as "His Grace". Currently, there are thirty-five dukedoms in the Peerage of England, Peerage of Scotland, Peerage of Great Britain, Peerage of Ireland and Peerage of the United Kingdom, held by thirty different people, as three people hold two dukedoms and one holds three (see List of dukes in the peerages of Britain and Ireland).
See wikt:en:duke for equivalents in other European languages.
Various royal houses traditionally awarded (mainly) dukedoms to the sons and in some cases, the daughters, of their respective sovereigns; others include at least one dukedom in a wider list of similarly granted titles, nominal dukedoms without any actual authority, often even without an estate. Such titles are still conferred on royal princes or princesses in the current European monarchies of Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Other historical cases occurred for example in Denmark, Finland (as a part of Sweden) and France, Portugal and some former colonial possessions such as Brazil and Haiti.
In the United Kingdom, ducal titles which have been given within the royal family include Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence, Duke of York, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Bedford, Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Albany, Duke of Ross, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Kent, Duke of Sussex, and Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
In Belgium, the title of Duke of Brabant (historically the most prestigious in the Low Countries, and containing the federal capital Brussels), if still vacant, has been awarded preferentially to the eldest son and heir apparent of the king, other male dynasts receiving various lower historical titles (much older than Belgium, and in principle never fallen to the Belgian crown), such as Count of Flanders (King Leopold III's so-titled brother Charles held the title when he became the realm's temporary head of state as prince-regent) and Prince of Liège (a secularised version of the historical prince-bishopric; e.g. King Albert II until he succeeded his older brother Baudouin I).
Denmark's kings gave appanages in their twin-duchies of Schleswig-Holstein (now three-fourths of them is part of Germany, but then the Holstein half of it was part of the Holy Roman Empire in personal union with Denmark proper) to younger sons or their male-line descendants, with a specific though not sovereign title of Duke, e.g., Duke of Gottorp, Duke of Sonderburg, Duke of Augustenborg, Duke of Franzhagen, Duke of Beck, Duke of Glucksburg and Duke of Norburg.
When the Christian Reconquista, sweeping the Moors from the former Caliphate of Córdoba and its taifa-remnants, transformed the territory of former Suevic and Visigothic realms into Catholic feudal principalities, none of these warlords was exactly styled Duke. A few (as Portugal itself) started as Count (even if the title of Dux was sometimes added), but soon all politically relevant princes were to use the royal style of King.
In Portugal, the title of Duke was granted for the first time in 1415 to infante Peter and infante Henry, the second and third sons of king John I, following their participation in the successful Conquest of Ceuta. Pedro became the first Duke of Coimbra and Henry the first Duke of Viseu.
From the reign of king Manuel I, the title of Duke of Beja was given to the second son of the monarch. This was changed during the Liberal regime in the 19th century (with queen Maria II), when the first infante (second son of the monarch) got the title of Duke of Porto and the second infante (third son) was known as Duke of Beja.
There are examples of Duke as a subsidiary title, granted to the most powerful noble Houses:
Usually, the title of Duke was granted to relatives of the Royal Family, such as the infantes or natural sons of the monarch. There are exceptions, such as António José de Ávila, who, although not having any relation to the royal family, was given the title of duke of Ávila and Bolama in the 19th Century.
Spanish infantes and infantas were usually given a dukedom upon marriage, excepting the heir apparent who is the Prince of Asturias. This title is nowadays not hereditary but carries a Grandeza de España. The current royal duchesses are: the Duchess of Badajoz (Infanta Maria del Pilar), the Duchess of Soria (Infanta Margarita) (although she inherited the title of Duchess of Hernani from her cousin and is second holder of that title), and the Duchess of Lugo (Infanta Elena). In Spain all the dukes hold the court rank of Grande, i.e., Grandee of the realm, which had precedence over all other feudatories.
The Northern European duchies of Halland, Jutland, Lolland, Osilia and Reval existed in the Middle Ages. The longest-surviving duchy was Schleswig, i.e., Sonderjylland (a portion of which later became part of Germany). Its southern neighbor, the duchy of Holstein, in personal union with the Danish crown, was nonetheless always a German principality. The two duchies jointly became a member of the German Bundesland as "Schleswig-Holstein" in the 19th century.
In Sweden, medieval duchies of Finland, Södermanland, Skåne, and Halland were some appanages for princes of the reigning dynasty. In modern times almost every province in Sweden was used as the territorial designation for a royal prince's dukedom.
Sweden had a history of making the sons of its kings ruling princes of vast duchies, but this ceased in 1622. Only one non-royal person was ever given a dukedom. In 1772, King Gustav III reinstated the appointment of dukes but as a non-hereditary title for his brothers. Since then, all Swedish princes have been created dukes of a province at birth. When the 1810 Act of Succession was amended to allow female succession to the throne, King Carl XVI Gustaf's eldest daughter Victoria became Crown Princess (displacing her younger brother Carl Philip) and received the title of Duchess of Västergötland. The practice of conferring ducal titles has since extended to Swedish princesses as well as princes. Currently, there are five dukes and four duchesses in their own right. The territorial designations of these dukedoms refer to ten of the Provinces of Sweden.
Key parts of Finland were sometimes under a Duke of Finland during the Swedish reign. Some of the provinces are still considered duchies for the purposes of heraldry.
See appanage (mainly for the French kingdom) and the list in the geographical section below, which also treats special ducal titles in orders or national significance.
The highest precedence in the realm, attached to a feudal territory, was given to the twelve original pairies (en: peers), which also had a traditional function in the royal coronation, comparable to the German imperial archoffices. Half of them were ducal: three ecclesiastical (the six prelates all ranked above the six secular peers of the realm) and three temporal, each time above three counts of the same social estate: The Prince-Bishops with ducal territories among them were:
The secular dukes in the peerage of the realm were, again in order of precedence:
The theory of the participation of the peers in the coronation was laid down in the late 13th century, when some of the peerage (the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Toulouse) had already been merged in the crown.
At the end of this same century, the king elevated some counties into duchies, a practice that increased up until the Revolution. Many of this duchies were also peerages (the so-called 'new peerages').
In Italy, Germany and Austria the title of "duke" (duca in Italian, and Herzog in German) was quite common. As the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (HRE) was until its dissolution a feudal structure, most of its Dukes were actually reigning in their lands. As the titles from the HRE were taken over after its dissolution, or in Italy after their territories became independent of the Empire, both countries also had a share of fully sovereign dukes. Also, in Germany in many ducal families every agnate would bear the ducal title of the family as a courtesy title.
In Italy some important sovereign ducal families were the Visconti and the Sforza, who ruled Milan; the Savoia in Piedmont; the Medici of Florence; the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza; the Cybo-Malaspina of Massa; the Gonzaga of Mantua; the Este of Modena and Ferrara. The maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were ruled by elected Doges, a word which comes from the same Latin root as "Duke".
In Germany, important ducal families were the Wittelsbachs in Bavaria, the Welfs in Hannover, the ducal family of Cleves, the Wettins in Saxony (with its Ernestine branch divided into several duchies), the Württembergs, the Mecklenburgs and the Habsburgs in Austria as "Archdukes". In the German Confederation the Nassaus, the Ascanians of Anhalt, the Welf branch of Brunswick and the Ernestine lines of the Saxon duchies were the sovereign ducal families.
In the Kingdom of Hungary no ducal principalities existed but duchies were often formed for members of the dynasty as appanages. During the rule of the Árpád dynasty dukes held territorial powers, some of them even minted coins, but later this title became more often nominal. These duchies usually were
In the Jagellonian era (1490–1526) only two dukes did not belong to the royal dynasty: John Corvin (the illegitimate son of Matthias Corvinus) and Lőrinc Újlaki (whose father was the king of Bosnia), and both bore the title as royal dukes.
The Byzantines retained the title dux, transcribed as doux in Greek. As in the later Roman Empire, it remained a military office and was not a feudal or hereditary rank. In the 10th century, it was given to the military commanders over several themata (also known as katepano), and in the late 11th century it became used for the governor of a thema.
In Italy and other western countries, the later Byzantine appanages of the Palaiologan period were sometimes translated as duchies: the Morea, Mesembria, Selymbria and Thessaloniki. The Greek rank of their holders, however, was that of despotes.
Generally, confusion reigns whether to translate the usual ruler titles, knyaz/ knez/ książe etc. as Prince (analogous to the German Fürst) or as Duke;
After Belgium and the Netherlands separated in 1830, the title of duke no longer existed in the Netherlands. There is, however, one exception; the title Hertog van Limburg (Duke of Limburg) still exists. This title, however, is an exclusive title for the head of state (the monarch, i.e., the king or queen of the Netherlands).
In the Empire of Brazil duke was the highest rank for people born outside the imperial house and only three dukedoms were created. Two of these titles were for relatives of Emperor Pedro I: an illegitimate daughter and a brother-in-law who received the title when married to Pedro I's daughter Maria II. The third, given to Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, was the only dukedom created during the reign of Pedro II. None of these titles were hereditary, just like every other title in the Brazilian nobility system.
The royal Christophe dynasty created eight hereditary dukedoms, in rank directly below the nominal princes. They were short-lived and only recognised in the country.
Like other major Western noble titles, Duke is sometimes used to render (translate) certain titles in non-western languages. "Duke" is used even though those titles are generally etymologically and often historically unrelated and thus hard to compare. However, they are considered roughly equivalent, especially in hierarchic aristocracies such as feudal Japan, useful as an indication of relative rank.
Indian feudal system cannot be fully translated to its European counterparts. The closest equivalent to the title of Sovereign Duke is Rao and to a feudal duchy, a large jagir. Thus, a Rao (in the ruling system) or a Jagirdar, Deshmukh, Patil and Zamindar (in a feudal way) are closely equivalent to a Duke.
Duke in Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran after Mongolian war against them, was added as generals and kings of districts or states but in the Kingdom of Persians and Ottomans, the systems cannot be fully translated to its European counterparts so they called those generals and kings as Khan, a Mongolian royal and noble rank from the Turco-Mongol word for "lord," equal to Duke. After, revolutions and falling Empire system in those countries(changing the ruling system to democratic and republic systems), those Khans and the other equal ranks titles added to the titleholder's surnames and the ranking system as usual was disqualified as an official ranking.
During the era of feudalism in Ancient China (Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period), the title of gōng (公, conventionally translated as "Duke") was sparingly granted. In a tradition called "Three Deferences and Two Royal Descendants" (三恪二王後), the three former royal houses were granted the title of Duke. For the Zhou dynasty, this would be the descendants of the Xia Dynasty and Shang Dynasty; their dukedoms were respectively the states of Qi (杞) and Song (宋). When the rulers of these states called at the Zhou court, the king greeted them as equals, out of deference for their former status as royalty.
Noble titles also existed in subsequent periods.
The Duke of Yansheng noble title was granted to the descendants of Confucius. In 1935, the Nationalist Government changed the title to Sacrificial Official to Confucius (大成至聖先師奉祀官), which still exists as an office of the Republic of China, de facto hereditary.
Dukedoms and other lesser titles were also awarded, sometimes posthumously (see posthumous names), during the imperial period of Chinese history to recognize distinguished civil and military officials. For example, Emperor Lizong of Song granted the posthumous title Duke of Hui (徽国公) to the Neo-Confucian thinker Zhu Xi.
The Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, which dominated eastern Java in the 14th and 15th centuries, was divided into nagara (provinces). The administration of these nagara was entrusted to members of the royal family, who bore the title of Bhre—i.e., Bhra i, "lord of" (the word bhra being akin to the Thai Phra), followed by the name of the land they were entrusted with: for example a sister of king Hayam Wuruk (r. 1350–1389) was "Bhre Lasem", "lady of Lasem". This system was similar to the Apanage system in Western Europe.
Sultan Agung, king of Mataram in Central Java (r. 1613–1645), would entrust the administration of territories he gradually conquered all over the island of Java, to officials bearing the title of Adipati, this title is hereditary. Such territories were called Kadipaten. Prior to the unification of Java by Sultan Agung, independent kadipatens also exist, e.g. the Duchy of Surabaya which was conquered by Agung in 1625.
The VOC (Dutch East Indies Company), while gradually taking control of Javanese territory, would maintain the existing Mataram administrative structure. Adipati were called "regenten" in Dutch, and the territories they administered, "regentschappen".
In the 19th century, the Javanese term for regent was bupati. French traveller Gérard Louis Domeny de Rienzi mentions bapati.
In the Kingdom of Benin, a viceroyal chieftain that is known as an Enogie in the Edo language is usually referred to as a duke in English. Often a cadet of the dynasty that produces the Oba of Benin, the enogie is expected to rule his domain as he sees fit, subject to the approval of the oba.
In Ife, Oyo and the other kingdoms of Nigerian Yorubaland, a viceroyal chieftain is known as a Baale in the Yoruba language. He is barred from wearing a crown as a matter of tradition, and is generally seen as the reigning representative of his oba, the monarch who has the right to wear one.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes.
Wellesley was born in Dublin into the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. He was a colonel by 1796 and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.
Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian Army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellington's battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.
Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world. After the end of his active military career, he returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; 9 January 1982), is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is expected to become king of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, making Catherine a likely future queen consort.Catherine grew up in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, England. She studied art history in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met William in 2001. Their engagement was announced in November 2010. They married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. The couple's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge, are third, fourth, and fifth in the line of succession to the British throne, respectively.The Duchess of Cambridge's charity works focus mainly on issues surrounding young children, addiction, and art. To encourage people to open up about their mental health issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex initiated the mental health awareness campaign "Heads Together" in April 2016. The media have called Catherine's impact on British and American fashion the "Kate Middleton effect". In 2012 and 2013, Time magazine selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.Charles, Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. He has been Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952, and is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since 1958.Charles was born at Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons: Prince William (b. 1982)—later to become Duke of Cambridge—and Prince Harry (b. 1984)—later to become Duke of Sussex. In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year. In 2005, Charles married long-time partner Camilla Parker Bowles.
As Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen and the Commonwealth realms. Charles founded The Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors The Prince's Charities, and is a patron, president and a member of over 400 other charities and organisations. As an environmentalist, he raises awareness of organic farming and climate change which has earned him awards and recognition from environmental groups. His support for alternative medicine, including homeopathy, has been criticised by some in the medical community and his views on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings have received considerable attention from British architects and design critics. Since 1993, Charles has worked on the creation of Poundbury, an experimental new town based on his preferences. He is also an author and co-author of a number of books.David Duke
David Ernest Duke (born July 1, 1950) is a prominent American white supremacist, white nationalist politician, white separatist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon, and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
A former Republican Louisiana State Representative, Duke was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1988 and the Republican presidential primaries in 1992. Duke also ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and for Governor of Louisiana.
In 2002, Duke pled guilty to felony fraud. Specifically, he defrauded his political supporters by pretending to be in dire financial straits, and asking them for money to help him pay for basic necessities. At the time, Duke was financially secure, and he used his supporters' money for recreational gambling. He subsequently served a 15-month sentence at Federal Correctional Institution, Big Spring in Texas.Duke speaks against what he alleges as Jewish control of the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. federal government, and the media. Duke supports the preservation of what he considers to be Western culture and traditionalist Christian family values, as well as abolition of the Internal Revenue Service, voluntary racial segregation, anti-communism, and white separatism.Duke University
Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
Duke's campus spans over 8,600 acres (3,500 hectares) on three contiguous sub-campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. The main campus—designed largely by architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64-meter) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. East Campus, home to all first-years, contains Georgian-style architecture, while the main Gothic-style West Campus 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) away is adjacent to the Medical Center. The university administers two concurrent schools in Asia, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore (established in 2005) and Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China (established in 2013).
As of 2019, 13 Nobel laureates and 3 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university. Further, Duke alumni include 46 Rhodes Scholars and 25 Churchill Scholars. The university has produced the 5th highest number of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholars of any American university between 1986 and 2015. As of 2019, Duke holds a top-ten position in most national rankings, and has been named the top college for graduate outcomes several years in a row having tied with Harvard University and Yale University. Duke also has been recognized as one of the top three university employers, along with Stanford University and Harvard University.Edward VII
Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.
The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until he renounced his right to the duchy before his marriage. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.
As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.Edward VIII
Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December of that year.
Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father.
Edward became king on his father's death. However, he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and socially unacceptable as a prospective queen consort. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew the British government, led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would ruin his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.
After his abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany. During the Second World War, Edward was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he was a Nazi sympathiser, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France. He and Wallis remained married until his death.George II of Great Britain
George II (George Augustus; German: Georg II. August; 30 October / 9 November 1683O.S./N.S. – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.
George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany. The Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707 positioned his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, and her Protestant descendants to inherit the British throne. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father, the Elector of Hanover, became George I of Great Britain. In the first years of his father's reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they rejoined the governing party in 1720.
As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy. He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745 supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart ("The Old Pretender"), led by James's son Charles Edward Stuart ("The Young Pretender" or "Bonnie Prince Charlie"), attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, so George II was ultimately succeeded by his grandson, George III.
For two centuries after George II's death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper, and boorishness. Since then, reassessment of his legacy has led scholars to conclude that he exercised more influence in foreign policy and military appointments than previously thought.George V
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.
Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910.
George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations. He had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.George VI
George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He became known as a symbol of British determination to win the Second World War against Germany.
Known as "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, and was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne, and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He attended naval college as a teenager, and served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1920, he was made Duke of York. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never fully overcame.
George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, Edward was forced to choose between the crown and marriage to divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. Edward abdicated to marry Simpson, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.
From 1939, the British Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – declared war on Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively. The king and his family remained in London during the Blitz and his popularity soared as he shared the hardships of the common people. Britain and its allies were victorious in 1945, but the British Empire declined. Ireland had largely broken away, followed by independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. George relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948 and instead adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign. On his death, he was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.House of Romanov
The House of Romanov (; also Romanoff; Russian: Рома́новы, Románovy, IPA: [rɐˈmanəf]) was the reigning royal house of Russia from 1613 to 1917.
The Romanovs achieved prominence as boyars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and later the Tsardom of Russia under the reigning Rurik dynasty, which became extinct upon the death of Tsar Feodor I in 1598. The Time of Troubles was caused by the resulting succession crisis, where several pretenders and imposters (False Dmitris) fought for the crown during the Polish–Muscovite War. On 21 February 1613, Michael Romanov was elected Tsar of Russia by the Zemsky Sobor, establishing the Romanovs as Russia's second reigning dynasty. Michael's grandson Peter I established the Russian Empire in 1721, transforming the country into a great power through a series of wars and reforms. The direct male line of the Romanovs ended when Elizabeth of Russia died in 1762 leading the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the German House of Oldenburg that reigned in Denmark, to ascend to the crown under Peter III. Officially known as the House of Romanov, descendants after Elizabeth are sometimes referred to as "Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov". The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on 15 March 1917 as a result of the February Revolution ended 304 years of Romanov rule, establishing the Russian Republic under the Russian Provisional Government in the lead up to the Russian Civil War. In 1918, the Tsar and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks and the 47 survivors of the House of Romanov's 65 members went into exile abroad.In 1924, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, the senior surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II of Russia by primogeniture, claimed the headship of the defunct Imperial House of Russia. Since 1991, the succession to the former Russian throne has been in dispute, largely due to disagreements over the validity of dynasts' marriages, especially between the lines of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and Prince Nicholas Romanovich Romanov, succeeded by Prince Andrew Romanov.James II of England
James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. – 16 September 1701) was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.James inherited the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland from his elder brother Charles II with widespread support in all three countries, largely based on the principle of divine right or birth. Tolerance for his personal Catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree; it was a political principle, rather than a religious one, that ultimately led to his removal.In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the first on 10 June was the birth of James's son and heir James Francis Edward, threatening to create a Catholic dynasty and excluding his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. The second was the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for seditious libel; this was viewed as an assault on the Church of England and their acquittal on 30 June destroyed his political authority in England. Anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland now made it seem only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war.Representatives of the English political elite invited William to assume the English throne; after he landed in Brixham on 5 November 1688, James's army deserted and he went into exile in France on 23 December. In February 1689, Parliament held he had 'vacated' the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty derived from Parliament, not birth. James landed in Ireland on 14 March 1689 in an attempt to recover his kingdoms but despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, in April a Scottish Convention followed their English colleagues by ruling James had 'forfeited' the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by Louis XIV.Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Vauban, Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Charpentier, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished. The revocation effectively forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to virtually destroy the French Protestant minority.
During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (Andrew Albert Christian Edward, born 19 February 1960) is a member of the British royal family. He is the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the British throne; as of May 2019, he is eighth in line.
He holds the rank of commander and the honorary rank of vice admiral (as of February 2015) in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active-duty helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. He saw active service during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, and casualty evacuation.
In 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson; the couple's marriage, separation and eventual divorce in 1996 attracted a high level of media coverage. As well as carrying out various official engagements, he served as Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment until July 2011.Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, (Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick; born 9 October 1935) is a member of the British royal family. He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent, and King George VI. Because his mother, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was a cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Edward is both a second cousin and first cousin once removed to Prince Charles and his siblings.
He has held the title of Duke of Kent since the age of six, after the death of his father in a plane crash in 1942. He carries out engagements on behalf of the Queen. He is president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presenting the trophies to the Wimbledon champion and runner-up, and served as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, retiring in 2001. He is president of The Scout Association, the Royal United Services Institute, and the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and since 1967 Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. He is also patron of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, an independent road safety charity which specialises in training and advice for post-licence drivers and riders.Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (born Henry Charles Albert David; 15 September 1984) is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.
Harry was educated at Wetherby Preparatory School, Ludgrove School and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho. He then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet (i.e. second lieutenant) into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother, Prince William, and completed his training as a troop leader. In 2007–08, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand, Afghanistan, but was pulled out after an Australian magazine revealed his presence there. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–13 with the Army Air Corps. He left the army in June 2015.
Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains patron of its foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With The Wounded. On 19 May 2018, he married the American actress Meghan Markle. Hours before the wedding, his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the titles Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The couple's son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on 6 May 2019.Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921), is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets.
After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was formally made a British prince in 1957.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward.
A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest ever male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (William Arthur Philip Louis; born 21 June 1982) is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Since birth, he has been second in the line to succeed his grandmother Elizabeth II, who is queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.
William was educated at four schools in the United Kingdom and studied for a degree at the University of St. Andrews. During a gap year, he spent time in Chile, Belize, and Africa. In December 2006, he completed 44 weeks of training as an officer cadet and was commissioned in the Blues and Royals regiment. In April 2008, William completed pilot training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell, then underwent helicopter flight training and became a full-time pilot with the RAF Search and Rescue Force in early 2009. His service with the British Armed Forces ended in September 2013. He then trained for a civil pilot's licence and spent over two years working as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
In 2011, Prince William was made Duke of Cambridge and married Catherine Middleton. The couple have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.
William served in the Royal Navy in his youth, spending time in North America and the Caribbean, and was later nicknamed the "Sailor King". In 1789, he was created Duke of Clarence and St Andrews. In 1827, he was appointed as Britain's first Lord High Admiral since 1709. As his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all of the British Empire, and the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832. Although William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament. Through his brother Prince Adolphus, the Viceroy of Hanover, he granted his German kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution.
At the time of his death William had no surviving legitimate children, but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years. Late in life, he married and apparently remained faithful to the young princess who would become Queen Adelaide. William was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom, and his brother King Ernest Augustus in Hanover.William the Conqueror
William I (c. 1028 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son.
William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process that was not complete until about 1060. His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church. His consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, and by 1062 William secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine.
In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England, then held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, who was named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had previously promised the throne to him and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London. He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, and by 1075 William's hold on England was mostly secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent.
William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, and threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholdings in England along with their pre-Conquest and current holders. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, and was buried in Caen. His reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, and change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire but instead continued to administer each part separately. William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, and his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England.