Major-General Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, KG, GCVO, CB, CBE, MC DL (July 21, 1915 – June 24, 2002), was the eldest son of Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop and his wife Mona Stapleton, 11th Baroness Beaumont.
Miles Fitzalan-Howard was educated at Ampleforth College
and Christ Church, Oxford
and served in the Grenadier Guards
of the British Army
for 30 years, including, during the Second World War
, in France
, North Africa
and North Western Europe
. He rose to the rank of Major-General
During the war he was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance of mined roads. He was at the time on foot and under enemy fire. He was quoted in his obituary in The Times as saying "anyone can be the Duke of Norfolk, but I'm rather proud of that medal."
He headed the British mission to Russian forces in Germany between 1957 and 1959. Immediately before Kenyan independence in 1963 he commanded a Brigade of the King's African Rifles. Between 1963 and 1965 he was General Officer Commanding the First Division of the Rhine Army. Upon his retirement from the Army he served in the Ministry of Defence.
Baronies of Beaumont & Glossop
The Duke inherited the Barony of Beaumont
from his mother, the 11th Baroness
, in 1971, and the Barony Howard of Glossop
from his father, the 3rd Baron
, in 1972.
Dukedom of Norfolk
He inherited the Dukedom of Norfolk
from his second cousin once removed in 1975 and added his mother's maiden name of Stapleton before his own that year. He also inherited the Great Office
of Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England
, which is attached to the Dukedom of Norfolk, thereby becoming responsible for State occasions. He also became by virtue of this office the hereditary judge in the Court of Chivalry
and head of the College of Arms
, responsible for heraldry
as well as other parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations
such as Australia
The Dukes of Norfolk have remained Roman Catholics for over 300 years (see recusancy). The Duke, as senior Roman Catholic peer of the United Kingdom, represented The Queen at the installation of Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II and at the funeral of Pope John Paul I.
One of 8 children (all of whose first names started with the letter "M") The Duke married Anne Mary Teresa Constable-Maxwell
in 1949. They had 2 sons and 3 daughters:
- Lady Tessa Mary Isabel Fitzalan-Howard born 30 September 30 1950, married Roderick Balfour, now 5th Earl of Balfour; has issue four daughters.
- Lady Carina Mary Gabrielle Fitzalan-Howard born 20 February 1952, married Sir David Frost; has issue.
- Lady Marcia Mary Josephine Fitzalan-Howard born March 10, 1953), better known as the actress Marsha Fitzalan married Patrick Ryecart (marriage dissolved); has issue.
- Edward William Fitzalan-Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey born December 2, 1956, later 18th Duke of Norfolk, married Georgina, has issue.
- Lord Gerald Bernard Fitzalan-Howard born 13 June 1962, married Emma Roberts; has issue.
Titles & Honours
Titles from birth
- The Honourable Miles Fitzalan-Howard (1915–1971)
- The Rt. Hon. Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 12th Baron Beaumont (1971–1972)
- The Rt. Hon. Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 12th Baron Beaumont, 4th Baron Howard of Glossop (1972–1975)
- His Grace The Most Noble Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk (1975–2002)