Duke of York

For the nursery rhyme see The Grand Old Duke of York.

The title Duke of York is a title of nobility in the British peerage. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of the British monarch. Since the second creation (1474), not one of the holders of the title has ever transmitted it: they either died without male heirs or became King themselves.

The current Duke of York is The Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. Andrew currently has no male heirs; thus, the most likely candidate for the next creation is Prince Henry of Wales, being the second son of Charles, Prince of Wales.

The wife of the Duke of York is known as the Duchess of York.


In medieval times York was the main town of Northern England, and Yorkshire was England's largest shire.

In the interval between the fall of Jorvik under Eirik Bloodaxe, last King of Jorvik and the first creation of the Dukedom of York, there were a few Earls of York.

The title Duke of York was first created in the Peerage of England for Edmund of Langley, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, and an important character in Shakespeare's Richard II. His son Edward, who inherited the title, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The title passed to his nephew Richard, the son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (who had been executed for plotting against King Henry V). The younger Richard managed to obtain a restoration of the title, but when his eldest son, who inherited the title, became King in 1461 as Edward IV, the title merged into the Crown.

The title was next created for Richard of Shrewsbury, second son of King Edward IV. Richard was one of the Princes in the Tower, and as he died without heirs, the title became extinct at his death.

The next creation was for Henry Tudor, second son of King Henry VII. When his elder brother Arthur, Prince of Wales, died in 1502, Henry became heir to the throne. When Henry ultimately became King Henry VIII his titles merged into the crown.

The title was created for the fourth time for Charles Stuart, second son of King James I. When his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1612, Charles became heir. He was created Prince of Wales in 1616 and eventually became King Charles I in 1625 when the title again merged into the Crown.

The fifth creation was in favour of James Stuart, the second son of Charles I. The city and state of New York in what is now the United States of America were named for this particular Duke of York. When his elder brother, King Charles II, died without heirs, James succeeded to the throne as King James II, and the title once again merged into the Crown.

In the early 18th century, the Jacobite claimant to the throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II, granted the title "Duke of York" (in the Jacobite Peerage) to his own second son, Henry. James Francis Edward Stuart was known to those who rejected his claims as "The Old Pretender"; his elder son Charles was called "The Young Pretender", and "Bonnie Prince Charlie", and the younger son, Henry, who became a Roman Catholic cardinal, was known as the Cardinal Duke of York. To the Jacobites, they were Kings James III, Charles III, and Henry IX, respectively.

During the 18th century the Dukedom of York and Albany was created a number of times in the Peerage of Great Britain. The title was first held by Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Bishop of Osnabrück, the youngest brother of King George I. He died without heirs. The second creation of the Dukedom of York and Albany was for Prince Edward Augustus, younger brother of King George III, who also died without heirs, having never married. The third and last creation of the Dukedom of York and Albany was for Prince Frederick Augustus, the second son of King George III. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army for many years, and was the original "Grand old Duke of York" in the popular rhyme. He too died without heirs.

The sixth creation of the Dukedom of York was for Prince George of Wales, second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. He was created Duke of York following the death of his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence. The title merged with the crown when George succeeded his father as King George V.

The seventh creation was for Prince Albert, second son of King George V, and younger brother of the future King Edward VIII. Albert came unexpectedly to the throne when his brother abdicated, and took the name George VI, the Dukedom then merging into the crown.

The most recent creation was for Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. As of the present day, he only has two daughters. Thus, if he has no future sons, which seems likely, the title will become extinct at his death. If the tradition of awarding the title to the second son of the monarch were to continue, the title would then be awarded to Prince Harry, the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, the current heir apparent to the throne. Titles are traditionally given on marriage and if Harry's marriage predated Andrew's death, another title would presumably be awarded instead (following the precedent of the Earldom of Wessex being awarded to the current Duke of York's brother, Prince Edward, with the promise of the Dukedom of Edinburgh being granted to him at a later date, Prince Harry may be created an Earl with the expectation of being created Duke of York on his uncle's death).

Aside from the first creation, every time the Dukedom of York has been created it has had only one occupant, that person either inheriting the throne or dying without male heirs. This has fuelled the rumour that there is a curse on the title.


Dukes of York

First creation, 1385-1415, 1415-1461

| Edmund of Langley
House of York (founder)
1385–1402 || || 5 June 1341
Kings Langley
son of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault|| Isabella of Castile
3 children

Joan de Holland
no children|| 1 August 1402
Kings Langley
aged 61 |- | Edward of Norwich
House of York
1402–1415 || || 1373
son of Edmund of Langley and Isabella of Castile||Philippa de Mohun
no children||25 October 1415
aged 42 |- | Richard Plantagenet
House of York
1415–1460 || || 21 September 1411
son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge and Anne de Mortimer||Cecily Neville
13 children||30 December 1460
aged 42 |- | Edward Plantagenet
House of York
1460–1461 || || 28 April 1442
son of Richard Plantagenet and Cecily Neville||Elizabeth Woodville
1 May 1464
10 children||9 April 1483
aged 40 |- |} Edward Plantagenet became king Edward IV of England in 1461, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of England.

Second creation, 1474-1483

|- | Richard of Shrewsbury
House of York
1474–1483 || ||17 August 1473
son of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville||Anne de Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk
15 January 1478
no children||unknown |- |} How Richard of Shrewsbury died is a controversial, frequently debated topic and there is no solid evidence for his date, age or place of death, though he was incarcerated in the Tower of London along with his brother, becoming popularly known as one of the Princes in the Tower.

Third creation, 1494-1509

|- | Henry Tudor
House of Tudor
1494–1509|| || 28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace
son of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York || Catherine of Aragon
11 June 1509
1 child Anne Boleyn
25 January 1533
1 child Jane Seymour
30 May 1536
1 child Anne of Cleves
6 January 1540
no children Catherine Howard
28 July 1540
no children Catherine Parr
12 July 1543
no children || 28 January 1547
Whitehall Palace
aged 55 |- |} Henry Tudor became king Henry VIII of England in 1509, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of England.

Fourth creation, 1605-1625

|- | Charles Stuart
("Saint Charles the Martyr")
House of Stuart
1605–1625|| || 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace
son of James I of England and Anne of Denmark || Henrietta Maria of France
13 June 1625
9 children|| 30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace
aged 48 |} Charles Stuart became king Charles I of England in 1625, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of England.

Fifth creation, (1633) 1644-1685

| James Stuart
House of Stuart
1633/1644–1685|| || 14 October 1633
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France||Anne Hyde
3 September 1660
8 children Mary of Modena
21 November 1673
7 children|| 16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
aged 67 |- |} Styled Duke of York from birth. James Stuart became king James II of England in 1685, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of England.

Dukes of York and Albany

First creation, 1716-1728

| Prince Ernest Augustus
House of Hanover
1716–1728|| || 7 September 1674
son of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Sophia of the Palatinate||never married|| 14 August 1728
aged 53 |- |} Prince Ernest also held the title Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück. He was the younger brother of George I of Great Britain and died sine prole.

Second creation, 1760-1767

| Prince Edward
House of Hanover
1760–1767|| || 25 March 1739
Norfolk House
son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha||never married|| 17 September 1767
Prince's Palace of Monaco
aged 28 |- |} Prince Edward was the younger brother of George III of the United Kingdom, Edward died while still in his 20s after coming down with illness, he died sine prole.

Third creation, 1784-1827

| Prince Frederick
House of Hanover
1784–1827|| || 16 August 1763
St. James's Palace
son of George III of the United Kingdom and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|| Frederica Charlotte of Prussia
29 September 1791
No children|| 5 January 1827
Rutland House
aged 63 |- |} Prince Frederick separated from his only wife Frederica Charlotte with whom he had no children, but was rumoured to have fathered several illegitimate children, however none of these received the title Duke of York.

Dukes of York

Sixth creation, 1892-1910

| Prince George
House of Windsor
1892–1910|| || 3 June 1865
Marlborough House
son of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark|| Mary of Teck
6 July 1893
6 children|| 20 January 1936
Sandringham House
aged 70 |- |} Prince George became king George V of the United Kingdom in 1910, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of the United Kingdom.

Seventh creation, 1920-1936

| Prince Albert
House of Windsor
1920–1936|| || 14 December 1895
Sandringham House
son of George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck|| Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
26 April 1923
2 children || 6 February 1952
Sandringham House
aged 56 |- |} Prince Albert became king George VI of the United Kingdom in 1936, as thus the title Duke of York was merged with the Crown of the United Kingdom.

Eighth creation, 1986-Present

| Prince Andrew
House of Windsor
1986–present|| || 19 February 1960
Buckingham Palace
son of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh|| Sarah Ferguson
23 July 1986-May 30, 1996
2 children || current holder |- |}

External links

See also

Places named after Dukes of York:

Search another word or see Duke_of_Yorkon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature