Duke of Sussex

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Dukedom of Sussex
Coat of Arms of Harry, Duke of Sussex.svg
Creation date19 May 2018 (announced) [1]
16 July 2018 (Letters Patent) [2]
Created by Elizabeth II
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
Present holder Prince Harry
Heir apparent Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten [2]
Subsidiary titles Earl of Dumbarton
Baron Kilkeel
The current Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2017 Harry and Meghan on Christmas Day 2017.jpg
The current Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2017

Duke of Sussex is a substantive title, one of several royal dukedoms, that has been created twice in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It is a hereditary title of a specific rank of nobility in the British royal family. It takes its name from the historic county of Sussex in England.


The title lapsed in 1843 but was revived in 2018, when Queen Elizabeth II bestowed it on her grandson Prince Harry on 19 May 2018 upon his marriage to Meghan Markle, who became the Duchess of Sussex.


A title associated with Sussex first appeared with the Kingdom of Sussex, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom that was annexed by the Kingdom of Wessex around 827, [3] that later became part of the Kingdom of England. In charters, Sussex's monarchs were sometimes referred to as ealdormen, or duces in Latin, which is sometimes translated as "dukes".

First creation, 1801

The title of Duke of Sussex was first conferred on 24 November 1801 upon Prince Augustus Frederick, [4] the sixth son of King George III. He was made Baron Arklow and Earl of Inverness at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The title became extinct upon Prince Augustus Frederick's death in 1843.

Although Prince Augustus Frederick was survived by a son and daughter by Lady Augusta Murray, their marriage (purportedly solemnized at St George's Hanover Square Church, Westminster, in 1793) had been annulled for lack of royal permission under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, rendering the children illegitimate under English law and unable to inherit titles from their father. Both children by the annulled marriage died childless, rendering the issue of their inheritance moot.

On 2 May 1831, Prince Augustus Frederick married secondly (and again in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772) to Lady Cecilia Gore at Great Cumberland Place, London. Not being the Prince's legitimate wife, Lady Cecilia could not be received at court. On 30 March 1840, she was given the title of Duchess of Inverness in her own right by Queen Victoria. [5]

Second creation, 2018

In 2018, the dukedom of Sussex was recreated and granted to Prince Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and great-great-great-great-great grandnephew of the previous Duke, to mark the occasion of his wedding to Meghan Markle, who thereby became the first ever Duchess of Sussex. [1] [6] On 19 May 2018, it was announced that Prince Harry would become Duke of Sussex in England, with the subsidiary titles of Earl of Dumbarton in Scotland and Baron Kilkeel in Northern Ireland. In 2019, an heir to the dukedom, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was born.

In 1999, before the wedding of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, some had suggested the dukedoms of Sussex or Cambridge as the most likely titles to be granted to him. Instead, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, and it was announced that he would eventually be created Duke of Edinburgh, a title then held by his father, Prince Philip. [7] It was reported in 2021 that Prince Charles had decided not to give the title to his brother upon accession to the monarchy; [8] Clarence House stated that no decision had been taken. [9]

There was again speculation that Prince William might be given the Sussex title on his wedding to Catherine Middleton in April 2011, [10] but he was instead created Duke of Cambridge.

Dukes of Sussex

1801 creation

Prince Augustus Frederick
House of Hanover
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Arklow (1801)
Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex by Guy Head.jpg 27 January 1773
Buckingham House, London
son of King George III and Queen Charlotte
4 April 1793
Lady Augusta Murray
2 children

2 May 1831
Lady Cecilia Underwood
No children
21 April 1843
Kensington Palace, London
aged 70

Prince Augustus's first marriage to Lady Augusta Murray, which produced two children, was invalid under the Royal Marriages Act 1772 (he had not asked his father's approval to marry); so, accordingly, all his titles became extinct on his death.

2018 creation

Prince Harry
House of Windsor
also: Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel (2018) [1]
Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games opening ceremony.jpg 15 September 1984
St Mary's Hospital, London
son of King Charles III and Diana, Princess of Wales
19 May 2018
Meghan Markle
2 children

Line of succession

Family tree

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 3 Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle: Announcement of Titles, The Royal Household, 19 May 2018.
  2. 1 2 "No. 62358". The London Gazette . 20 July 2018. p. 12928.
  3. Edwards, Heather (2004). "Ecgberht [Egbert] (d. 839), king of the West Saxons in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  4. "No. 15429". The London Gazette . 24 November 1801. p. 1403.
  5. "No. 19842". The London Gazette . 31 March 1840. p. 858.
  6. "Meghan Markle's royal title is Duchess of Sussex". The Independent. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  7. "His Royal Highness was born with the title Prince Edward, as he is a son of The Sovereign. He was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn on his marriage in 1999". Royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. Nikkhah, Roya (11 July 2021). "Edward wants to be Duke of Edinburgh but his brother is not on his side" . The Times . Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  9. Perry, Simon (12 July 2021). "Will Prince Charles Deny Brother Prince Edward the Duke of Edinburgh Title He Expects?". People . Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  10. "Kate Middleton will inherit a host of titles". Cambridge News. 16 November 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.