Duke of York

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Dukedom of York
Coat of Arms of Andrew, Duke of York.svg
Creation date23 June 1986
Created by Queen Elizabeth II
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Edmund of Langley
Present holder Prince Andrew
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles
Seat(s) Royal Lodge

Duke of York is a title of nobility in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of English (later British) monarchs. The equivalent title in the Scottish peerage was Duke of Albany. However, King George II and King George III granted the titles Duke of York and Albany .


Initially granted in the 14th century in the Peerage of England, the title Duke of York has been created eight times. The title Duke of York and Albany has been created three times. These occurred during the 18th century, following the 1707 unification of the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland into a single, united realm. The double naming was done so that a territorial designation from each of the previously separate realms could be included.

The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew, the younger brother of Charles III. The present Duke's marriage produced two daughters, and he has remained unmarried since his 1996 divorce. As long as Prince Andrew has no legitimate male heirs, the title Duke of York will again revert to the Crown upon his death.


In the Middle Ages, York was the main city of the North of England and the see of the Archbishop of York from AD 735. Yorkshire is England's largest shire in area.

York under its Viking name "Jorvik" was a petty kingdom in the Early Medieval period. In the interval between the fall of independent Jorvik under Eric Bloodaxe, last king of Jorvik (d. 954), 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 in 1385 for Edmund of Langley. His son Edward, who inherited the title, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The title passed to Edward's 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 third 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-apparent to the throne. When Henry ultimately became King Henry VIII in 1509, his titles merged into the crown.

The title was created for the fourth time for Charles Stuart, second son of James I. When his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1612, Charles became heir-apparent. He was created Prince of Wales in 1616 and eventually became 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. New York, its capital Albany, and New York City, were named for this particular Duke of Albany and York. In 1664, Charles II of England granted American territory between the Delaware and Connecticut rivers to his younger brother James. Following its capture by the English the former Dutch territory of New Netherland and its principal port, New Amsterdam, were named the Province and City of New York in James's honour. After the founding, the Duke gave part of the colony to proprietors George Carteret and John Berkeley. Fort Orange, 150 miles (240 km) north on the Hudson River, was renamed Albany after James's Scottish title. [1] [2] [3] When his elder brother, King Charles II, died without heirs, James succeeded to the throne as King James II of England and King James VII of Scotland, and the title once again merged into the Crown.

During the 18th century the double 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, and the title reverted to the Crown. The second creation of the double dukedom was for Prince Edward, younger brother of King George III, who also died without heirs, having never married. Again, the title reverted to the Crown. The third and last creation of the double dukedom 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 legitimate heirs, leaving the title, once again, to revert to the Crown.

The sixth creation of the Dukedom of York (without being combined with Albany) was for Prince George, second son of the, then current, 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 and Avondale. 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 title was created for the eighth time for Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. As of 2022, the only legitimate offspring are his two daughters from his marriage to Sarah, Duchess of York. Thus, if he has no future (legitimate) sons, the title will again become extinct—reverting to the Crown—upon his 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.


In the late 15th Century, Perkin Warbeck unsuccessfully claimed the Crown by claiming the identity of Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York.

In the early 18th century, the eldest son of the overthrown King James II & VII and thus Jacobite claimant to the throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, known to his opponents as the Old Pretender, granted the title "Duke of York" (in the Jacobite Peerage) to his own second son, Henry, using his purported authority as King James III & VIII. Henry later became a cardinal in the Catholic church and is thus known as the Cardinal Duke of York. Since James was not recognised as king by English law, the grant is also not recognised as a legitimate creation.

Dukes of York

First creation, 1385–1461

Edmund of Langley
1385–1402 [4]
also: Earl of Cambridge (1362)
Edmund of Langley 2C Duke of York.jpg 5 June 1341
Kings Langley
4th surviving son of King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault
Isabella of Castile
11 July 1372 - 23 December 1392
3 children

Joan Holland
c. 4 November 1393
no children

1 August 1402
Epworth, Lincolnshire
aged 61

Edward of Norwich
1402–1415 [5]
also: Duke of Aumale (1397–1399), Earl of Cambridge (1362–1414), Earl of Rutland (1390–1402), Earl of Cork (c. 1396)
Edward of Norwich Duke of York.jpg 1373
son of 1st Duke by his first wife Isabella of Castile
Philippa de Mohun
no children
25 October 1415
Battle of Agincourt
aged 42
Richard of York
1415–1460 [6]
also: Lord Protector of England, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall (1460, see Act of Accord); Earl of Ulster (1264), Earl of March (1328), Earl of Cambridge (1414, restored 1426), feudal Lord of Clare (bt. 1066–1075), Baron Mortimer of Wigmore (1331)
Richard of York Talbot Shrewsbury Book.jpeg 21 September 1411
Nephew of 2nd Duke and son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (attainted and executed for treason in August 1415) and Anne de Mortimer; restored in blood
Cecily Neville
13 children
30 December 1460
aged 49
Edward Plantagenet
1460–1461 [7]
also: Earl of Ulster (1264), Earl of March (1328), Earl of Cambridge (1414), feudal Lord of Clare (bt. 1066–1075), Baron Mortimer of Wigmore (1331)
EdwardIVofEngland-Yorkist.jpg 28 April 1442
son of 3rd Duke by his wife Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
aged 40
Edward Plantagenet seized the throne in 1461 as Edward IV and the title of duke merged in the crown.

Second creation, 1474

Richard of Shrewsbury
also: Duke of Norfolk (1477), Earl of Norfolk (1477), Earl of Nottingham (1476), possibly Earl of Warenne (1477)
Richard of Shrewsbury.jpg 17 August 1473
Second son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Anne de Mowbray
15 January 1478
no children
Disappeared in the Tower of London, with his older brother, the "Princes in the Tower".
Richard disappeared without known issue and the title of duke became extinct.

Third creation, 1494

Henry Tudor
1494–1509 [8]
also: Prince of Wales (1504), Duke of Cornwall (1502)
HenryVIII 1509.jpg 28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace, London
son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
Catherine of Aragon
11 June 1509 – 23 May 1533
1 surviving daughter, others stillborn or briefly-lived

Anne Boleyn
25 January 1533 – 17 May 1536
1 daughter

Jane Seymour
30 May 1536 – 24 October 1537
1 son

Anne of Cleves
6 January 1540 – 9 July 1540
no children

Catherine Howard
28 July 1540 – 23 November 1541
no children

Catherine Parr
12 July 1543
no children
28 January 1547
Whitehall Palace, London
aged 55
Henry succeeded as Henry VIII in 1509 upon his father's death and the title of duke merged with the crown.

Fourth creation, 1605

Charles Stuart
1605–1625 [9]
also: Duke of Albany (1600);
Prince of Wales (1616), Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay (1612)
Charles I (1625).jpg 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline
son of James I and Anne of Denmark
Henrietta Maria of France
13 June 1625
9 children
30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace, London
aged 48
Charles succeeded as Charles I in 1625 upon his father's death and the title of duke merged with the crown.

Fifth creation, 1633/1644

James was styled Duke of York from birth and officially created as such in 1644.

James Stuart
1633/1644–1685 [10]
also: Duke of Albany (1660), Earl of Ulster (1659)
James II & VII.jpg 14 October 1633
St. James's Palace, London
son of Charles I 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, Paris
aged 67
James succeeded as James II in 1685 upon his brother's death and the title of duke merged with the crown.

Jacobite creation, 1725

Henry Benedict Stuart
1725–1788 [10]
also: Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church (1747), Dean of the College of Cardinals (1803)
Circle of Anton Raphael Mengs, Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, Cardinal York (ca 1750) -002.jpg 6 March 1725
Palazzo Muti
Papal States
son of "James III and VIII" (Jacobite Pretender) and Maria Clementina Sobieska
____13 July 1807
Frascati, Rome
aged 82
Henry succeeded his brother as Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland in 1788, calling himself "Henry IX", but was not recognized in Britain as a Duke, let alone as King.

Sixth creation, 1892

George Frederick Ernest Albert
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney (1892);
Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Duke of Rothesay (1901)
George V of the United Kingdom01.jpg 3 June 1865
Marlborough House
son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark
Mary of Teck
6 July 1893
6 children
20 January 1936
Sandringham House, Sandringham
aged 70
George succeeded as George V in 1910 upon his father's death and the title of duke merged with the crown.

Seventh creation, 1920

Albert Frederick Arthur George
House of Windsor
1920–1936 [11]
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney (1920)
King George VI - NARA - 5730844.jpg 14 December 1895
Sandringham House, Sandringham
son of George V and Mary of Teck
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
26 April 1923
2 daughters
6 February 1952
Sandringham House, Sandringham
aged 56
Albert succeeded as George VI in 1936 upon his brother's abdication and the title of duke merged with the crown. As Albert had no male issue, the title would have gone extinct in any case, even if he had not become king.

Eighth creation, 1986

Andrew Albert Christian Edward
House of Windsor
1986 [12]
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh (1986)
Duke of York 2022 (cropped).jpg 19 February 1960
Buckingham Palace
son of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Sarah Ferguson
23 July 1986 – 30 May 1996
2 daughters
now 64 years, 50 days old
Prince Andrew has no male heirs and all his titles will become extinct on his death.

Family trees

Places and things named after the dukes of York

Geographic features

Southern hemisphere


Political entities


United States




Railroad Equipment

Military Music

There is also military march titled Duke of York which is used as an inspection piece or slow march. It is in 4/4 time, D Major with a form of AABBCCDD. Gordon Ashman in 1991 maintains that the melody was composed in 1805, soon after the Duke of York became Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and notes it is still in use today as a regimental slow-march. James Merryweather however, researched the melody and found it was composed by John Gamidge in 1789, to be played by the York Waits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU0PqAZLeew [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

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