20 May 2018

Meghan's First Baby

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace
Before I get started, I want to emphasize that I detest baby-bump watches. Also, as a woman who struggled and never succeeded with fertility, I am highly sensitive to the extremely personal nature of fertility, pregnancy and motherhood. I cannot even imagine how much more stressful these can be with the public and photographers always looking for any indication of an anticipated royal delivery. Several of our favorite royal ladies have faced challenges in this arena. All of them deserve to be treated respectfully and allowed their privacy.

All new marriages, however, inevitably lead to baby speculation, especially when the couple states that they want to have a family. Such is the case with the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who were more commonly known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle before their wedding on May 19, 2018. The recent birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child during the run-up to the wedding has only helped to fuel speculation and comparisons.

Shortly before Harry's brother Prince William married Catherine Middleton and they became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wrote a post entitled Kate Middleton's First Baby. I encouraged everyone to be patient in their baby expectations because modern royal mothers tend NOT to have children as quickly as earlier royal ladies. While The Queen and the late Diana Princess of Wales each delivered a son before her first wedding anniversary, most contemporary royal brides have given birth a year and a half to two years or more after they married. Catherine's first baby, Prince George, arrived 27 months after her 2011 wedding.

I cited several possible reasons for these longer childless periods in contemporary royal marriages: a desire to focus on the marriage before expanding the family, an intentional period of adjustment to new royal duties and expectations, and the biological reality that most royal brides in the last 20 years have been older than their predecessors leading more of them to experience more challenges in conceiving as quickly as they might like.

The former Sofia Hellqvist with husband Prince Carl Philip of
Sweden and sons Prince Alexander and baby Prince Gabriel

Photo: Erika Gerdemark, Royal Court, Sweden
Since the Cambridge wedding, however, there have been two very notable exceptions to this delayed-family approach. The two younger Swedish princesses, Princess Madeleine and Princess Sofia, were both around 30 when they married. Each had her first child less than a year after her wedding and each had a second child around the time of her second wedding anniversary. Princess Madeleine even had a third child in March 2018. That's three babies before her fifth anniversary.

Could these quick Swedish pregnancies be an example of what Meghan and Harry hope to achieve? With Meghan's 37th birthday in August, an earlier first child could make it easier to have a second or even a third.

Of course, Meghan and Harry may yet decide to wait to start their family while they focus on their relationship and their public roles together. After all, women are having babies at later ages these days, particularly with the availability of reproductive assistance. And, there are certainly cases of earlier royal mothers having had children into their 40s whether they started at age 19 or age 39. Within the British Royal Family, one example of this is Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott. A world traveler, Alice did not marry The Queen's uncle Prince Harry Duke of Gloucester until shortly before her 34th birthday. Her first child Prince William of Gloucester was born a week before her 40th birthday and her second child Prince Richard of Gloucester arrived almost three years later. William was killed in a flying accident in 1972, leaving little brother Richard as the current Duke of Gloucester. As for Alice, she died at 102 as the longest lived member of the BRF, surpassing her sister-in-law Elizabeth The Queen Mother who only lived to be 101! (Read my profile of Princess Alice or my post about The Queen Mother.)

Zara Phillips Tindall
By Land Rover MENA via Wikimedia Commons
On the other hand, Harry and Meghan might also wish to have their children while their Cambridge cousins are still young, so that they can grow up together as playmates and friends. Harry and William have always had close relationships with their own first cousins on both the the Windsor and Spencer sides of their family. Windsor cousin Peter Phillips lent them courage when they first faced the public after Diana's death and cousin Princess Eugenie of York has often been credited with finding girlfriends for Prince Harry -- though she did not introduce him to Meghan. As a mark of these special friendships, Spencer cousin Laura Fellowes Pettman and Windsor cousin Zara Phillips Tindall are godmothers to William's first two children.

Whenever Meghan and Harry announce a pregnancy, whether it is this year or five years from now, we will speculate as usual on the baby's gender, name and birth date. In this case, though, we will have one more big question to ponder:  will their baby be royal? Under the 1917 Letters Patent governing royal status, only the monarch's children, male-line grandchildren, and the first son of the first son of the Prince of Wales are entitled to be Royal Highnesses and to have princely rank. As a great-grandchild of the monarch (unless Charles has succeeded by that date), little Baby Sussex would not be "royal" and would instead be styled as the offspring a Duke. This means that a girl would be The Lady Name Windsor and a first-born son would be able to use Harry's secondary title as the Earl of Dumbarton.

However, this rule has been bent or overridden at least three times. In 1948, when The Queen was still a Princess, her as-yet-unborn children would have been female-line grandchildren and were not eligible for royal titles. So, the babies she had during her father's lifetime would have been styled as children of their father the Duke of Edinburgh. Charles would have been known as Earl of Merioneth and his sister as Lady Anne. The Queen's father felt this styling was not appropriate for the children of his heir and granted all of Elizabeth's future offspring royal status. Prior to her accession, they were HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Anne of Edinburgh.

Lady Louise Windsor walking ahead of William, Catherine,
Meghan and Harry on Christmas Day 2017.
By Mark Jones via Wikimedia Commons
In 1999, the rule was changed in the opposite direction in order to deny royal status to children who should have been entitled to it. At the time of The Queen's youngest son Prince Edward's marriage, it was announced that his future children would not be styled as male-line grandchildren. Instead, they would be treated as children of an earl since he had been created the Earl of Wessex. Thus, Edward's daughter is The Lady Louise and his son James uses Edward's secondary title of Viscount Severn. Otherwise, we would know them as HRH Princess Louise of Wessex and HRH Prince James of Wessex, just as Prince Andrew's daughters are HRH Princess Beatrice of York and HRH Princess Eugenie of York. (Read about the controversy over their titles.)

Another exception was made during William and Catherine's first pregnancy. Under the 1917 rules, a son would have been His Royal Highness Prince Name of Cambridge, but a daughter and any subsequent children of any gender would just be children of a duke. This would have made their three children HRH Prince George of Cambridge, The Lady Charlotte and The Lord Louis. During this same time period, the royal succession laws were being changed to allow equal rights for daughters. I believe this desire for gender equity as well as a desire for sibling parity influenced The Queen's decision to grant royal status to all future children of Prince William. (Interestingly, in Norway, where gender-blind succession was introduced in 1990, only the oldest child of the heir is a Royal Highness, while his/her younger children are just Highnesses.)

Will The Queen make an exception for Prince Harry's children? If she doesn't, the current century-old guidelines would make them Lord/Lady (or Earl of Dumbarton for the first son), but they would automatically be elevated to royal princes and princesses when their grandfather Charles becomes King.

Diana was not actually born Lady Diana; she
received a title upgrade at age 14.
By Nick Parfjonov
While this type of title changing might seem strange, it is quite common among royalty and the aristocracy. Even William and Harry's mother Diana experienced something similar. When she was born, her father had not yet acceded as Earl Spencer. As the daughter of Viscount Althorp, she was The Honourable Diana Spencer until her grandfather died. Then, as the daughter of an earl, she became Lady Diana Spencer. In another example, upon Prince Charles' accession to the throne, Prince William will automatically gain the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay while retaining his current title Duke of Cambridge. He will not become Prince of Wales until his father gives him that title. Until that moment, Catherine will be the Duchess of Cornwall as well as Duchess of Cambridge, and she will be called Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland.

The decision about Harry and Meghan's children could be entirely dependent on their personal choice. Like his Uncle Edward and Aunt Anne The Princess Royal (whose first husband declined any kind of titles for himself or their children), Harry and Meghan may opt to give their children a more "normal" life by not making them royal. On the other hand, the monarch, whether it is Elizabeth or Charles, may not wish to make a difference between Harry's children and his brother's, and therefore prefer to give them royal status.

We shall see. In the meantime, let us pray that Harry and Meghan's family plans go as smoothly as possible. And, let's avoid trying to figure out whether or not she is pregnant until she decides to let us know!

18 May 2018

Your Royal Wedding Guide

Update May 19 1:27 BST


Royal Watcher Blog has published a detailed post about Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau (or Filigree Tiara). Designed in 1932 to incorporate a diamond brooch that Mary had received as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln, the tiara reflects the style of its day with pave settings but it looks very current, and therefore highly suited to Meghan's sleek, sophisticated style. The tiara has not been worn publicly since before Mary's death in 1953. Mary was the paternal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II and was therefore Prince Harry's great-great grandmother. Mary's own mother was Queen Victoria's first cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge.

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And, the long-hoped-for kiss...

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Update May 19 1:14 BST


The little bridesmaids and page boys include Harry's nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge; Harry's goddaughters Florence van Cutsem and Zalie Warren; Meghan's goddaughters Remi and Rylan Litt; Harry's godson Jasper Dyer; and family friends Ivy Mulroney and twins Brian and John Mulroney. The girls were dressed in white gowns that reflected the design of Meghan's gown with floral crowns on their heads. The boys were dressed in black jackets and pants inspired by the groom's Blues and Royals uniform.

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Update May 19 12:56 BST


According to the press release from Buckingham Palace, Meghan selected Clare Waight Keeler, earlier this year because of her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanor." British-born Keeler served as the creative head of Chloe and of Pringle of Scotland, before taking over the French design firm of Givenchy last year.

The dress is made of silk organza in pure white. The basic structure of the dress emphasizes the bateau neckline and sculpted waist. Three-quarter sleeves "add a note of refined modernity."

The five-meter veil of silk tulle is hand-embroidered with flowers representing each of the 53 nations in the British Commonwealth, to which The Queen has dedicated her life. The press release includes a complete list of each country and its representative flower.

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Update May 19 12:35 BST


Most of the British Royal Family are in attendance: The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York and her fiance Jack Brooksbank, the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence, Peter and Autumn Phillips, Zara and Mike Tindall, Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto with sons Arthur and Samuel, the Earl and Countess of Snowdon with Viscount Linley and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, as well as today's honorary royal lady, Doria Ragland, mother of the bride. Please enjoy these albums.

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Update May 19 12:07 BST


Meghan is wearing a white dress with clean lines, a bateau neckline and long sleeves. Kensington Palace release says the dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller, the first female Artistic Director of the House of Givenchy. Per Meghan's expressed wish, her veil includes distinctive flora from each of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth.

Update May 19 11:55 BST


After much speculation, it appears that Meghan is wearing a tiara on loan from Her Majesty The Queen. It is Queen Mary's Filigree Tiara. Here is a post about it on Tiara Mania. More to come from the Royal Watcher blog shortly.

Update May 19 11:38 BST


Both Prince Harry and his best man Prince William are wearing the frock coat of the Blues and Royals, British Army regiment that is part of the Household Cavalry. Prince Harry served in the Army, including two combat tours in Afghanistan.

Update May 19 11:29 a.m. BST


Remember all those reports saying that Sarah Duchess of York and Harry's ex-girlfriend were highly offended to NOT be invited to the wedding. Well, here's photographic proof that both of them are there and looking smashing.
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Update May 19 10:49 a.m. BST


Harry's maternal uncle Earl Spencer and his third wife Karen have arrived. Lady Kitty Spencer, one of the Earl's seven children has also been photographed arriving. Harry was a pageboy at the Earl's first wedding.
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Update May 19 10:01 a.m. BST


The blog Meghan's Mirror is offering up great coverage of who is wearing what today, from members of the Royal Family to celebrities. Check it out here.

Update May 19 | 9:19 a.m. BST


Buckingham Palace released a PDF of the royal wedding program at midnight. You can download it here. The booklet was designed and printed before Mr. Thomas Markle's health prevented him from attending the wedding, so it lists him as escorting Meghan. We now know that her future father-in-law Charles Prince of Wales will escort her today.

Other new information gleaned from the program:
- Unlike many other men in the BRF, including Prince William, Prince Harry will wear an wedding ring.
- Unlike previous royal weddings, the couple will not use their full Christian names of Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan when reciting their vows, opting instead to just be Harry and Meghan. You may recall that Diana and Sarah both made errors when reciting their husband's long names: Diana reversed Charles' first two names while Sarah repeated Andrew's third name.
- The couple credits Prince Charles with helping them select the music for the day.


By Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace
Update May 19 | 9:03 a.m. BST


Buckingham Palace announced that The Queen has created Harry Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. This the second creation of Duke of Sussex, which had previously been granted to King George III's sixth son Prince Augustus. That Duke of Sussex was the uncle who "gave away" Queen Victoria at her own wedding, since her father died when she was an infant. Although Augustus as two wives, both of whom were the daughters of earls, they were not deemed worthy of a royal marriage and never bore their husband's titles. Read my post, Meet the Duchess of Sussex for more details. Sussex was ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, located in what is now southeast England.

This is the first royal use of Earl of Dumbarton, although it was created once before and held by two successive men named George Douglas in the 17th and 18th Century. Dumbarton is located in West Dumbartonshire, Scotland. This is the first creation of Baron Kilkeel. The town of Kilkeel is located in County Down, Northern Ireland.

If Harry and Meghan have a son, that child will be able to use the Earl of Dumbarton title during Harry's lifetime. If the earl has a son during Harry's lifetime, the grandson will be called Baron Kilkeel.

Update May 18 | 10:25 p.m. BST

WHERE/HOW to watch the wedding

The most comprehensive guide I have found is posted on the Mad About Meghan blog. It includes how to stream the wedding online and broadcast outlets in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany as well as how to watch it in movie theaters. Plus, you can enter to win a pair sunglasses like Meghan's. Scroll down their page for a complete schedule of events and a wedding-themed map of Windsor.

Update May 18 | 9 p.m. BST

On Saturday, May 19, beginning at 10 a.m. BST, I will be regularly updating this post with the latest news, tidbits and historical context for everything about the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle. You can also follow me on Twitter @PalacePrincess for real updates with the hashtag #royalwedding as well as for fun and frivolous (and fictional) updates using the hashtag #unfoundedroyalrumor. (This hashtag was invented by Marilyn Braun of Marilyn's Royal Blog and me in the run-up to the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

While you wait for the wedding to begin, here are all of my Meghan-related Princess Palace posts, for you to enjoy:

"Old" Royal Brides
Written before Meghan arrived on the scene to rebut the idea that 29-year-old Catherine Middleton was the "oldest royal bride ever", this post is still relevant to 36-year-old Meghan.

Princess Meghan? FAQs about Prince Harry's Future Wife
My very first post about Harry and Meghan's romance, in which I announced that we needed to leave them alone until it was officially acknowledged. Instead of focusing on them, it focuses on things that would be true no matter whom Harry married.

Meghan is Official, Now Let's Leave Her Alone
Published just a week later, when Harry issued a statement denouncing media intrusion and (generally racial) harassment of Meghan, her friends and family, this post underscores why Harry was so keen to take this unprecedented step to protect her and their relationship.

Royal Engagements 
Toward the end of November 2017, everyone was getting really excited about a possible royal engagement, especially after a "royal announcement" was expected on Nov. 24. In the spirit of the moment, I took a look back at royal engagements since Harry's parents announced their own in 1981.

An American Princess for Harry 
We finally got the engagement announcement on 27 November 2017. On this occasion, I posted my first bio of Meghan, plus a slideshow from that morning's photocall and a video of that afternoon's engagement interview.

The Brides of St. George's Chapel, Part 1
The Brides of St. George's Chapel, Part 2
Following the announcement that Harry and Meghan would marry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, I offered up this two-part series about the 15 royal brides who married there before Meghan. These include the gorgeous Alexandra of Denmark, the stylish Lady Helen Windsor, the popular Sophie Rhys-Jones, and the Canadian Autumn Kelly.

Meet the Duchess of Sussex
The public has assumed that Harry will be named Duke of Sussex, so I thought we'd look at the previous Duchesses of Sussex, but there are none. Instead, I profile the two wives of the only previous Duke of Sussex, both of whom were deemed unworthy of a royal title, despite being the daughters of earls.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of What?
Meghan the Scottish Duchess
Refusing to accept Sussex as the only possible title for Harry and Meghan, I took a look at the other titles that have been granted to English princes over the centuries and followed that up with a post about the titles that have been borne by Scottish princes.

Mother of the Bride
Following the announcement that Meghan's father would not attend the wedding for health reasons, but before was announced that Prince Charles would escort Meghan, I highlighted some royal wedding traditions established by Queen Victoria, including having the bride's mother "give away" the bride.

17 May 2018

The Mother of the Bride

By Carl Rudolph Sohn
via Wikimedia Commons
Few people today would suspect that staid, old, unamused Queen Victoria was quite the trendsetter, particularly when it comes to weddings. Her choice of a "simple" white wedding gown set the fashion that most Western royal brides still adhere to today. Her preference for more intimate "private" weddings was also enforced for most of her children, a trend that recent royal weddings (with the notable exception of the eventual king Prince William) have reinstated in the last 20 years. Two of Victoria's children married on the family's private estate on the Isle of Wight, four married in St. George's Chapel (like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), and one even married in the private chapel at Windsor. One of Victoria's most surprising wedding innovations may be that of having the mother of the bride to escort the bride.

Princess Alice was married beneath this iconic family portrait.
She is the little girl in yellow bending over the baby.
By Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Royal Collection, via Wikimedia Commons
When Queen Victoria was widowed at age 42, only one of her nine children had already married. Oldest daughter Vicky had indeed been escorted down the aisle by her father Prince Albert, but someone else accompanied her too: Victoria and Albert's shared uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium. Well, why not. The next daughter, Princess Alice, who had nursed the dying Albert was married less than seven months after his death in a very private ceremony that Victoria wrote was "more like a funeral." To keep things as low-key and intimate as possible, Alice was not even permitted to marry in a church. Instead, the wedding took place in the dining room of Osborne House, the family's private home on the Isle of Wight. The couple stood beneath a massive portrait of the royal family (including the recently departed Albert, of course) while the sorrowful widow hid herself in a corner.

Even Victoria's heir, the future King Edward VII, had to have as small a wedding as possible for such an important occasion. Instead of a public wedding in London like his successors would have, the Prince of Wales was the first of Victoria's children to wed at St. George's Chapel, which sits just on the edge of the more private environs of the castle itself.  The perpetually mourning queen watched him wed Princess Alexandra of Denmark from a balcony, dressed (as always) in black with a widow's cap. (She had taken the bridal couple to Prince Albert's tomb the day before the wedding to give them Albert's blessing. Victoria really loved to mourn.)

Princess Beatrice in her wedding dress.
via Wikimedia Commons
Victoria did not take an active role in her children's weddings until her third daughter Princess Helena married in the private chapel in Windsor Castle. This was when Victoria roused herself from deepest mourning to escort the bride down the aisle. Of course, she still dressed in black with a widow's cap, but she did at least throw some diamonds on and had silver thread woven through her dress for the occasion. When daughter #4 Louise married the son of a mere Peer of the Realm, many people were outraged at such a misalliance for a princess. One of the most vocal opponents of the marriage was the Prince of Wales. Nevertheless, there was an expectation that, as the oldest son of a fatherless family, he would give the bride away. Victoria denied him the honor and once again did it herself. By the time, her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice married in the tiny chapel on the Isle of Wight, it was only natural that the mother of the bride would give her away.

As a footnote, unlike her grandfather George III who insisted on the Royal Marriages Act to prevent members of the royal family from marrying "beneath" them, Victoria fully approved of unequal marriages for her children and grandchildren. If she deemed a spouse worthy, she didn't care what anyone else thought. When Princess Louise wanted to marry a mere Peer of the Realm, she wrote that he was the equal of any German princeling. Then, when her granddaughter Victoria of Hesse and daughter Beatrice married princes from the morganatic Battenberg family, she fully supported them. Thus, it was Victoria who launched the trend that would eventually lead to royals marrying spouses from the peerage and now spouses with no noble heritage at all.

For a much more detailed discussion of these and other royal weddings, read Weddings of Queen Victoria's Children on Royal Central.

16 May 2018

Meghan the Scottish Duchess?

Photo: Alex Lubomirski/Kensington Palace
Once the Tudor dynasty died out in England, the English crown passed to their cousins, the Stuart kings of Scotland, leading to the eventual union of the crowns and of the countries. When the Protestant branch of the Stuart family passed the throne to their German cousins, the close ties to Scotland fell to the wayside for a century. Then, Queen Victoria and her German husband discovered a deep and abiding love for Scotland and built their own castle there. Later, their great-grandson married the daughter of a Scottish earl and the two became King George V and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the connection between the British Royal Family and Scotland was solidified.

The Queen is very fond of her maternal homeland. Her younger sister, Princess Margaret, was even born there in the famous Glamis Castle of Shakespearean fame. Plus, her husband was given the very Scottish title Duke of Edinburgh when he married her. With these affectionate bonds, it could be likely that she will find a Scottish royal dukedom for Prince Harry. (He will certainly have a Scottish title among the three he is expected to receive. For instance, his brother Prince William is Earl of Strathearn as well as Duke of Cambridge.)

We've already discussed the English royal dukedoms (see that post), so now let's look at the Scottish ones. [UPDATE: 5/19/18 Harry was created Duke of Sussex, with the Scottish title Earl of Dunbarton and Northern Irish title Baron Killeen.]

Many of the Scottish options have deep historic roots either as their own early kingdoms or as an area ruled by a mormaer (a territorial leader) or by a thane (a military ruler). One of the earliest of these to be granted to a king's son was the old Mormaer of Atholl, which was granted as an earldom to the 11th century King Duncan I's son Mael Muire. With that creation, the title existed for several generations before it was forfeited in a rebellion against King Robert Bruce. It was re-created as an earldom eight times including for princes in the House of Bruce and the House of Stewart, but it now exists as a non-royal dukedom.

Mary Queen of Scots
by Francois Clouet via Wikimedica Commons
King Macbeth (yes, that Macbeth) passed the throne to his stepson Lulach, who seems to have had a son who was the Mormaer of Moray. That title was created again as Earl of Moray for another king's son, this time James V's illegitimate son (and Mary Queen of Scots' half-brother) James Stewart. Amazingly, it has been successfully passed from generation to generation for 500+ years now and is still held in the Stuart family. (By the way, the variation in the naming of the Royal House of Stewart/Stuart dates to Mary Queen of Scots. Generally speaking, prior to her, and some branches descending from earlier times use the "Scottish" Stewart spelling while those after her sojourn as the Queen Consort of France use the "French" Stuart spelling.)

In the 12th century, the future King David I, son of Malcolm III, was recognized as the Prince of the Cumbrians. Long before that, Cumbria had been its own kingdom. Although modern Cumbria is in England, during early periods, control shifted back and forth between the Scots and the English. The title Duke of Cumbria has never been used, and it might therefore make an interesting "new" choice with ancient roots for Henry just as when the ancient Kingdom of Wessex became an earldom for The Queen's youngest son Prince Edward.

Another borderland ancient Kingdom that could be granted Harry would be Duke of Northumbria. It was last used as an earldom by William the Lion who became King William I of Scotland in 1165 and then Alexander III half a century later.

Once the Bruce clan took over the throne, their maternal title Earl of Carrick became a royal title. They quickly made sure that it would stay that way by granting it to the royal heir. Their reign as a royal house didn't last long, but their royal earldom did. Since then, it has been born by the Scottish then British heirs. This means it is currently held by Harry's father, Prince Charles, as one of his many titles.

Louise of Wales, Duchess of Fife
via Wikimedia Commons
The first Stewart king, Robert II, had lots of royal children and he granted his sons some titles that have not yet been mentioned here. His son Robert was Earl of Atholl (above), Earl of Mentieth, Earl of Fife and Duke of Albany. He held Mentieth by right of his wife. It was re-created for the Graham family but has been dormant since 1694. Although only marginally royal, it could be a possibility. Fife had belonged to the ancient Macduff clan until the 14th century when the last heiress named Robert as her heir. It was re-created for the Duff family, and became a Dukedom when Queen Victoria elevated the title after her granddaughter Princess Louise of Wales married the Earl of Fife. The title then passed through Louise's daughter (who had married another of Victoria's grandchildren, Prince Arthur of Connaught) and still exists today, but is not royal. (Read about their other daughter Princess Maud of Fife.)

The title Duke of Albany was first created for this Prince Robert Stewart and then for the second sons of James II, James V, James VI and Charles I. In fact, it might be considered the Scottish equivalent of the Duke of York title with one notable exception:  it was also granted to the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots, Henry Lord Darnley, who, upon his murder, passed it to his only son, the aforementioned James VI. Jacobite pretender Charles Edward Stuart gave the title to his illegitimate daughter Charlotte, although he had no real legal right to do so. Queen Victoria gave the title to her youngest son, Prince Leopold, who died as a young adult from hemophilia and passed it to his son, who later also inherited the German title Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and this is where things get interesting in thinking about Duke of Albany as a title for Prince Harry.

The Duke of Saxe-Coburg had his British titles suspended when he fought with the Germans during World War I. His son used the title but did not petition Parliament to have it reinstated. Unlike the similarly suspended Duke of Cumberland title, Albany may not have a current claimant who could still petition Parliament. As Marlene Eilers Koenig points out on Royal Musings, the Coburg heirs did not seek approval for their marriages under the Royal Marriages Act, rendering their marriages extralegal in terms of British royal inheritances. This could mean that Albany technically could be considered available for Prince Harry. And, I have to say, I really like the title for him especially since he will be the second son of a king when Charles ascends the throne and the traditional English title Duke of York is not available for him.

Robert II's son Alexander was given the title Earl of Buchan. Based on another ancient mormaerdom, Buchan had never before been used as an earldom. It later merged with the crown and was recreated by James III for his uncle. That line still exists today, although it has passed through the female line a couple of times, and the title has been in the Erskine family for more than 300 years.

Duchess of Cornwall AKA Duchess of Rothesay
By Korona Lacasse via Wikimedia Commons
The title Duke of Rothesay was created in 1398 for the oldest son of Robert III. Since then, it has been given to the heir apparent and is therefore currently in use by Prince Charles, who is styled as The Duke of Rothesay (rather than The Prince of Wales) whenever he is in Scotland. His wife The Duchess of Cornwall is likewise called Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland.

The later Stewarts were not terribly successful at having boys (although they did do better than the Tudors), so there were not a lot of princes who needed titles. They also fell into a pattern of childhood accession that continued up until Mary Queen of Scots abdicated the throne in favor of her infant son James VI (later James I of England). Therefore, they didn't need new dukedoms for their princes. They were able to rely mostly on the previously created royal titles.

Once very notable exception was the re-creation of the ancient mormaerdom of Mar, that had been held as an earldom in the Douglas family, but it was reverted to the crown following some unsavory marital machinations by a Stewart cousin who forcibly claimed it from the Douglas heiress, Isabella. Thereafter, James II gave it to his son John, and after his death to his son Alexander, who lost after taking sides with the English. James III gave it to his son John but it became extinct again when he died. Mary Queen of Scots' illegitimate half-brother the Earl of Moray was granted Mar, too. When Moray rebelled, MQS took the title away and not only gave it to Isabella Douglas' descendant, Lord Erskine, but also declared that it had actually belonged to Isabella's heirs up to that point and the numbering of the earls of Mar were changed to reflect this.  But, the subsequent Erskines were Jacobites and the title was forfeited again before being restored to the Erskine heirs about a century later. However, the right to the title was highly disputed in the 19th century, when Parliament actually ruled that there are two Earldoms of Mar, one that can be passed through the female line and one that cannot. Since then, there have always been two holders of the title. Margaret Lane is the 31st Countess of Mar in the female-friendly line (her daughter and granddaughter are her heirs) and her very distant cousin James Erskine is the 13th Earl of Mar in the boys-only line. Needless to say, Harry will not be granted a third Earldom of Mar.

However, those first royal Earls of Mar were actually title Earl of Mar and Garioch. And, no one else has held the Garioch title since then. This means that it is within the realm of possibility for Harry.

Despite the availability of other titles, James III created his second son James Duke of Ross. He died as a young man, leaving no heirs, so his brother James IV (yes, they were both called James) also had a son titled Duke of Ross. Born after James IV's death this little Duke of Ross, Prince Alexander, died before his second birthday and the title has never been used again as a Dukedom for anyone else. It was, however, used as Earl of Ross for Lord Darnley, for Darnley's son James VI and I, and for Darnley's grandson, the beheaded King Charles I. This makes Ross a possible option for Harry, albeit one with an unfortunate set of predecessors.

Once the Stuarts became kings of England, too, they wanted to keep their Scottish ties prominent and granted Scots titles in addition to English ones to their sons (they sometimes gave Irish ones, too). They event created a couple of new ones. For instance, James VI and I gave his youngest son Robert the Scottish title Duke of Kintyre and Lorne. Robert died at just four months and theses titles were not used again in the royal line. Instead, they were recreated as marquessates and are among the dozen titles borne by the Duke of Argyll. The Argyll heir has traditionally been styled as the Marquess of Lorne since 1701 when the title was granted in gratitude for the family's support of William III.

The current Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh
Photo: Matt Holyoak/CameraPress
Perhaps the most famous Scottish royal dukedom today is that of Duke of Edinburgh, which as described above, was granted to the former Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, just before he married the current Queen. it was first created by King George I for his eldest grandson Prince Frederick, who would later be Prince of Wales. Frederick died before his father, leaving the title and later the throne passed to his son George III. He granted it along with the English Duke of Gloucester to his younger brother William, whose son inherited it but had no children to pass it on to. The Edinburgh title remained unused for a century, when Queen Victoria granted it (instead of York and/or Albany) to her second son Prince Alfred. Alfred had four daughters who all had children, but the title could only pass to his one son, who died without heirs before him.

George III created another younger brother, Prince Henry Duke of Strathearn as a Scottish title to accompany his English Duke of Cumberland. This once again drew upon an ancient mormaerdom, but Henry had no children to pass the title to. So, George III gave it along with Duke of Kent to his fourth son Prince Edward, whose only child was a girl and therefore was ineligible to inherit it, although she did manage to inherit the throne as Queen Victoria. Eventually, Strathearn was re-created in 2011 as an earldom for Harry's older brother, Prince William.

George III's third son, William, got the English title Duke of Clarence and the Scottish St. Andrews. His titles merged with the crown when he became King William IV. The St. Andrews title was resurrected as an earldom for the fourth son of George V, and today belongs to his oldest son, The Queen's cousin Prince Edward and is used as a courtesy title by his son, another George. Otherwise it would have made a nicely sentimental title for Harry's brother William, who met his wife Catherine while they were both students at the university of St. Andrews.

George III's fifth son (he had nine sons and six daughters) received the English Duke of Cumberland and the Scottish Teviotdale. This son became King of Hanover because his niece Victoria, as a female, was not eligible for that throne. His heirs had the title suspended when they fought against Britain in World War I. However, there are still living heirs today who could petition to have it restored, so Teviotdale is an unlikely choice for Harry.

Son #6, the Duke of Sussex was given the Scottish title Earl of Inverness. With no royal heirs, the title fell extinct on his death, but was re-created for the next three Dukes of York. The first two of these Yorks merged it back to the crown when they became Kings George V and George VI. The third one is today's Prince Andrew, who is known as the Earl of Inverness when he is in Scotland.  Son #7 got an English dukedom (Cambridge), an Irish earldom (Tipperary) and a Scottish barony (Culloden). Sons #8 and #9 died as young boys before being granted titles.

The last Duke of Clarence, oldest won of Edward VII was actually Duke of Clarence and Avondale, a Scottish town. So, if Harry is not named Duke of Clarence (which I think is very likely) he could be the first-ever Duke of Avondale, which sounds rather lovely to my ears.

So the possible Scottish titles are: Cumbria, Northumbria, Mentieth, Albany, Garioch, Ross or Avondale

Read my post about the English title options.

14 May 2018

Documentary Review of Harry and Meghan: A Modern Royal Romance

If you'd like to catch up on the background of Prince Harry's romance with fiancee Meghan Markle, you can check out the latest video on demand from Vision Films, "Harry and Meghan: A Modern Royal Romance." Available on most online and cable outlets, this one-hour doc includes interviews from some of the top royal experts, including former royal staffers Dickie Arbiter and Ken Wharf and royal journalists Katie Nichols and Robert Jobson.

The program traces the pre-romance lives of both Harry and Meghan, focusing more perhaps on Harry's much more documented childhood and young adulthood. In its overview of Meghan's background, I do have to wonder about the sourcing of some of the images as I don't believe any childhood photos have been released by official sources, so these have some from so-called "friends" or unworthy relatives (of which Meghan seems to have more than her fair share).

As with every documentary that has ever focused on Prince Harry or his brother Prince William, this one continues the myth that the two boys were influenced only by their mother, the late Diana Princess of Wales, who wanted them to have normal lives and, according to this doc, marry for love since she was so unhappy in her marriage. This is just a pet peeve of mine since Prince Charles was a very involved parent, and was credited by the media as such before his divorce, and he was their only parent from the time Harry was 12 years old. To be fair, this program does at least give some credit to their grandmother, The Queen, for how they turned out.

The program has good pacing and is fairly well-structured. It answers just about any question a viewer might wish to know. Some of the Meghan-focused blogs get some screen time. Meghan's positive influence on lifestyle/health issues and women's issues are included.

The cheerfully American narrator makes just a couple of minor missteps, two in the area of pronunciation and another couple in stating possibilities as certainties. First, the place where most royal weddings take place is Westminster Abbey, not Westmin-i-ster and Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon not AragoRn. Second, she states without question that Meghan will be the Duchess of Sussex even though a title will not be announced until March 19 and that Meghan will definitely wear a tiara for the royal wedding although doing so is a personal choice that also has not yet been shared.

Overall, this is a solid, well-produced, easy to enjoy and factually accurate documentary, and you cannot really ask for better than that!

A second part, covering the royal wedding, is due out on May 31.

Where to find "Harry and Meghan: A Modern Royal Romance":
iTunes:​ http://bit.ly/HMR-iTunes
Amazon:​ http://a.co/e8iZtWJ
Microsoft X-Box:​ http://bit.ly/HMR-Xbox
FandangoNow​: http://bit.ly/HMR-FandangoNow
Vimeo:​ https://vimeo.com/ondemand/harryandmeghanpart

Also check your cable provider's video on demand programming.

13 May 2018

Meghan Markle, Duchess of What?

Will Meghan be the Duchess of Sussex?

Image: Northern Ireland Office
via Wikimedia Commons
With less than a week until the royal wedding, it's time to get serious about predicting which title Prince Harry of Wales will be granted by this grandmother The Queen and, therefore, what we will be calling his American bride Meghan Markle. The whole world seems content to believe that he will definitely be the Duke of Sussex -- I've even seen some documentaries state it as a certainty! -- but I have no idea why they have such confidence. There are literally a dozen+ historic options as well as the possibility that The Queen could create something entirely new.  [UPDATE: 5/19/18 Harry was created Duke of Sussex, with the Scottish title Earl of Dunbarton and Northern Irish title Baron Kilkeel.]

Not only have there been royal dukes in the English peerage, but there are plenty from the Scottish peerage, too. Let's explore the English ones now.

Since the Norman Conquest, kings have been giving these peerage titles to their younger sons. The first to do so was Henry I, who created his illegitimate son Robert the Earl of Gloucester. Gloucester was re-created many times over the centuries, but it's not a possibility for Harry and Meghan, because it currently exists and is held by The Queen's first cousin Prince Richard and his Danish wife Birgitte.

Henry created another bastard son Earl of Cornwall. In 1337, the title Duke of Cornwall was granted to King Edward III's heir, Edward The Black Prince. Ever since then, it has been automatically granted to the royal heir. Therefore, it has been held by Harry's father Prince Charles since his mother ascended the throne in 1952, when he was three years old.

Henry III's younger son Edmund Crouchback was given the old Earl of Leicester and Earl of Lancaster titles, when his father granted him the lands of the rebel nobleman Simon de Montfort. After Edmund's male line died out, Leicester and Lancaster passed through his great granddaughter to her Dutch husband and then through her sister Blanche of Lancaster to the famous John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III. Thus, it once again become royal and the Dukes of Lancaster eventually became kings, struggling against the royal line of the Dukes of York throughout the Wars of the Roses. The Duchy of Lancaster was merged with the Crown during this period. Since then, it has always been held by the monarch. So, the current Duke (yes, Duke) of Lancaster is The Queen herself, and she makes a lot of money off of the property and portfolio held by the Duchy. As for Leicester, it remains in the peerage today, but was never again held by a member of the royal family.

Joan of Kent
via Wikipedia Commons
King Edward I's sons were created Earl of Chester, Earl of Norfolk and Earl of Kent. When his grandson became King Edward III, he associated Chester with the Prince of Wales title and granted it to the royal heir. It has been attached to the Wales title ever since, meaning that this is another of several secondary titles currently held by Harry's dad. The Norfolk title was an ancient one in the peerage but it had no heirs. After Edward I gave it to his son Thomas, it remained in his line for more than a century and was eventually upgraded to Duke of Norfolk. Now no longer in the royal line, it is officially the highest dukedom in the English peerage and the holder is also the Earl Marshal, even though the dukes remained Catholic after England became Protestant. Edward I's youngest son Edmund was made the Earl of Kent, another ancient title. Edmund's daughter, Joan of Kent, held the title when she married the Prince of Wales (Edward the Black Prince). He never became king, and Joan already had sons from a previous marriage so the title passed through her older son into the Holland family and did not return to the royal family until it was re-created as Duke of Kent by King George III for his fourth son Prince Edward, who was the father of Queen Victoria. After a couple more re-creations, the Kent title currently exists in the royal family and is held by The Queen's cousin, another Prince Edward, who inherited it at age 6 from his father Prince George, who had been killed in a flying accident in World War II.

Queen Mary was almost Duchess of Clarence
image: Bairn News Service via Wikimedia Commons
King Edward III and his wife Philippa were prolific. They produced 13 children, including five sons who lived to adulthood and needed royal titles. Some of these titles came through marriage to heiress wives. Prince Lionel married Elizabeth Countess of Ulster (a title that is held by the current royal Duke of Gloucester and used as a courtesy by his heir even though its territory is in Ireland and is no longer part of the United Kingdom). Elizabeth was also the sole heiress of the Clare estates, so the title Duke of Clarence was created for Lionel. It has been re-created for other royal princes since then, most recently for The Queen's great uncle Prince Albert Victor, who would have married Queen Mary and eventually become king if he had not died young. (See my post A Royal Love Triangle.) Because Clarence had so recently belonged to the son of a Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), I expected that it would have been given to Prince William instead of the Cambridge title he received. With its close associations to the current royal family, I think Duke of Clarence is a very strong possibility for Prince Harry.

As mentioned above, Edward III's son John of Gaunt married the Lancaster heiress. Edward's next son Edmund of Langley became the very first Duke of York (although the actual Grand Old Duke of York came centuries later). He had married a foreign princess and had no English title, so his nephew King Richard II created gave him this title at the same time that he gave Edward III's youngest son Thomas of Woodstock the Gloucester title. Ironically, York supported Richard's Lancastrian cousin Henry Bolingbroke when he seized the throne from Richard and made himself Henry IV. The alliance between the Yorks and Lancasters didn't last long, erupting into the Wars of the Roses for control of the throne. After the dust settled, the York title was granted to the new King Henry VII's second son, who later became King Henry VIII. Since that time, most second-born sons of the monarch have been granted the title. It was often available since all of the Dukes of York either became king and merged the title back to the Crown (like the current Queen's father did) or they had no sons to pass the title down to (like The Queen's second son Andrew Duke of York who only has daughters).

Melusine, the royal mistress with a royal title
Two new royal titles were created during the War of the Roses when the Lancastrian Henry V made his younger brother John Duke of Bedford and Earl of Kendal, but John died without heirs. The Bedford title was later re-created for different royal supporters but never again for a prince. The Kendal title was re-created several more times as an earldom and then as a dukedom. Interestingly, it was even granted at one point to a royal mistress! King George I left his wife imprisoned in Germany when he became king, but he brought his mistress with him and named her the Duchess of Kendal. The most recent royal to hold the title (as Earl of Kendal) was Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne. Duke of Kendal is definitely within the realm of possibility for Harry and Meghan.

The Tudor era which followed the Wars had a paucity of princes so it's new surprise that they created no new royal dukedoms. However, Henry VII did style his youngest son Edmund Duke of Somerset, but he was never fully created such and he died aged 16 months. But, don't look for Meghan to be the Duchess of Somerset. For that honor, she would have to marry the 65-year-old John Seymour 19th Duke of Somerset, who already has a wife, as this title was re-created several times for non-royals, most recently being awarded to the Seymours for loyalty to the Crown after The Restoration in the 17th century.

After the Tudors, the English crown passed to their Scottish royal cousins who became Kings of Great Britain. Scottish royal dukedoms are even more exciting to me as possibilities for Harry and Meghan, so I will cover them in a separate post.

In addition to Scottish titles, the Stuarts did introduce some new English ones. The first Duke of Cambridge was Charles Stuart, son of the future King James II. Like so many Stuart babies, little Charles did not survive infancy, dying at just seven months. The title was created again for his younger brother James (died age four) and younger brother Edgar (died age three) and yet again for a half brother also named Charles who lived just over one month. The title was more successfully created for the Hanoverian King George III's seventh son Adolphus, whose great-granddaughter became Queen Mary, consort of King George V and grandmother of the current Queen Elizabeth II. It is this sentimental family tie that I think inspired The Queen to grant this title to her grandson Prince William.

Caroline of Monaco could be the
Duchess of Cumberland today
By Lorenzo Riva via Wikimedia Commons
The Stuarts also created the Duke of Cumberland title although they never granted it to one of their sons. First, Charles II gave it to his nephew Prince Rupert of The Rhine, who was also Earl of Holderness. The Holderness title was re-created a couple of non-royal times, but is not currently held by anyone. Then, the Duke of Cumberland title was given to Queen Anne's husband, George of Denmark. Later, the Hanoverians used it for a couple of their sons, including Queen Victoria's least favorite Uncle Ernest Augustus. When he became King of Hanover (as a woman, Victoria could not inherit that throne), the Cumberland title went with him to Germany. Since the Hanoverian cousins fought against Britain in World War I, the title was suspended in 1919 with the caveat that an heir could petition for its restoration. The current heir is Prince Ernst August of Hanover, estranged husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, but he has never filed such a petition. Since the title is in suspension but has possible legitimate heirs with Ernst August's two sons, it it an unlikely possibility for Harry.

Of course, the Stuarts are well-known for the number of royal bastards they produced. In fact, most of today's British aristocracy are descended from them, including the families of Diana Princess of Wales, Camilla The Duchess of Cornwall and Sarah Duchess of York. Numerous titles were created for their mistresses and their offspring, but most of those titles are still in use by peers today. Those English titles that could be re-created for Harry's use include Duke of Monmouth, which was given to Charles II's oldest acknowledged son James Scott, who later claimed that he was legitimate and attempted to depose his uncle James II. Charles gave his mistress Barbara Villiers Palmer the title Duchess of Cleveland and she passed it to their oldest son (who had already been created Duke of Southampton) and then their grandson. Cleveland was re-created in 1833 for the related Vane family, but it has been extinct since 1891. Duke of Southampton has been extinct since 1774. Charles gave the title Duchess of Portsmouth to another of his mistresses, the Frenchwoman Louise de Kerouaille, but it was not inherited by their son. Today, it is an extant earldom, so that probably takes it off of the table.

Charles' brother James II gave one of his illegitimate sons, James FitzJames, the title Duke of Berwick. With his support of the Jacobites after the Glorious Revolution, the title was considered forfeit and is therefore nonexistent. Nevertheless, today, the title has not one but two claimants because it was recognized by King Louis XIV of France and later by King Felipe V of Spain, who also created the holder a Grandee of Spain. So, while it is officially available in England, it is a very unlikely option for Harry. James gave another illegitimate son Henry Fitzjames the title Duke of Albemarle after he himself was already in exile. It was re-created for a later Jacobite supporter, and its mostly Jacobite ties might make it unlikely even though it has been vacant as a dukedom for more than 250 years. The fact that is currently exists as an earldom takes any likelihood down to zero.

Unlike the Tudors and the Stuarts, the Hanoverian dynasty produced A LOT of healthy princes. They had a number of royal dukedoms that they could use but still needed to create one new one: the highly touted Duke of Sussex. There has only ever been one Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus, the sixth son of King George III. He was only given the title after he agreed to leave his first wife, the mother of his two children. (See my post about his wives, Meet the Duchess of Sussex.)

The House of Windsor has also created a couple of new royal titles, but for very special reasons in both cases. Firstly, in 1936, the title Duke of Windsor was invented in order to provide something for the abdicated King Edward VIII to use. He could have passed it to a son, but that was never really likely since his twice-divorced wife had never had any children and she was in her 40s when they married. The taint of the abdication is still strong with The Queen, whose entire life's trajectory was changed by this uncle's decision to give up the throne, so I would not anticipate her re-creating the title for Harry.

She did re-create a very ancient title for her youngest son Prince Edward when she named him Earl of Wessex, which had formerly been an Anglo-Saxon kingdom. At the time, it was announced that he will eventually be created Duke of Edinburgh after father's death and his brother Charles' accession. As the oldest son, Charles will inherit their father's title as Duke of Edinburgh. If he is already king (or once he becomes king), the title will merge with the crown and he will grant it, per their parents' wishes, to his youngest brother, who will later pass it on to his son James. In the meantime, Edward will continue to use the title that his mother created just for him. And, since he will still have the Wessex title, it can't be given to Harry.

In conclusion, there are, in my opinion, many English peerage possibilities for Harry and Meghan:  Clarence, Kendal, Holderness, Monmouth, Cleveland, Berwick (highly unlikely) or Sussex.

There are several more possibilities from the Scottish peerage, so be sure to check back in for an upcoming post about these.

01 May 2018

Meet the Duchess of Sussex

If Prince Harry is created Duke of Sussex upon his marriage, as many people expect, his bride Meghan Markle would become the very first Duchess of Sussex. The title has only been created once before, for Prince Augustus Frederick, sixth son of King George III. While Augustus Frederick had two wives, neither of them was deemed worthy of a royal marriage and neither was allowed to use her husband's titles. (My, how things have changed.)  [UPDATE: 5/19/18 Harry was created Duke of Sussex, with the Scottish title Earl of Dunbarton and Northern Irish title Baron Killeen.]

Lady Augusta Murray
By August Grahl via Wikimedia Commons
Unlike most of his profligate brothers, Augustus Frederick married quite young. He was just 20 when he defied the Royal Marriages Act to wed Lady Augusta Murray. The couple had met while he was visiting Italy for his health; he suffered from asthma that had prevented him from partaking in a military career like his brothers. They secretly married in Rome in 1793. They married again, still without royal permission, after returning to London. Even though her father was an earl, Augusta was not considered a worthy consort for a prince. (Under these strictures, Prince Charles could not have married Lady Diana Spencer, never mind all of the royal brides since her.)

The following year, the king had the marriage annulled. However, Augusta, who was five years older than her prince, remained with him for eight years, sometimes living in London and sometimes in Berlin. They had two children, whom they named Augustus and Augusta for themselves. Like their mother, the children were not granted royal titles or status, and they had no claim upon their father's estate. They were given the surname d'Este after the Italian noble family from which both husband and wife could claim descent. Augustus Frederick was a bit of an absentee father, leaving Augusta primarily responsible fore the children. She was a clever woman, eventually gathering her motherly remedies into a book of cures. She also had keen literary interests, creating several "commonplace books" (like a pre-recording era mix tape) with excerpts from her favorite works. These books are now included in the Royal Archives.

Following the couple's official separation in 1801 (around the time of their daughter's birth), Augusta's books tended toward more melancholy themes of a wounded lover. It was only after leaving Augusta that Prince Augustus Frederick was granted the title of Duke of Sussex and an annual allowance of £12,000 with the expectation that he would marry properly the next time. Augusta was given custody of the children, a new surname of de Ameland and an income of £4,000 per annum.

Lady Cecelia Underwood
From the Royal Collection via Wikimedia Commons
Despite this settlement, Augustus Frederick did not marry again until after Augusta's death. He married Lady Cecilia Gore a year later in 1831. She was granted her mother's maiden name of Underwood to use rather than her paternal surname. The childless widow of Sir George Buggin, Cecilia was in her mid-40s when she married the Duke of Sussex so it is not surprising that they had no children. Like Augusta, Cecilia was the daughter of an earl and her marriage was not recognized as legal.

However, after Augustus Frederick's niece Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, things began to change. Victoria was fond of this uncle and she felt badly that his wife was not permitted to attend official occasions due to her low rank. With her inimitable style of making her own rules when necessary, Victoria created Cecelia the Duchess of Inverness in 1840 with the right to pass that titles to heirs of her body, although she had none.

The Duke passed away in 1843 and his wife, Her Grace The Duchess of Inverness survived him by 30 years, passing away in their apartment at Kensington Palace. They are buried together at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. His son, Augustus d'Este, unsuccessfully laid claim to the royal Dukedom of Sussex, but died just a few years after his father. He was posthumously diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 100 years later. He is also remembered for his support of aboriginal cultures around the world, most particularly the First Nations people of Canada.

The Duke's daughter, Augusta d'Este suffered like her father from asthma and died at age 64. A great property owner, she married Thomas Wilde 1st Baron Truro in her early 40s. The couple had no children, leaving the Sussex title with no claimants.

More about Lady Augusta Murray
Lady Augusta Murray on the Royal Collection's Georgian Papers Program

More about Lady Cecelia Underwood 1st Duchess of Inverness
Cecelia Underwood 1st Duchess of Inverness on Things that Catch My Eye