The Difference Between a Prince and a Duke
Meghan Markle wasn’t the only one to get a new royal title this year. Following their May nuptials, Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon Meghan and Prince Harry the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Though the title was certainly an upgrade it’s kind of a lateral move for Harry, who currently sits sixth in line for the British throne. Here’s everything you need to know about the titles of Duke and Prince and just how they differ.
What are royal titles all about anyway?
As Southern Living previously explained, royal titles have long been used to pay back friends of the monarchy, who are also known as “peers of the realm.” Those peers were often people who swore their loyalty to the royal family. In return, they were given a title and often were bestowed vast amounts of land. Titles include duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron for men; duchess, marchioness, countess, viscountess, and baroness for women.
Who can be a Prince?
According to The Sun, several people can go by the title of prince. Those people include the husband of the reigning Queen, their male children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. But, when a princess marries a non-royal he cannot become a prince unless she becomes the Queen. A prince is referred to as “Your Highness” or “Your Majesty.”
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Who can be a Duke?
A duke is the member of the nobility but doesn’t necessarily have to be a member of the royal family. This is a man who is a ruler of a county or territory, otherwise known as a “duchy. ”It’s typical that royal men get a new Dukedom when they marry, just as Prince William did when he became Duke of Cambridge and Harry did when he became Duke of Sussex.
How is the title given out?
In order to become a duke, The Sun explained, the title must become available, which means the last person to hold it has died with no legitimate heirs. During such event, the title reverts back to the Queen and she may give it out at her will. Anyone with the title of duke or duchess is referred to as “Your Grace.”
Are all princes dukes?
No, not all princes are dukes. Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, did not become a duke after his wedding in 1999. Instead, Yahoo pointed out, he chose the title of "Earl of Wessex.” However, on the unfortunate day when Prince Philip dies, Prince Edward will inherit the title of Duke of Edinburgh.