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Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a
duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affair ...
, or of a member of
royalty Royalty may refer to: * Kingship * Royal family, the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family * Royalty payment for use of such things as intellectual property, music, or natural resources Entertainment ...
, or
nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm that p ...
. As rulers, dukes are ranked below
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
s,
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

king
s,
grand prince Grand prince or great prince (feminine: grand princess or great princess) ( la, magnus princeps Princeps (plural: principes) is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, foremost, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; ...
s,
grand duke Grand Duke (feminine: Grand Duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a Grand Duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, king or archd ...
s, and sovereign
prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, hereditary, in so ...

prince
s. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes from French ''duc'', itself from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
''
dux ''Dux'' (; plural: ''ducēs'') is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

dux
'', 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank (particularly one of
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
or
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
origin), and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province. In most countries, the word duchess is the female equivalent. Following the reforms of
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
(which separated the civilian and military administrations of the Roman provinces), a ''dux'' became the military commander in each province. The title ''dux'', Hellenised to ''doux'', survived in the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
where it continued in several contexts, signifying a rank equivalent to a captain or general. Later on, in the 11th century, the title '' Megas Doux'' was introduced for the post of commander-in-chief of the entire navy. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
the title (as ''
Herzog ''Herzog'' (female ''Herzogin'') is a German hereditary title held by one who rules a territorial duchy, exercises feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural custo ...

Herzog
'') signified first among the Germanic monarchies. Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the superiors of the
count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

count
s in the cities and later, in the
feudal monarchies Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society aroun ...
, the highest-ranking peers of the king. A duke may or may not be, ''
ipso facto is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation wit ...
'', a member of the nation's
peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societi ...
: in the United Kingdom and Spain all dukes are/were also peers of the realm, in France some were and some were not, while the term is not applicable to dukedoms of other nations, even where an institution similar to the peerage (e.g.
Grandee Grandee (; es, Grande de España, ) is an official aristocratic title conferred on some Spanish nobility Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked imme ...
ship,
Imperial DietImperial Diet means the highest representative assembly in an empire, notably: * Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) * Diet of Japan, Has been going on since 1889 (1889 ...
, Hungarian House of Magnates) existed. During the 19th century, many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by Dukes or
Grand Duke Grand Duke (feminine: Grand Duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a Grand Duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, king or archd ...
s. But at present, with the exception of the
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
, there are no dukes ruling as monarchs. Duke remains the highest hereditary title (aside from titles borne by a
reign A reign is the period of a person's or dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university pres ...
ing or formerly reigning dynasty) in Portugal (though now a republic), Spain, and the United Kingdom. In Sweden, members of the Royal Family are given a personal dukedom at birth. The Pope, as a temporal sovereign, has also, though rarely, granted the title of Duke or Duchess to persons for services to the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. In some realms the relative status of "duke" and "prince", as titles borne by the
nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm that p ...
rather than by members of reigning dynasties, varied—e.g., in Italy and Germany. A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom, or is married to a duke, is normally styled duchess.
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Queen Elizabeth II
, however, is known by tradition as
Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kingdom of France, France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles the Simple, Charles III in 91 ...
in the
Channel Islands The Channel Islands ( nrf, Îles d'la Manche; french: îles Anglo-Normandes or ''îles de la Manche'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...

Channel Islands
and
Duke of Lancaster The Dukedom of Lancaster is an extinct Peerage of England, English peerage. It was created three times during the Middle Ages but finally merged in the Crown when Henry V of England, Henry V succeeded to the throne in 1413. Despite the extinctio ...

Duke of Lancaster
in
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs.) is a non-metropolitan and ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial co ...

Lancashire
.


Duchy and dukedom

A duchy is the territory or geopolitical entity ruled by a duke, whereas his title or area is often called a dukedom. The
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
is a fully independent state and its head, the Grand Duke, is a sovereign monarch reigning over his Luxembourgish subjects. The
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility ...
holds both the dukedom (title) and duchy (estate holdings), the latter being the source of his personal income; those living on the ducal estates are subjects of the British sovereign and owe neither fealty nor services to the duke ''per se''. In Scotland the male heir apparent to the British crown is always the
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
as well, but this is a dukedom (title) without a duchy. Similarly, the British monarch rules and owns the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of ...
as
Duke of Lancaster The Dukedom of Lancaster is an extinct Peerage of England, English peerage. It was created three times during the Middle Ages but finally merged in the Crown when Henry V of England, Henry V succeeded to the throne in 1413. Despite the extinctio ...

Duke of Lancaster
, but it is held separately from the Crown, with the income of the duchy estates providing the Sovereign's
Privy Purse The Privy Purse is the British Sovereign The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercise ...
. The Channel Islands are two of the three remaining
Crown Dependencies #REDIRECT Crown Dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in t ...

Crown Dependencies
, the last vestiges of the lands of the Duchy of Normandy. The Islanders in their loyal toast will say "La Reine, notre Duc" (The Queen, Our Duke). Though the title was apparently renounced under the Treaty of Paris in 1259, the Crown still maintains that the title is retained: "In 1106, William's youngest son Henry I seized the Duchy of Normandy from his brother Robert; since that time, the English Sovereign has always held the title
Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kingdom of France, France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles the Simple, Charles III in 91 ...
," and that "By 1205, England had lost most of its French lands, including Normandy. However, the Channel Islands, part of the lost Duchy, remained a self-governing possession of the English Crown. While the islands today retain autonomy in government, they owe allegiance to The Queen in her role as Duchess of Normandy."


Middle Ages

During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, after Roman power in Western Europe collapsed, the title was still employed in the Germanic kingdoms, usually to refer to the rulers of old Roman provinces.


Albania

The Venetians installed a "Duke of Durazzo" (today
Durrës Durrës ( , ; sq-definite, Durrësi) is the second most populous city of the Republic of Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern ...

Durrës
) during their brief rule over the city and its environs in 1205–1213. In 1332,
Robert of Taranto Robert II of Taranto (1319 or early winter 1326 – 10 September 1364Peter Lock, ''The Franks in the Aegean: 1204-1500'', (Routledge, 1988), 129.), of the Angevin family, Prince of Taranto The Principality of Taranto was a state in southern Ital ...

Robert of Taranto
succeeded his father,
Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Greek (''Philippos'', lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of (''philos'', "dear", "loved", "loving") and (''hippos'', "horse"). Prominent Philip ...
. Robert's uncle,
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
, did not wish to do him homage for the
Principality of Achaea The Principality of Achaea () or Principality of Morea The Morea ( el, Μορέας or ) was the name of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula ...
, so Robert received Achaea from John in exchange for 5,000 ounces of gold and the rights to the diminished Kingdom of Albania. John took the style of
Duke of Durazzo The Kingdom of Albania (, lat, Regnum Albaniae) was established by Charles I of Naples, Charles of Anjou in the Albanian territories with the help of the local Albanian nobility he conquered from the Byzantine Empire in 1271. The Kingdom of Albani ...
. In 1368, Durazzo fell to
Karl Thopia Karl Thopia ( sq, Karl Topia) was an Albanians, Albanian feudal prince and warlord who ruled Albania from the middle of the 14th century until the first Ottoman wars in Europe, Ottoman conquest of Albania. Thopia usually maintained good relatio ...
, who was recognized by
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...
as ''Prince of Albania''.


Visigoths

The
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
retained the Roman divisions of their kingdom in the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
and it seems that dukes ruled over these areas. They were the most powerful landowners and, along with the bishops, elected the king, usually from their own midst. They were the military commanders and in this capacity often acted independently from the king, most notably in the latter period before the Muslim invasions. The army was structured decimally with the highest unit, the
thiufa The ''thiufa'' was the highest division of the Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Got ...
, probably corresponding to about 1,000 people from each ''civitas'' (city district). The cities were commanded by counts, who were in turn answerable to the dukes, who called up the ''thiufae'' when necessary.


Lombards

When the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on ...
entered Italy, the Latin chroniclers called their war leaders ''duces'' in the old fashion. These leaders eventually became the provincial rulers, each with a recognized seat of government. Though nominally loyal to the king, the concept of kingship was new to the Lombards and the dukes were highly independent, especially in central and southern Italy, where the
Duke of Spoleto The Duke of Spoleto was the ruler of Duchy of Spoleto, Spoleto and most of central Italy outside the Papal States during the Early Middle Ages, Early and High Middle Ages (c. 500 – 1300). The first dukes were appointed by the Lombards, Lombard kin ...
and the
Duke of Benevento This is a list of the dukes and princes of Duchy of Benevento, Benevento. Dukes of Benevento * 571–591 Zotto * 591–641 Arechis I of Benevento, Arechis I * 641–642 Aiulf I of Benevento, Aiulf IAndrea Bedina, "Grimoaldo, re dei Longobardi", ...
were ''de facto'' sovereigns. In 575, when
Cleph Cleph (also ''Clef'', ''Clepho'', or ''Kleph'') was king of the Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europ ...
died, a period known as the
Rule of the Dukes The Rule of the Dukes was an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one mo ...
, in which the dukes governed without a king, commenced. It lasted only a decade before the disunited magnates, in order to defend the kingdom from external attacks, elected a new king and even diminished their own duchies to provide him with a handsome royal
demesne A demesne ( ) or domain was all the land retained and managed by a lord of the manor Lord of the manor is a title that, in Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon England or Early Medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries f ...
. The Lombard kings were usually drawn from the duke pool when the title was not hereditary. The dukes tried to make their own offices hereditary. Beneath them in the internal structure were the counts and
gastald A gastald (Latin ''gastaldus'' or ''castaldus'', Italian language, Italian ''gastaldo'' or ''guastaldo'') was a Lombards, Lombard official in charge of some portion of the royal demesne (a gastaldate, ''gastaldia'' or ''castaldia'') with civil, mart ...
s, a uniquely Lombard title initially referring to judicial functions, similar to a count's, in provincial regions


Franks

The Franks employed dukes as the governors of Roman provinces, though they also led military expeditions far from their duchies. The dukes were the highest-ranking officials in the realm, typically Frankish (whereas the counts were often Gallo-Roman), and formed the class from which the kings' generals were chosen in times of war. The dukes met with the king every May to discuss policy for the upcoming year, the so-called Mayfield. In
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...
and
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, ...

Provence
, the titles of
patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe), the governing elites of cities in parts of medieval a ...
and
prefect Prefect (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...

prefect
were commonly employed instead of duke, probably for historical reasons relating to the greater Romanization of those provinces. But the titles were basically equivalent. In late
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
Gaul, the mayors of the palace of the
Arnulfing The Pippinids or Arnulfings were a Frankish aristocratic family from Austrasia during the Merovingian period. They dominated the office of mayor of the palace after 687 and eventually supplanted the Merovingians as kings in 751, founding the Car ...
clan began to use the title ''dux et princeps Francorum'': 'duke and prince of the Franks'. In this title, ''duke'' implied supreme military control of the entire nation (''Francorum'', the Franks) and it was thus used until the end of the
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
dynasty in France in 987.


Holy Roman Empire


Stem duchies

The stem duchies were the constituent duchies of the kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty (the death of Louis the Child in 911) and the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century.


England


Anglo-Saxon times

In Anglo-Saxon England, where the Roman political divisions were largely abandoned, the highest political rank beneath that of king was
ealdorman Ealdorman () was a term in Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon England or Early Medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman Conquest, Norman conquest in 1066, consisted of various ...
, and the first ealdormen were referred to as ''duces'' (the plural of the original Latin ''dux'') in the chronicles. The title ealdorman was replaced by the
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
''eorl'' (later
earl Earl () is a rank of the nobility in Britain. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''S ...

earl
) over time. After the
Norman conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Flanders, Flemish, and men from other Kingdom of France, French ...
, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman
count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

count
s.


Late medieval times

Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern En ...

Edward III of England
created the first English dukedom by naming his eldest son
Edward, the Black Prince Edward of Woodstock, known to history as the Black Prince (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), was the eldest son of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accessio ...

Edward, the Black Prince
, as
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility ...
in 1337. Upon the death of the Black Prince, the duchy of Cornwall passed to his nine-year-old son, who would eventually succeed his grandfather as
Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was List of deposed politicians, deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, Edward, Prince of ...

Richard II
. The title of
Duke of Lancaster The Dukedom of Lancaster is an extinct Peerage of England, English peerage. It was created three times during the Middle Ages but finally merged in the Crown when Henry V of England, Henry V succeeded to the throne in 1413. Despite the extinctio ...

Duke of Lancaster
was created by Edward III in 1351 for
Henry of Grosmont Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, Earl of Derby ( – 23 March 1361), also styled as Henry of Lancaster and Lord Lancaster, of Bolingbroke Castle Bolingbroke Castle is a ruined castle in Boli ...
, but became extinct upon the duke's death in 1361. The following year, Edward III bestowed the title (2nd creation) on his fourth son,
John of Gaunt John of Gaunt (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edwar ...
, who was also married to the first duke's daughter. On the same day Edward III also created his second son,
Lionel of Antwerp Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, (; 29 November 133817 October 1368) was the third son, but the second son to survive infancy, of the English king Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor befo ...

Lionel of Antwerp
, as
Duke of Clarence Duke of Clarence is a substantive title A substantive title is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...
. All five of Edward III's surviving sons eventually became dukes. In 1385, ten years after their father's death, his heir Richard II created dukedoms for his last two uncles on the same day.
Thomas of Woodstock Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (7 January 13558 or 9 September 1397) was the fifth surviving son and youngest child of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor befor ...
was named
Duke of Gloucester Duke of Gloucester () is a British royal (after ), often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the and the last in the ; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of and . The ...
and
Edmund of Langley Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, KG (5 June 13411 August 1402) was the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of Engla ...
became
Duke of York Duke of York is a title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates ...

Duke of York
, thereby founding the
House of York The House of York was a cadet branch #REDIRECT Cadet branch #REDIRECT Cadet branch In history and heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disci ...
, which later fought for the throne with John of Gaunt's Lancastrian descendants during the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
. By 1483, a total of 16 ducal titles had been created: Cornwall, Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, York,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
,
Hereford Hereford () is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the ...
,
Aumale Aumale, formerly known as Albemarle," is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, a ...
,
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') ...
,
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...
,
Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambe ...
,
Bedford Bedford is a historic market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Sweden Art, entertainment, and media Films *M ...
,
Somerset ( en, All The People of Somerset) , locator_map = , coordinates = , region = South West England South West England is one of nine official regions of England The regions, formerly known as the government office regions, are the ...
,
Buckingham Buckingham ( ) is a market town in north Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of Englan ...
,
Warwick Warwick ( ) is a market town and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use ...
and
Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), W ...
. Some became extinct, others had multiple creations, and some had merged with the crown upon the holder's accession to the throne. When the
Plantagenet The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the ma ...

Plantagenet
dynasty came to an end at the
Battle of Bosworth Field The Battle of Bosworth or Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporter ...

Battle of Bosworth Field
on 22 August 1485, only four ducal titles remained extant, of which two were now permanently associated with the crown. John de la Pole was Duke of Suffolk and
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...

John Howard
was Duke of Norfolk (2nd creation), while the duchy of Cornwall was reserved as a title and source of income for the eldest son of the sovereign, and the duchy of Lancaster was now held by the monarch. Norfolk perished alongside
Richard III Richard III (2 October 145222 August 1485) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Ita ...

Richard III
at Bosworth field, and the title was forfeit. It was restored to his son
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...

Thomas
thirty years later by
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for Wives of Henry VIII, his six marriages, including his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon ...
, as one of a number of dukes created or recreated by the
Tudor dynasty The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin, descended from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July ...
over the ensuing century. England's premier ducal title, Norfolk, remains in the Howard family to this day.


The modern age

In the 19th century, the sovereign dukes of
Parma Parma (; egl, Pärma, ) is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, Giuseppe Verdi, music, art, prosciutto (ham), Parmigiano-Reggiano, cheese and surrounding countryside. With a population of 198,292 ...
and
Modena Modena (, , ; egl, label=Modenese, Mòdna ; ett, Mutna; la, Mutina) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. ...

Modena
in Italy, and of
Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...

Anhalt
, Brunswick-Lüneburg, Nassau,
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (german: Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha), or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (), was an ErnestineErnestine is a feminine given name. Ernest is the male counterpart of this name. Notable people with the name include: * Ernestine Anderson (19 ...
,
Saxe-Meiningen Saxe-Meiningen (; ) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuring ...
and
Saxe-Altenburg Saxe-Altenburg (german: Sachsen-Altenburg, links=no) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in present-day Thuringia. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 132 ...
in Germany survived Napoleon's reorganization. Since the unification of Italy in 1870 and the end of monarchy in Germany in 1918, there have no longer been any
reign A reign is the period of a person's or dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university pres ...
ing dukes in Europe;
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
is ruled by a
grand duke Grand Duke (feminine: Grand Duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a Grand Duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, king or archd ...
, a higher title, just below king. In the United Kingdom, the inherited position of a duke along with its dignities, privileges, and rights is a dukedom. However, the title of ''duke'' has never been associated with independent rule in the British Isles: they hold dukedoms, not duchies (excepting the
Duchy of Cornwall The Duchy of Cornwall ( kw, Duketh Kernow) is one of two royal duchies in England Currently, there are two duchies in England; the royal Duchy of Lancaster and the royal Duchy of Cornwall. Unlike historic duchy, duchies in England, these are no ...

Duchy of Cornwall
and the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of ...
). Dukes in the United Kingdom are addressed as "Your Grace" and referred to as "His Grace". Currently, there are thirty-five dukedoms in the
Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately b ...
,
Peerage of Scotland The Peerage of Scotland ( gd, Moraireachd na h-Alba, sco, Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union 1707, Treaty of ...
,
Peerage of Great Britain The Peerage of Great Britain comprises all extant peerages created in the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union 1707 but before the Acts of Union 1800. It replaced the Peerage of England and the Peerage of Scotland, but was itself ...
,
Peerage of Ireland The Peerage of Ireland consists of those Peerage, titles of nobility created by the Monarchy of Ireland, English monarchs in their capacity as Lordship of Ireland, Lord or Monarchy of Ireland, King of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the Un ...
and
Peerage of the United Kingdom The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked im ...
, held by thirty different people, as three people hold two dukedoms and one holds three (see
List of dukes in the peerages of Britain and Ireland This is a list of the 30 present duke A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, below princes of nobility an ...
). All Dukedoms in the UK apart from the Duchy of Lancaster are inherited through the male line only, and the word Duchess is only used for the wife of a Duke. Dukes of Lancaster are called Dukes even when they are female, and by tradition the monarch of the UK is known in the Channel Islands as the Duke of Normandy whether male or female.


Equivalents in other European languages

See wikt:en:duke for equivalents in other European languages.


Royal dukes

Various royal houses traditionally awarded (mainly) dukedoms to the sons and in some cases, the daughters, of their respective sovereigns; others include at least one dukedom in a wider list of similarly granted titles, nominal dukedoms without any actual authority, often even without an estate. Such titles are still conferred on royal princes or princesses in the current European monarchies of Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Other historical cases occurred for example in Denmark, Finland (as a part of Sweden) and France, Portugal and some former colonial possessions such as Brazil and Haiti.


United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, a royal duke is a duke who is a member of the
British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family. Many members support the Queen in undertaking public engag ...
, entitled to the
style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-cla ...
of "
His Royal Highness Royal Highness is a style used to address or refer to some members of royal families, usually prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's ...

His Royal Highness
". Ducal titles which have been given within the royal family include
Duke of Cornwall Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility ...
,
Duke of Lancaster The Dukedom of Lancaster is an extinct Peerage of England, English peerage. It was created three times during the Middle Ages but finally merged in the Crown when Henry V of England, Henry V succeeded to the throne in 1413. Despite the extinctio ...

Duke of Lancaster
,
Duke of Clarence Duke of Clarence is a substantive title A substantive title is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...
,
Duke of York Duke of York is a title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates ...

Duke of York
,
Duke of Gloucester Duke of Gloucester () is a British royal (after ), often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the and the last in the ; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of and . The ...
,
Duke of Bedford Duke of Bedford (named after Bedford Bedford is a historic market town, market and the county town of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) was 106,940, w ...
,
Duke of Cumberland Duke of Cumberland is a British peerage, peerage title that was conferred upon junior members of the British Royal Family, named after the Historic counties of England, historic county of Cumberland. History The Earl of Cumberland, Earldom of Cumbe ...
,
Duke of Cambridge Duke of Cambridge, one of the eight current royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom , is a hereditary title of specific rank of nobility in the British royal family. The title (named after the city of Cambridge in England) is heritable by agnatic ...
,
Duke of Rothesay Duke of Rothesay (; gd, Diùc Baile Bhòid, sco, Duik o Rothesay) is a Substantive title, dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the current Duchess ...
,
Duke of Albany Duke of Albany was a peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, ...

Duke of Albany
,
Duke of RossThe title Duke of Ross has been created twice in the Peerage of Scotland A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and composed of assorte ...
,
Duke of Edinburgh Duke of Edinburgh, named after the city of Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of th ...
,
Duke of Kent The title of Duke of Kent has been created several times in the peerages of peerage of Great Britain, Great Britain and the peerage of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom, most recently as a Royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom, royal dukedom for ...
,
Duke of Sussex Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of Royal family, royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalty or nobility, t ...
, and
Duke of Connaught and Strathearn The title of Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was granted by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to her third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Prince Arthur, on 24 May 1874. At the same time, he w ...

Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
. Following his
abdication Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and ...
in 1936 the former
King Edward VIII Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies ...
was given the title
Duke of Windsor Duke of Windsor was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union 1800, Acts of Union in 1801, when it ...
. There are also non-royal dukes in the United Kingdom.


Belgium

In
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
, the title of
Duke of Brabant The Duke of Brabant (, ) was formally the ruler of the Duchy of Brabant The Duchy of Brabant was a State State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departme ...
(historically the most prestigious in the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
, and containing the federal capital
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels
) is awarded to the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
of the monarch, other dynasts receiving various lower historical titles (much older than Belgium, and in principle never fallen to the Belgian crown), such as Count of Flanders (
King Leopold III Leopold III (3 November 1901 – 25 September 1983) was King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951. On the outbreak of World War II, Leopold tried to maintain Belgian neutrality, but after the Battle of Belgium, German invasion in May 1940, he su ...
's so-titled brother
Charles Charles is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, histor ...
held the title when he became the realm's temporary head of state as prince-regent) and Prince of Liège (a secularised version of the historical
prince-bishop A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some Secularity, secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or Hochstift, prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his ...
ric; e.g.
King Albert II
King Albert II
until he succeeded his older brother Baudouin I).


Denmark

Beginning in the 11th century, Danish kings frequently awarded the title of ''jarl'' (earl) or duke of
Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; nds, Hartogdom Sleswig; frr, Härtochduum Slaswik) was a duchy in Southern Jutland () covering the area between about 60 km (35 miles) north and 70 km ( ...
to a younger son of the monarch. Short-lived dukedoms were created for the same purpose in
Lolland Lolland (; formerly spelled ''Laaland'', literally "low land") is the fourth largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands ...

Lolland
and
Halland Halland () is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (''landskap''), on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Skåne, Scania and the sea of Kattegat. Until 1645 and the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), Secon ...

Halland
. After the accession to the throne of
Christian I Christian I (February 1426 – 21 May 1481) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was king of Denmark (1448–1481), King of Norway, Norway (1450–1481) and King of Sweden, Sweden (1457–1464). From 1460 to 1481, he was al ...

Christian I
, a complex system of appanages were created for male-line descendants of the king, being granted non-sovereign ducal titles in both Schleswig and
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
, e.g. Duke of Gottorp, Duke of Sønderborg,
Duke of Augustenborg A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the f ...
, Duke of Franzhagen, Duke of Beck, Duke of Glücksburg and Duke of Nordborg. This arrangement occurred in both territories despite Schleswig being a fief of Denmark and Holstein being a fief of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
.


Iberian peninsula

When the
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
, sweeping the
Moors '' of Alfonso X, c. 1285 The term Moor is an Endonym and exonym, exonym first used by Christian Europeans to designate the Muslims, Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors init ...

Moors
from the former
Caliphate of Córdoba A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
and its taifa-remnants, transformed the territory of former
Suevic The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They ...
and
Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a whic ...
realms into
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society ...
principalities, none of these warlords was exactly styled Duke. A few (as Portugal itself) started as
Count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

Count
(even if the title of
Dux ''Dux'' (; plural: ''ducēs'') is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

Dux
was sometimes added), but soon all politically relevant princes were to use the royal style of
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King
.


Portugal

In Portugal, the title of Duke was granted for the first time in 1415 to infante Peter and
infante Henry
infante Henry
, the second and third sons of king
John I John I may refer to: People * John I (bishop of Jerusalem)John I of Jerusalem was the seventh Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was, according to Eusebius, a Jewish Christian born to Jewish parents who kept the Law of ...
, following their participation in the successful
Conquest of Ceuta The conquest of Ceuta () by the Portuguese on 21 August 1415 marks an important step in the beginning of the Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'' ...
. Pedro became the first
Duke of Coimbra Duke of Coimbra ( pt, Duque de Coimbra) was an aristocratic Portugal, Portuguese title with the level of royal dukedom, that is, associated with the kings of Portugal, Portuguese royal house, created in 1415, by King John I of Portugal to his 2 ...
and Henry the first
Duke of Viseu Duke of Viseu (in Portuguese ''Duque de Viseu'') was a Portugal, Portuguese Royal Dukedom created in 1415 by King John I of Portugal for his third male child, Henry the Navigator, following the conquest of Ceuta. When Henry the Navigator died ...
. From the reign of king
Manuel IManuel I may refer to: *Manuel I Comnenus, Byzantine emperor (1143–1180) *Manuel I of Trebizond, Emperor of Trebizond (1228–1263) *Manuel I of Portugal, King of Portugal (1496–1521) *Manuel I, Patriarch of Lisbon (1800–1869) {{hndis, Manuel ...

Manuel I
, the title of
Duke of Beja 150px, Personal Coat of Arms of Infante Luis, 5th Duke of Beja. Duke of Beja ( pt, Duque de Beja) was an aristocratic Portugal, Portuguese title and royal dukedom, associated with the Kings of Portugal, Portuguese Royal House. List of the Dukes o ...
was given to the second son of the monarch. This was changed during the Liberal regime in the 19th century (with
queen Maria II
queen Maria II
), when the first infante (second son of the monarch) got the title of
Duke of Porto Duke of Porto (Portuguese ''Duque do Porto'') is a royaly-held noble title of Portuguese nobility. The title's namesake is from the city of Porto, in the north of Portugal. History The title was created in 1833 for Maria II of Portugal, Mar ...
and the second infante (third son) was known as Duke of Beja. There are examples of Duke as a subsidiary title, granted to the most powerful noble Houses: *
Duke of Barcelos Image:armas duques bragança.png, 150px, Original Coat of Arms of the Dukes of Braganza. The Dukes of Barcelos ( pt, Duque de Barcelos) was a title of nobility granted by King Sebastian of Portugal on 5 August 1562 to the heir of the Duke of Braga ...
, to be used by the heir of the
Duke of Braganza The title Duke of Braganza ( pt, Duque de Bragança) in the House of Braganza is one of the most important titles in the peerage of Portugal. Starting in 1640, when the House of Braganza acceded to the throne of Portugal, the male heir of the Port ...
; *
Duke of Torres Novas Image:armas duques aveiro.png, 150px, Arms of the Lencastres, Dukes of Aveiro. The Dukes of Torres Novas (in Portuguese & Spanish ''Duque de Torres Novas'') was an Nobility, aristocratic Portugal, Portuguese title granted by King Philip II of Portu ...
, to be used by the heir of the
Duke of Aveiro Duke of Aveiro, Portugal, Aveiro ( pt, Duque de Aveiro) was a Peerage of Portugal, Portuguese title of nobility, granted in 1535 by King John III of Portugal to his 4th cousin, John of Lencastre, 1st Duke of Aveiro, John of Lencastre, son of Inf ...
; * Duke of Miranda do Corvo, to be used by the heir of the Duke of Lafões. Usually, the title of Duke was granted to relatives of the Royal Family, such as the
infante ''Infante'' (, ; grammatical gender, f. ''infanta''), also anglicised as Infant or translated as Prince, is the title and rank given in the Iberian kingdoms of Spain (including the predecessor kingdoms of Crown of Aragon, Aragon, Crown of Cast ...

infante
s or natural sons of the monarch. There are exceptions, such as António José de Ávila, who, although not having any relation to the royal family, was given the title of duke of Ávila and Bolama in the 19th century.


Spain

Spanish
infante ''Infante'' (, ; grammatical gender, f. ''infanta''), also anglicised as Infant or translated as Prince, is the title and rank given in the Iberian kingdoms of Spain (including the predecessor kingdoms of Crown of Aragon, Aragon, Crown of Cast ...

infante
s and
infanta ''Infante'' (, ; f. ''infanta''), also anglicised Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell ...
s were usually given a dukedom upon marriage, excepting the heir apparent who is the
Prince of Asturias Prince or Princess of Asturias ( es, link=no, Príncipe/Princesa de Asturias) is the main substantive title A substantive title is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify ...
. This title is nowadays not hereditary but carries a Grandeza de España. The current royal duchesses are: the Duchess of Soria (Infanta Margarita) (although she inherited the title of Duchess of Hernani from her cousin and is second holder of that title), and the Duchess of Lugo (Infanta Elena). In Spain all the dukes hold the court rank of ''Grande'', i.e.,
Grandee Grandee (; es, Grande de España, ) is an official aristocratic title conferred on some Spanish nobility Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked imme ...
of the realm, which had precedence over all other
feudatories A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abd ...
.


Nordic countries

The Northern European duchies of
Halland Halland () is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (''landskap''), on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Skåne, Scania and the sea of Kattegat. Until 1645 and the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), Secon ...

Halland
,
Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Halvø, Den Jyske Halvø; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel), is a peninsula of Nort ...

Jutland
,
Lolland Lolland (; formerly spelled ''Laaland'', literally "low land") is the fourth largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands ...

Lolland
,
Osilia Saaremaa ( , ) is the largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll ...
and
Reval Tallinn (; ; names in other languages) is the capital and most populous city of Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the ...
existed in the Middle Ages. The longest-surviving duchy was
Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; nds, Hartogdom Sleswig; frr, Härtochduum Slaswik) was a duchy in Southern Jutland () covering the area between about 60 km (35 miles) north and 70 km ( ...
, i.e., ''Sonderjylland'' (a portion of which later became part of Germany). Its southern neighbor, the duchy of
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
, in personal union with the Danish crown, was nonetheless always a German principality. The two duchies jointly became a member of the German
''Bundesland''
''Bundesland''
as "
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein () is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , la ...

Schleswig-Holstein
" in the 19th century.
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
has a history of making the sons of its kings ruling princes of vast
duchies A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
, but this ceased in 1622. Only one non-royal person was ever given a dukedom. In 1772, King
Gustav III Gustav III (29 March 1792), also called ''Gustavus III'', was King of Sweden from 1771 until his assassination in 1792. He was the eldest son of Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden and Queen Louisa Ulrika of Prussia. Gustav was a vocal opponent of ...

Gustav III
reinstated the appointment of dukes but as a non-hereditary title for his brothers. Since then, all Swedish princes have been created dukes of a province at birth. When the 1810 Act of Succession was amended to allow female succession to the throne, King
Carl XVI Gustaf Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; born 30 April 1946) is King of Sweden. He ascended the throne on the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, on 15 September 1973. He is the youngest child and only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf ...

Carl XVI Gustaf
's eldest daughter
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...

Victoria
became Crown Princess (displacing her younger brother
Carl Philip Carl may refer to: *Carl, Georgia Carl is a town in Barrow County, Georgia, Barrow County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. The population was 269 at the 2016 census. History The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town in 1908 ...
) and received the title of Duchess of Västergötland. The practice of conferring ducal titles has since extended to Swedish princesses as well as princes. Currently, there are five dukes and four duchesses in their own right. The territorial designations of these dukedoms refer to ten of the
Provinces of Sweden The provinces of Sweden ( sv, Sveriges landskap) are historical, geographical and cultural regions. Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic cou ...

Provinces of Sweden
. Key parts of Finland were sometimes under a
Duke of FinlandDuke of Finland (in Finnish language, Finnish ''Suomen herttua''; Swedish language, Swedish ''hertig av Finland'') was an occasional medieval title granted as a tertiogeniture to the relatives of the King of Sweden between the 13th and 16th centuries ...
during the Swedish reign. Some of the provinces are still considered duchies for the purposes of heraldry. In Norway,
Skule Bårdsson
Skule Bårdsson
was first
Jarl
Jarl
in 1217, and as such got responsibility for the army, and then in 1237, as another attempt of compromise, Skule was given the first Norwegian title of Duke (Hertug). There is no indication that those two titles meant the same thing, or was mixed. He was first Jarl, and then also Hertig (Duke), but after he became Hertig/Duke he kept his title Jarl. 1295 was the year was the last elected jarl in Norway. 1309 archbishop and jarl Jörund, the last jarl in Norway, who was called jarl in Norway, 70 after Norway had its first hertig (Duke) Nothing indicates that Duke replaced the title Jarl in Norway.


France and other former monarchies

See
appanage An appanage, or apanage (; french: apanage ), is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a younger child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) i ...
(mainly for the French kingdom) and the list in the geographical section below, which also treats special ducal titles in orders or national significance.


France

The highest precedence in the realm, attached to a feudal territory, was given to the twelve original
pairie The Peerage of France (french: Pairie de France) was a hereditary distinction within the French nobility The French nobility (french: la noblesse française) was a privileged in France from the until its abolition on June 23, 1790 duri ...
s (en: ''peers''), which also had a traditional function in the royal coronation, comparable to the German imperial archoffices. Half of them were ducal: three ecclesiastical (the six prelates all ranked above the six secular peers of the realm) and three temporal, each time above three counts of the same social estate: The ''
Prince-Bishop A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some Secularity, secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or Hochstift, prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his ...
s'' with ducal territories among them were: * The
Archbishop of Reims The Archdiocese of Reims (traditionally spelt "Rheims" in English) ( la, Archidiœcesis Remensis; French: ''Archidiocèse de Reims'') is a Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , i ...
, styled ''archevêque-duc pair de France'' (in Champagne; who crowns and anoints the king, traditionally in his cathedral) * Two
suffragan bishop A suffragan bishop is a type of bishop in some Christian denominations. In the Anglican Communion, a suffragan bishop is a bishop who is subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop (bishop ordinary) and so is not normally jurisdictiona ...
s, styled ''evêque-duc pair de France'' : ** the bishop-duke of
Laon Laon () is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...
(in Picardy; bears the 'Sainte Ampoule' containing the sacred ointment) ** the bishop-duc de
Langres Langres () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ...

Langres
(in Burgundy; bears the scepter) Later, the
Archbishop of Paris The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Throug ...
was given the title of ''
duc de Saint-CloudThe title of Duke of Saint-Cloud was created in 1674. The intention behind the creation was to provide a noble title to be held by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris, Archbishop of Paris for the time being. The Bishop of Paris had only receive ...
'' with the dignity of peerage, but it was debated if he was an ecclesiastical peer or merely a bishop holding a lay peerage. The secular dukes in the peerage of the realm were, again in order of precedence: * The
Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the an ...
or ''duc de Bourgogne'' (known as ''Grand duc''; not a separate title at that time; just a description of the wealth and real clout of the 15th-century dukes, cousins of the kings of France) (bears the crown, fastens the belt) * The
Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kingdom of France, France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles the Simple, Charles III in 91 ...
or ''duc de Normandie ''(holds the first square banner) * The
Duke of Aquitaine The Duke of Aquitaine ( oc, Duc d'Aquitània, french: Duc d'Aquitaine, ) was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine (not to be confused with modern-day Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ...
or ''duc d'Aquitaine'' or ''de Guyenne'' (holds the second square banner) The theory of the participation of the peers in the coronation was laid down in the late 13th century, when some of the peerage (the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Toulouse) had already been merged in the crown. At the end of this same century, the king elevated some counties into duchies, a practice that increased up until the Revolution. Many of these duchies were also peerages (the so-called 'new peerages').


Italy, Germany and Austria

In Italy, Germany and Austria the title of "duke" (''duca'' in Italian, and ''Herzog'' in German) was quite common. As the
Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in ...
(HRE) was until its dissolution a feudal structure, most of its Dukes were actually reigning in their lands. As the titles from the HRE were taken over after its dissolution, or in Italy after their territories became independent of the Empire, both countries also had a share of fully sovereign dukes. Also, in Germany in many ducal families every agnate would bear the ducal title of the family as a
courtesy title A courtesy title is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles ma ...
. In Italy some important sovereign ducal families were the Visconti and the
Sforza Sforza () was a ruling family of Renaissance Italy The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, anci ...

Sforza
, who ruled
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...
; the
Savoy Savoy (; frp, Savouè ; french: Savoie is a cultural-historical region in the Western Alps it, Alpi occidentaligerman: Westalpen , photo=Mont Blanc from Punta Helbronner, 2010 July.JPG , photo_caption=Mont Blanc Mont Blanc (french: Mont ...
in Piedmont; the
Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social ...

Medici
of
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
; the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza; the
Cybo-Malaspina The Cybo, Cibo or Cibei family of Italy is an aristocratic family from Genoa of Greek people, Greek origin. They came to the city in the 12th century. In 1528 the Cybos formed the 17th "Albergo", a union of noble families of Genoa.''Genoa and the ...
of
Massa Massa may refer to: Places *Massa, Tuscany Massa (; ) is a town and ''comune'' in Tuscany, central Italy, the administrative centre of the province of Massa and Carrara. It is located in the Frigido River Valley, near the Alpi Apuane, from th ...
; the Gonzaga of Duchy of Mantua, Mantua; the House of Este, Este of Duchy of Modena and Reggio, Modena and Duchy of Ferrara, Ferrara. In Germany, important ducal families were the House of Wittelsbach, Wittelsbachs in Duchy of Bavaria, Bavaria, the Welfs in Electorate of Hanover, Hannover, the ducal family of Duchy of Cleves, Cleves, the House of Wettin, Wettins in Duchy of Saxony, Saxony (with its Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch divided into several duchies), the List of rulers of Württemberg, Württembergs and the House of Mecklenburg, Mecklenburgs. In the German Confederation the House of Nassau, Nassaus, the House of Ascania, Ascanians of
Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...

Anhalt
, the Welf branch of Duchy of Brunswick, Brunswick and the Ernestine lines of the Saxon duchies were the sovereign ducal families. In Austria, "Archduke" was the title borne from 1358 by the House of Habsburg, Habsburg rulers of the Archduchy of Austria, and later by all senior members of that dynasty.


Elsewhere in Europe


Hungary

In the Kingdom of Hungary no ducal principalities existed but duchies were often formed for members of the dynasty as
appanage An appanage, or apanage (; french: apanage ), is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a younger child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) i ...
s. During the rule of the Arpads, Árpád dynasty dukes held territorial powers, some of them even minted coins, but later this title became more often nominal. These duchies usually were * the Duchy of Nitra * the Duchy of Bihar * the Duchy of Transylvania (consisting of the voivodship of Transylvania and some other counties) In the Jagiellonian era (1490–1526) only two dukes did not belong to the royal dynasty: John Corvin (the illegitimate son of Matthias Corvinus) and Lawrence of Ilok, Lőrinc Újlaki (whose father was the titular king of Bosnia (region), Bosnia), and both bore the title as royal dukes. After the Battle of Mohács the Habsburg kings rewarded Hungarian aristocrats (like the House of Esterházy, Esterházys) with princely titles, but they created these titles as Holy Roman Emperors, not as kings of Hungary.


Greece

The Byzantines retained the title ''dux'', transcribed as δούξ (''doux'') in Medieval Greek. As in the later Roman Empire, it remained a military office and was not a feudal or hereditary rank. In the 10th century, it was given to the military commanders over several ''Theme (Byzantine district), themata'' (also known as ''katepano''), and in the late 11th century it became used for the governor of a ''thema''. When the Catholic crusaders overran the Byzantine Empire in the Fourth Crusade, they installed several crusader states (see Frankokratia), some of which were of ducal rank: * the Duchy of Athens, to which the Duchy of Neopatras was later linked * the Aegean insular Duchy of Naxos, officially the "Duchy of the Archipelago" * the Venetian Crete, Venetian colony of Crete (Candia) was initially ruled by the Duke of Candia In Italy and other western countries, the later Byzantine
appanage An appanage, or apanage (; french: apanage ), is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a younger child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) i ...
s of the Palaiologan period were sometimes translated as duchies: the Despotate of the Morea, Morea, Mesembria, Selymbria and Thessaloniki. The Greek rank of their holders, however, was that of ''despotes''. In the independent Kingdom of Greece (Glücksburg), Kingdom of Greece, the style of Duke of Sparta was instituted in 1868 upon the birth of the future Constantine I of Greece, Constantine I as a distinct title for the Crown Prince of Greece.


Slavic and nearby countries

Generally, confusion reigns whether to translate the usual ruler titles, ''knyaz/ knez/ książe'' etc. as Prince (analogous to the German Fürst) or as Duke; * In splintered Poland petty principalities generally ruled by branches of the earlier Polish Piast dynasty are regarded as duchies in translated titulary. Examples of such: Kujavia, Masovia, Sandomierz, Sandomir, Greater Poland and Kalisz as well as various minor duchies, often short-lived or in personal union or merger, named after their capitals, mainly in the regions known as Lesser Poland, Little Poland and Greater Poland, including (there are often also important Latin or German forms) Kraków, Łęczyca and Sieradz. * In Pomerelia and Pomerania (inhabited by the Kashubians, different Slavic people from the Poles proper), branches of native ruling dynasties were usually recognized as dukes, quite similarly to the pattern in Poland. * In Russia, before the imperial unification from Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovy; sometimes even as vassal, tributary to a Tartar Khan (title), Khan; later, in Peter the Great's autocratic empire, the russification gertsog was used as the Russian rendering of the German ducal title ''Herzog'', especially as (the last) part of the full official style of the Russian Emperor: ''Gertsog Shlesvig-Golstinskiy, Stormarnskiy, Ditmarsenskiy I Oldenburgskiy I prochaya, I prochaya, i prochaya'' "Duke of Schleswig-Holstein [see above], Stormarn (gau), Stormarn, Dithmarschen and Oldenburg, and of other lands", in chief of German and Danish territories to which the Tsar was dynastically linked. * In Bohemia was Duchy of Krumlov, and short-lived Napoleon II of France, Duchy of Reichstadt and Duchy of Friedland. * In Silesia were many petty duchies as Duchy of Brzeg, Duchy of Legnica, Duchy of Zator and Duchy of Racibórz. They were vassals of List of rulers of Bohemia, King of Bohemia. *In Lithuania, the approximate equivalent of a duke or prince was called ''kunigaikštis'' in the Lithuanian language. Latin translation was ''dux'' meaning "duke" in the Middle Ages, whereas Latin for "prince" is ''princeps''. The overall leader of the Lithuanian dukes (Lithuanian language, Lith. plural: ''kunigaikščiai'') was the
grand duke Grand Duke (feminine: Grand Duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a Grand Duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, king or archd ...
(Lithuanian language, Lith.: ''didysis kunigaikštis'',
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
: ''magnus dux''), who acted as the monarch of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until 1795 when Russians took over the land.


Netherlands

After Belgium and the Netherlands separated in 1830, the title of duke no longer existed in the Netherlands. There is, however, one exception; the title ''Hertog van Limburg'' (''Duke of Limburg'') still exists. This title, however, is an exclusive title for the head of state (the monarch, i.e., the king or queen of the Netherlands).


Georgia

In Georgia, the title of eristavi is equivalent to the duke. the word eristavi means, the head of the nation" or, the head of the army". they ruled the duchy (saeristavo). If the eristavi ruled more than one duchies he/she was called eristavt-eristavi (translates as duke of dukes). In the 6th to 9th centuries, Iberia was ruled by Erismtavari, the title similar to
grand duke Grand Duke (feminine: Grand Duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a Grand Duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, king or archd ...
. Erismtavari was the first among equal dukes". however Georgians use the title of, Eristavi " to describe Georgian dukes only. When talking about foreign dukes, they use the German word ''Herzog'', which is the German equivalent of 'duke'. In the late 15th and early 16th century, the kingdom of Georgia collapsed and most of the western Georgian dukes became princes. In the 19th century the title of eristavi was abolished by the Russian conquerors and the former dukes took the word Eristavi as their last names.


Post-colonial non-European states


Empire of Brazil

In the Empire of Brazil duke was the highest rank for people born outside the imperial house and only three dukedoms were created. Two of these titles were for relatives of Pedro I of Brazil, Emperor Pedro I: an illegitimate daughter and a Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg, brother-in-law who received the title when married to Pedro I's daughter Maria II of Portugal, Maria II. The third, given to Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias, Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, was the only dukedom created during the reign of Pedro II of Brazil, Pedro II. None of these titles were hereditary, just like every other title in the Brazilian nobility system.


Haiti

The royal Henri Christophe, Christophe dynasty created eight hereditary dukedoms, in rank directly below the nominal princes. They were short-lived and only recognized in the country.


Equivalents

Like other major Western noble titles, Duke is sometimes used to render (translate) certain titles in non-western languages. "Duke" is used even though those titles are generally etymologically and often historically unrelated and thus hard to compare. However, they are considered roughly equivalent, especially in hierarchic aristocracies such as feudal Japan, useful as an indication of relative rank.


India

Indian feudal system cannot be fully translated to its European counterparts. The closest equivalent to the title of Sovereign Duke is Rao (title), Rao and to a feudal
duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affair ...
, a large jagir. Thus, a Rao (in the ruling system) or a Jagirdar, Deshmukh, Patil, and Zamindar (in a feudal way) are closely equivalent to a Duke.


Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran

Duke in Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran after Mongolian war against them, was added as generals and kings of districts or states but in the Kingdom of Persians and Ottomans, the systems cannot be fully translated to its European counterparts so they called those generals and kings as Khan (title), Khan, a Mongolian royal and noble rank from the Turco-Mongol word for "lord," equal to Duke. After revolutions and the falling Empire system in those countries(changing the ruling system to democratic and republic systems), those Khans and the other equal ranks titles added to the titleholder's surnames, and the ranking system, as usual, was disqualified as an official ranking.


China

During the era of feudalism in History of China#Ancient China, Ancient China (Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period), the title of ''gōng'' (wikt:公, 公, conventionally translated as "Duke") was sparingly granted. Under the principle of "Three Deferences and Two Royal Descendants" (三恪二王後), the three former royal houses were granted the title of Duke; however, not all scholars recognize such a tradition in the Western Zhou dynasty. For that dynasty, this would be the descendants of the Xia Dynasty and Shang Dynasty; their dukedoms were respectively Qi (杞) and Song (宋). According to tradition, these states were considered the king's guests rather than subjects. However, recent scholarship has yielded the conclusion that the ''gōng'' was, at least during the Western Zhou, not a heritable title; rather, it signified a very broad and senior position within the court. In works like ''Mencius'' and others that date to the Warring States period, ''gōng'' was interpreted as the highest in the "five ranks of nobles" (五等爵) attributed to the Western Zhou dynasty. However, the title was not in use until the end of the Western Han, until granted to the descendants of the Shang dynasty, Shang and Zhou royal houses and the eventual usurper Wang Mang. It was also granted to Cao Cao. The title during the Han was inferior to that of prince (諸侯王), which was only available to imperial princes. The "five ranks of nobles" were implemented as such during the Jin dynasty (266–420), Jin dynasty (晉朝). During the Southern dynasties, usurpers typically sought the title of duke, then prince, before compelling the monarch to abdicate. The Duke of Yansheng noble title was granted to the descendants of Confucius. In 1935, the Kuomintang, Nationalist Government changed the title to Sacrificial Official to Confucius (大成至聖先師奉祀官), which still exists as an office of the Republic of China, de facto hereditary. Dukedoms and other lesser titles were also awarded, sometimes posthumously (see posthumous names), during the imperial period of Chinese history to recognize distinguished civil and military officials. For example, Emperor Lizong of Song granted the posthumous title Duke of Hui (徽国公) to the Neo-Confucian thinker Zhu Xi.


Indonesia

The Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, which dominated eastern Java in the 14th and 15th centuries, was divided into ''nagara'' (provinces). The administration of these ''nagara'' was entrusted to members of the royal family, who bore the title of ''Bhre''—i.e., ''Bhra I'', "lord of" (the word ''bhra'' being akin to the Thai language, Thai ''Thai nobility, Phra''), followed by the name of the land they were entrusted with: for example, a sister of the king Hayam Wuruk (r. 1350–1389) was "Bhre Lasem", "lady of Lasem". This system was similar to the Apanage system in Western Europe. Sultan Agung, king of Mataram Sultanate, Mataram in Central Java (r. 1613–1645), would entrust the administration of territories he gradually conquered all over the island of Java, to officials bearing the title of ''Adipati'', this title is hereditary. Such territories were called ''Kadipaten''. Prior to the unification of Java by Sultan Agung, independent ''kadipaten''s also exist, e.g. the Duchy of Surabaya which was Mataram conquest of Surabaya, conquered by Agung in 1625. The Dutch East India Company, VOC (Dutch East Indies Company), while gradually taking control of Javanese territory, would maintain the existing Mataram administrative structure. ''Adipati'' were called "''regenten''" in Dutch, and the territories they administered, "''List of regencies and cities of Indonesia, regentschappen''". In the 19th century, the Javanese term for 'regent' was ''bupati''. French traveller Gérard Louis Domeny de Rienzi mentions ''bapati''. The ''bupati'' have been maintained in the modern Indonesian administrative subdivision structure, heading a ''Regency (Indonesia), kabupaten'', the subdivision of a ''provinces of Indonesia, provinsi'' or province. The word ''Adipati'' is still found in the official title of the hereditary dukes Mangkunegaran Palace, Mangkunegara of Surakarta and Pakualaman, Paku Alam of Yogyakarta—i.e., ''Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya'' (shortened into KGPAA).


Nigeria

In the Kingdom of Benin, a viceroyal Nigerian chieftaincy, chieftain that is known as an ''Enogie'' in the Edo language is usually referred to as a duke in English. Often a cadet of the dynasty that produces the oba of Benin, the enogie is expected to rule his domain as he sees fit, subject to the approval of the oba. In Ife, Oyo Empire, Oyo and the other kingdoms of Nigerian Yorubaland, a viceroyalty chieftain is known as a ''Baale (title), Baale'' in the Yoruba language. He is barred from wearing a crown as a matter of tradition and is generally seen as the reigning representative of his Oba (ruler), oba, the monarch who has the right to wear one.


Myanmar

In Myanmar (Burma), since the Bagan, Pagan era of 11th century, each and every single one of the royal family received the title of ''Myosa'' (also ''Myoza''), literally means chief of town or territory, which is equivalent to the title of Duke. All royals were given the honor to possess at least one territory by the King. They all were mostly called by their possessions. For instance, Burma's last king, King Thibaw was called by his possession, when he was a prince, of a town Thibaw (Hsipaw in Shan State).


In fiction

Dukes and duchesses have appeared in various works of fiction. For examples of fictional dukes and duchesses, see the List of fictional nobility#Dukes and duchesses, list of fictional dukes and duchesses.


See also

* Archduke * Duchy ** Duchies in Sweden ** Duchy of Amalfi ** Duchy of Brittany ** Duchy of Gaeta ** Duchy of Naples * List of dukes in the peerages of the British Isles


References


General sources

* Thomas Hodgkin (historian), Hodgkin, Thomas. ''Italy and her Invaders''. Clarendon Press: 1895. * Lewis, Archibald R.
The Dukes in the Regnum Francorum, A.D. 550–751
. ''Speculum'', Vol. 51, No 3 (July 1976), pp. 381–410. * Frank Stenton, Stenton, Sir Frank M. ''Anglo-Saxon England Third Edition''. Oxford University Press: 1971. * Thompson, E. A. ''The Goths in Spain''. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1969. {{Authority control Dukedoms, Noble titles Peerage Feudalism Men's social titles