Duke of York

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

Dukedom of York
Creation date23 June 1986
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
Present holderPrince Andrew
Heir apparentnone
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles

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

The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II. The present Duke's marriage produced two daughters only, and he has remained unmarried since his 1996 divorce. It therefore seems likely that the eighth creation of the title will be only the second (after Richard of Shrewsbury) not to become merged into the Crown upon the holder's accession to the role of monarch.


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

York under its Viking name "Jorvik" was a petty kingdom in the Early Medieval period. In the interval between the fall of independent Jorvik under Eirik Bloodaxe, last King of Jorvik (d. 954), and the first creation of the Dukedom of York, there were a few Earls of York.

The title Duke of York was first created in the Peerage of England in 1385 for Edmund of Langley, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, and an important character in Shakespeare's Richard II. His son Edward, who inherited the title, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The title passed to Edward's nephew Richard, the son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (who had been executed for plotting against King Henry V). The younger Richard managed to obtain a restoration of the title, but when his eldest son, who inherited the title, became king in 1461 as Edward IV, the title merged into the Crown.

The title was next created for Richard of Shrewsbury, second son of King Edward IV. Richard was one of the Princes in the Tower, and, as he died without heirs, the title became extinct at his death.

The third creation was for Henry Tudor, second son of King Henry VII. When his elder brother Arthur, Prince of Wales, died in 1502, Henry became heir-apparent to the throne. When Henry ultimately became King Henry VIII in 1509, his titles merged into the crown.

The title was created for the fourth time for Charles Stuart, second son of James I. When his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1612, Charles became heir-apparent. He was created Prince of Wales in 1616 and eventually became Charles I in 1625 when the title again merged into the Crown.

The fifth creation was in favour of James Stuart, the second son of Charles I. The city and state of New York in what is now the United States were named for this particular Duke of York. When his elder brother, King Charles II, died without heirs, James succeeded to the throne as King James II, and the title once again merged into the Crown.

During the 18th century the double dukedom of York and Albany was created a number of times in the Peerage of Great Britain. The title was first held by Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Bishop of Osnabrück, the youngest brother of King George I. He died without heirs. The second creation of the double dukedom was for Prince Edward, younger brother of King George III, who also died without heirs, having never married. The third and last creation of the double dukedom was for Prince Frederick Augustus, the second son of King George III. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army for many years, and was the original "Grand old Duke of York" in the popular rhyme. He too died without heirs.

The sixth creation of the Dukedom of York (without being combined with Albany) was for Prince George of Wales, second son of the future King Edward VII. He was created Duke of York following the death of his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. The title merged with the Crown when George succeeded his father as King George V.

The seventh creation was for Prince Albert, second son of King George V, and younger brother of the future King Edward VIII. Albert came unexpectedly to the throne when his brother abdicated, and took the name George VI, the Dukedom then merging into the Crown.

The title was created for the eighth time for Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. At present (2018), he only has two daughters. Thus, if he has no future (legitimate) sons, the title will again become extinct at his death.

Aside from the first creation, every time the Dukedom of York has been created it has had only one occupant, that person either inheriting the throne or dying without male heirs.


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

Dukes of York

First creation, 1385–1415, 1425–1461

Edmund of Langley
House of York (founder)
also: Earl of Cambridge (1362)
5 June 1341
Kings Langley
son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault
Isabella of Castile
3 children

Joan Holland
no children

1 August 1402
Kings Langley
aged 61

Edward of Norwich
House of York
also: Duke of Aumale (1397–1399), Earl of Cambridge (1362–1414), Earl of Rutland (1390–1402), Earl of Cork (c. 1396)
son of Edmund of Langley and Isabella of Castile
Philippa de Mohun
no children
25 October 1415
Battle of Agincourt
aged 42
Edward of Norwich's brother, Richard of Conisburgh, had been attainted and executed for treason in August 1415. This attainder stood in the way of his son Richard of York succeeding Edward until the king deemed it prudent to restore them.
Richard of York
House of York
also: Lord Protector of England, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall (1460, see Act of Accord); Earl of Ulster (1264), Earl of March (1328), Earl of Cambridge (1414, restored 1426), feudal Lord of Clare (bt. 1066–1075), Baron Mortimer of Wigmore (1331)
21 September 1411
son of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge and Anne de Mortimer
Cecily Neville
13 children
30 December 1460
aged 49
Edward Plantagenet
House of York
also: Earl of Ulster (1264), Earl of March (1328), Earl of Cambridge (1414), feudal Lord of Clare (bt. 1066–1075), Baron Mortimer of Wigmore (1331)
28 April 1442
son of Richard of York and Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
aged 40
Edward IV seized the throne in 1461, and all of his titles merged with the crown.

Second creation, 1474

Richard of Shrewsbury
House of York
also: Duke of Norfolk (1477), Earl of Norfolk (1477), Earl of Nottingham (1476), possibly Earl of Warenne (1477)
17 August 1473
son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Anne de Mowbray
15 January 1478
no children
How Prince Richard died is a controversial, frequently debated topic and there is no solid evidence for his date, age or place of death. He was last seen in the Tower of London along with his brother, becoming popularly known as one of the Princes in the Tower. Since he died without legitimate issue his titles became extinct.

Third creation, 1494

Henry Tudor
House of Tudor
also: Prince of Wales (1504), Duke of Cornwall (1337)
28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace, London
son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
Catherine of Aragon
11 June 1509 – 23 May 1533
1 child

Anne Boleyn
25 January 1533 – 17 May 1536
1 child

Jane Seymour
30 May 1536 – 24 October 1537
1 child

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

Catherine Howard
28 July 1540 – 23 November 1541
no children

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

Fourth creation, 1605

House of Stuart
also: Duke of Albany (1604);
Prince of Wales (1616), Duke of Cornwall (1337) and Duke of Rothesay (1398)
19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline
son of James I and Anne of Denmark
Henrietta Maria of France
13 June 1625
9 children
30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace, London
aged 48
Prince Charles succeeded as Charles I in 1625 upon his father's death, and his titles merged with the crown.

Fifth creation, 1633/1644

House of Stuart
also: Duke of Albany (1660), Earl of Ulster (1659)
14 October 1633
St. James's Palace, London
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Anne Hyde
3 September 1660
8 children

Mary of Modena
21 November 1673
7 children
16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris
aged 67
Prince James was styled Duke of York from birth and officially created as such in 1644. He succeeded as James II in 1685 upon his brother's death, and his titles merged with the crown.

Sixth creation, 1892

Prince George
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney (1892);
Prince of Wales (1901), Duke of Cornwall (1337) and Duke of Rothesay (1398)
3 June 1865
Marlborough House
son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark
Mary of Teck
6 July 1893
6 children
20 January 1936
Sandringham House, Sandringham
aged 70
Prince George succeeded as George V in 1910 upon his father's death, and his titles merged with the crown.

Seventh creation, 1920

Prince Albert
House of Windsor
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney (1920)
14 December 1895
Sandringham House, Sandringham
son of George V and Mary of Teck
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
26 April 1923
2 children
6 February 1952
Sandringham House, Sandringham
aged 56
Prince Albert succeeded as George VI in 1936 upon his brother's abdication in 1936, and his titles merged with the crown.

Eighth creation, 1986

Prince Andrew
House of Windsor
also: Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh (1986)
19 February 1960
Buckingham Palace
son of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Sarah Ferguson
23 July 1986 – 30 May 1996
2 children
now 59 years, 302 days old

Family tree

Family tree: Dukes of York
King Edward III
Edmund of Langley,
1st Duke of York

Edward of Norwich,
2nd Duke of York

Richard of Conisburgh,
3rd Earl of Cambridge

Richard of York,
3rd Duke of York

Edward, 4th Duke of York
King Edward IV
(1442–1483, r.1461–70, 1471–83)
King Richard III
Elizabeth of York
m. King Henry VII
King Edward V
Richard of Shrewsbury,
Duke of York

Princess Margaret Tudor
m. James IV of Scotland
Prince Henry, Duke of York
King Henry VIII
James V of Scotland
Edward VI (1537–r.1547–1553)
Mary I (1516–r.1553–1558)
Elizabeth I (1533–r.1558–1603)
Mary, Queen of Scots
King James VI & I
Princess Elizabeth Stuart
m. Frederick V of the Palatinate
Prince Charles, Duke of York
King Charles I
Sophia of Hanover
m. Ernest Augustus of Brunswick
King Charles II
Prince James, Duke of York
King James II
(1633–1701, r.1685–1688)
King George I
Ernest Augustus,
Duke of York and Albany

Queen Mary II
Queen Anne
King George II
Prince Frederick Louis,
Prince of Wales

King George III
Prince Edward,
Duke of York and Albany

King George IV
Prince Frederick,
Duke of York and Albany

King William IV
Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent

Queen Victoria
King Edward VII
Prince George, Duke of York
King George V
King Edward VIII
(1894–1972, r.1936)
Prince Albert, Duke of York
King George VI
Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Andrew,
Duke of York


Places and things named after the Dukes of York

Geographic features

Southern hemisphere



Political entities


United States



Railroad Equipment

See also


  1. Encyclopædia Britannica Edmund of Langley First Duke of York
  2. Encyclopædia Britannica Edward of Norwich Second Duke of York
  3. English Monarchs
  4. BBC Edward IV
  5. Scarisbrick, J. J. (1997). Henry VIII (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 0300071582.
  6. Gregg, Pauline (1981), King Charles I, London: Dent
  7. Callow, John, The Making of King James II: The Formative Years of a King, Sutton Publishing, Ltd, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2000. Page
  8. "Cape York". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  9. Scadding, Henry (1873). Toronto of old: collections and recollections illustrative of the early settlement and social life of the capital of Ontario. Toronto, ON.: Adam, Stevenson & Co. p. 21. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  10. "York County". Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  11. "New York Under The Duke of York". Empire State History. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
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