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British RoyalsThe Gloucesters

The Windsor Titles: The Duke of Gloucester

The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester (Photo credit: @RoyalFamily via Twitter)

The title Duke of Gloucester has long been one of the royal dukedoms associated with the Royal Family and given to one of the sons of the monarch. The current dukedom was created for Prince Henry, one of the sons of King George V. He was also given the titles Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden – thus having titles in all three areas of the United Kingdom. Prince Henry married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas-Scott in 1935, and they had two sons, Prince William in 1941 and Prince Richard in 1944.

Life changed for the Duke in 1936 when his father, King George V died and his eldest brother, King Edward VIII ascended the throne and abdicated the same year. His other brother took the throne as King George VI, and he was lined up as a potential Prince Regent should the King die before his daughter, Princess Elizabeth was old enough to rule on her own. This is when the Duke of Gloucester began to undertake duties on behalf of the Sovereign all over the globe. This is something which continues to this day. Prince Henry was even Governor-General of Australia for a time in the mid-1940s.

From the mid-1960s the Duke had a series of strokes and was in terribly poor health. The Duchess of Gloucester later admitted she had not told him of the death of his eldest son, Prince William in a plane crash during an air race. Prince Henry, the last surviving child of King George V, died in 1974, and his title passed to his younger son, Prince Richard. Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, undertakes many royal duties on behalf of the Crown. For example, just last year he travelled to Malawi for Commonwealth Day celebrations.

Prince Richard married the Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs in 1972, and they have three children: Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster; Lady Davina Lewis; and Lady Rose Gilman. The Earl of Ulster will eventually inherit his father’s title. Alexander married Claire Booth in 2002, and they have two children: Xan Windsor, Lord Culloden and Lady Rose Windsor.

So, there are two generations at the moment ready to take on the title of Duke of Gloucester; however, it will cease to become a royal dukedom as they are not direct descendants of the monarch.