*Their title means the new form of address for Harry and Meghan – who will marry at midday today – is Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen to mark their wedding day.
In the same way Prince William and Kate Middleton were given a royal dukedom on their wedding morning, Harry and Meghan have been given a similar honour.
Their title means the new form of address for both is Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Queen has also conferred a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
As when Kate Middleton got married, Meghan does officially become a princess today – but not in her own right.
She will be HRH Princess Henry of Wales.
The Queen bestowed the dukedom on her grandson this morning, with his wife-to-be automatically becoming a duchess to his duke.
As the fountain of honour in the UK, the Queen has the sole right of conferring all titles of honour, including life peerages, knighthoods and gallantry awards.
A statement said: “The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.”
There has only been one previous Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte.
He had the title conferred upon him at his birth in 1801.
However, his two children did not inherit the title because both his marriages were in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, as his father did not approve of the women’s standings, making the children illegitimate.
Like Harry, he married for love rather than choosing a bride of royal lineage.
Because neither of his marriages were approved by King George III, there has never been a Duchess of Sussex before, meaning Meghan is the first.
Notably, the first Duke of Sussex was appointed Governor of Windsor Castle in 1842 by his niece, Queen Victoria, who said he was her favourite uncle.
Sky News royal commentator Alastair Bruce said the first Duke of Sussex gave Queen Victoria away at her wedding to Prince Albert.
“He was well known for wearing a little black hat, which was to cover his bald patch,” he added.
“In the old days the reason princes were made dukes when they married was because they needed a dukedom, which would provide them with an income from the land.
“The Duke of Sussex would have collected rent from those who lived in Sussex.
“But now they obviously don’t do that anymore.”
Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, said the Queen was limited in the titles available, and some had a doomed history.
There has never previously been a Duchess of Sussex. The first Duke of Sussex was an eccentric son of King George III and his two marriages were deemed illegal.
Prince Augustus Frederick was born in 1773 and died 1843 – and lived in Kensington Palace, which is also Meghan and Harry’s home.
Augustus was sent abroad and married Lady Augusta Murray – whom he called “Goosy” – in secret in Rome in 1793.
But the marriage was declared void by George III, who had not given his approval.
It was later annulled on the grounds that it contravened the Royal Marriages Act 1772.
The prince became the Duke of Sussex in 1801.
But Lady Augusta, from whom he separated the same year, did not become the Duchess of Sussex.
She called herself princess and demanded a peerage, but never received one.
Earl of Dumbarton is a title that has strong military connections. The first to hold the title was George Douglas, a younger son of the first Marquess of Douglas, who was created Earl of Dumbarton in 1675.
A Scottish nobleman and soldier, George was given the title by Charles II in recognition of his military service. When James VII of Scots (James II of England) came to the throne in 1685, the earl was made military commander in Scotland, and it is thought that when the King was deposed, George accompanied him to his court in exile in France.
On George’s death at St German-en-Laye in France, the title passed to his son, also called George, who became the second Earl of Dumbarton.
The title became extinct when the second earl died in 1749, meaning it has not been used in more than 260 years.
It means that Prince Harry becomes the third to hold the Scottish title, and on marriage, Meghan will become Countess of Dumbarton.
Dumbarton is on the north bank of the River Clyde, to the west of Glasgow.
The town was founded in the fifth century and was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.
It is the site of a volcanic rock which is home to Dumbarton Castle. During its long history, the castle has been both a royal residence and a fortress.
Dumbarton was a Royal Burgh between 1222 and 1975.
Baron of Kilkeel has never previously been granted as a royal title.
Kilkeel is the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Mourne, and lies on the coast of County Down, below the Mourne mountains.
It is home to Northern Ireland’s largest fishing fleet. There has been a settlement in Kilkeel since ancient times.
Buckingham Palace said that all Baronies have a Nomen Dignitatis and a territorial designation. The title therefore is Kilkeel and the territorial designation is of Kilkeel in the County of Down.
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