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The Peerage - Dukes

A dukedom is the highest non-royal title in the British peerage. Dukes are technically 'princes' and although at first sight it seems that in this country a prince is higher in rank, it must be remembered that Royal children are born princes but are raised to the rank of Duke, there being a number of dukedoms used exclusively by royalty - Edinburgh, York, Gloucester, Kent, Sussex and Clarence being examples.

Heraldically a duke is denoted by his coronet which displays strawberry leaves only on a circlet. The helmet on his arms, as in the case of other peers, faces left and has a closed grill vizor. A duke is addressed as His Grace, a privilege which he shares only with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Their younger sons are addressed by prefixing Lord to the Christian and surname and Lady in the case of daughters, i.e. Lord Charles FitzRoy and Lady Olivia FitzRoy, children of the Duke of Grafton. The eldest sons of dukes have precedence immediately below marquesses and use one of their father's secondary titles by courtesy only. It is often, but not always, a marquessate.

The Duke of Norfolk is Premier Duke of England and is also Earl Marshal. His elder son is known by courtesy as the Earl of Arundel and Surrey, and has precedence below a marquess.

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