Duchess of Edinburgh

Duchess of Edinburgh
Coat of Arms of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.svg

since 9 April 2021 (2021-04-09)
StyleHer Royal Highness
Member ofBritish royal family
SeatClarence House
Term lengthAs long as married to the Duke of Edinburgh
    • 1736 (first creation)
    • 1874 (second creation)
    • 1947 (present creation)
Named forEdinburgh, Scotland
First holderPrincess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

Duchess of Edinburgh is the principal courtesy title held by the wife of the Duke of Edinburgh. There have been four Duchesses of Edinburgh since the title's creation. The current duchess is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, whose husband Charles, Prince of Wales, inherited the dukedom on 9 April 2021 upon the death of his father Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.


Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha was also Princess of Wales between 1736 and 1751, and Dowager Princess of Wales thereafter. Princess Augusta's eldest son succeeded as George III of the United Kingdom in 1760, as her husband, Frederick, Prince of Wales, had died nine years earlier.


Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia was the fifth child and only surviving daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his first wife Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna. She was the younger sister of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the paternal aunt of Russia's last Tsar, Nicholas II. In 1874, Maria Alexandrovna married Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; she was the first and only Romanov to marry into the British royal family. In August 1893, Maria Alexandrovna became Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha when her husband inherited the duchy on the death of his childless uncle, Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom since her accession in 1952. Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937.[1] They were second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth—though only 13 years old—said she fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters.[2] Their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947.[3] Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother's British family.[4] Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style His Royal Highness.[5] Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. From their marriage until her accession as queen, Elizabeth was styled "Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh."


Upon the death of Prince Philip on 9 April 2021, Prince Charles acceded to the dukedom.[6] Thus, his wife, Camilla, became Duchess of Edinburgh. However, as the couple possess higher titles in England and Wales (Prince and Princess of Wales) and in Scotland (Duke and Duchess of Rothesay), it is unlikely that the Duchess will use the title officially.

Duchesses of Edinburgh

First holder, 1736

Subsidiary titles: Marchioness of the Isle of Ely, Countess of Eltham, Viscountess of Launceston, Baroness of Snaudon.

Duchess Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (by birth)
House of Hanover (by marriage)
Princess Augusta 30 November 1719
Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

daughter of Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst
8 May 1736
Frederick, Prince of Wales
9 children
8 February 1772
aged 52

Second holder, 1874

Subsidiary titles: Countess of Ulster, Countess of Kent.

Duchess Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
House of Romanov (by birth)
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (by marriage)
Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna 17 October 1853
Alexander Palace, St. Petersburg

daughter of Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine
23 January 1874
Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
5 children
24 October 1920
aged 67

Third and fourth holders, 1947

Subsidiary titles: Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich.

Duchess Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
House of Windsor
Elizabeth II 21 April 1926
Mayfair, London

daughter of George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
20 November 1947
Philip Mountbatten
4 children
now 95 years, 15 days old
Camilla Parker Bowles
Shand family (by birth)
House of Windsor (by marriage)
Camilla 17 July 1947
King's College Hospital, London

daughter of Bruce Shand and Rosalind Cubitt
9 April 2005
Charles, Prince of Wales
No royal children
now 73 years, 293 days old

Possible future creations

It was announced in 1999, at the time of the wedding of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, that he would follow his father as Duke of Edinburgh.[7] It is expected that a new (fourth) creation will be bestowed on Prince Edward after the current (third) creation "eventually reverts to the Crown", i.e. the current holder, Prince Charles, becomes king.[8] In this scenario, the Countess of Wessex as Edward's wife, will become the Duchess of Edinburgh once the title gets bestowed on her husband.


  1. ^ Brandreth, pp. 132–139; Lacey, pp. 124–125; Pimlott, p. 86
  2. ^ Bond, p. 10; Brandreth, pp. 132–136, 166–169; Lacey, pp. 119, 126, 135
  3. ^ Heald, p. 77
  4. ^ Hoey, pp. 55–56; Pimlott, pp. 101, 137
  5. ^ "No. 38128". The London Gazette. 21 November 1947. p. 5495.
  6. ^ "HRH The Duke of Edinburgh". College of Arms. 9 April 2021.
  7. ^ "The Earl of Wessex". Royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  8. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 2010, page 46 'Peers of the Blood Royal'

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