The definition of a Duke

I was reading through the NST today when I came across an article of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York who paid a courtesy visit on our Prime Minister. Prince Andrew, the British special representative for international trade and investment is in Malaysia for a 3 day visit.

So I got curious on the royal and noble ranks associated with Dukes and Duchesses and this is what I found in Wikipedia.

duke (male) or duchess (female) is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy. The title comes from the Latin Dux, ‘leader’, a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank (particularly one ofGermanic or Celtic origin), and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.

In the Middle Ages the title signified first among the Germanic monarchies. Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the superiors of the counts in the cities and later, in the feudal monarchies, the highest-ranking peers of the king.

During the 19th century many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by Dukes or Grand Dukes. At present however, with the exception of theGrand Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes who rule. Duke remains the highest titular peerage in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The Pope, as a temporal sovereign, has also but rarely granted the title of Duke and Duchess to persons for services to the Holy See.

A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom, or is the wife of a duke, is normally styled duchess. However, Queen Elizabeth IIis known as Duke of Normandy in the Channel Islands and Duke of Lancaster in Lancashire.

Royal and noble ranks
Coronet of an earl
Emperor & Empress


King & Queen


Viceroy & Vicereine


Archduke & Archduchess
Infante & Infanta


Grand Duke & Grand Duchess
Grand Prince & Grand Princess


Duke & Duchess
Prince & Princess


Marquess & Marchioness
Marquis & Marquise
Margrave & Margravine


Count & CountessEarl & Countess


Viscount & Viscountess


Baron & BaronessFreiherr & Freifrau


Baronet & Baronetess
Hereditary KnightRitter


Knight & Dame


NobileEdler von
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source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke

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