The Dukes of Sussex
SGUK Pc Episode 18 – 171021
The majority of this narrative about the Dukes of Sussex centres more on the first Duke not least to prepare the ground for the comparisons and similarities with the present day, of which we already know so much. So please bear with me as I spent time on the summary of the first Duke. Along the way you will each most likely identify things that link to Prince Harry’s situation in some way or another. There is truly a wealth of information out there about most members of the British Royal family going back centuries. This podcast barely touches the surface of the information about the 12 siblings of the first Duke of Sussex, let alone the information about his parents, whose mother was considered to mixed race by a few brave historians, but on the whole most historians did not comment about it. You may have noticed, if any of your watched the Netflix series Bridgerton, that Queen Charlotte was in fact as a person of colour without actually referring to the fact.
Historical Data re Dukedom Title and Ownership
The Duke of Sussex title has only ever been used twice in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The current Duke of Sussex is Prince Harry, and the previous holder of the title was Prince Augustus Frederick, the 6th son of King George III. Prince Augustus was given the title of the Duke of Sussex on 24th November 1801, along with the following titles:- Baron Arklow and Earl of Inverness.
- Baron Arklow was a title in the Peerage of the UK that has also been created twice. Arklow is a town in County Wicklow in Ireland.
- The Baron Arklow was created again on 24th May 1881. The last person to hold this title was Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
- Earl of Inverness was first created in 1718 and the last creation date (the 4th time) was in 1986 when the current Queen Elizabeth granted the title to Prince Andre
- For the purpose of this podcast, I wont go into the rules which governed when Titles could only be passed on to male heirs in the families concerned, but there is a wealth of information of the females who were older but passed over in favour of their brothers.
- The 2nd thing I would like to mention, is note how The Queen gave this title to Prince Andrew her so called ‘favourite’, and despite everything that is going on in current times, still holds this title along with others. He is not a working Royal and he is involved in a globally known investigation, and whilst he may not be convicted of anything yet, note how Prince Harry has never been accused of any illegal activity, but has been stripped of everything, but the one thing they cannot take away from him without Parliamentary discussion and approval. One of the main current requirements for the removal of a Title such as the Duke of Sussex, is any illegal activity. We all know that Prince Harry is not accused of any illegality, but yet we still hear the paid trolls trying to make fetch happen, demanding that Harry should lose his title. What they all fail to understand, is that any removal of a Title from Prince Harry, would automatically have Prince Andrews, and possibly others, but a definite for Prince Andrew to have the Titles removed, along with Security, and a host of benefits he is currently receiving because of his mother. So, Parliament will never be encouraged to debate this issue, without it having an automatic impact on other members of the BRF.
The 2nd creation of the Duke of Sussex title (which takes its name from the County of Sussex in England) was announced on 19th May 2018 and made official by Letters Patent on 16th July 2018, to Prince Harry. The current Heir apparent is Archie Mountbatten Windsor.
- Prince Harry holds subsidiary Titles of the Earl of Dumbarton and the Baron of Kilkeel.
- Earl of Dumbarton is a title of Scottish nobility, referring to Dumbarton in the area of West Dumbartonshire in Scotland.
- The title has been created twice. Once in 1675 in the Peerage of Scotland, and then a 2nd time, but once in the Peerage of the UK in 2018.
- Earl of Dumbarton is a title of Scottish nobility, referring to Dumbarton in the area of West Dumbartonshire in Scotland.
Royal Dukedoms in the UK[i]
- In British peerage, a royal duke is a member of the British Royal Family, entitled to the dignity of a Prince and the style of His Royal Highness who holds a Dukedom.
- Dukedoms are the highest titles in the British roll of peerage and the holders of these particular dukedoms are princes of the blood royal. The holders of the dukedoms are Royal, not the titles themselves.
- They are titles created and bestowed on legitimate sons and male-line grandsons of the British Monarch – usually upon reaching their ‘majority’ or upon marriage.
- There were a few dukedoms vacant for the Queen to choose from as the wedding approached. They were:- Clarence, Connaught, Kendal, Ross, Sussex and Windsor. There were also a number of unoccupied dukedoms including Cumberland and Albany.
- Lucy Hulme from Debretts Peerage was of the opinion that Prince Harry would only receive English and Scottish titles, whereas Prince William being higher in the Line of Succession would receive 3 which would include Ireland.
- Debretts anticipated that the Queen would choose from the vacant dukedoms, which she did in fact do. Lucy Hulme also stated that factors that might be taken into account include who held the title previously and whether or not there were any negative connotations. Windsor had negative connotations as it was the title given to Edward VIII after his abdication in 1936.
- Experts felt that Sussex was the favourite with Clarence being the next most likely. The Duke of Sussex title became extinct around 200 years ago. The previous holder of the title didn’t have any legitimate heirs and there is no terrible or controversial history associated with the title.
- Let me state here that I whole heartedly disagree with this last point regarding the choice of the Sussex dukedom not having any controversy attached to it. I will come on to my reasons shortly.
- The titles can be inherited but cease to be called ‘royal’ once they pass beyond the grandsons of a monarch.
- As with any peerage, once the title becomes extinct, it may subsequently be recreated by the reigning monarch at any time.
The First Duke of Sussex – Prince Augustus Frederick
- Born on 27 January 1773, in Buckingham House, London.
- Died on 21 April 1843 aged 70. Residence: Kensington Palace, London.
- Burial – 4th May 1843. Worth stating here that Prince Augustus specifically requested not to be buried on any Royal estates. Hence he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, opposite his sister, Princess Sophia another ‘outsider’ in some ways as she was unmarried and a child, with the names of two possible men who could be the father.
- Married twice. First spouse was Lady Augusta Murray. The marriage took place in 1793 against the wishes and without approval of the Monarch. The marriage was subsequently annulled 1794 on the grounds that the Prince did not seek approval from the Monarch and got married anyway. The Monarch never approved of the marriage, hence the reason it was annulled.
- 2nd marriage was to Lady Cecillia Underwood, which took place in 1831
- Both times Augustus married for love but the monarch did not approve of either of the chosen spouses and so did not approve either of the marriages. As a direct result of this, neither of the Duke’s children were considered legitimate heirs to the title.
- The parents of Prince Augustus was King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
- NB Queen Charlotte is listed by a few historians as being of mixed race. Most of the paintings of the Queen also confirm this point, but as per usual with such matters, particularly in those times, history was not so much rewritten, but the ethnic origin was just not referred to in the majority of the official records.
- I make this point because of the political causes that became a focus for Prince Augustus, and which were very unpopular with the British Royal family at the time. One could argue, successfully in my opinion, that there seems a lot of denial about Queen Charlottes ethnicity but there are written pieces which state that Queen Charlotte comes from Portuguese family line, and she is indeed of mixed race. Prince Augustus took up causes that I suspect his mother would have been more than proud – just like our current Duke of Sussex. Causes such as agreement in and vocal about his views to abolish slavery, reformation of Parliament, Catholic emancipation and the removal of existing civil restriction on “Jews and Dissenters” which referred to Protestant Christians who separated from the Church of England in the 17th and 18th
- Prince Augustus met his first wife in Italy. 2nd daughter of the Earl of Dunmore. The couple secretly got married in Rome in 4th April 1793. The Kings Minister of Hanover affairs was sent to Italy to escort him back to London.
- the couple married again without revealing their full identities at St Georges, Hanover Square, Westminster on 5th December 1793.
- Both marriages took place without the consent or even the knowledge of his father.
- In August 1794 the prince’s first marriage was annulled on the grounds that it contravened the Royal Marriages Act 1772, as it was not approved by the King.
- Prince continued to live with Lady Augusta until 1801 when he received a parliamentary grant of £12,000 and the couple separated. Lady Augusta retained custody of their children and received maintenance of £4000 a year.
- In 1806 Lady Augusta was given royal licence to use the surname of ‘de Ameland’ instead of Murray.
Lady Augusta Murray
Duke of Sussex Title & Involvement in Patronages
Prince Augustus was made a Knight of the Garter in June 1786. In November 1801 the King created the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness and Baron Arklow in the peerage for Augustus. Due to the fact that Augustus was still deemed to have no legitimate children to pass on the titles, the Titles became extinct on his death in 1843.
In 1815 the Duke became a Patron of the Jews Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to became the charity known today as Norwood Royal Patronage, continued with Queen Elizabeth II eventually becoming Norwood’s Patron
A year after the death of his first wife, Augustus married a second time in May 1831 – again in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act to Lady Cecilia Letitia Buggin the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, 2nd Earl of Arran and Elizabeth Underwood a widow. On the same day, Lady Cecilia assumed the surname Underwood by Royal Licence. She was never titled or recognised as the Duchess of Sussex, however she was created the Duchess of Inverness in her own right by Queen Victoria in 1840.
In 1838 Augustus made reference to meeting a scientist called John Hershell, and gave a speech where he spoke about the compatibility of science and religion. He tried to challenge the inequality and social injustices, which eventually his stance on such topics caused further division between the Duke and his family. The Duke and his father were very much estranged at this point.
Current and Former Duke of Sussex
- They were/are considered somewhat rebellious – eg they challenges age-old traditions and shatter Royal stereotypes
- Queen Victoria considered the first Duke of Sussex to be her favourite Uncle, who did the honour of escorting her down the aisle when she married Prince Albert in 1840.
- An unspoken attitude to the existence of mixed race within Royalty at that time; I would say that not much has changed.
- Prince Harry had to officially request permission to marry Meghan. With the world looking, the Queen did not opt to refuse, yet as we all know now, and most people acknowledge that this was not one rogue member of staff but a concerted effort by the BRF to ensure that no wedding took place. I personally feel that even if the Queen had refused permission, Harry would have married Meghan anyway. In my mind he is very similar to the first Duke of Sussex.
- History gives an insight on how the Monarch has the power to erase hereditary entitlement or recognition if they so wish, under a variety of legislation/acts that only Royals would ever have the need to use. The wording of the very Acts themselves meant that no person outside of that structure could call upon it.
- Note how names are changed (like the 1st Duke of Sussex first wife. Using a name from her side of the family, and was in effect given money and a different Title to make it look better, but she and her children were still excluded but sugar coated by giving her a Scottish title and lived at a distance. When Augustus died, it was deemed he had no legitimate children to pass on his Duke of Sussex title, even though they had been born within a legitimate marriage but one that was not approved by the Monarch.
- Meghans removal from Archie’s birth certificate, but her Title remaining, is significant in my opinion. History will show the Royalty element, but no mention of the person behind the title. Slavery mentality in full view.
- Without giving ideas to people, I can see a variety of ways the BRF could have used aspects of Royal law and procedures, to ‘other’ Meghan if Harry had put the Royal family first. Harry leaving scuppered much of that scope of choice I am sure.
- I maintain the choice of the Sussex Dukedom was not accidental, though I think the Royal family had different ideas in terms of its relevance, than a sane thinking non misogynistic person could see. I am sure that there was a very high element of shade when the choice was made, and very little of it was seen in a positive light, but courtiers and media could spin it like it was a fabulous wedding gift to the couple.
- I believe that the first Duke of Sussex would have liked Harry and Meghan. They stood their ground when all around them were shooting poison arrows.
- The first Duke married who he wanted despite family opposition that he knew would follow. Both of his marriages were for love, and he did his best in the times that he lived in, to secure payments for his first wife and children before they separated for good. The annulment made no difference to the emotions involved.
- Augustus was never considered at the level of other brothers in the family. He was seen as the weak one due to his asthma, and yet he was the one who quietly became very interested in the arts and music and politics, and very outspoken on slavery and race issues. He was very well read too. His living quarters were never as palatial as others in his family, but he travelled a lot and experiences more about life outside of Royalty.
- Prince Harry had a tiny 2 bedroom cottage on Kensington Palace grounds. He was always treated like 2nd When he asked for accommodation for him as a married man, he was allocated Frogmore Cottage, not a section of Frogmore House. Former servants quarters, and still the smallest accommodation by far compared to the rest of the wider family. In the same grounds of Frogmore is another Royal who was deemed to be a rebel, Edward who gave up the throne to marry Wallace Simpson. Everything thrown Harry’s way, on the face of things, looked easy to spin in the media, but when examined closely, it was/is all shade
- Harry paying the faux renovation costs for a property that had designated funds in the Sovereign grant, in one go, scuppered the 12 repayment deal that the Royal family tried to sell to Harry. It is no coincidence that the Cambridge children would become adults in 10 and 12 years respectively in terms of George and Charlotte. Once gain trying to use him as the Roya workhorse and Whipping Boy for distraction press coverage, but still prepared to cast him aside at the BRF convenience in 12 years time, under the disguise of him paying back a fictitious debt.
- You can see already how the institution is trying to do to Harry and Meghan’s children, what was done to The first Duke of Sussexes two children. Ie removed from the line of inheriting anything from their father upon his death. Packed off into the background, with his mother allocated a name from her mothers side of the family, and over time, meaning it would take an element of prior knowledge to find details of this lady and her two children.
- Every shady act done by the BRF and the media to stop the wedding taking place failed. The fact that the brf acted quickly to remove footage of the Australian news interview with a certain person, who admitted this plot existed and people were paid to stop the wedding. All footage in the main high profile countries, as well as footage on the internet, was removed in hours. If this was not true, the brf would have been silent. The official reason for its removal was that two former gossip publication personnel were named as being involved, and that they threatened to sue if it was not removed.
- The Sussexes are free, and are not dependant on the BRF for their existence. The Sussexes are involved in impactful work globally and are very high profile. They have options. Augustus stipulated that when he died he did not want to be buried on Royal grounds. I hope that Harry and Meghan do something similar when it comes to the Christening. I will of course respect their choice, but this pick and mix approach that the BRF keep on pushing in order to deflect or to make the Firm feel relevant and important, is becoming tiresome now. Leave them to their games. They are in the dust clouds of the Sussexes now anyway.
My takeaway from looking into the life of the first Duke of Sussex is that Prince Harry has more in common with the first Duke on the things that Royalty want to pretend does not exist, or did not happen in that way. The Royal Family were trying to appear generous and celebrating the marriage, when in fact every so called gift, was a rotten apple, and much like their day to day life, it was all performative and nothing of real substance. I will think of both Dukes of Sussex as kindred spirits, who married who they loved, and did not follow Royal tradition and protocol just because it was there. They both were and are independent thinkers, and who were involved in wider initiatives outside of the traditional Royal family performative tasks. I think that the Dukes would have liked each other, and the mixed race element in the family line, despite what the majority of records show, is an added joy. The Sussexes are making history with a range of innovative projects which are benefiting a wide scope of people. Meghan is the first Duchess of Sussex, not least because the Queen could not be seen to refuse the marriage, so despite trying other activities to destroy this union, the fact remains that history will show Meghans name and Title, just like the American Birth Certificate, so the one amended in the UK is the only document that is different, compared to all the others in history books of the future, as to the reasons behind the amendment.
Yes I think the two Dukes of Sussex would have got along just fine.
 The ‘age of majority’ is the threshold of adulthood as recognised or declared in law.