Duke of Edinburgh - History of The Title

History of The Title

The title was first created in the Peerage of Great Britain on 26 July 1726 by George I, who bestowed it on his grandson Prince Frederick, who also became Prince of Wales the following year. Upon Frederick's death, the title was inherited by his son Prince George. When Prince George became King George III in 1760, the title "merged into the crown", and ceased to exist.

Four years later, on 19 November 1764, George III created a variation of the title for his younger brother, Prince William, the full form being "Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh". In 1805, that title was inherited by William's only son, Prince William Fredrick, who died without a male heir, causing the title to cease to exist.

Queen Victoria re-created the title on 24 May 1866 for her second son Prince Alfred, this time in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. When Alfred became the sovereign of the two German duchies Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in 1893, he retained his British titles. His only son Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha committed suicide in 1899, so the title Duke of Edinburgh again became extinct upon the elder Alfred's death in 1900.

The title was created for a fourth time on 19 November 1947 by George VI, who bestowed it the next day on his son-in-law Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, when he married Princess Elizabeth. Earlier that year, Philip had renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles (he was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, being a male-line grandson of king George I of Greece and male-line great-grandson of king Christian IX of Denmark) along with his rights to the Greek throne. In 1957, Philip became a Prince of the United Kingdom.

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