Patrick Harris -
I know I still haven't completed the Nelson series...and I promise the sixth and final part will be out tomorrow. But I haven't been doing much in the way of historical blogging this week, so I decided to give you this little story about the Duke of Wellington's titles. The Duke was a holder of a great many titles. At his death these titles were styled as:
Arthur, Duke and Marquess of Wellington,
Marquess Douro, Earl of Wellington,
Viscount Wellington and Baron Douro,
Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter,
Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath,
One of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, and
Field Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Forces.
Field Marshal of the Austrian Army,
Field Marshal of the Hanoverian Army,
Field Marshal of the Army of the Netherlands,
Marshal-General of the Portuguese Army,
Field Marshal of the Prussian Army,
Field Marshal of the Russian Army,
Captain-General of the Spanish Army.
Prince of Waterloo, of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo
and Grandee of Spain of the First Class.
Duke of Victoria, Marquess of Torres Vedras, and Count of Vimiera in Portugal.
Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece, and of the Military Orders
of St. Ferdinand and of St. Hermenigilde of Spain.
Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle of Prussia.
Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Military Order of Maria Teresa of Austria.
Knight of the Imperial Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newski, and St. George of Russia.
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Portuguese Military Order of the Tower and Sword.
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of the Sword of Sweden.
Knight of the Order of St. Esprit of France.
Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark.
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order.
Knight of the Order of St. Januarius and of the Military Order of St. Ferdinand and
of Merit of the Two Sicilies.
Knight Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation of Sardinia.
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Military Order of Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria.
Knight of the Royal Order of the Rue Crown of Saxony,
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit of Wurtemberg.
Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of William of the Netherlands.
Knight of the Order of the Golden Lion of Hesse Cassel,
Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of Fidelity and of the Lion of Baden.
As you can see, he held a great many titles. The Duke is accorded the style of His Royal Highness, as he is a Prince in the Netherlands. The Duke also receives income from his numerous hereditary lands, which are located in places as far off as Portugal and Belgium. The current Duke does not hold the military appointments or any of the non-hereditary orders, but his list of titles is still extensive.
The Earldom of Mornington (and Viscount Wellesley) was the title originally associated with the Wellesley family. The Earldom is now used as the courtesy title of the child of the heir apparent. However, it was not always that way. The Earldom of Mornington did not immediately become intertwined with the Dukedom of Wellington. Since the first Duke was the fourth son of the Earl of Mornington, he was not in direct line for inheritance. In 1863, a cousin of the Duke (the fifth Earl) died childless, and his titles were succeeded by the second Duke of Wellington, who was the highest in the line of succession, as many Wellesley's were having few children those days.