Edwin Lerner

Prince Harry And The Other Duke Of Sussex

Prince Harry was given the title Duke of Sussex by Her Majesty the Queen on the morning of his wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018, so she automatically became the Duchess of Sussex. They use the Sussex brand on their website sussexroyal.com but have few other connections with the county.

Prince Harry of Wales & Megan Markle_Engagement Photo. Photo Credit: © Alexi Lubomirski via The Royal Family. Prince Harry of Wales & Megan Markle_Engagement Photo. Photo Credit: © Alexi Lubomirski via The Royal Family.

Harry was the second British royal ever to be made Duke of Sussex. The title was first given to Augustus, the sixth son of King George III in 1801, and the two dukes have some things in common, not least a rebellious streak. Like Harry, Augustus married an older woman with a mind of her own. However, he had not been given permission by his father to marry Augusta Murray. Under the Royal Marriage Act of 1772, the union was deemed void and she could not be received at court. The couple later separated, although they did have two children, also named Augustus and Augusta.

After his first wife’s death, Augustus married a widow, Lady Cecilia Underwood, with whom he lived quietly for the rest of his life. Cecilia was made the Duchess of Inverness by Queen Victoria so she could be accepted at court, where she remained after Augustus’s death in 1843.

Queen Victoria had never known her own father, the Duke of Kent, who died before her first birthday. His brother Augustus became her favourite uncle, and he gave her away at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Unlike the other sons of George III, the first Duke of Sussex did not pursue a military career, but was a keen scholar and became president of the Royal Society of Arts. He kept an extensive private library with over 50,000 books.

Prince Augustus Frederick, first Duke of Sussex. Photo Credit © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Prince Augustus Frederick, first Duke of Sussex. Photo Credit © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Victoria made Augustus governor of Windsor Castle, and it was expected that he would be buried there in the royal vault at St. George’s Chapel. This is where Prince Harry and Meghan were married in 2018. It’s also where King George III and his sons George IV and William IV were laid to rest. However, rebellious to the end, Augustus left instructions in his will that he be buried amongst his people, and he lies in Kensal Green Cemetery in London in a modest grave. Like Prince Harry, the first Duke of Sussex was a royal with the common touch.

Edwin Lerner

Named Edwin (an early king of Northern England) but usually called ‘Eddie’, I conducted extended tours around Britain and Ireland for the well-established company Trafalgar for many years but now work as a freelance guide and tour manager. I specialise in tours themed on cars, religion, music, theatre, literature…

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