Prince Andrew title: How Duke of York title could fall out of use

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Prince Andrew, 60, is Queen Elizabeth II’s son and was born with an HRH style. In keeping with royal tradition, he was created the Duke of York by the Queen when he married Sarah Ferguson in 1986.

While Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are no longer married he remains the Duke of York and is expected to keep the peerage for life.

Andrew stepped back from royal duty last year following a controversial interview about his friendship with dead sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Following the Newsnight interview, Prince Andrew released a statement announcing his withdrawal from public life for “the foreseeable future”.

In the statement, Prince Andrew said: “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.”


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The statement continued: “His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.

“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”

Despite his withdrawal from royal duties, Prince Andrew remains the Duke of York, a title he is expected to hold on to for life.

However, Prince Andrew’s lack of sons could mean the dukedom of York falls out of use following his death.

Hereditary peerages, including dukedoms, can only be passed down from fathers to sons or to other male members of the family.

The law of male primogeniture in the UK means neither of Prince Andrew’s daughters – Princess Beatrice, 31, or Princess Eugenie, 30 – can inherit his dukedom.

The rules of inheritance for a British dukedom are laid down in Letters Patent when the dukedom is created.

The Letters Patent for the 1986 creation of the Dukedom of York says the title will be inherited by “heirs male of the body”.


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The Dukedom of York currently belongs to the second son of the monarch and whether it is passed on depends on who is on the throne when Prince Andrew dies.

There is a chance Prince William’s son Prince Louis could inherit the title on Prince Andrew’s death.

Addressing the question of who Prince Andrew’s title may pass to, one Quora user wrote: “The Dukedom of York will be inherited by the oldest legitimate son of the current duke.

“Of course, the current duke has no sons, so unless that situation changes, the title will go extinct and will be available for the monarch at the time to recreate and confer on whoever they want.”

“Of course, the title is usually given to the second son of the monarch, so we would need to know who the monarch will be at the time.

“Given that Prince Andrew is twelve years younger than Prince Charles, it seems likely that when Prince Andrew dies and the dukedom becomes available, Prince Charles will have already died and Prince William will be the king.

“Prince William’s second son is Prince Louis, so he will be a prime candidate to get the dukedom.

“But isn’t it be nice to consider the possibility that, in the thirty or so years before then, the amount of sexism in the British Peerage will have fallen to the extent that Princess Charlotte, as the second child of the monarch, could be the first woman to be created Duchess of York in her own right?”

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