Thursday, December 14, 2017

Etiquette of Royal Court Precedency

Consuelo Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, was a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family. Her marriage to Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough became an international symbol of the socially advantageous, but loveless, “Dollar Princess” marriages, which were so common during the Gilded Age.

The new Duchess of Marlborough takes the lead in the order of precedency at Court. According to English Court etiquette, women take the same rank as their husbands or brothers. The order of precedency is as follows down to Dukes: The Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, the Queen's younger sons, grandsons of the Sovereign, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord High Chancellor, Archbishop of York, Lord President of the Council, the great Lord Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal. 

The last four named rank above all peers of their own degree; Dukes according to their patent of creation (1, Dukes of England; 2, of Scotland; 3, of Great Britain; 4, of Ireland). 

The following is the date of creation of twelve of the twenty-two Dukes:

  • Marlborough, 1702; 
  • Brandon, 1711:
  • Portland, 1716;
  • Manchester, 1719;  
  • Newcastle 1756; 
  • Northumberland, 1766; 
  • Cumberland 1799;
  • Wellington, 1814; 
  • Sutherland, 1833; 
  • Westminster, 1874; 
  • Fife, 1889; and 
  • Argyll, 1892
                         From the San Francisco Call, 1895

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia