Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

Prince Harry title: How Harry received his earldom

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It is royal tradition for male members of the Royal Family to receive a new title from the monarch upon marriage – and Prince Harry didn’t just get one but two extra titles when he married Meghan Markle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have still retained their titles despite stepping down from frontline royal life earlier this year.

The couple no longer use their HRH titles – but still use their Duke and Duchess of Sussex moniker.

Meghan and Harry married in May 2018, and the couple automatically become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they exchanged vows at Windsor.

But the Queen didn’t stop there, giving her grandson an additional title – the Earl of Dumbarton.

Announcing the new titles, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales.

“His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.

The Earl of Dumbarton has heavy military associations, as previous postholders have had significant roles in the British military, and suits Harry’s former military associations when he was a working royal.

Prince Harry is the third Earl of Dumbarton in British history, and the title had been vacant for hundreds of years.

The Earldom has been given on one previous occasion to George Douglas, a younger son of the first Marquess of Douglas, who was created Earl of Dumbarton in 1675.

The next Earl of Dumbarton was his only son, another George, who inherited in the title as a 5 year old on his father’s death in 1692.

He spent a lot of time at the court of James II following his exile and, like his father, was famed for his military service.

On the death of the second Earl in 1749 the title became extinct and has not been given as a title since.

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This also makes Meghan the Countess of Dumbarton, as female royal spouses are given a matching title when marrying into a male line of the firm.

It also makes his son, Archie Harrison, the heir to the earldom.

Dumbarton is a town on the north bank of the river Clyde in the west of Scotland.

The town has plenty of royal history of its own – according to Historic Environment Scotland: “Dumbarton Rock was a mighty stronghold in the Dark Ages.

“Waters swirl around the base of the volcanic rock, which rises almost vertical into the sky.

“From its twin peaks – White Tower Crag and the Beak – you can see for many miles.”

Back in the 5th century Dumbarton was the capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

Years later, Dumbarton Castle was built by King of Scots, Alexander II in 1220 and it became a cornerstone of medieval royal power.

Mary, Queen of Scots spent several months at Dumbarton Castle as a child before she left for France.

The Queen also gave Harry a further additional title when he married – Baron Kilkeel, a northern Irish title.

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