Duke and Duchess

Duke and Duchess

A duke is the highest of the five grades of the peerage.  For guidance on how to address the three royal dukes (York, Gloucester and Kent) see Other Royals).

A duke is always so described, unlike the lower ranks of the peerage. If reference is made to only one duke he may be called 'the Duke' but if distinction is necessary, or on introduction, he should be referred to as 'the Duke of …..'.

Ecclesiastical, ambassadorial and armed forces ranks precede the ducal rank. For example, Major-General the Duke of …..'.

When a duke is also a privy counsellor or has received a knighthood he may use the appropriate post-nominal letters.

The wife of a duke is always described as the Duchess, or the Duchess of ….. if distinction is required or on introduction.

In official documents the style of The Most Noble ….. should still be used for both a duke and duchess.

How to Address a Duke and Duchess

The recommended (social) style of address for all non-royal dukes is as follows:

Beginning of letter

Dear Duke/Duchess

End of letter

Yours sincerely

Envelope

The Duke/Duchess of Norfolk

Verbal Communication

Duke/Duchess

Invitation* & joint form of address

The Duke and Duchess of Norfolk

Description in conversation

The Duke/Duchess of Norfolk

List of Directors or Patrons

The Duke/Duchess of Norfolk

Place Card

The Duke/Duchess of Norfolk

Legal document

The Most Noble Edward William Duke of Norfolk, The Most Noble Georgina Susan Duchess of Norfolk

*Note that, traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.

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