Duke and Duchess
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
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|
|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.