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06 March, 2011

Duke of the Day:
HRH The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York

Born in 1960 (19 February), this 51-year-old duke and royal prince (pictured below) is the second son and third child of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The Duke of York is fourth in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent states.

HRH Prince Andrew was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh upon his marriage in 1986 to Sarah Ferguson.  Divorced from Sarah, Duchess of York, in 1996, the Duke of York has two daughters from that marriage, HRH The Princess Beatrice and HRH The Princess Eugenie.  However, as he currently has no sons, he has no heir to the dukedom of York.  Interestingly, since the first creation of the title in the year 1385, there has never been a Duke of York succeeded lifelong by his son.  The dukes have either become king (e.g. Henry VIII, George V, George VI), died without a male heir (e.g. Richard of Shrewsbury), or had a male heir who became king upon the death of an uncle (e.g. Edward IV).

The present Duke of York is unarguably one of the most eligible men in the world.  Among dukes, only the Duke of Wellington (95; widowed) and Duke of Fife (81; divorced) are currently unmarried.  Not only is the Duke of York substantially younger and more suitable than the other two, but he is also the only unmarried Duke who is also a royal prince.  Additionally, he and the Duke of Leinster (62; married) are the only dukes without living male heirs.  In fact, with the impending marriage of his nephew, HRH The Prince William of Wales (28), the Duke of York’s supremacy as a suitor is trumped only by that of another nephew, HRH The Prince Henry “Harry” of Wales (26), third in the line of succession – and admittedly not a likely direct romantic competitor.

Educated at the Royal Naval College, the Duke of York served for 22 years in the Royal Navy, primarily as a helicopter pilot, and served in the Falklands War.  Today, he supports many charities and carries out official duties on behalf of the Royal Family.  Since 2001, he has also served as UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, meeting with world leaders and heads of state and speaking at conferences, such as the World Economic Forum.  This has sometimes been a controversial role.

A devoted father, the Duke of York is known to spend considerable time with his two daughters and is on good terms with his former wife, including her in family outings to the extent it is feasible and rescuing her from brushes with impropriety and financial misfortune.  Although it is not thought likely that he will remarry, one can never tell.  We will not discount the possibility of a new wife in the Duke of York’s future or the birth of a son and heir to the dukedom of York, an addition to the line of succession.

HRH The Duke of York


Buckingham Palace, London SW1 1AA