List of dukes in Europe

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The following is a list of historic dukedoms in Europe:

Austria[edit]

The Austrian lands:

The Habsburg dukes came to style themselves Archdukes.

Arms Title Date of creation Creating sovereign Current holder Notes
Sophie Herzogin von Hohenberg (née Chotek-de-Chotkova-et-Vognin) Wappen 1909.png Duchess of Hohenberg 4 October 1909 Franz Josef I of Austria created for Sophie, Princess of Hohenberg (for life, extinct in 1914)
Herzog Hohenberg 1917.png Duke of Hohenberg 31 August 1917 Karl I of Austria Georg, Duke of Hohenberg created for Prince Max of Hohenberg (hereditary in the primogeniture)

Bohemia[edit]

The Czech lands:

The Duchy of Bohemia became Kingdom of Bohemia in 1212.

France[edit]

Royal dukes[edit]

Non-royal dukes[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Creating sovereign Current holder Notes
Blason Antoine de Crussol (1528-1573).svg Dukes of Uzès 1572 Charles IX of France Jacques de Crussol d'Uzès
Blason Louis VII de Rohan.svg Duchy of Montbazon 1588 Henry III of France Albert Marie de Rohan-Rochefort
Blason fam fr Rohan.svg Duke of Rohan 1603 Henry IV of France Josselin de Rohan
Blason Maison de Cossé-Brissac.svg Duke of Brissac 1611 Louis XIII of France Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac, 14th Duke of Brissac
Blason d'Albert.svg Duke of Luynes 1619 Louis XIII of France Philippe d'Albert, 13th duc de Luynes
Blason Louis Auguste d'Albert de Luynes puis d'Albert d'Ailly (1676-1744).svg Duke of Chevreuse
Duke of Chaulnes
1545
1621
Francis I of France
Louis XIII of France
Jacques François Marie Raymond d'Albert de Luynes, 13th duc de Chaulnes
Blason Jacques Nompar de Caumont (v 1558-1652).svg Duke of La Force 1637 Louis XIII of France Henri Jacques Nompar de Caumont La Force
Blason François Hannibal d'Estrées (v.1573-1670).svg Duke of Estrées 1663 Louis XIV of France Armand-Sosthènes de La Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville
Blason fam fr Noailles.svg Duke of Noailles
Dukes of Ayen
1663
1737
Louis XIV of France
Louis XV of France
Hélie Marie Auguste Jacques Bertrand Philippe de Noailles, 10th Duke of Noailles
Blason famille Broglie.svg Duke of Broglie 1742 Louis XV of France Philippe-Maurice, 9th duc de Broglie
Duke of Montebello 1808 Napoleon I of France Maurice Georges Antoine Marie Lannes, 7th Duke of Montebello
Dukes of Magenta 1859 Napoleon III of France Maurice Marie Patrick Bacchus Humphrey de MacMahon, 5th Duc de Magenta

Germany[edit]

Although the titled aristocracy of Germany no longer holds a legal rank, nearly all ducal families in Germany continued to be treated as dynastic (i.e., "royalty") for marital and genealogical purposes after 1918. Some maintain dynastic traditions that are reflected in roles they still play in high society networks, philanthropy and Germany's version of local "squirearchy" visibility.

At first, the highest nobles – de facto equal to kings and emperors – were the Dukes of the stem duchies:

Later, the precedence shifted to the prince-electors, the first order amongst the princes of the empire, regardless of the actual title attached to the fief. This college originally included only one Duke, the Duke of Saxony. The ducal title, however, was not limited by primogeniture in the post-medieval era. All descendants in the male line, including females, shared the original title, but each male added as a suffix the name of his inherited domain to distinguish his line from that of other branches. From the 19th century, some cadets of the kingly houses of Bavaria and Württemberg, and all those of the grand-ducal houses of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Oldenburg, took the ducal prefix as their primary style instead of that of Prince (Prinz).

There were many other duchies, some of them insignificant petty states (Kleinstaaterei):

Ruling Dukes (as of 1918)[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Ducal House Current pretender Notes
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen-Hildburghausen.svg Duke of Saxe-Meiningen 30 August 1680 House of Wettin Konrad, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Brunswick.svg Duke of Brunswick 22 December 1813 House of Hanover Prince Ernst August of Hanover
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg.svg Duke of Saxe-Altenburg 12 November 1826 House of Wettin none extinct in 1991
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.svg Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 12 November 1826 House of Wettin Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Anhalt.svg Duke of Anhalt 30 August 1863 House of Ascania Eduard, Prince of Anhalt

Non-ruling Dukes[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Ducal House Current holder Notes
Armoiries Eugène de Leuchtenberg.svg Duke of Leuchtenberg 14 November 1817 House of Beauharnais none extinct in 1974
Coat of arms of Duché Schleswig-Holstein-Sondebourg-Glucksbourg.svg Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg 6 July 1825 House of Glücksburg Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein
Ratibor-Corvey-Hohenlohe-Wappen.png Duke of Ratibor 15 October 1840 House of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst Viktor Metternich-Sándor, 5th Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey
Hohenlohe-Oehringen-Ujest.png Duke of Ujest 18 October 1861 House of Hohenlohe-Oehringen Kraft, 5th Duke of Ujest and Prince of Hohenlohe-Oehringen
Wappen des Herzogs von Urach.svg Duke of Urach 28 March 1867 House of Urach Wilhelm Albert, Duke of Urach
Hatzfeld zu Trachenberg-Wappen.png Duke of Trachenberg 1 January 1900 House of Hatzfeldt-Trachenberg Sebastian, 4th Duke of Trachenberg and Prince of Hatzfeldt
Pless-Wappen.jpg Duke of Pless 20 December 1905 House of Hochberg [de] none a life peerage

On the Baltic south coast[edit]

The Low countries (Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg)[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Ducal House Current holder Notes
Coat of arms of the Duchess of Brabant.svg Duke of Brabant 1183 Belgian Royal Family
(Crown Prince(ss) of Belgium)
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
Blason fam de-be Arenberg 1.jpg Duke of Arenberg
Duke of Aarschot
6 June 1644
1 April 1533
House of Arenberg Léopold, 13th Duke of Arenberg
Armoiries de Beaufort-Spontin.svg Duke of Beaufort-Spontin 2 December 1782 Beaufort-Spontin Friedrich Christian, 7th Duke of Beaufort-Spontin
Blason fam be Croÿ-Solre (de).svg Duke of Croÿ 1598 House of Croÿ Rudolf, 15th Duke of Croÿ
Looz Corswarem Wappen WWB 216.jpg Duke of Looz-Corswarem 24 December 1734 Looz-Corswarem Thierry, Duke of Looz-Corswarem [citation needed]
Armoiries d'Ursel.svg Duke of Ursel 19 August 1716 House of Ursel Stéphane, 10th Duke d'Ursel

Greece[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Ducal House Current pretender Notes
Arms of the Crown Prince of Greece.svg Duke of Sparta 1868 Greek Royal Family
(Constantine I of Greece)
none

Italy[edit]

Kingdom of the Lombards[edit]

The Kingdom of the Lombards was divided in several duchies, as follows:

They have been suppressed or transformed in counties as consequence of the Frankish conquest of the Kingdom in 776. Only the two southern duchies of Spoleto and Benevento were spared and survived some centuries.

Exarchate of Ravenna[edit]

In the same period (the Early Middle Ages) also many Italian territories under Byzantine suzerainty (in the Exarchate of Ravenna) were organized in duchies, and notably the following ones:

The first four were Tyrrhenian port cities and survived as semi-autonomous states until the Norman conquest of Southern Italy in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Duchy of Rome was transformed in the Papal State as consequence of the Donation of Sutri in 728. The Duchy of Venice became the Republic of Venice and its head of state retained the title of doge, equivalent to that of duke.

In 1059 Robert Guiscard, head of the Norman House of Hauteville, was created by the Pope Duke of Apulia and Calabria. When the State was raised to Kingdom of Sicily in 1180, the title of Duke of Apulia and Calabria was used intermittently for the heir to throne.

Kingdom of Italy (medieval)[edit]

Since 1395 the major Signorias of the Kingdom of Italy (which was part of the Holy Roman Empire) began to be raised to Dukedoms by the Emperor. By the centuries more and more Dukedoms were created in this way and they became de facto sovereign states. The Duchies created after 1395 were the following ones:

The Duchy of Savoy, though it was not an Italian state, had suzerainty on Piedmont.[1]

Papal States[edit]

Also the Pope created some sovereign duchy during the Renaissance, notably:

Kingdom of Naples[edit]

In the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Sora[2] was a semi-autonomous fiefdom.

See also Historical states of Italy

In the Papal states and in the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily the Pope and the king, respectively, granted the title of duke as the second rank of nobility, just inferior to that of prince. These dukes, however, always remained vassals.
They include:

Since 1081 the Duchies of Benevento and Pontecorvo had been two among the Papal states, and, in fact, no duke was appointed.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)[edit]

A unique Napoleonic particularity was the creation by decree of 30 March 1806 of a number of duchés grand-fiefs. As the name suggests, these were duchies, but forming an exclusive order of 'great fiefs' (twenty among some 2200 noble title creations), a college nearly comparable in status to the original anciennes pairies in the French kingdom. Since Napoleon I wouldn't go back on the Revolution's policy of abolishing feudalism in France, but didn't want these grandees to fall under the 'majorat' system in France either, he chose to create them outside the French "metropolitan" empire, notably in the following Italian satellite states, and yet all awarded to loyal Frenchmen, mainly high military officers:

In the Kingdom of Italy, in personal union with France, personally held by Napoleon I:

In the Principality of Lucca and Piombino, only Massa et Carrara: for Régnier, judge (extinguished 1962); Massa and Carrara were separated from the kingdom of Italy by article 8 of the decree of March 30, 1806 and united to the principality of Lucca-Piombino by another decree of March 30, 1806.

In the Kingdom of Naples :

In the states of Parma and Piacenza, ceded to France by the treaty of Aranjuez of 21 March 1801, shortly before both territories were united to the French Empire on 24 May 1808:

In 1815 the Congress of Vienna created the last Italian sovereign duchy, the Duchy of Lucca.

Portugal[edit]

Spain[edit]

Sweden (Non-royal)[edit]

Arms Title Date of creation Ducal House Current holder Notes
Blason Joseph Fouché (duc).svg Duke of Otranto 1808 Fouché Charles-Louis Armand Fouché d'Otrante, 8th Duke of Otrante Napoleonic nobility, Swedish unintroduced nobility

United Kingdom[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "House of Savoy | European dynasty". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  2. ^ Federico Badoer, Relazione del ducato di Urbino letta nel Veneto senato 1547, Venezia 1856p. 35