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Duke of Cornwall

The first dukedom created in the peerage of England was that of Cornwall, created for Edward, the Black Prince, son and heir apparent of King Edward III.

The dukedom is the last in the United Kingdom still associated with an actual duchy, the income of which goes to the Duke (or to the monarch when the dukedom is vacant). The Duchy of Cornwall is separate and distinct from the political county of Cornwall or the geographic region of Cornwall in southwestern Britain.

The Duke of Cornwall is the eldest son of the reigning monarch who is also the heir apparent. This would be the eldest living son if no older brothers left heirs. If no one meets these qualifications, the dukedom has either merged with the Crown[?] (its holder has become monarch and has no eldest son who is heir apparent) or lapsed to the Crown[?] (its holder has died and there is no living eldest son of the monarch who is heir apparent). The dukedom does not become extinct in either of these instances. A son becomes Duke of Cornwall when his parent takes the throne, or, if born to a reigning monarch, at the moment of birth.

This means that one can be the Duke of Cornwall without being the Prince of Wales, since the latter title is conferred explicitly by the monarch, and is often withheld until the age of majority.

It is also possible to be heir apparent without being the Duke of Cornwall (if one is not the child of the reigning monarch.)

Holders of the Dukedom of Cornwall, with the process by which they became dukes of Cornwall:

  1. Edward, the Black Prince, created Duke of Cornwall by Parliament 1336/7, died 1376.
  2. Richard of Bordeaux, by charter 1376, ascended throne as Richard II in 1377.
  3. Henry of Monmouth, by Parliament 1399, ascended throne as Henry V in 1413.
  4. Henry, son of Henry V, by birth 1421, ascended throne as Henry VI in 1422.
  5. Edward of Westminster, son of Henry VI, by birth 1453, died 1471.
  6. Edward Plantagenet, son of Edward IV, by charter 1470 and by patent 1471, ascended throne as Edward V in 1483.
  7. Edward of Middleham, Earl of Salisbury, son of Richard III, by the accession of his father to the throne, 1483, died 1484.
  8. Arthur Tudor, son of Henry VII, by birth 1486, died 1502.
  9. Henry Tudor, Duke of York, son of Henry VII, by the death of his older brother Arthur, 1502, ascended throne as Henry VIII in 1509.
  10. Henry Tudor, son of Henry VIII, by birth 1511, died later that year.
  11. a son, possibly named Henry, son of Henry VIII, by birth 1514, died later that year.
  12. Edward Tudor, son of Henry VIII, by birth 1537, ascended throne 1547.
  13. Henry Frederick Stuart, Duke of Rothsay, son of James I, on the accession of his father to the throne 1603, died 1612.
  14. Charles Stuart, Duke of York, son of James I, on the death of his brother 1612, ascended throne 1625.
  15. Charles James Stuart, son of Charles I, by birth 1629, died on the same day
  16. Charles Stuart, son of Charles I, by birth 1630, ascended throne (de jure) 1649.
  17. James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James II, at birth 1688, ceased to be so by his father's deposition in 1689 (backdate to December, 1688), attaindered 1702.
  18. George Augustus, son of George I, by the accession of his father to the throne 1714, ascended the throne as George II in 1727.
  19. Frederick Lewis (or Frederick Louis), son of George II, on the accession of his father to the throne 1727, died 1751.
  20. George Augustus Frederick, son of George III, by birth 1762, ascended the throne as George IV in 1820.
  21. Albert Edward, son of Queen Victoria, by birth 1841, ascended the throne as Edward VII in 1901.
  22. George Frederick Ernest Albert, son of Edward VII, on the accession of his father to the throne 1901, ascended the throne as George V in 1910.
  23. Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, son of George V, on the accession of his father to the throne 1910, ascended the throne as Edward VIII in 1936.
  24. Charles Philip Arthur George, son of Queen Elizabeth II, on the accession of his mother to the throne 1952.

Additional details can be found in Cokayne, George Edward, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, A. Sutton, Gloucester, 1982. [orig. 13 volumes, published by The St. Catherine Press Ltd, London, England from 1910-1959; reprinted in microprint: 13 vol. in 6, Gloucester: A. Sutton, 1982 ]

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