PRINCE ANDREW is also known as the Duke of York – a title given to him by the Queen on his wedding day. This is how the peerage could be passed onto to Prince Harry, a royal expert has claimed
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Prince Andrew, 60, withdrew from the royal limelight last year following a controversial interview about his friendship with dead paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. While Andrew is not expected to return to his royal role “for the foreseeable future” he is expected to hold on to his Duke of York title which could one day pass to Prince Harry.
Prince Andrew is Queen Elizabeth II’s second son and was created Duke of York when he married Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
This was in keeping with a recent royal tradition which has seen the Queen gift peerages to her sons and grandsons on their wedding day.
Prince Harry became the Duke of Sussex when he tied the knot with Meghan Markle and while it seems unlikely, there is a small chance he could become the Duke of York too.
Hereditary peerages can only be passed down between men due to the law of male primogeniture that still exists in the UK.
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Prince Harry title shock: How Harry could receive Prince Andrew’s dukedom of York (Image: GETTY)
Prince Harry title shock: Andrew stepped back from his royal role last year (Image: PA)
This means that while Prince Andrew has two daughters, neither Princess Beatrice, 31, nor Princess Eugenie will inherit their fathers’ dukedom on his death.
The Dukedom of York title is traditionally held by the sovereign’s second son which will be Prince Harry, once his father Prince Charles ascends the throne.
By this logic, Prince Harry is next in line to inherit the Duke of York title.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “Without a son, and by the terms of the letters patent under which the dukedom of York was again created in 1986, the death of the present duke will see the title merge with the crown.
“Historically it is a title that has been granted to the second son of the sovereign.”
Prince Harry title shock: Prince Harry could be the next Duke of York (Image: GETTY)
“Arguably, with Charles’ accession, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex becomes the sovereign’s second son and could under the custom become the next Duke of York in addition to being duke of Sussex.
“The fashion for creating multiple dukedoms, such as during the reign of Victoria has, however, died out.
“Additionally, the custom of new creations has invariably become linked with marriage and as that has already occurred, together with his withdrawal from front line royal duties, his creation as Duke of York seems unlikely, should the title be available.”
While Prince Harry could be the next Duke of York, Prince William and Kate’s youngest son Prince Louis is a more likely candidate.
Mr MacMarthanne added: “As such, Prince Louis of Cambridge is presently the most likely candidate to become the next Duke of York.
“However, it will be for the sovereign of the day to determine its usage when it becomes available to be granted in future generations.”
Asked if the ongoing scandal around Prince Andrew’s friendship with Epstein could affect the future of his dukedom, Mr MacMarthanne said: “Royal scandals come and go, and over the centuries titles have frequently been tainted by the incumbent’s behaviour in their lifetime.
“Such is the historical importance of the dukedom of York, however, and despite the behaviour of any holder of the title, its use has prevailed, suggesting it will continue to be used in subsequent generations.”
Prince Harry title shock: Andrew is expected to keep his dukedom for life (Image: GETTY)
According to Mr MacMarthanne says it’s unlikely the Duke of York title will fall out of use.
He said: “The view seems to be that the title is always greater than the holder, and any misdemeanours in one generation will not be visited upon the next.
“At the time of George VI creating his brother, the former Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor with remainder to heirs male of the body, in the aftermath of his abdication in 1936, it was not anticipated there would be children of his marriage to Mrs Simpson.
The expectation was therefore that the dukedom would die with Edward, as was ultimately the case. No parallel between the perceived disgrace of the abdication in 1936, and the circumstances in which the present duke of York finds himself, should be drawn in determining the future use of the dukedom of York.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK