Duke of Normandy

Duke of Normandy

Duke of Normandy is a title held or claimed by various Norman, French, English and British rulers from the 10th century until the present, in recognition of their history. The title refers to the region of Normandy in France and several associated islands in the English Channel.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is the current Duke of Normandy.cite web |url=http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page2601.asp |title=Royal Insight October 2003 |accessdate=2008-09-15 |date=2008 | publisher=The official website of the British Monarchy] cite web |url=http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5744.asp |title=Royal Insight January 2007 |accessdate=2008-09-15 |date=2008 | publisher=The official website of the British Monarchy]

Rollo the Viking

The fiefdom of Normandy was created in 911 for the Viking leader Rollo (also known as Rolf).

Rollo and his Viking allies conquered a large region of France and besieged Paris until entering vassalage to Charles the Simple, the king of the West Franks through the Treaty of St.-Claire-sur-Epte. In exchange for homage and fealty, Rollo legally gained the territory he and his Viking allies had previously conquered. The name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking (i.e. Northman, Latin "Normanorum") origins.

Rollo and his immediate successors were styled as "Counts of Normandy. Some later medieval sources refer to them by the title "dux", a Latin term from which is derived the English word "duke"; however, Rollo's great-grandson Richard II was the first to assuredly be styled "Duke of Normandy". Although certain titles were used interchangeably during this period, the title of "duke" was typically reserved for the highest rank of feudal nobility - those who either who owed homage and fealty directly to kings or who were independent sovereigns primarily distinguished from kings by not having dukes as vassals.

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror added the Kingdom of England to his realm in the Norman Conquest of 1066. This created a problematic situation wherein William and his descendants were king in England but a vassal to the king in France. Much of the contention which later arose around the title Duke of Normandy (as well as other French ducal titles during the Angevin period) stems from this fundamentally irreconcilable situation.

After the death of William the Conqueror, his eldest son Robert Curthose became Duke of Normandy while a younger son, William Rufus, became the English king. A generation later, Henry, Duke of Normandy became king of England which again united the titles.

International contention

In 1204, during the reign of King John, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under Philip II while insular Normandy (the Channel Islands) remained under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognised the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris. But English monarchs, and their British successors, continued to use the title Duke of Normandy in reference to the Channel Islands (now subject to the British Crown, though not part of the United Kingdom).

English monarchs made subsequent attempts to reclaim their former continental possessions, particularly during the Hundred Years' War. In addition to claiming to be Duke of Normandy, after Henry V entered the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, English and British monarchs claimed the throne of France itself. During this time, English monarchs included "King of France" near the top of their list of titles and included the Royal Arms of France in their own armorial achievements.

British claims to the whole Duchy of Normandy, the throne of France and other French claims were not abandoned until 1801 when George III and Parliament, in the Act of Union, joined the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland and used the opportunity to drop their French claims. By this time, the monarchy itself had been already been abolished in France since 1792.


The Duchy of Normandy was sometimes given out as an appanage for a member of the French royal family, most notably by Philip VI for his eldest son, the future King John II, by John II for his son, the future Charles V, who was, however, usually known as the "Dauphin", and by Louis XI for his brother Charles, usually known by his other title of Duc de Berri. The future Louis XVII was also known as Duke of Normandy before his elder brother's death in 1789.

House of Stuart

The future Stuart King James II of England and Ireland (James VII of Scotland), was created "Duke of Normandy" by King Louis XIV of France on December 31, 1660. This was a few months after James's brother, Charles II, had been restored to the throne in England and the Kingdom of Ireland (Charles had already been crowned in the Kingdom of Scotland, in 1651). Since upon becoming King of England, Charles would have already claimed the title "Duke of Normandy" (indeed, it was "in" insular Normandy, specifically in Jersey, that he was first proclaimed king in 1649) the French king giving the same title to James in respect to mainland Normandy was an important political gesture. Jacobite claimants to the English throne maintained their claims on French possessions as well until the death of Henry Benedict Stuart in 1807.

Channel Islands

Although the British monarchy relinquished claims to continental Normandy and other French claims in 1801, the monarch of the United Kingdom retains the title Duke of Normandy in respect to the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands (except for Chausey under French sovereignty) remain Crown dependencies of the British Crown in the present era. Unlike the Isle of Man, these islands have no specific title pertaining to them. Collectively they use the Loyal Toast in the Channel Islands is "La Reine, notre Duc" or "The Queen, our Duke" (or when the monarch is male, The King, our Duke).

uccession of the Dukes of Normandy

*Rollo 911-927
*William I Longsword 927-942
*Richard I 942-996
*Richard II, the Good, 996-1027
*Richard III, 1027-1028
*Robert I, 1028-1035
*William II the Conqueror 1035-1087
*Robert II 1087-1106
*Henry I Beauclerk 1106-1135
**William III (under his father, Henry I)
*Stephen 1135-1144
*Geoffrey Plantagenet 1144-1150
*Henry II 1150-1189
*Richard IV Coeur de Lion ("Richard Lionheart") 1189-1199
*John 1199-1216 (possession of mainland Normandy lost, 1204)

French Dukes of Normandy (1204-1789)

In 1204, the mainland portion of the Duchy of Normandy is attached to the crown lands of France. In 1332, it is given in appanage to John II, the son of Philip VI of France.
*Jean II 1332-1350
*Charles I 1355-1364
*Charles II 1465-1469. After Charles, the title "Duke of Normandy" becomes a mere honorific.
*Louis I 1785-1789

English Dukes of Normandy

*Henry III 1216-1259 (signed Treaty of Paris (1259) recognising French control of mainland Normandy; subsequently English and British monarchs have borne the title "Duke of Normandy" only as it pertains to the Channel Islands and English/British constitutional history)
*Edward I 1272–1307
*Edward II 1307–1327
*Edward III 1327–1377
*Richard V 1377–1399
*Henry IV 1399–1413
*Henry V 1413–1422
*Henry VI 1422–1461 and 1470–1471
*Edward IV 1461–1470 and 1471 1483
*Edward V 1483
*Richard III 1483 – 1485
*Henry VII 1485–1509
*Henry VIII 1509–1542
*Edward VI 1547–1553
*Jane Grey 1553
*Mary I 1553–1558
*Elizabeth I 1558–1603
*James I 1603–1625
*Charles I 1625–1649
*Charles II 1660–1685
*James II 1685–1688
*William III 1689–1702 and Mary II 1689–1694

British Dukes of Normandy

*Anne 1702–1714
*George I 1714–1727
*George II 1727–1760
*George III 1760–1820
*George IV 1820–1830
*William IV 1830–1837
*Victoria 1837–1901
*Edward VII 1901–1910
*George V 1910–1936
*Edward VIII 1936
*George VI 1936–1952
*Elizabeth II 1952– present

Further reading

*Onslow, Richard (Earl of Onslow). "The Dukes of Normandy and Their Origin". London: Hutchinson & Co., 1945.

ee also

* [http://www.normandie-heritage.com/spip.php?rubrique61 The Dukes of Normandy : From Rollo to William of Normandy]
*Duchy of Normandy


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Richard I, Duke of Normandy — Richard I of Normandy (born 28 August 933, in Fécamp Normandy, France died November 20, 996, in Fécamp) was the Duke of Normandy from 942 to 996; he is considered the first to actually have held that title. He was called Richard the Fearless… …   Wikipedia

  • Richard III, Duke of Normandy — Infobox Person name = Richard III Duke of Normandy caption = birth date = |997dead=dead birth place = death date = death date|1027|2|3|mf=y| death place = NormandyRichard III (997 1027) was the eldest son of Richard II, who died in 1027, and left …   Wikipedia

  • Richard II, Duke of Normandy — Richard II (born 23 August 963, in Normandy, France ndash; 28 August 1027, in Normandy), called the Good, was the son and heir of Richard I the Fearless and Gunnora. He succeeded his father as Duke of Normandy in 996. Richard held his own against …   Wikipedia

  • Rollo Duke of Normandy — Rollo Duke of Normandy, also known as The Bloody Brother, is a play written in collaboration by John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Ben Jonson, and George Chapman. Scholars have disputed almost everything about the play; but it was probably written… …   Wikipedia

  • William I, Duke of Normandy — William I Longsword (French: Guillaume Longue Épée , Latin: Willermus Longa Spata , Scandinavian: Viljâlmr Langaspjôt ; 893 ndash; 17 December 942) was the second Duke of Normandy from his father s death until his own assassination. The title dux …   Wikipedia

  • Normandy — • An ancient French province, from which five departments were formed in 1790 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Normandy     Normandy      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Normandy campaigns of 1200–1204 — Normandy Campaigns Part of Anglo French War (1202 1214) Battle of Bouvines in 1214 …   Wikipedia

  • Duke of Connaught and Strathearn — Duke of Connaught redirects here. For ships with this name, see SS Duke of Connaught. HRH The Prince Arthur, the first Duke The title Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was granted by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and… …   Wikipedia

  • Normandy — For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). Map of Normandy Traditional flag of Normandy Norm …   Wikipedia

  • Duke — For other uses, see Duke (disambiguation) and Duchess (disambiguation). Royal and noble ranks Emperor Empress King Queen …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”