Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the youngers sons in the Scottish and later the British Royal Family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover.
The Dukedom of Albany was first granted in 1398 by King Robert III of Scotland on his brother, Robert Stewart, the title being in the Peerage of Scotland. "Albany" was a territorial term representing the eastern part of the Scottish highlands, roughly the former Kingdom of the Picts. The title (along with the Dukedom of Rothesay, the first Dukedom created in Scotland) was forfeited in 1425 due to the treason of the second Duke.
The title was again created in 1458 for Alexander Stewart; the title became extinct when his son John died without heirs. The title was created for a third time in 1604 for Charles, son of King James VI of Scotland (James I in England). Upon Charles' ascent to the throne in 1625, the title of Duke of Albany merged into the crown.
The title was next granted in 1660 to Charles I's son, James, by Charles II. When James succeeded his elder brother to the throne in 1685, the titles again merged into the crown. The pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, gave the title, Duchess of Albany, to his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte; she died in 1789.
The title "Duke of York and Albany" was often granted by the Hanoverian kings (see Duke of York). The title of "Albany" alone was granted for the fifth time, this time in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1881 to Prince Leopold, the seventh son of Queen Victoria. Prince Leopold's son, Charles, was deprived of the peerage in 1919 for bearing arms against the United Kingdom in World War I. Under the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act, the lineal male heirs of the 2nd Duke of Albany have the right to petition the British Crown for the restoration of his peerages. To date, none has done so. The current heir is the 2nd Duke's great-grandson, Hubert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (b. 1961). (Although Hubert's grandfather, Johann Leopold, lost his status as heir of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha by making a morganatic marriage, this would only affect German princely titles and not British peerages.)
Dukes of Albany, first Creation (1398)
Dukes of Albany, second Creation (1458)
Dukes of Albany, third Creation (1604)
Dukes of Albany, fourth Creation (1660)
Dukes of Albany, fifth Creation (1881)
Last updated: 08-14-2005 21:03:41
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46