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A duke is an individual who has the Title highest of the nobility . This recognition, superior to that obtained by a marquis , is usually granted by a monarch to express his gratitude or to distinguish the descendants of the royal family who are not heirs.

Royalty must be appointed in a particular way, with a treatment specific to reflect the importance of their position and distinguish it from those below (if we think of the judges, for example, we can not call them by their first name nor is it advisable to use their full names, but "Your Honor "). In the particular case of the dukes in Spain, people should address them as "His Excellency Lord."

The protocol treatments , have been used in monarchies for centuries to refer to occupants of different roles, such as being the monarch (which could be an emperor or an empress, a king or a queen, a reigning or sovereign prince, a great duke, etc.), but also to those people who are part of The Royal Family (the queen consort or her consort, the prince or princess who will inherit the crown, the rest of the children and also the grandchildren) and some of the members of the nobility (great, lords, dukes, marquises, counts, viscounts, barons and gentlemen, among others, according to the country and the time).

The etymology Duke takes us to French duc, in turn derived from Latin doge (which can be translated as "general" ). He duchy he is the lord of the duke, whose female version is duchess .

In Roman times, the doge was the leader of the army. How they used to surrender land To those generals who triumphed in war, the title began to become a noble recognition. The division of territories into counties left the dukes as the most important nobles of various regions. The title also became hereditary in numerous places.

At present, noble titles are symbolic and have an honorary character. At United Kingdom and in Spain , for example, the dukes are still part of the royalty .

In addition to the title of Duke, proper, we find other forms that contain this word but refer to different noble titles:

* : he Grand duke , for example, is a title that is above that of The prince , although below the one of Great Prince and the one of King;

* : the noble title of Archduke it was used in Austria to designate a position superior to that of Duke and granted it to all descendants of the family from Habsburg. Only the kings and emperors overcame it;

* : thirdly we have the title of Count Duke , which is formed by merging one of Count with a new one, of Duke.

He prince edward is the duke of kent , a Title which he inherited in 1942 before the death of his father (he Prince George ). He Duke of York , meanwhile, is the prince andrew , the son of the Queen isabel II .

In Spain , we can mention the Duke of Alba de Tormes (Carlos Juan Fitz-James-Stuart and Martínez de Irujo ), he Duke of Marchena (Juan Jacobo Walford Hawkins and Bourbon ) and the Duke of Seville (Francisco de Paula Enrique de Borbón y Escasany ), among others.

Benito Mussolini , the Italian nationalist leader who held the position of President of the Council of Royal Ministers from 1922 to 1943 and then guided the Social Republic until he was killed, he called himself "The Duke." The regime he was in charge of was totalitarian and was framed in the period of Italian fascism, one of the most unfortunate of the history .

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