The Queen, Duke of Lancaster

The city of Lancaster in the county of Lancashire holds a special place in my heart, mostly because of my friend living nearby, but also because Lancaster Castle is the only active castle I’ve visited in all of my stays in England. Everything else has been a ruin.

Apparently, today marks the 750th anniversary of the establishment of the Duchy of Lancaster and Queen Elizabeth has quietly paid a visit to the city and the castle itself to mark the occasion. Of course there’s nothing she can really do quietly because of her status, but I think it was as quiet as it could be where she’s involved.

One of the many titles Elizabeth bears aside from Queen is that of Duke of Lancaster. The Duchy was first created in 1351 when Henry Grosmont died without male issue. It was created again in 1362 at which time there were two men who held the title: John of Gaunt followed by Henry Bollingbroke who would later seize the throne to become King Henry IV. When Henry became king, his peerages (titles) merged into the crown. The Duchy’s third and final creation which lasts to today was in 1399 and it was created for Henry IV’s son Henry of Monmouth who would later beceome King Henry V. Again, his titles merged into the crown and continues to this day.

Her majesty has always taken a keen interest in the estate and makes regular visits throughout the year.

Information courtesy of BBC News, Wikipedia, and the Duchy of Lancaster website.

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