Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife

Infobox British Royalty|royal
name = Alexander Duff
title = Duke of Fife



imagesize = 255px
succession = Duke of Fife
predecessor = None
successor = Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
date of birth = birth date|df=yes|1849|11|10
place of birth = Edinburgh, Scotland
date of death = death date and age|df=yes|1912|1|12|1849|11|10
place of death = Aswan, Egypt
father = James Duff, 5th Earl Fife
mother = Lady Anges Hay
spouse = Louise, Princess Royal
(1889-1912)
issue = Alastair Duff, Marquess of Macduff
Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
Princess Maud of Fife

Alexander William George Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, KG, KT, GCVO, VD, PC (10 November 1849–12 January 1912), styled Viscount Macduff between 1857 and 1879 and The Earl Fife between 1879 and 1889, was a Scottish peer who married Princess Louise of Wales, the third child and eldest daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra.

Early life

He was born in Edinburgh, the son of James Duff (a grandson of the 3rd Earl Fife and heir presumptive to his uncle, the 4th Earl Fife) and his wife, the former Lady Agnes Hay, second daughter of the 18th Earl of Erroll and the former Lady Elizabeth FitzClarence (an illegitimate daughter of King William IV). When his father succeeded as 5th Earl Fife in 1857, he acquired the courtesy title Viscount Macduff.

Lord Macduff attended Eton from 1863 to 1866 and served as a Member of Parliament for the Elginshire and Nairnshire constituency, in Scotland, from 1874 to 1879. On 7 August 1879, he succeeded his father as 6th Earl Fife in the Peerage of Ireland (and as 2nd Baron Skene in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which title gave him a seat in the House of Lords). He served as Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Elgin from 1872 to 1902, Captain of the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms from 1880 to 1881, and served on a special diplomatic mission to the King of Saxony in 1882. In 1885, Queen Victoria created him Earl of Fife in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He helped found the Chartered Company of South Africa, and served as one of its vice presidents until the 1896 Jameson Raid.

Marriage

On Saturday 27 July 1889, Lord Fife married Princess Louise of Wales, the eldest daughter of the then-Prince and Princess of Wales, at the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace. The wedding marked the second time a descendant of Queen Victoria married a British subject (the first being the marriage of The Princess Louise, the Queen's fourth daughter, to Lord Lorne). Two days after the wedding, the Queen elevated Lord Fife to the further dignity of Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

The marriage of the Duke of Fife and Princess Louise produced three children:

* Alastair Duff, Marquess of Macduff (stillborn 1890).
* Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife (17 May 1891-26 February 1959) m. her first cousin once removed Prince Arthur of Connaught (13 January 1883-12 September 1938), and had issue.
* Princess Maud of Fife (3 April 1893-14 December 1945) m. the 11th Earl of Southesk, and had issue.

Titles and honours

The Duke of Fife received a fresh patent as Duke of Fife and Earl of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in April 1900, with special remainder to his daughters by Princess Louise and their male issue. The result was that he held two Dukedoms of Fife; the 1889 creation (with the subsidiary Marquessate of Macduff) would become extinct in the absence of a son and the 1900 creation (with the subsidiary Earldom of Macduff) would devolve upon his elder daughter in the absence of a son. In November 1905, his father-in-law, now King Edward VII, bestowed the title Princess Royal on the Duchess of Fife and declared that Lady Alexandra Duff and Lady Maud Duff should henceforth hold the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland with the style Highness.

Queen Victoria created the future Duke of Fife a Knight of the Thistle in 1881. He received the Royal Victorian Chain in 1902. His brother-in-law, King George V, created him an Extra Knight of the Garter. He was also a Privy Counsellor. At the coronation of his father-in-law, King Edward VII, in August 1902, and again at the coronation of George V in June 1911, the Duke of Fife acted as Lord High Constable. In addition to his London residence, 15 Portman Square, the Duke owned two estates in Scotland: Mar Lodge, Aberdeenshire, and Mountcoffer House, Banff.

Later life

In December 1911, while sailing to Egypt, the Duke and his family were shipwrecked off the coast of Morocco. Although they escaped unharmed, the Duke fell ill with pleurisy, probably contracted as a result of the shipwreck. He died at Aswan in Egypt in January 1912, and his elder daughter, Princess Alexandra, succeeded to the 1900 Dukedom, becoming the Duchess of Fife and Countess of Macduff in her own right. The Duke's other titles, including the 1889 Dukedom, became extinct. The Duke was buried in the Private Chapel, Mar Lodge Mausoleum, Braemar, Aberdeenshire.

horthand styles from birth to death

*Alexander Duff, Esq. (1849-1857)
*Viscount Macduff (1857-1879)
**Viscount Macduff, MP (1874-1879)
*The Rt Hon. The Earl Fife (1879-1889)
**The Rt Hon. The Earl Fife, PC (1880-1881)
**The Rt Hon. The Earl Fife, KT, PC (1881-1889)
*His Grace The Duke of Fife, KT, PC (1889-1912)
**His Grace The Duke of Fife, KT, GCVO, PC (1901-1904)
**His Grace The Duke of Fife, KT, GCVO, VD, PC (1904-1911)
**His Grace The Duke of Fife, KG, KT, GCVO, VD, PC (1911-1912)

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