The Pride of Sussex
It was with great pride and delight that I discovered that Prince Harry and his new bride Ms Meghan Markle were to be titled Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Having had the honour not only of being born in Sussex, but to have spent most of my life living in this, the most beautiful part of the world.
What is a Dukedom?
Much in the same way a Kingdom is awarded to the named King and Queen, so a Dukedom is the territority attributed to the Duke and Duchess. Now of course this doesn’t mean the newlyweds now own Sussex (although, let’s face it, if they wanted it they’d be given it!); its appointment is purely symbolic. After all, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex on his wedding day: Wessex ceased to be recognised after the English unification in the 10th Century.
Sussex by the Sea
This territory has been subject to healthy conflict for millennia; It was one of the first places to be conquered in the Roman Occupation in AD 43. Its wet winters and warm summers made it an ideal place for Roman settlers to grow wine as such the area thrived; today’s city of Chichester traces its origins back to the port of “Noviomagus Reginorum”. The Kingdom of Sussex was founded in AD 477 by King Ælle of Sussex, the first recorded “bretwalda” (Britain Ruler).
The newlyweds are not the first to have been awarded the dukedom of Sussex. its first instance was in AD 1801 when the sixth son of King George III (“Mad” King George), Prince Augustus Frederick. And one thousand years before that, the Kingdom of Sussex was first mentioned in around AD 827 when it was annexed by the adjacent Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex.
The entomology of “Sussex” is widely accepted to derevate from the Old English “Sūþsēaxe” (South Saxons); Wessex, Essex and Middlesex meaning West, East and Middle Saxons respectively.
But back to modern day, I look forward to welcoming them at their first royal public engagement within the county/duchy/dukedom whenever that may be.
Meanwhile, why not enjoy some of my favourite pictures of Sussex?
Header image featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is copyright Getty Images MMXVIII