Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk

Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk
Portrait by Allan Warren
Spouse(s) Anne Constable-Maxwell
Noble family House of Howard
Father Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop
Mother Mona Stapleton, 11th Baroness Beaumont
Born 21 July 1915(1915-07-21)
Died 24 June 2002(2002-06-24) (aged 86)

Major-General Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, KG, GCVO, CB, CBE, MC, DL, GCPO, Earl Marshal, Chief Butler of England (21 July 1915 – 24 June 2002), was the eldest son of Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop and his wife Mona Stapleton, 11th Baroness Beaumont.


Military career

Educated at Ampleforth College and Christ Church, Oxford,[1] Miles Fitzalan-Howard was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards in 1937.[2] During Second World War, he was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance of mined roads. He was at the time on foot and under enemy fire. He was quoted in his obituary in The Independent as saying: "Anyone can be the Duke of Norfolk, but I'm rather proud of that medal."[3]

He was appointed head of the British mission to Russian forces in Germany in 1957 and Commander of the 70th King's African Rifles in 1961 just before Kenyan independence.[2] He went on to be General Officer Commanding 1st Division in 1963, Director of Management and Support Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence in 1965 and Director of Service Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence in 1966 before retiring in 1967.[2]

Baronies of Beaumont & Glossop

The Duke inherited the Barony of Beaumont from his mother, the 11th Baroness, in 1971,[1] and the Barony Howard of Glossop from his father, the 3rd Baron, in 1972.[1]

Dukedom of Norfolk

He inherited the Dukedom of Norfolk from his second cousin once removed Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk in 1975[1] and added his mother's maiden name of Stapleton before his own that year. He also inherited the Great Office of Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, which is attached to the Dukedom of Norfolk, thereby becoming responsible for State occasions.[1] He became, by virtue of this office, the hereditary judge in the Court of Chivalry and head of the College of Arms, responsible for heraldry in England and Wales as well as other parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations such as Australia.

The Dukes of Norfolk remained Roman Catholic despite the Reformation (see recusancy). The Duke, as senior Roman Catholic peer of the United Kingdom, represented The Queen at the installation of Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II and at the funeral of Pope John Paul I.[1]

Personal life

One of 8 children (all of whose first names started with the letter "M"), the Duke married Anne Mary Teresa Constable-Maxwell in 1949. They had 2 sons and 3 daughters:[1]

The Duke died on 24 June 2002 and is buried at Fitzalan Chapel on the western grounds of Arundel Castle.

Titles & Honours

Titles from birth

  • The Hon. Miles Fitzalan-Howard (1915–1971)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Beaumont (1971–1975)
  • His Grace The Duke of Norfolk (1975–2002)

Honours and awards

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Obituary: The Duke of Norfolk Daily Telegraph, 26 June 2002
  2. ^ a b c Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ Obituary: The Duke of Norfolk The Indpendent, 26 June 2002
Military offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pearson
General Officer Commanding the 1st Division
Succeeded by
Richard Ward
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Earl Marshal
1975 – 2002
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Mona Fitzalan-Howard
Baron Beaumont
1971 – 2002
Succeeded by
Edward Fitzalan-Howard
Preceded by
Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard
Duke of Norfolk
1975 – 2002
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bernard Edward Fitzalan-Howard
Baron Howard of Glossop
1972 – 2002
Succeeded by
Edward Fitzalan-Howard

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