Charles Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington

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The Duke of Wellington
Wellington as the Chairman of the Council of King's College London at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2009.
Born Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley
(1945-08-19) 19 August 1945 (age 76)
Princess Christian Nursing Home, Windsor, Berkshire, England
Spouse(s) Princess Antonia of Prussia
Parents Arthur Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington
Diana McConnel

Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington, OBE, DL (born 19 August 1945) is a British hereditary peer and member of the House of Lords. He is the son of Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington, and his wife, Diana McConnel.

Apart from his British titles, the 9th Duke of Wellington also holds the hereditary titles of 9th Prince of Waterloo (Prins van Waterloo) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Duke of the Victory (Duque da Vitória) of the Kingdom of Portugal with its subsidiary titles Marquis of Torres Vedras (Marquês de Torres Vedras) and Count of Vimeiro (Conde de Vimeiro). These were granted to the first Duke as victory titles for his distinguished services as victorious commanding general in the Peninsular War (in Spain and Portugal), and at the Battle of Waterloo (in what is now Belgium).

His Grace is also the 10th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo) of the Kingdom of Spain, which on 10 March 2010 was ceded to him by his father. In accordance with Spanish procedure, the Duke (then styled as the Marquess of Duoro) made a formal claim to the title with the Spanish authorities.[1] King Juan Carlos of Spain, through his Minister, granted the succession of the Dukedom of Ciudad Rodrigo to Charles Wellesley by Royal Decree on 21 May 2010, reported officially in the Official State Gazette for 12 June 2010.[2]


Eton College

The Duke was born as Earl of Mornington in 1945 at Princess Christian Nursing Home, Windsor, Berkshire, and was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. He has three younger brothers and one younger sister.


He married HRH Princess Antonia of Prussia (who no longer uses her royal title) on 3 February 1977 at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London.

They have five children:

  • Arthur Gerald Wellesley, Marquess of Douro (born 31 January 1978); married (4 June 2005) to former model, now make-up artist Jemma Kidd, fashion stylist and great-granddaughter of Lord Beaverbrook. They have twins and a younger son:
    • Lady Mae Madeleine (born 4 January 2010).
    • Arthur Darcy, Earl of Mornington (born 4 January 2010).
    • Lord Alfred (born 10 December 2014).[3]
  • Lady Honor Victoria Wellesley (born 25 October 1979); married 3 July 2004 (as his second wife) the Honourable Orlando Montagu, younger son of the Earl of Sandwich, and had issue:
    • Walter Montagu (born 3 December 2005); first grandchild of the Duke and the Duchess, then the Marquess and Marchioness of Douro.
    • Nancy Jemima Montagu (born January 2007).
  • Lady Mary Louise Wellesley (born 16 December 1986).[4]
  • Lady Charlotte Anne Wellesley (born 8 October 1990); who attended Oxford University reading archaeology and anthropology. Her day job is at photographer Mario Testino’s studio in London, where she is a producer. On 15 July 2015 her engagement was announced to billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo, uncle of Tatiana Santo Domingo, wife of Andrea Casiraghi.
  • Lord Frederick Charles Wellesley (born 30 September 1992); who attended Eton College.


Wellington stood as Conservative candidate for Islington North in 1974, finishing in second place. He was a member of Basingstoke Borough Council from 1978–79. He subsequently served as Conservative MEP for Surrey from 1979–84, and as Conservative MEP Surrey West from 1984–89.

In September 2015 he was elected to a seat in the House of Lords as a Conservative in a by-election following the retirement of Lord Luke.[5]


Wellington has worked for a number of non profit or charitable organisations. He was a patron of British Art at the Tate Gallery (1987–90), a member of the Royal College of Art between (1992–97), Chair of British-Spanish Tertulias (1993–98) and Trustee of the Phoenix Trust from 1996–2001). He received an OBE in 1999 for services to British–Spanish business relations. He was appointed a Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1999. In 2003 he was given a four-year appointment as a Commissioner for English Heritage.

On 1 October 2007 he became Chairman of the Governing Council of King's College London, an institution of which his wife Princess Antonia is an alumna, and of which his ancestor Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington was instrumental in the foundation.

Business career

Wellington was an Independent Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi S.A. since May 2002. He is also a Member of the Company Nominating, Governance and Strategy Committees.

Titles and styles

  • 19 August 1945 – 4 January 1972: Earl of Mornington
  • 4 January 1972 – 31 December 2014: Marquess of Douro
  • 31 December 2014 – present: His Grace The Duke of Wellington

Besides being British peer, he also belongs to the Dutch, Belgian,[6] Spanish and Portuguese nobility.

On 10 March 2010, the Marquess of Douro claimed the title of Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo together with the accompanying title Grandee of Spain, as his father ceded them to him.[7] King Juan Carlos of Spain, through his minister, granted the succession of the dukedom to the Marquess by Royal Decree of 21 May 2010 as confirmed by the notice in the Official State Gazette dated 12 June 2010.[8]


  1. "BOE, 30 de marzo de 2010, sección V." (PDF). Retrieved 5 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "BOE, 12 de junio de 2010". Retrieved 5 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. His birth was only reported in the Daily Mail 31 December 2014 in a story about the late Duke not meeting his newborn great-grandson. See also "Jemma Kidd's husband becomes heir apparent to the Duke of Wellington after his grandfather dies six months before 200th anniversary of Waterloo" 31 December 2014, retrieved 1 January 2015. The date of birth was reported on the Peerage News group on Google Groups.
  4. Maung, Carole Aye (5 September 1997). "Our Auntie Diana". The Mirror. Retrieved 15 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Conservative hereditary peers’by-election, September 2015:result
  6. Descendants of persons granted Dutch nobility before 1839 (independence of Belgium) are considered to belong to Dutch as well as Belgian nobility.
  7. BOE, 30 de marzo de 2010, sección V.
  8. BOE, 12 de junio de 2010.

External links

Media related to Charles Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington at Wikimedia Commons

Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
His Grace The Duke of Leinster
His Grace The Duke of Wellington
United Kingdom Order of Precedence
Succeeded by
His Grace The Duke of Sutherland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Wellesley
Duke of Wellington
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Arthur Wellesley
Earl of Mornington
Succeeded by
Dutch nobility
Preceded by
Arthur Wellesley
Prince of Waterloo
Succeeded by
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Arthur Wellesley
Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo
Succeeded by
Portuguese nobility
Preceded by
Arthur Wellesley
Duke of Victoria
Succeeded by