For some the title Duchess evokes the grandeur of stately homes, but for others it’s about unearned privileges. Whilst historic, many felt it had little relevance in today’s society. That changed in April, 2011, however when the title was taken out of its antechamber, dusted off, and deposited firmly in the High Street and the internet. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was to make it topical, even desirable, again. Despite the Queen awarding Prince William a dukedom, the future for dukes, especially non-royal, is not bright. There are only 24 left in Britain today. They and their duchesses are an endangered species. Yet little is known about these women or what their relevance is in today’s Britain. In this unique book, 10 of Britain’s remaining non-royal duchesses talk of their lives and their roles in the 21st century. Most never speak publicly; those who do seldom speak about themselves. To be granted an interview was therefore a huge privilege. With 10 chapters, each focused on one Duchess, there are also 10 sub-chapters looking at a specific ancestor as a comparison. Five of the Duchesses have also allowed us access to their homes, and their chapters will include augmented reality technology.
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About the Author
Jane Dismore has worked as a teacher and a solicitor. She is the author of The Voice From the Garden: Pamela Hambro and the Tale of Two Families Before and After the Great War.