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Duke of Norfolk, 86; Senior English Nobleman

June 27, 2002|From Associated Press

LONDON — The 17th Duke of Norfolk, England's most senior nobleman, has died. He was 86.

Staff at Arundel Castle, his family seat in southern England, said that the duke died Monday in his sleep at his home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, west of London and that his wife was with him. No cause of death was given.

On the death of his cousin in 1975, Miles Francis Stapleton Fitz-

alan-Howard succeeded to England's oldest dukedom, created in 1483 by King Richard III for John Howard, his loyal supporter in the Wars of the Roses.

The dukes of Norfolk are referred to as the premier dukes--the highest rank of peers--because their title is the oldest.

The Howards have been one of England's most prominent families for 500 years. They kept their Roman Catholic faith despite King Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday July 11, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 21 inches; 763 words Type of Material: Correction
Duke of Norfolk obituary--A June 27 obituary of the 17th duke of Norfolk incorrectly stated that the Howard family, to which the duke belonged, had kept its Catholic faith despite King Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, several of the duke's predecessors were Protestants. The obituary also did not give a full history of the creation of the dukedom. Although the first duke of Norfolk in the Howard family was designated in 1483 by King Richard III, as the Associated Press story reported, a previous duke of Norfolk had been created in 1397 by King Richard II, who banished him in 1398.

Like his predecessors, the 17th duke was earl marshal of England, one of the Great Officers of State, who are senior members of the royal household.

The 17th duke was educated at Oxford University. He served in the army for 30 years and retired as a major general.

During World War II, he served in France, North Africa, Sicily and Italy and was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance of mined roads on foot under enemy fire.

He remarked in later years that "anyone can be Duke of Norfolk, but I'm rather proud of that medal," the Times of London said in its obituary.

The duke and his wife of more than 50 years, the former Anne Constable-Maxwell, had two sons and three daughters, including actress Marsha Fitzalan.

His elder son, Edward, the Earl of Arundel, succeeds him.

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