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The late His Grace, The Most Noble Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, Premier Duke and Earl of England, Baron Beaumont, Baron Howard of Glossop, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Earl Marshal, and Hereditary Marshal of England.

July 21, 1915 - June 24, 2002


Arms of His Grace the 17th Duke of Norfolk

This Achievement of Arms is published with kind permission of His Grace, the 17th Duke of Norfolk.


One of the great Officers of State, responsible for the organization of state ceremonies (though not 'royal' occasions such as weddings), hereditary judge in the Court of Chivalry, and ultimately responsible to the Sovereign (HM Queen Elizabeth II) for all matters relating to heraldry, honor, precedence, etc. The Earl Marshal has jurisdiction over the officers of arms, but is not a member of the corporate body of the College of Arms.

The Earl Marshal displays behind his shield two gold batons saltirewise, the ends enameled black with the royal arms at the top, and those of the Earl Marshal at the lower end. These batons represent the virga or marshal's rod, a symbol of office dating from the Norman period.

The Duke of Norfolk served in the British Army for 30 years. During World War II he was in France, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and North West Europe. His Grace is a Roman Catholic and represented the Queen at the funeral of Pope Paul VI and the installation and funeral of Pope John Paul I. He also represented the Queen at the installation of Pope John Paul II.

His Grace married Anne Mary Teresa Constable Maxwell in 1949. They have 2 sons and 3 daughters.

The 17th Duke's eldest son, Edward William Fitzalan Howard, born in December 1956, has succeeded to the Norfolk title and is now the 18th Duke of Norfolk.


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