Military Wiki
The Duke of Beaufort
Personal details
Born 23 February 1928(1928-02-23) (age 94)
Spouse(s) Caroline Jane Thynne
Miranda Elisabeth Morley

David Robert Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort (born 23 February 1928), known as David Somerset until 1984, is a British peer.

Early life

He is the son of Henry Robert Somers Fitzroy de Vere Somerset and Bettine Violet Malcolm and was educated at Eton College. His father was the grandson of Lord Henry Somerset, second son of the 8th Duke of Beaufort, and the temperance activist Lady Isabella Somers-Cocks. He and his family descend in the male line from Edward III of England; the first Somerset was a legitimized son of Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, whose grandfather was a legitimized son of John of Gaunt.

He is a 6th cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth II, through their common ancestor William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire.

Military career

The Duke of Beaufort
Born (1928-02-23)23 February 1928
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1946 -
Service number 370772

He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards on 6 September 1946 as a Second Lieutenant.[1] He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 January 1949.[2]


He held the office of Hereditary Keeper of Raglan Castle, was President of the British Horse Society between 1988 and 1990, and was chairman of Marlborough Fine Art. He ranked 581st in the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, with an estimated wealth of £135m in land.

River Tawe footbridge

The duke was criticised in January 2009 when a Swansea councillor, Ioan Richard, discovered via the Freedom of Information Act that the duke had been paid £281,431 for a 70 ft bridge to be built over the River Tawe near Swansea. The dukedom was granted the ownership of the river bed 400 years ago, so when the local council wanted to build a bridge linking a shopping centre to the Liberty Stadium, home of Swansea City football club and the Ospreys rugby team, the council had to pay the duke for the right to build it. Richard stated that he was "furious that public money had to be used to pay one of Britain's richest estates. For centuries Swansea folk have paid rents to the Duke of Beaufort and we don't owe this powerful and wealthy family anything." A spokesman for the duke's estate at Badminton House responded: "We do not want to comment about a private transaction."[3]


He married, firstly, Lady Caroline Jane Thynne (28 August 1928 – 22 April 1995), daughter of Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath, on 5 July 1950. The marriage took place at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, in the presence of the King and Queen and members of the royal family.[4] They had four children:

  • Henry John FitzRoy Somerset, Marquess of Worcester (b. 22 May 1952), married Tracy Louise Ward (a granddaughter of the 3rd Earl of Dudley, former actress and environmental activist) and has issue, two sons and one daughter.
    • Robert Somerset, styled Earl of Glamorgan (b. 1989), second heir apparent.
    • Lady Isabella Somerset
    • Lord Alexander Somerset, third heir presumptive
  • Lady Anne Mary Somerset, historian (b. 21 January 1955), married Matthew Carr (deceased) and has issue, one daughter.
  • Lord Edward Alexander Somerset (b. 1 May 1958), married 1982 (divorcing 2014) Hon. (Georgiana) Caroline Davidson (2nd daughter of John Davidson, 2nd Viscount Davidson) and has issue. Lord Edward, now convicted for ABH (domestic violence against his wife), is fourth heir presumptive to the dukedom.
    • Francesca Somerset
    • Rose Somerset
  • Lord John Robert Somerset (b. 5 November 1964) also known as Lord Johnson Somerset, married to (now divorced from) Lady Cosima Vane-Tempest-Stewart (daughter of Alexander Charles Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 9th Marquess of Londonderry), and has issue. Lord John is fifth heir presumptive to the dukedom.
    • Lyle Somerset, sixth heir presumptive to the dukedom.
    • Romy Somerset

David Somerset married, secondly, Miranda Elisabeth Morley (born 1947), on 2 June 2000. She is a daughter of Brigadier General Michael Frederick Morley. Beaufort was nominated to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1988.[5]



Arms of D
Beaufort Dukes.svg
The coat of arms of the Duke of Beaufort
The coronet of a Duke
A Portcullis Or nailed Azure and chained of the first
Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure three Fleurs-de-lys Or (France), 2nd and 3rd, Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or (England), all within a Bordure compony Argent and Azure
Dexter: a Panther Argent flames issuing from his mouth and ears proper plain collared and chained Or and semée of Torteaux, Hurts and Pommes alternately
Sinister: a Wyvern with wings endorsed Vert holding in its mouth a Sinister Hand couped at the wrist Gules
Mutare vel timere sperno (Latin for "I scorn to change or to fear")


  • Burke's Peerage

External links

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Somerset
Duke of Beaufort
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
His Grace The Duke of Grafton
Gentlemen Succeeded by
His Grace The Duke of St. Albans

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