Duchesses – Living in 21st Century Britain – Jane Dismore
For some the title Duchess evokes the grandeur of stately homes but for other’s it’s about unearned privileges. But above all, it is a title that many feel is historic with little relevance in today’s society. However in April 2011 the title was taken out of its antechamber, dusted off and deposited firmly in the High Street and on the internet: giving an old title to a young lady as twenty-first century as Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge was to make it topical, even desirable, again.
But despite the Queen awarding Prince William a dukedom, the future for dukes, especially non-royal, is not bright. There are only twenty-four left in Britain today: they, and therefore 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 ten of Britain’s remaining non-royal duchesses talk of their lives and their roles in the twenty-first century. Most never speak publically; those who do seldom speak about themselves. To be granted an interview was therefore a huge privilege.
With 10 chapters focussed on each Duchess, there are also 10 sub chapters looking at a specific ancestor as a comparison. 5 of the Duchess have also allowed us access to their homes and their chapters with include augmented reality technology.