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About Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire
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Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire KCVO CBE (called "Stoker"; born 27 April 1944), is a British peer. He is the only surviving son of the 11th Duke of Devonshire and his wife, the former Deborah Mitford. He succeeded to the dukedom following the death of his father on 3 May 2004. Prior to this succession, he was styled Marquess of Hartington.
He attended Eton College and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read History.
The Duke is well known in the world of horse racing and serves as Her Majesty's Representative at Ascot and chairman of Ascot Racecourse Ltd. In 1980 he was elected to the Jockey Club and in 1989 he was appointed its Senior Steward (that is, Chairman). During his five-year term of office, he oversaw a number of changes within the racing industry, in particular the creation of the British Horseracing Board which is now the governing authority for British racing. He was appointed first Chairman of the Board in June 1993 and retired at the end of his term in 1996. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to racing in 1997 and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2009 New Year Honours for his services as Her Majesty's Representative at Ascot.
He was appointed a Trustee of the Wallace Collection in 2007. He is a trustee of Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust. He is Chairman of the Devonshire Arms Hotel Group and Deputy Chairman of Sotheby's. He collects modern British and contemporary painting and sculpture, as well as works in other areas. He took up the position as the third Chancellor of the University of Derby at a ceremony on 28 October 2008 in Buxton.
He married Amanda Carmen Heywood-Lonsdale, daughter of Cmdr Edward Gavin Heywood-Lonsdale, on 28 June 1967. They have three children:
William Cavendish, Earl of Burlington (born 1969), known as Bill Burlington. His son and heir apparent is James Cavendish, Lord Cavendish (born 15 December 2010).
Lady Celina Cavendish (born 1971)
Lady Jasmine Cavendish (born 1975)
Titles and honours
Possibility of renouncing title
In February 2010, the Duke announced his intention to give up his title if hereditary peers were removed from the House of Lords, on the basis that "the aristocracy is dead" and "because then it would be clear-cut what the people wanted, and it would be confusing to maintain hereditary titles". This mirrored the views of his mother, who has in the past stated that "titles are meaningless because peers are no longer legislators".
This was dismissed as "nonsense" by Lord Ferrers, who disagreed with the Duke's claims that the aristocracy was dead. It is not known how serious he was in his intention, but if he were to go ahead with his threat he would be known as Sir Peregrine Cavendish.
Titles from birth
Peregrine Cavendish (27 April 1944 – 10 September 1944)
Earl of Burlington (1944–1950)
Marquess of Hartington (1950–2004)
His Grace The Duke of Devonshire (2004–present)
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (2008)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1997)
Chancellor of the University of Derby (October 2008, a five-year appointment)