Prince Harry’s official predecessor as the Duke of Sussex was an aristocratic student of the Hebrew language and of Jewish history and literature who fought tirelessly for the removal of civil restrictions on Jews.
Among the official titles bestowed on Harry after his marriage to Meghan Markle on Saturday was that of the Sussex dukedom, last held by Augustus Frederick, sixth son of King George III.
Frederick’s ‘liberal’ views caused a rift between his father and uncle, later King George IV, but despite that, Doreen Berger, vice-president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, said Frederick remained a huge supporter of Jewish causes.
“A supporter of the Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum, which evolved into the modern charity, Norwood, he was patron of the oriental linguist, Louis Loewe, and his magnificent library contained 51 books in the Hebrew language,” said Berger.
“His usual custom was to wear a black skullcap and on the occasion of his friend, Moses Montefiore, receiving a knighthood, he exclaimed excitedly, ‘This is one of the things I have worked for all my life.’”
The dukedom became extinct on his death in 1853 and his famous 14th century copy of the Tanakh was sold to the British Museum.
The title of the Duchess of Sussex was actually never used, said Berger, as the previous Duke’s marriages were in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. “So this is the first time that we have actually had a Duchess of Sussex!”
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