The Definitive List Of Duchesses Around The World

There's more to these reigning duchesses than tiaras and tulle.

List Of Duchesses

It's no secret that reigning duchesses are some of the most influential and admired women around the world. From Duchess Catherine (Kate Middleton) to Duchess Sarah Ferguson, these real-life reigning royals sure do live the life of luxury.

Though when you hear the term "Duchess," you may think of the title bestowed upon Kate Middleton upon marrying Prince William, but what exactly is a Duchess and what do they do?

While many Princesses are also Duchesses, not all Duchesses are Princesses. Whereas a Princess is generally the daughter or granddaughter of the King or Queen, a Duchess is the wife or widow of a Duke or a woman who holds the rank of a Duke in her own right.

While not always directly in line for the Throne, Duchesses are members of the Royal Family and many are actively involved in philanthropy/charity work and may even work to support the Royal Family in various ways.

Catherine "Kate" Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

After her marriage to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 2011, Catherine "Kate" Middleton's official title became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, perhaps among the most famous duchesses in the world.

Throughout the course of her philanthropy work, she's supported charities such as the Art Room, National Portrait Gallery, Action on Addiction, and Anglia's Children's hospital. In 2010 she was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland

The youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Madeleine is not only Duchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland, but also a princess and fourth in line for the royal throne.

She's also well-known for her advocacy work on behalf of children and has partnered with organizations such as UNICEF and initiatives like 'Thank You By Childhood.'

Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland, Sweden

Though currently a Duchess, Crown Princess Victoria also became heir apparent to the throne in 1980, due to laws changed under the Act of Succession.

When she eventually becomes Queen she will be Sweden's first Queen Regnant since 1720.

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester

Though she may not be well known, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester is known as one of the unsung heroes of the Royal Family, carrying out extensive engagements in their support, alongside her husband.

The low-key Duchess of Gloucester also supports her own military units and patronages and became the president of the Royal Academy of Music after the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997.

Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland

Duchess Jane Percy quite possibly wins the prize for most impressive castle, parts of which were featured as "Hogwarts" in the Harry Potter movies. The castle also boasts a £50 million garden which has been nicknamed "the Versailles of the North."

Boasting that her two daughters grew up to be a mechanic/race car driver and a tennis coach, the Duchess is no slouch herself and loves boxing and martial arts.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

Sarah Ferguson, perhaps one of the more scandalous members of the royal family, the Duchess married Britain's Prince Andrew in 1986 but divorced him ten years later after being allegedly involved in a scandal to sell access to her ex-husband.

Sarah however, has gone on to write children's books, film production work, and even served as a Weight Watchers representative.

Katharine, Duchess of Kent

The wife of the Queen's brother, the Duke of Kent, the Katharine, the Duchess of Kent is a keen musician and supporter of children's advocacy.

In 2004, she founded a charity called Future Talent which aims to help young people with an talent for music pursue their passions and achieve their dreams.

Who says being a royal has to come with a crown?

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