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Brigadier Arthur Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington KG, LVO, OBE, MC, DL, FKC (born 2 July 1915), styled Marquess Douro between 1943 and 1972, is a senior British peer and a retired Brigadier in the British Army. Apart from his British titles he is also the 8th Prince of Waterloo and the 9th Duke of Rodrigo City.

Background and education

Wellington was born in Romemarker, Italymarker, the son of Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington, and Dorothy Violet, daughter of Robert Ashton. He gained the courtesy title Marquess Douro in 1943 when his father succeeded in the dukedom on the death of his nephew. He attended Etonmarker and New Collegemarker, Oxfordmarker. At Eton Collegemarker, he lived in The Hopgarden, a house on Common Lane, in a room which is now a bathroom. There is a plaque commemorating his boyhood there.


Wellington joined the British Army, serving in the Second World War with the Royal Horse Guards. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1941. He eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding that regiment in 1954. He then moved to the Household Cavalry Regiment, which he began commanding in 1959. He commanded the 22nd Armoured Brigade (1960-1961), served in the British Army of the Rhine, and became defence attaché to Spainmarker in 1964. He retired from the Army in 1968 as a Brigadier.

Wellington has also been involved in business as a Director of Massey Ferguson Holdings Ltd from 1967 to 1989 and of Motor Iberica SA (Spain) from 1967 to 1999. In 1975 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire.


Wellington was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 1952 and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1958. In 1990 he was further honoured when he was made a Knight of the Garter. His foreign honours include being appointed an Officer of the Legion of Honour of France, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael of the Wing of Portugal and a Member of the Order of Isabel La Catolica of Spain. He is also a Officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

Honorary Appointments

Wellington is Deputy Colonel-in-Chief (to HRH The Duke of York) of the Yorkshire Regiment, Deputy Colonel (to HRH The Princess Royal) of The Blues and Royals and an Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Battalion, Wessex Regiment.


The 8th Duke of Wellington wearing his robes as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter at Windsor Castle (2006)
Wellington was twice engaged to Lady Rose McLaren, the daughter of Charles Paget, 6th Marquess of Anglesey, who eventually married the Hon. John McLaren. However, on 28 January 1944, he married Diana Ruth McConnel, only daughter of Major-General Douglas Fitzgerald McConnel CB, CBE, of Knockdolian, Colmonellmarker, Ayrmarker, at St. George's Cathedralmarker in Jerusalemmarker. They have five children:

  • Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley, Marquess of Douro (b. 19 August 1945), married to the former Princess Antonia of Prussia and has issue, two sons, three daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson.
  • Lord Richard Gerald Wellesley (b. 20 June 1949), who lives on his maternal grandfather's estate Knockdolian; he married 1973 (div) Joanna Marion Sumner, daughter of John Sumner of Marston St. Lawrence, and has issue, two daughters, Davinia Chloe (b. 1977) and Natasha Doone (b. 1981).
  • Lady (Caroline) Jane Wellesley (b. 6 July 1951), film producer and author; who is unmarried.
  • Lord John Henry Wellesley (b. 20 April 1954), married 1977 Corinne Vaes, daughter of Robert Vaes, a Belgian diplomat, and has issue, one son Gerald Valerian born in 1981 and one daughter Alexandrina Sofia born in 1983.
  • Lord James Christopher Douglas Wellesley (b. 16 December 1964), married 1994 (divorced 2005) as her second husband, Laura Elizabeth Wedge, daughter of a property magnate, and has issue, 1 daughter, Eleanor (b. 1995). He is now married (as of 26 July 2005) to his daughter's former teacher Emma Nethercott.


  1. Brigadier Arthur Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington
  2. Michael Rhodes. [1]. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  3. Paul Theroff. "Wellington". in An Online Gotha. [2]. Retrieved 13 September 2007

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