THE 8th Duke of Wellington, whose ancestor won the Battle of Waterloo, has died at the age of 99.
Arthur Valerian Wellesley, who was also known as the Prince of Waterloo, died peacefully at his home on the Stratfield Saye Estate in Hampshire, surrounded by his family.
His death comes just four months before the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in which the British army, under the command of the 1st Duke of Wellington, defeated Napoleon in what was then the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and is now Belgium.
A spokesman for the duke said a private funeral for family and the estate will be held at Stratfield Saye Church on Thursday January 8.
The date of a memorial service to be held in London will be announced shortly, he said.
Sir Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington College, set up in honour of the 1st Duke of Wellington, paid tribute to the 8th duke and said he was “one of the finest people I have known in my life”.
In an interview about the Battle of Waterloo broadcast just two days ago, the Marquess of Douro, the 8th duke’s son and heir, said his ancestor had “had a much greater respect for Napoleon than Napoleon had for him”.
He said: “He certainly felt that the presence of Napoleon in the head of an Army added enormous strength to that Army and he had a great admiration for Napoleon as a general.”
The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment has strong connections to Yorkshire.
In 1782 a regiment’s title was changed to the 33rd (or First Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment, thus formalising an association with the West Riding of Yorkshire which, even then, had been long established.
On June 6, 2006, The ‘Dukes’ were amalgamated with the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Green Howards to form the Yorkshire Regiment.