The Duke of Norfolk
Portrait by Allan Warren
31 January 1975 – 24 June 2002
|Preceded by||The 16th Duke of Norfolk|
|Succeeded by||The 18th Duke of Norfolk|
Miles Francis Fitzalan-Howard
21 July 1915
49 Eaton Place, London, England
|Died||24 June 2002 (aged 86)|
Bacres House, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, England
|Resting place||Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, West Sussex|
(m. 1927; died 2013)
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
|Years of service||1936–67|
|Commands||Director of Service Intelligence|
Director of Management and Support Intelligence
1st Armoured Division
|Battles/wars||Second World War|
|Awards||Companion of the Order of the Bath|
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Major General Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, KG, GCVO, CB, CBE, MC, DL (21 July 1915 – 24 June 2002) was a British Army general and peer. He was the eldest son of Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop, and his wife Mona Stapleton, 11th Baroness Beaumont. In 1975, he inherited the Dukedom of Norfolk from his second cousin once removed, making him the premier duke in the Peerage of England.
Educated at Ampleforth College and Christ Church, Oxford, Miles Fitzalan-Howard was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Territorial Army as a university candidate on 3 July 1936. and was subsequently commissioned in the same rank in the Grenadier Guards on 27 August 1937, with seniority from 30 January 1936. He was promoted to lieutenant on 30 January 1939 and to captain on 30 January 1944.
In April 1944, as a temporary major during the Second World War, he was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance of mined roads. He was at the time on foot and under enemy fire. He was quoted in his obituary in The Independent as saying: "Anyone can be the Duke of Norfolk, but I'm rather proud of that medal."
Fitzalan-Howard was promoted to the substantive rank of major on 30 January 1949. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 28 February 1955, he was appointed Chief of the British mission to the Soviet forces in Germany in 1957, and received a promotion to colonel on 24 April 1958 He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Military Division, in the 1960 New Year Honours.
In 1961, he was appointed Commander of the 70th Brigade (King's African Rifles and the Kenya Regiment), just before Kenyan independence. Promoted to brigadier on 1 January 1963, he became General Officer Commanding 1st Division on 5 November, with the rank of temporary major general. He was confirmed in the substantive rank of major-general in February 1964, retroactive to 5 November and with seniority from 10 April 1963.
After relinquishing his command on 5 November 1965, he became Director of Management and Support Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence on 6 January 1966 Appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1966 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed Director of Service Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence on 29 July. He relinquished this appointment on 18 September of the following year and retired the same day, after 31 years of service.
When he was Lord Beaumont he inherited the Dukedom of Norfolk from his second cousin once removed, The 16th Duke of Norfolk, in 1975 and added his mother's maiden name of Stapleton before his own that year. He also inherited the Great Office of Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, which is attached to the Dukedom of Norfolk, thereby becoming responsible for State occasions. He became, by virtue of this office, the hereditary judge of the Court of Chivalry and head of the College of Arms, responsible for heraldry in England and Wales as well as other parts of the Commonwealth of Nations such as Australia and New Zealand.
The Dukes of Norfolk remained Roman Catholic despite the Reformation (see recusancy). The Duke, as senior Roman Catholic peer of the United Kingdom, represented The Queen at the installation of Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II and at the funeral of Pope John Paul I. The 17th Duke was patron of many Catholic charities and benevolent organisations, including the Catholic Building Society.
The Duke died on 24 June 2002 and is buried at Fitzalan Chapel on the western grounds of Arundel Castle. A memorial service was held at Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster; the congregation was led by Princess Alexandra of Kent representing the Queen and by Field Marshal Lord Bramall representing the Duke of Edinburgh.
|Ancestors of Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk|
| General Officer Commanding the 1st Division
The 16th Duke of Norfolk
| Earl Marshal
The 18th Duke of Norfolk
|Peerage of England|
| Baron Beaumont
Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard
| Duke of Norfolk|
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
Bernard Edward Fitzalan-Howard
| Baron Howard of Glossop