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Subject: Miles Fitzalan-Howard, Roman Catholic Leader

David Frost's father-in-law
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Date Posted: June 28, 2002 2:32:23 EDT

The 17th Duke of Norfolk, who held the oldest dukedom in England, died on Monday at his home in Henley-on-Thames, west of London. He was 86.

Staff members at Arundel Castle, his family seat in southern England, said the duke died in his sleep.

The duke, Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, succeeded a cousin in 1975. The dukedom was created in 1483 by King Richard III for John Howard, his loyal supporter in the Wars of the Roses. The dukes of Norfolk are considered the premier dukes because their title is the oldest.

The Howards have been one of England's most prominent families for 500 years. They kept their Roman Catholic faith when King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. The 17th duke was regarded as Britain's senior Catholic layman and was active in church matters.

Like his predecessors, he was Earl Marshal of England, one of the great officers of state, who are senior members of the royal household. The earl marshal, whose position is now largely ceremonial, is responsible for state ceremonies like coronations and leads the College of Arms, which is the authority in England and Wales on genealogy and heraldry.

The duke was educated at Oxford University. He served in the army for 30 years and retired as a major general, having taken several appointments in the Ministry of Defense, including director of service intelligence in 1966-67.

In World War II he served in France, North Africa, Sicily and Italy and was awarded the Military Cross for reconnaissance of mined roads on foot under enemy fire. He remarked in later years that "anyone can be Duke of Norfolk, but I'm rather proud of that medal," The Times said in its obituary.

The duke is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, the former Anne Constable-Maxwell; two sons, Edward, the Earl of Arundel, who succeeds him, and Gerald; three daughters, Tessa Balfour, Marsha Fitzalan, an actress, and Carina, who is married to the television personality Sir David Frost.

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Re: Miles Fitzalan-Howard, Roman Catholic LeaderJames E. BennettJuly 31, 2002 5:18:16 EDT

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