Duke of Cambridge is a title (named after the city of Cambridge in England) which has been conferred upon members of the British royal family several times. It was first used as a designation for Charles Stuart (1660–1661), the eldest son of James, Duke of York (later James II), though he was never formally created Duke of Cambridge. The title was most recently bestowed upon Prince William on 29 April 2011.
The first officially recognised creation was in the Peerage of England in 1664, when James Stuart, son of the Duke of York by his first wife, was granted the title. James, Duke of Cambridge died young and without heirs, and the title became extinct. The title was next granted to Edgar Stuart, another son of the Duke of York by his first wife. Edgar also died young and the title again became extinct.
The Duke of York's eldest son by his second wife, Charles Stuart (1677), was also styled Duke of Cambridge, but died approximately a month old, not having lived long enough to be formally created.
The dukedom was next granted to George Augustus, son of George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who would later become George I of Great Britain. When George Augustus ascended to the throne as George II, the dukedom merged into the crown. The title was next given, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, to Prince Adolphus, the seventh son of George III. Upon the death in 1904 of his only son, Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, without a legitimate heir, the title became extinct.
The first Duke's grandson (through a female line), Adolphus, Duke of Teck, who was the brother of Queen Mary, George V's consort, was created Marquess of Cambridge in 1917 when he gave up his German titles and took the surname "Cambridge". Upon the death of the second Marquess without any male heirs, the marquessate became extinct.
In 1999, during the time leading up to the wedding of The Prince Edward, the youngest son of Elizabeth II, experts had suggested the Duchy of Cambridge or Sussex as the most likely to be granted to him, and The Sunday Telegraph later reported that Prince Edward was at one point set to be titled Duke of Cambridge. Instead, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, and it was announced that he would eventually succeed to the title Duke of Edinburgh, currently held by his father.
On 29 April 2011, the day of his wedding, Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. [wikipedia]