The Earl of Chester is Prince William. Prince William being heir to the throne automatically assumes the title Earl of Chester and Princess Catherine is the Countess of Chester.
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful Earldoms in medieval England.
By the late 12th Century the Earls were so powerful rulers of Cheshire that it lead to ‘County Palatine’ of Chester and Flintshire. So much that the Magna Carta set down by King John did not apply to Cheshire, it is believed that the Earl was allowed to issue his own version.
The 1st Earl of Chester was Gerbod the Fleming in 1067. It is thought that he was reputedly taken prisoner whilst fighting in France and died there in 1070. Following his death, William the Conqueror declared the Earldom vacant and gave the position to his nephew, Hugh D’avranches, who is more commonly known as Hugh Lupus. Hugh D’avranches , the 1st Earl of Chester was a magnate under William the Conqueror and was the eon of Richard le Goz, Vicomte D’avranches. Avranches is a town in Normandy, France.
History tells us that Hugh Lupus was responsible for establishing Chester’s Weir on the River Dee and the Monastery of St Werburgh in Chester which is now known as Chester Cathedral and this is where his body is buried.
There were 6 more Norman Earls to follow up to the death of john the Scot on 1237. John the Scot died without any male heirs.
Norman Earls of Chester
- Hugh D’avranches: 1071-1101
- Richard D’avranches: 1101-1120
- Ramulf le Meschin: 1120-1129
- Ranulf de Gernon: 1129-1153
- Hugh de Kevelioc: 1153-1181
- Ranulf de Blindeville: 1181-1232
- John the Scot: 1232-1237
King Henry III decided that because Cheshire was such a powerful area with its important port and agriculture, the wanted the land for himself, so he transferred the title of Earl of Chester to the Crown.
The King passed the Lordship of Cheshire, but not the title of Earl, to his son, the Lord Edward in 1254.
In 1254, King Edward I gave the lands of Earldom of Chester on to his son Edward who was the first English Prince of Wales.
Following this, the title of Earl of Chester has remained with the title of Prince of Wales.