Who is Francesca Herbert, the Duke of Norfolk’s new wife?

Six months before the coronation of Charles III, for which he is responsible, the Duke of Norfolk married Francesca Herbert for the second time on 10 November 2022 in London. The beginning of a new life for the couple who celebrated their union surrounded by their loved ones, as revealed by Daily mail.

There is some commotion at Chelsea Old Town Hall, in London, on Thursday evening, November 10, 2022. Guests gathered in small groups to attend the wedding of Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England, to Francesca “Chica” Herbert. As she waits for her mother to arrive, Francesca “Frankie” Herbert grabs her smartphone to capture the encounter.

A wide smile can be read on Edward and Chica’s face during the exchange of consents. At the age of 59, the new Duchess of Norfolk, resplendent in her white suit, enjoys these moments of happiness with her husband. “I revealed last December that the Duke was dating Chica. He had told me the week before that his union with Georgina was over”, states the journalist from Daily mail Richard Eden, who announced the remarriage of Edward Fitzalan-Howard.

By saying “yes” to their blended family and friends, on November 10, Edward and Chica begin a new phase of their life together, which will notably take place at Arundel Castle, the historic residence of the Dukes of Norfolk, in the West. Sussex. “My beautiful mum got married! What a beautiful and lovely night. I’m so happy for you both. I loved every moment. Congratulations mum and Eddie!”, wrote her Instagram account Frankie Herbert, sharing tender photos of the bride and groom and his brother and sister.

Like the young woman’s undisguised enthusiasm, the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk can really count on the precious support of their children born from their previous union.

From Highclere Castle to Arundel Castle

In 1992 Francesca married Harry Herbert, younger son of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon. Together they have two daughters, Chloe (1994) and Francesca aka Frankie (1995), and a son named William (1999). In October 2016 Tatler had chosen Chloe as one of the ideal brides for Prince Harry. “This 22-year-old art history student knows castle etiquette: she grew up just behind Highclere and used to hold her birthday parties in the castle’s tearoom. She is the daughter of charming racehorse trainer Harry Herbert, brother of the Earl of Carnarvon. When she met actor Hugh Bonneville during filming Downton Abbey, she was so impressed that she bowed. It bodes well for the meeting with the Queen,” wrote the British magazine at the time.

Chloe, Harry and Francesca Herbert at a party at Fortnum & Mason, London, in June 2016. The couple split the following year. © David M. Benett / Contributor / Getty Images

Thus, for almost twenty years, Chica Herbert was the daughter-in-law of the owner of Highclere Castle in Berkshire. The 7th Earl of Carnarvon, nicknamed Porchey, is also Elizabeth II’s director of racing, a position her son-in-law John Warren will inherit on her death in 2001. Chica and Harry Herbert separated in 2017. The latter remarried four years later to the Irish chef Clodagh McKenna. A wedding celebrated at Highclere’s family estate in the presence of his children Chloe, Francesca and William Herbert.

The Duke of Norfolk, for his part, has five children – Henry, Earl of Arundel, Rachel, Thomas, Isabel and Philip – born from his first marriage with Georgina Gore, celebrated in June 1987. Separated in 2011, Edward and Georgina are on the mend together five years later before their divorce was finalized last summer. “By God, we tried. For the sake of our family and because we are Catholics, we really tried everything. It turned out to be totally impossible and we had to move on. The final divorce was requested a year ago and it was finally pronounced”, confides the Duke of Norfolk to Daily mail. “It’s terribly sad, but we have to move on for the sake of our children. We can’t keep doing this to them,” he adds.

A role in the coronation of Charles III?

Just twelve days after her remarriage, the new Duchess of Norfolk makes a remarkable appearance alongside the Earl of Wessex at Buckingham. Francesca is actually invited to the banquet given on November 22 in honor of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on a two-day state visit to the UK. Edward Fitzalan-Howard’s wife has a sapphire and diamond necklace that belonged to Mona Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk’s grandmother. Worn several times over the decades by his daughters, this heirloom reappears, notably at the wedding of Henry, Earl of Arundel and son of Edward, to Cecilia Colacicchi, in July 2016.

Along with Prince Edward, the new Duchess of Norfolk was part of the procession at the State Banquet in Buckingham on 22 November 2022.
Along with Prince Edward, the new Duchess of Norfolk was part of the procession at the State Banquet in Buckingham on 22 November 2022. © Jones Victoria/PA Photos/ABACA

By becoming Duchess of Norfolk, Chica also inherits new responsibilities. As Earl Marshal of England and First Peer of the Realm, her husband has important functions. Every year he attends the opening of the Folketing. In particular, he organized the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II last September and is carefully preparing for the coronation of Charles III on May 6, 2023 in Westminster Abbey. Chica was to help Edward Fitzalan-Howard in the preparations, as was Lavinia, wife of Bernard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, organizer of the coronation of Elizabeth II. The duchess then slipped into the skin of the young sovereign during the rehearsals. A role that Francesca should resume in the coming months.

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