Duke or Viscount: Which is the Higher Title?

Who's got more clout: Viscount Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) or The Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page)?
Who's got more clout: Viscount Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) or The Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page)? / Liam Daniel/Netflix

Bridgerton is back! Netflix's impossibly popular Regency-set series has finally returned, and fans have turned out in record numbers yet again to see how the show's second season plays out. While season 1 revolved around the roller-coaster romance of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Duke of Hastings Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the story has shifted its focus to the eldest Bridgerton, Viscount Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), who has finally decided that it's time to focus on starting his own family.

Duke. Viscount. Obviously, both titles are of importance. But which royal title is higher?

Is a duke more powerful than a viscount?

The simple answer is: yes! This is true not only in Bridgerton, but also in real life. Within the British peerage system, duke is the highest possible rank, as evidenced by Prince Charles and Prince William holding the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Cambridge, respectively. (Charles actually holds a second duke title: Duke of Rothesay.) Which means that Simon has a higher title than Anthony in the world of Bridgerton.

The duke title was first introduced in 1337 by Edward III. A marquess title, which was created in 1387 by Richard II, is the second most powerful position. That's followed by earl, then viscount—a title Henry VI first introduced in 1440—and, finally, baron.

So how can you nab a royal title for yourself? Well, you'd better be born into it or deemed worthy by Queen Elizabeth II herself.