Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Duke of Leinster (born 7 April 1948), styled Earl of Offaly before 1976 and Marquess of Kildare between 1976 and 2004, is an Irish nobleman and landscape designer. The Duke is the highest-ranking member of the peerage of Ireland.
Family and education
The elder son of the Gerald, 8th Duke of Leinster, and his second wife, Anne, daughter of Lt-Col Philip Smith, MC, TD, he was educated at Millfield School at Street, Somerset, in the south west of England. Upon his father's death in 2004 he succeeded to the dukedom as the 9th Duke.
Marriage and children
Maurice FitzGerald, then styled Earl of Offaly, married Fiona Mary Francesca Hollick on 19 February 1972. The Duke and Duchess have three children:
Thomas FitzGerald, Earl of Offaly (1974–1997), killed in an automobile accident.
Lady Francesca Emily Purcell FitzGerald (born 6 July 1976), has two daughters, Amelia Grace Francesca and Daisy Emily Matilda by Stephen Thompstone; they are now separated and a son Rufus James Thomas by Mark Hobbs
Lady Pollyanna Louisa Clementine FitzGerald (born at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, 9 May 1982), unmarried.
As the present Duke's only son died childless in 1997, thus his brother, Captain Lord John FitzGerald (1952–2015), became heir presumptive to the family titles; educated at Millfield and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he served as a Captain in the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and later was a horse trainer by profession.
Lord John married Barbara Zindel, daughter of Andreas and Daniela Zindel, of Lausanne and St. Moritz, Switzerland at St. Nicholas Church, Chadlington, Oxford, on 11 December 1982; they divorced in 2013 and Lord John died on 3 August 2015. Lord and Lady John FitzGerald had two children:
Hermione FitzGerald (b. Newmarket, Suffolk, October 1985)
Edward FitzGerald (b. Newmarket, Suffolk, October 1988);
Edward FitzGerald is the current heir presumptive to the dukedom and other family titles.
A controversial claim by the supposed descendants of the 5th Duke (largely debunked by Michael Estorick in 1981) was made in 2006 and rejected in 2007 by the Lord Chancellor, who accepted the claim made by the 9th Duke of Leinster.
Ancestors of Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Duke of Leinster