Lord Duke is a minor character in the 1959 Disney animated film, Sleeping Beauty, and a major character in the first segment of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams. He is King Stefan and Queen Leah's fussy, but well behaved, majordomo and is in charge of making arrangements and keeping peace in the kingdom. Duke was voiced by the late Hans Conried in the original animated film and by Jeff Bennett in the first segment of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams.
As Stefan and Leah's majordomo, Lord Duke is in charge with upholding Stefan's laws while assisting him in his politics and arrangements of the kingdom, a similar background to that of the Grand Duke from Cinderella; also a slender middle-aged man with black hair who also works as a head servant of the King, whom he helped him with his politics and arrangements of his kingdom.
Like Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast, Lord Duke takes his position as majordomo very seriously. He is also shown to be worried and prone to panic when things go wrong such as doubting Aurora that she cannot read the forms as he objects that it will take months and seeing green pigs, giant chickens, and cows, caused by Aurora's inexperience of magic when she used Merryweather´s wand to solve the problems easily. Duke is also accident-prone when he fell from the table that causes some papers to fall after sneezing, crashing down with a bookcase while getting the paper on top, and falling down the moat while trying to retrieve King Hubert's speech. Despite all this, Duke is extremely loyal to Stefan and Leah. He is also helpful when he assists Aurora in ruling her father's kingdom while he, Leah, Hubert, and Prince Phillip are away at a Royal Conference. Duke is also a friendly adviser when he told Aurora to stick with the problems by showing perseverance while dealing with the redheaded farmer who wanted chickens.
Lord Duke is a slender middle aged man with a long pointy nose, black eyes, and is half bald with medium length black hair. In Duke's possible appearance in Sleeping Beauty, the herald that almost resembles Duke wore a yellow hat with a blue feather, orange sleeves with a puffy blue and purple shirt with a light blue collar. He is also shown to be holding a proclamation. In his appearance in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, he wore a puffy striped white and aqua shirt that matches his striped breeches and long socks, brown shoes, and a pink sash over his shoulders to the waist.
Lord Duke makes a possible appearance as a minor background character, possibly as the royal herald in the beginning. At the christening birth of the infant princess Aurora, the herald that almost resembles Duke (same black hair and almost similar appearance, but only wearing blue and purple clothes and a yellow hat) is only seen when he announces the arrival of King Hubert and his young son, Prince Phillip. Duke's voice is heard again when he makes another announcement of the arrival of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
After King Stefan and King Hubert discuss their plans about the future marriage of their respective children, Duke's voice is heard when he announces the arrival of Prince Phillip, who is arriving to see Hubert.
Duke's exciting voice is heard one last time when he tells everyone that the sun has set and that they are ready to welcome Aurora, unaware that she has touched the spindle of the spinning wheel by the orders of their enemy, Maleficent.
Afterwards, Lord Duke is not seen or heard of again for the remainder of the film, but it may be assumed that he fell into a sleeping spell under the courtesy of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather and at the end of the film, he and the other residents in the kingdom awakens from their slumber after Phillip breaks the spell by placing True Love’s Kiss on Aurora, upon defeating Maleficent in her dragon form.
Lord Duke reappears in the first segment of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, now voiced by Jeff Bennett. After King Stefan and Queen Leah told Aurora about ruling the kingdom while they attend the Royal Conference for King Hubert's speech, Stefan asked Duke about the arrangements for the Royal Conference. Duke assured that everything in the kingdom will run like clockwork and he bows down. But while doing so, he accidentally rips his breeches, revealing his pink-hearted boxers and runs to change his breeches, making Stefan and Leah laugh of what they saw at their embarrassed majordomo.
Later, Duke told Aurora about the signatures she needed to sign. She told him that her father said that the papers needed to be sign and that she was busy with the banquet and told him to hand her the first paper to read. However, Duke objected as he claims that it will take months and that reading won't be important because he told her to sign the forms. At first, Duke objected that they'll never get through all of the signatures, but Aurora advised him that they needed to show perseverance. Hearing of what Aurora said, Duke goes on the table and gets the first signed paper on top of the tower of papers, causing Aurora to catch it. But Duke sneezes and accidentally falls off the table, causing some papers to fall off, but organizes them back together. However, he sees the paper on top of the book shelf and grabs it, but the book shelf fell with him on the floor.
Recovering from the fall and after giving Aurora the document, he sees the paper on the edge of the castle window. He attempts to catch it, but he accidentally fell into the moat of the castle, screaming. Dripping wet, Lord Duke gave Aurora the document, which was actually the speech King Hubert forgot for the Royal Conference. Aurora needed someone to take the speech to Hubert, despite Duke complaining that they had only started the task.
Luckily, Flora, Merryweather, and Fauna arrive to do the task in delivering the document to Hubert for his speech at the Royal Conference. Before Merryweather gave Aurora the wand for extra help, Duke reminded Aurora that they have a great deal of work to do for the kingdom.
That evening, when Aurora is reviewing the signatures, Duke is seen sleeping.
The next morning, Lord Duke told Aurora that she will meet with the peasants and he assisted her in dealing with the villagers. Later that day, Duke told Aurora that they should take a break, hoping that Stefan would understand. But Aurora determined not to give up, stating that her father told her about perseverance. However, when dealing with the redheaded farmer who wanted more chickens, she hesitated at the problem, but Duke told her about perseverance and goes to find the forms he forgot.
However, Aurora's magical inexperience leads to several consequences such as green pigs, enormous chickens, and cows. When Duke returned, he noticed the magic incident and a cow head-butts him. When Stefan, Leah, Hubert, Phillip, and Samson return home from the Royal Conference, Duke falls from a cow and runs to the carriage to warn them about the green pigs, giant chickens, and cows. Not understanding of what Duke said, Stefan thought that he was going crazy, but Duke told them to see this incident at the throne room, immediately.
When Lord Duke, King Stefan, Queen Leah, King Hubert, and Prince Phillip arrive at the throne room, there were no giant chickens, green pigs, and cows, due to the problem being solved by Aurora. As Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather return from Hubert’s castle as well and Aurora giving the wand back to Merryweather, a confused Stefan asked Duke if he saw any cows and green pigs, but Duke told him that they’re all gone and he can’t understand about the magic incident.
Lord Duke is seen at the end of the first segment, where he is sitting next to Queen Leah at the royal banquet, alongside the two kings, the Three Good Fairies, Phillip, and Aurora, who told them about ruling a kingdom being both exciting and a challenge and that it is better to have them back. As they applauded at Aurora’s brief speech, Stefan and Hubert talks about “rumors” about giant chickens and cows as Phillip mentions green pigs, causing Stefan, Hubert, Duke, Leah, and the Three Good Fairies to laugh, along with Aurora.
- Hans Conried, who was assumed to have voice Lord Duke in a higher pitch tone while doing a live action reference for King Stefan in the same film, had previously voiced Captain Hook and Mr. Darling in Peter Pan, Thomas Jefferson in Ben and Me, and as the Prosecutor in The Story of Anyburg, USA. Conried would later portray Professor Whatley in The Shaggy D.A. and Chief Dr. Heffel in The Cat from Outer Space.
- Though no sources confirm this, it can be noted that Bill Scott was initially chosen for the role of Lord Duke before he was supposedly replaced by Hans Conried, who was also replaced by Taylor Holmes for the role of King Stefan. Scott recorded two dialogues as Duke, which can only be heard in The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty.