The Russell family currently holds the titles of Earl and Duke of Bedford. John Russell, a close advisor of Henry VIII and Edward VI, was granted the title of Earl of Bedford in 1551, and his descendant William, 5th Earl, was created Duke following the Glorious Revolution.
The subsidiary titles of the Duke of Bedford, all in the Peerage of England, are Marquess of Tavistock (created 1694), Earl of Bedford (1550), Baron Russell, of Cheneys (1539), Baron Russell of Thornhaugh in the County of Northampton (1603), and Baron Howland, of Streatham in the County of Surrey (1695) (and possibly the Barony of Bedford, which was merged into it in 1138, 1366 or 1414). The courtesy title of the Duke of Bedford's eldest son and heir is Marquess of Tavistock.
Every Duke from the 5th Duke onwards is descended from Charles II of England. The family seat is Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. The private mausoleum and chapel of the Russell Family and the Dukes of Bedford is at St. Michael’s Church in Chenies, Buckinghamshire (photo). The family owns The Bedford Estate in central London.
The heir apparent is the present holder's only son Henry Robin Charles Russell, Marquess of Tavistock (b. 2005).
The heraldic blazon for the coat of arms of the Russell dukedom is: Argent, a lion rampant gules; on a chief sable, three escallops of the first.
The arms show a claim to be descended from the medieval lord Hugh de Rozel, which has been debunked, especially by J. Horace Round in his essay The Rozels of Bedford". The family tree on the website of Woburn Abbey only refers to the descent from the provable Stephen Russell in 1394.
The chief from these arms is present in the arms of the modern coat of arms of the London Borough of Camden, because the dukes of Bedford used to own land in the present borough.