Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Know the Proper Address

All those titles of nobles can get a bit confusing and overwhelming. You have to know the proper form of address if you ever ran into one on your daily constitutional at St James. How embarrassing to make that social faux pas!

Let's review!

The King: Your Majesty and thereafter, Sire
The Queen: Your Majesty and thereafter, Ma'am
The Prince of Wales and other princes: Your Royal Highness, and thereafter, Sir
Princess Royal and other princesses: Your Royal Highness, and thereafter, Ma'am
A grandchild of a Prince without a tile: Lord Firstname or Lady Firstname

Duke and Duchess: Your Grace
Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron, or Lord of Parliament: My Lord, Your Lordship or Lord X
Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, Baroness: My Lady, Your Ladyship, or Lady X
Baroness in her own right: My Lady, Your Ladyship, Lady X, or Baroness X
Baronet and Knight: Sir or Sir Firstname
Baronetess in her own right and Dame: Madame or Dame Firstname
Baronet and Knight's wife: My Lady or Lady X
Lady (knighted): My Lady or Lady Firstname

Elder Sons of Dukes, Marquesses, and Earls: My Lord, Lord X
Heir-Apparent of a Scottish Duke,Marquess, or Earl: Sir, Master
Heiress-Apparent of a Scottish Duke, Marquess, or Earl: Madam, Mistress
Younger sons of a Duke: My Lord or Lord Firstname
Younger daughters of a Duke: My Lady or Lady Firstname
Earl's younger son and sons of viscounts, barons, and the Lord of Parliament (Hon. titles): Sir or Mr. X
Earl's younger daughter and daughters of viscounts, barons, and the Lord of Parliament (Hon. titles): Madam or Miss/Mrs. X

Easy right? Oh but wait, it looks like some of the clergy are also enjoying the weather. Do you know the proper form of address for them? It would be awful to insult a man of the cloth.

Archbishop: Your Grace, Archbishop
Bishops: My lord, Bishop
Dean, Provost, Archdeacon, Prebendary, or Canon: by their titles (ie: Provost)
Priest: Mr. X or Father
Deacon: Deacon or Mr. X


  1. In my private moments I am given to referring to Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg as the Archfartitude.

  2. Tee hee! Oh, Mr Mozart!

    Thanks for keeping us clean, Heather. As an avid reader of history books and classic lit and an occasional reader of contemporary historical fiction (it usually disappoints) I am a super-stickler for proper address. It's a thing that really irritates me when it's incorrect in a book, since I figure it's an error easily caught. And isn't that part of research anyway?

    Hmmm, I am in danger of having a mini-rant, so I'll stop now.

  3. Yeah there is so much to keep track of!
    One of my former advisor's biggest gripe about The Duchess was that the language was so inaccurate.

  4. Wow, that's so elaborate! Boy it was so much easier in New England--"Mister X" if you like the person, "Goodman X" if you don't like him, and just plain X if you hate him. Ok, not really, but I'm not exaggerating much! As for the English addresses, it sounds almost like a language that you forget in 5 minutes if you aren't using it.

  5. Imagine confusing one of those greetings?! Thanks for clarifying some of these for me:)