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Saanen
08-03-2005, 01:42 AM
Does anyone know the proper address to A) a duke and B) a duke's sister (unmarried without titles of her own)? And what are their proper titles? I've been trying to find this information online without any success; I used to have a book with this sort of information but I can't find it. Any help would be great, thanks!

Rabe
08-03-2005, 03:12 AM
Does anyone know the proper address to A) a duke and B) a duke's sister (unmarried without titles of her own)? And what are their proper titles? I've been trying to find this information online without any success; I used to have a book with this sort of information but I can't find it. Any help would be great, thanks!

As for a duke, they would be formally referred to as "your grace".

As for an untitled sister, probably just a polite "my lady" or the colloquial "'m'lady"


Rabe...

Mags
08-05-2005, 10:23 AM
Here is a really helpful link for British titles/forms of address: http://www.chinet.com/%7Elaura/html/titles12.html

Is this for fiction or are you actually meeting aristocracy?

Another thing--dukes, in general, are not royalty, unless he is the son of the monarch, like the current Duke of York. He is styled "HRH the Duke of York," I believe. Same with the Earl of Wessex, a/k/a Prince Edward; he is not "Lord Wessex" but "HRH the Earl of Wessex." These are not inherited peerages but are titles bestowed by the Queen, and the forms of address are established at the time that the title is bestowed. When Princess Diana and Prince Charles got divorced, she was allowed to retain the use of the title "Her Royal Highness," but when the Duke and Duchess of York were divorced, Fergie was not allowed to call herself HRH but can still use the title Duchess of York. It is very confusing.

However, inherited peerages are addressed as in the chart above.

Saanen
08-05-2005, 05:26 PM
Oh wow, I had no idea just how complicated it all was! Thanks for the link. I'm glad I'm American and don't have to worry about this stuff; I feel the same sense of awe and confusion when I try and make sense of Japanese forms of address (which make the French vous/tu look positively barbaric).

No, I'm not meeting a duke--I don't generally move in those circles. :) This is for a WIP fantasy novel. The main characters are a bunch of girls who run a spinner's shop, peasants all, and they're most decidedly astounded when a duke shows up to make a commission. I need to know what they'd call him, but more important I need to know what they'll call his sister, because she's the one who's going to do most interacting with them. Rabe suggested "my lady" and that sounds right to me.

Rabe
08-06-2005, 03:45 AM
First to Mags:

Was Diana allowed to keep the "HRH" after the divorce? I recall hearing something about how the Queen wanted to restore the title after her death and her brother, the Earl of Spencer, would have nothing to do with that. Though, I may be confusing that with the other part of the title, "Princess of Wales". I do recall there was a real row about it. However, as she is still referred to as 'the people's princess' I guess it hardly matters.

(though a bit of gossip aside, I was looking at a picture of Prince William the other day and trying to see if there were similarities to JFK JR at the same age! Bad me!)

Then to Saanen:

In the case of the story need as you described it, the spinners would definitely refer to her as 'my lady' and not only because she's the duke's sister, but because she's a very wealthy woman and in these types of settings, the wealthy usually hold all the real power anyway. So out of deference to the wealth, more than anything else, would they refer to her so graciously. (not to mention the idea of making her extremely happy and possibly getting some of her other wealthy friends to frequent their shop).


Rabe...

johnnysannie
08-06-2005, 05:05 AM
I believe that Diana lost her Princess of Wales title after her divorce but retained the right to be Her Royal Highness (as mother of the heirs to the throne). Bit of a sticky wicket to keep royal titles and forms of address straight for Americans, eh?

Rabe
08-07-2005, 03:58 AM
I believe that Diana lost her Princess of Wales title after her divorce but retained the right to be Her Royal Highness (as mother of the heirs to the throne). Bit of a sticky wicket to keep royal titles and forms of address straight for Americans, eh?

Half the time I'm convinced the American Colonies only rebelled in order to *get away* from all that - the proper titles and name calling! ;)

Hrmmmm...interesting, though, that he was allowed to keep HRH. Of course, the backlash against the royal family (from my limited understanding) would have been more considerable if they had turned their backs on Diana as they did Fergie who, I believe, was slightly less than popular with the Brits?

Rabe...

Mags
08-08-2005, 02:36 AM
Was Diana allowed to keep the "HRH" after the divorce? I recall hearing something about how the Queen wanted to restore the title after her death and her brother, the Earl of Spencer, would have nothing to do with that. Though, I may be confusing that with the other part of the title, "Princess of Wales". I do recall there was a real row about it. However, as she is still referred to as 'the people's princess' I guess it hardly matters.

You are correct and I was wrong. I thought I read that somewhere. My bad!

After the divorce, Diana and Fergie were styled Diana, Princess of Wales (as opposed to THE Princess of Wales) and Sarah, Duchess of York (as opposed to THE Duchess of York). Neither used the style HRH after their divorces from what I can determine.

I confess I get confused with the royal styles. Too many of 'em to keep track of, and they seem to use the same rules as Calvinball.

pconsidine
08-08-2005, 06:19 PM
Revolution aside, most American dictionaries (including Webster's Unabridged) have been known to include an appendix of formal titles and the proper way to address them, both in letters and in person. At least mine did.

Aconite
08-16-2005, 09:07 PM
Revolution aside, most American dictionaries (including Webster's Unabridged) have been known to include an appendix of formal titles and the proper way to address them, both in letters and in person.
Comprehensive books on etiquette do the same. (Note that this still doesn't help with bestowed titles.)