Ok, I promise today we will finish with the super technical stuff and then I’ll take a break from titles and discuss some other stuff next week that will hopefully not be like a tedious lecture.
To rehash the last two weeks we have Monarch level titles which are used by actual rulers of independent Europan countries. They are as follows:
Sovereign Grand Duke/Sovereign Grand Duchess
Sovereign Prince/Sovereign Princess
Sovereign Duke/Sovereign Duchess
Sovereign Margrave/Sovereign Margravine
Count Palatine/Countess Palatine
Then we have Royal level titles which constitutes the children and grandchildren of ruling monarchs. Normally the children and grandchildren of Monarchs are Princes and Princesses by default unless otherwise specified like in the case of some Empires where they are referred to as Grand Dukes/Grand Duchesses or Archdukes/Archduchesses. This Royal level is as follows:
Royal Level (Royal family)
Crown Prince or Hereditary Prince/Crown Princess or Hereditary Princess
Prince of the 1st Blood Royal/Princess of the 1st Blood Royal
Prince of the 2nd Blood Royal/Princess of the 2nd Blood Royal
Next we have the Noble or Aristocratic level. These make op the extended descendants of Royalty in the direct inherited line. They are as follows:
Noble Prince/Noble Princess
Earl or Count/Countess
Today we will discuss the last level followed plainly by the common populous. This is called the Gentry Level and is as follows:
Remember the Monarch is what we call the “Fount of Honour” because he is at the top and all titles flow from him or are bestowed by him, either through birth or by being created. The gentry level is a special level that incorporates the lowest level of inherited titles and the last three levels of honours that are only bestowed and cannot be gained by inheritance. Strange that right at the bottom you find the titles that you can only gain as an individual by your own merit. Some of these are so prestigious due to limited access that even high ranking Dukes and Princes show deference and respect to the bearer and desire and strive to earn them.
The highest rank here is the Life Peer. This title is also called a Baron in conversational speech, address and referral. The difference comes in that, although the Life Peer has the dignity and seat of authority in Parliament, his title and Noble status does not pass to his wife by courtesy nor to his children by inheritance. It is only his for his life or until stripped. Next is the Baronet. It is an inherited title like the Noble titles but isn’t seen as Noble due to it not having any governing authority in the form of a seat in Parliament. The children of a Baronet are also merely Mister and Miss. Now we get to one of the most famous titles next to King and Prince, the Knight. The knight as we know from typical fairy stories set the ageless example of earned Nobility. The King takes out his sword and taps the worthy recipient on the shoulder to bestow the honour. This was always the grand reward for an impossible task accomplished and even Princes sought to be knighted. There are many different Orders of Knighthood and we will discuss them at a later stage. A male knight of any Order is addressed as Sir and a female as Dame. The title of Knight is also not inherited. Esquire is merely an epithet when referring to someone in the process of becoming a knight. In modern times it has become an honour bestowed on commoners who excel in a specific trade or community service. Even though it is bestowed it is not seen as an actual title and as such follows a person’s name rather than precedes it. Finally we have untitled nobility. These are the descendants of Nobility that have passed on to be plain commoners but still hold and inherited dignity due to heritage. They are referred to as Mister and Miss but their surnames will belie their Noble origins.
Here we have the Baronetess Rosenbloom at her induction ceremony in2011.
A pre-revolution photo of some of the Knights in the Order of the Diamond Star.
The next part of this discussion will be on the topic of “styles of address”. This shows all the intricacies of how you address the various title holders in order to respect them in the order of precedence in public and at court. We will however do that at a later stage when we all have the stamina again. I’ll take some time to think up some more relaxing fair for the next few weeks.