Talk:Forms of address in the United Kingdom

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Daughters of a duke/marquess versus younger sons of a duke/marquess[edit]

The unmarried daughter of a duke/marquess (or earl for that matter) is The Lady [Christian name]. The son of a duke/marquess (but not the son of an earl) is Lord [Christian name], not The Lord [Christian name], and his wife is Lady [Husband's Christian name]. For example, the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough was Lord Randolph Churchill, not The Lord Randolph Churchill. His wife, following their marriage, was Lady Randolph Churchill, not The Lady Randolph Churchill. The daughter of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, prior to her marriage to the future 7th Duke of Roxburghe, was The Lady Anne Churchill. Similarly, with great-grandchildren of the sovereign, the daughter of HRH The Duke of Kent was born The Lady Helen Windsor. Her younger brother was born Lord Nicholas Windsor. This information comes from Wikipedia's own page on courtesy titles. Someone reversed my edit to this effect. We should try and keep things consistent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GiovanniCarestini (talkcontribs) 02:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seeing no objection, I have gone ahead and made the appropriate changes. GiovanniCarestini (talk) 03:04, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is much debate about "The" before courtesy titles, but I've never seen a distinction cited between sons and daughters. Either they're all "The Lord" and "The Lady" or they're all "Lord" and "Lady". "Wikipedia's own page on courtesy titles" is not a reliable source. Proteus (Talk) 17:50, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to Debretts, the children of peers who are entitled to the courtesy titles of Lord/Lady First Name Surname are simply "Lord John/Lady Jane Bloggs", not "The Lady Jane Bloggs". There IS no distinction between sons and daughters. EnglishBriarRose (talk) 03:32, 22 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Son of peer who holds a higher degree[edit]

Should it be Dr. The Hon. John Smith or is it The Hon. Dr. John Smith? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:48, 26 February 2008 (UTC) The latter. --Camaeron (talk) 19:03, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In fact, neither. "Dr", like "Professor", should not be used with styles emanating from the Sovereign. He'd be "The Hon. John Smith" or "Dr John Smith", but not a combination of the two.


Why is laird only listed as madam. Does anybody know the proper address of a Laird? I always thought it was John Smith, Laird (Lord) of Edinburgh!? --Camaeron (talk) 14:11, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article Merged[edit]

Article merged: See old talk-page here --Skywolf talk/contribs 06:49, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nobility of Scottish Feudal Barons[edit]

The Scottish feudal barons are here categorised under 'gentry', although it should be pointed out that they are members of the nobility as well as the gentry (notwithstanding Burke: ref the Lord Lyon's office).

Previously unsectioned comments[edit]

Forms of Address in Australia

PositionWritten AddressSalutationOral Address
EverybodyBruce (or Cheryl) SmithG'dayHey mate

Aren't MPs orally referred as 'The Honourable John Smith' or is that only as 'The Honourable member fo Smithville North'? DJ Clayworth 22:31, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The Hon John Smith would suggest that he is the son of a peer. Adam 23:12, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

MPs recieve the title of "Honourable" only during Parliamentary debates. The title is not supposed to be used outside of the Commons. Lord Emsworth 00:38, Nov 14, 2003 (UTC)

With reference to Church of England Clergy, some female Priests use the form 'Mother John' or 'Mother Smith' instead of 'Father.' 06:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Great page! Congrats to Lord Emsworth. 15:57, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC) P.S. That John Smith is one busy guy!

How the Queen addresses people[edit]

This link shows forms of address for the various ranks of peerage by the Queen:

  • Duke: "Our right trusty and right entirely beloved cousin (and counsellor)"
  • Marquis: "Our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin (and counsellor)"
  • Earl: "Our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin (and counsellor)"
  • Viscount: "Our right trusty and well-beloved cousin (and counsellor)"
  • Baron/Lord of Parliament: "Right trusty and well-beloved cousin (and counsellor)"

Ashley Y 06:26, 2005 Jan 31 (UTC)

Need to amend the table somewhat. Under the terms of the 1917 Letters Patent the eldest son of the Prince of Wales' son is also entitled to HRH style and dignity. All other sons/daughters in the direct male line as grandchildren of the sons of the sovereign are only "Lord/Lady" taking precedence as sons of a Duke Alci12

Should now be fine. Proteus (Talk) 00:01, 21 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

how peers address each other[edit]

and how does an earl address a duke, another earl, a baron, etc.? and king to king (just using the name of his country, I believe)

Addressing today[edit]

Regarding the question above: Officially a Monarch addresses another Monarch as cousin - even if they are not true cousins. When gathered together Monarchs define precedence by who has reigned longest. The host Monarch generally assumes precedence and would walk in front with the longest serving monarch.

There is a lot of confusion about the aristocracy in general today - to set the record straight: Outside of the Royal family there have since the 1950s been huge changes to British etiquette regarding the peerage - In modern parlance peers tend to address each other by Christian names the same as other people, in England, when referring to each other they just tend to say Lord Smith of the Duke of Bedford etc. When in the House of Lords they may more formally say "My noble friend |colleague"

As it says on the project page here It is now quite acceptable to begin a letter to a Duke or Duchess as "Dear Duchess" not "Dear Duchess of Bedford". For an Earl of Countess, one writes say to the Countess of Rosebery "Dear Lady Rosebery" never "Dear Lady". Envelopes are addressed with the full title, and any honorifics such as Right Honourable. An envelope addressed in Britain to Queen Elizabeth II is addressed just HM The Queen, although to be strictly correct even today missives to the Queen should be sent through her Private secretary or the Lord chamberlain's office, as it was once deemed rude to approach the sovereign uninvited, even by letter. No inference of "Lèse-Majesté" is taken though if the Queen is written to directly. She doesn't open the letters anyway - her personal friends use a code on the envelope - or more probably text her (she has a mobile phone)

Strangers still tend to address in speech a Duke of Duchess as "Your Grace", the rest one addresses today as Lord Smith, Lady Smith whatever their rank. The older forms of speech address such as Milady, M'Lord, Your Ladyship etc. are now only used by employees, and then not always - in many modern/young "noble" households the staff address their employers by their Christian names alone the same as in any modern working environment.

The old rules regarding these matters are still there, but generally they are ignored by unspoken common consent. Most British aristocrats today would be surprised and embarrassed to receive a letter beginning My Lord, and concluding we beg to remain your humble and obedient servant. Unless it was from their bank manager, then theywould be very worried. Even in 1898 the London accountants J H Schroder were concluding letters to Earls merely "We are dear Sir, your's faithfully"

To sum up the aristocracy tend to still be given voluntary deference and respect, but in a far less ostentatious way than in previous centuries, and most certainly do not take offence when people get it wrong. Giano | talk 12:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sovereigns address each other as brother/Sister - both usually before and officially since the Congress of Vienna. The only time you don't see this is if there is some other traditional form between particular sovereigns or a snub (eg Nicholas I refusing this form to Napoleon III). Sovereigns further refer to foreign princes as 'cousins' as do many monarchs with their domestic nobles.Alci12 11:23, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My Lord / Your Lordship[edit]

In the Agatha Christie novel Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, the character Freddy has to pose as Lady Frankie Derwent's servant, and realises, once in public, that he does not know whether to address her as "My Lady" or "Your Ladyship" (instead of his usual "Frankie"). She hints that the right answer is "Your Ladyship", but what does the difference means? I'm under the impression that "Your Lordship" and "Your Ladyship" is used mostly by servants and that "My Lord" and "My Lady" by commoners. Is that correct? Eje211 15:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not quite- things vary with time and context - but essentially. The former is the most subservient, the latter can be used by social equals or superiors. eg the Duke of Wellington after his duel, departs "Good morning, my Lord Wilchelsea; good morning, my Lord falmouth" [to an earl and viscount respectively]Alci12 11:30, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I always thought it depended whether the speaker was addressing or referring to the person in question. E.g. "Good morning, my lord. I have your lordship's cup of tea ready." Opera hat (talk) 16:47, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think an easy test is whether you could substitute the person's name, or not. For instance:

"Mary, are you ready?" would become "Are you ready, my lady?"

If, on the other hand, you normally use "you", then it would "your ladyship" - eg

"Have you finished breakfast?" would become "Has your ladyship finished breakfast?"

Note also that, in the last example, the verb form changes from the second person - "Have you..." to the third person, as in "Has she..." Oh, and sorry, Alcil, you're wrong - there is no difference in the level of "subservience" in the two - it is more a matter of grammar and usage. EnglishBriarRose (talk) 18:18, 16 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PS Even the Queen addresses the peers in Parliament as "My Lords"! ;) EnglishBriarRose (talk) 18:22, 16 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed merge[edit]

See Talk:Styles_in_the_United_Kingdom#Proposed_merge — MrDolomite | Talk 17:46, 27 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Privy Counsellors[edit]

A note in the article (near the top) says that the honorific The Right Honorable should only be applied to Peers who are also Privy Councellors. But I note that it is also applied to those peers who are earls, viscounts, and barons on the envelope of letters as shown in the table. I assume that if the peer was not a Privy Counsellor, then those words would be left off of the address on the envelope. Is this correct? -RobertBlacknut 17:31, 11 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In a related matter, what if someone is not a peer but is a Privy Counsellor? How should they be addressed, on envelope, et cetera? Also, does the style The Right Honorable ever apply apart from someone being a Privy Counsellor? -RobertBlacknut 17:31, 11 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that the style "The Right Honorable" applies to both peers who are earls, viscounts, and barons as well as to pricy counsellors. I think that it applies to each of these groups independently, one does not have to be both a peer and a pricy counsellor for it to apply. Is this correct? -RobertBlacknut 15:14, 18 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is correct. Peers who are also Privy Counsellors use the post-nominals "PC" to denote that status. PC is not used by non-peers since The Rt Hon is enough to show that a commoner is a Privy Counsellor. (talk) 23:17, 2 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Forms of address to Royalty[edit]

The above page needs updating. It gives the wife of the Prince of Wales as HRH Princess of Wales.

Er .... just wondering how The Duchess of Cornwall feels about that? (talk) 10:43, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you mean? She is the Princess of Wales. Surtsicna (talk) 09:48, 23 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, read Princess of Wales carefully for all the details. --Cameron* 09:58, 23 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The envelope name for "Sovereign's son's wife (unless a peeress)" is currently given as "HRH The Princess John." I don't see how this can possibly be correct, since I never head anyone refer to Diana as "Princess Charles," but since I don't know anything about this (and since it amuses me) I thought I'd ask. --Masamage 05:32, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm afraid we are correct here — every single time Diana was called "Princess Diana" was in error — she never held than honour, she was The Princess of Wales (and The Princess Charles etc.) until she divorced, then was "Diana, Princess of Wales". It all comes from the idea of the lady only being a princess because she is married to a prince, like Princess Michael of Kent, who was not born a princess, but married a prince. Further complicating the matter is when a born-princess marries a prince, because she can use all of her husband's titles, plus all of her own, including being called "Princess Joan". Fun stuff, eh? DBD 11:20, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
DBD is correct. You may be interested in reading this. Now and then I search the Diana page for mentions of Princess Diana and remove them! The British press have no regard for royal titles and styles, they confused the matter even more by constantly referring to a "Princess Diana"! Best, --Cameron* 13:43, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow, wacky. Okay, thanks for the explanation! Glad there are people here who know what they're doing. :) --Masamage 17:54, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Know the original questions are 4 years old but in relation to the present "Forms of address in the UK" page, under "daughters of sons of the Sovereign" it has "HRH, Her Royal Highness" which I knew already but it does not have "Ma'am" as the alternative form of address whilst it does for the other relations to the Sovereign entitled to the Prince/Princess title. Anybody clear this up? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A question for knowledgable Wikipedians[edit]

I've noticed the interesting case of the ex-Yugoslav President, Marshal Josip Broz Tito. According to sources, he was knighted by Elizabeth II in Belgrade in 1972 and became a "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath". Does that (theoretically) give him the right to be addressed as "Marshal Sir Josip Broz Tito" in the UK?
The reason why I find his case rather intriguing is that he was a communist leader, as well as a prominent ideologist of communism, which would altogether make him a "communist knight" :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 20:17, 11 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similarly Bob Geldof and Joh Bjelke-Petersen were non British nationals in receipt of knighthoods. The newspapers of the time pointed out that only British subjects are entitled to use the title "Sir". So "Sir" Bob Geldof had to remain plain old Saint Bob. That said, Bjelke-Petersen called himself "Sir Joh" to the end of his days. (talk) 20:15, 28 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My guess here is that you can use the title Sir if your own country does not preclude it. Americans cannot call themselves Sir if they are knighted because American law forbids it. If they are dual citizens and their second country does allow it, then they can legitimately use and be addressed by those titles in legal documents. It will be recognised as legitimate generally much in the way a marriage contracted under the laws of one country is usually recognised as a legitimate marriage in most other countries.

As for Sir Bob Geldof I think he may have dual Irish/UK citizenship. Joh Bjelke-Petersen was an NZ/Australian citizen, and both countries recognise British knighthoods. The NZ government knights people also.

I'm under the impression that in general commonwealth honours, be it a British title of knighthood or a New Zealand one, etc., are legally usable by a citizen of most of the other commonwealth countries. A New Zealand knight can legally call himself Sir in British documents and vice-versa.

As for Marshal Tito, I doubt he titled himself Sir. Accepting a British knighthood (honour) would probably be considered diplomatically correct and respectful towards the British. So yes, he was a communist knight, but much in the way a leader of a non-communist country could also receive a state honour from a communist government. This doen't mean that this foreign leader was suddenly buying into or validating a communist system, but more likely cementing a diplomatic relationship. (talk) 01:29, 8 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, you have it the wrong way round. (And American law does not "forbid it" at all. This is a common misconception.) Proteus (Talk) 17:43, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do I have the wrong way around? Please be more specific. As for American law forbiding the use of titles by Americans it seems you are correct. According to my World Book Encyclopedia it is only US government officials who cannot use them. (talk) 08:06, 11 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The wrong way round in the sense that whether or not the holder of a knighthood is entitled to style himself "Sir" is determined by the country issuing the honour, not his own country. In the case of the UK, recipients who are citizens of countries where the Queen is monarch (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Canada) are entitled to styled themselves "Sir", and those who are not are not (and only receive honorary appointments in the various orders of chivalry). A country where the Queen is not monarch may be quite happy for its citizens to be styled "Sir" if given a British knighthood, but they still won't be allowed to. Proteus (Talk) 20:55, 18 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ladies Companions of the Garter and Thistle[edit]

What is the source for the contention that women who receive these orders are not "Dames" (unless they hold a higher title, e.g. Lady Soames, Lady Thatcher) as they are in the other orders? Wouldn't "Lady Mary Smith" always be the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl? — Torontonian1 (talk) 14:13, 8 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know about the order of the thistle, but women in the order of the garter are ladies, not dames. I suspect this is because they are ennobled by being members of the order (a rare case of someone below peerage rank being noble in the British system), and noble women are usually refered to as lady. The styling of the wives of knights as lady is title inflation which has come to be accepted in customary practice. The wives of knights are actually dames, but in customary practice the title of dame is now used to refer to women with the honour in their own right. I'm 90% sure that the information i've given is correct. (talk) 07:53, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, and yes, women with lady in front of their first name are the daughters of junior princes, dukes, Marquesses and Earls. The wife of a knight has lady before her (married) surname not her first name, because it is not her title but her husband's title. So the wife of Sir Joe Bloggs is Jane, Lady Bloggs - not Lady Jane bloggs. (talk) 07:58, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is correct, provided the lady in question is not already the daughter of a peer above the rank of viscount. Thus if Lady Jane Doe, daughter of the Earl of Aldershot, married Sir John Smith, she would be entitled to style herself "Lady Jane Smith - since she does not lose her birth title upon marriage. Television documentaries are always getting this wrong, referring, in an attempt at informality, to the wife of Sir John Smith as Lady Mary Smith, when she is actually Lady Smith. Oh, and I believe that Jane, Lady Bloggs, would actually refer to the widow/divorcee of Sir Joe Bloggs, not his current wife - cf Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce. EnglishBriarRose (talk) 02:46, 9 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Smith of Smith?[edit]

Did anyone else find the scottish chiefs bit incredibly clunky?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 2 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

forms of address for higher level & Scottish judiciary?[edit]

the articles discusses forms of address to High Court Judges, but what about Court of Appeal Justices and Justices of the new Supreme Court of the UK? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Trajanis (talkcontribs) 13:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article also misses out the styles of the Scottish (and Northern Irish?) judiciary entirely. (talk) 16:33, 6 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The sovereign is addressed as "Your Majesty". The spawn of the/a sovereign and their spouses (and a few other relatives) are addressed as "Your Royal Highness". Since no other level of peerage uses "Highness", why bother to add "Royal"? Even the sovereign does not use it (and my head aches at all the movies seen and books read that do use "Your Royal Majesty"). (talk) 05:06, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As to "Royal Highness", Royal styles have historically been concerned not merely with national status, but with international status. "Royal Highness" distinguished (and, to a much lesser extent, still distinguishes) members of the British Royal Family from foreign "Highnesses", "Serene Highnesses", "Grand Ducal Highnesses", etc. As to "Majesty", this term essentially includes the word "Royal", as it is not used by any non-Royal monarch (the ruling Princes of Monaco, for instance, are merely "Serene Highnesses"). It is only when it is used by someone above "mere" Royal status that it needs a qualifier - such as "Imperial Majesty" for Emperors. Proteus (Talk) 17:39, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A): Paraphrasing to see if I understand this: "Majesty" has no lesser degree so automatically includes "Royal" and therefore "Royal" is unneeded. The word "Royal" in "Your Royal Highness" is used in a table of foreign/international relationships to indicate the degree of closeness to the/a sovereign.

If A then B): Within the United Kingdom, why would "Royal" be needed? The use of "Highness" already indicates a familial degree of relationship to the sovereign. Adding "Royal" seems redundant, even an affectation. There cannot be another "Highness" in the forms of address in the UK yet "Royal" is still used by the everyday British? (talk) 09:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Simply because styles generally don't change depending on what context they are used in. It would probably be considered a bit odd if the Prince of Wales were called "His Highness" in the UK but suddenly became "His Royal Highness" the moment he entered a foreign country. (And, of course, although there are no holders of British titles styled plain "Highness" or one of the other "Highness" variants, such people have done and do come to the UK, and did so especially when these sorts of styles came into normal use.) - unsigned
There used to be both of the styles "Royal Highness" and the lower "Highness" in the British monarchy. The lower style of "Highness" was abandoned by decree of either George V (mostly likely) or George VI (too lazy to look it up). But as already stated above, the primary reason why the higher style of "Royal Highness" is used is to ensure the proper international precedence with other monarchies that have historically used both styles. - L.Smithfield (talk) 00:10, 10 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Demophon's edits[edit]

I have reverted some of these for the following reasons:

  • Sources differ on whether younger sons of Dukes and Marquesses and daughters of Dukes, Marquesses and Earls are "The Lord John Smith/The Lady Jane Smith" or "Lord John Smith"/"Lady Jane Smith" (the Lord Chamberlain says it's the former, the Earl Marshal says it's the latter, Debrett's etc. generally sit on the fence). The correct NPOV approach is to note both usages, not to decide which is correct. (Likewise for courtesy peers.)
  • "Baroness" is not "preferred" over "Lady" for suo jure Baronesses. Both are equally valid. Some Baronesses prefer "Baroness", some prefer "Lady".

The other edits I completely agree with, though. Proteus (Talk) 18:44, 23 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1) Can you show me some official and hardcore sources that proves your claim that male persons with a courtesy title also have "the" in front of their title? So, "The Lord John Smith" instead of "Lord John Smith", and "The Lord London" (as a courtesy title??) instead of "Lord London"? Because this sounds very illogical to me and is deviating from what is common.
2) I have many problems with the use of the phrase "courtesy peers". Is this an officially excepted name? Or is this a Wikipedia invention? Because this suggests that they are peers by courtesy, but that's wrong. They are only commoners who semi-officially (but generally accepted) may use a subsidiary title from their (great)-(grand) father. It's bad name-giving.
3) About your point of the use of "The Baroness X" or "The Lady X" strictly taken you are correct that both are equally valid and both are useable. But nowadays with the increase of female life peers many prefer to use Baroness when she is a peer in her own right. The reason of this development is to make the distinction from a female person who is a peer on behalves of her husband (and only uses "The Lady X"). Many officially sources (including the government) advice this kind of addressing! Demophon (talk) 15:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry for the delay in replying. 1) Debrett's Correct Form describes the style of a younger son of a Duke or Marquess as "The Lord Edward FitzGerald". 2) Yes, it is the usual convention. Correct Form, for instance, describes such people consistently as "peers by courtesy", exactly the usage you question. And I would argue it is correct: they are peers by courtesy rather than peers by law (i.e. custom and practice treats them as peers out of courtesy despite the fact that legally they do not hold peerages). 3) As you say, it's simply a matter of personal preference. We should not present it as anything else. (And many hereditary peeresses prefer "Lady" to "Baroness".) I have no objection to "Baroness" being listed before "Lady" (as it is, regrettably, more common nowadays), but I object to any suggestion that it is more correct or preferable. Proteus (Talk) 12:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, and as to 1), the Court Circular usually uses this format: "the Viscount Cranborne", "the Lord James Douglas-Hamilton", etc. Proteus (Talk) 17:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Confusion over Scottish Titles[edit]

There has been an edit of the Scottish Titles section, which left it incorrect. Laird and Chieftain had been removed completely and the dignity of feudal barons was ignored, despite Debrett's Forms of Address's acknowledgement of the same, which I have now referenced.

Chiefs, Chieftains and Lairds are styled similarly, so these may be grouped together. The previous entry for feudal baron and baroness more correctly fitted the correct form for a Laird (also mirroring that of Chief and Chieftain). Barons and Baronesses have the right to be designated as such, as per Debrett's and the Court of the Lord Lyon (recent Letters Patent and Warrants confirm the same). Feudal barons top this list, as they take a higher precedence than a Chief, Chieftain and Laird, as is widely recognised in texts stating that Chiefs enjoyed the precedence of esquires, unless they were feudal barons. In Debrett’s Correct Form, the late Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Bt, in discussing the status of Scottish chiefs said: "Some are feudal barons, in addition, with precedence before esquires."
Editor8888 (Talk) 07:08, 09 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This section of the Forms of Address has now been rectified.
Editor8888 (Talk) 07:45, 09 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On 23 January 2010 revisions were made to the entry on Scottish titles with the comment "elimate(sic) the massively overinflated sections on Scottish barons, etc., presumably added by people who have bought such titles". In the process accurate forms of address were removed. These have been reinstated with appropriate referencing to verify the sources. There is no legitimate basis for the removal of reliable information from dependable sources (Debrett's, for example). In light of an earlier note (above) regarding the noble status of Scottish feudal barons, a point of clarification has been added confirming that they are not peerage titles and that they are only noble titles in the sense that nobility in Scotland incorporates what is termed the gentry in England (Scotland's minor nobility, or noblesse, in this legal sense).
Editor8888 (Talk) 14:29, 09 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Terrible layout[edit]

What a user unfriendly article! The headings of the columns appear only once, at the top, so much scrolling is needed to find if one is in the column for face to face confrontation or for behind the back reference. That bad feature is made worse by the height of the boxes giving examples. You might think that reducing "Lady Amelia Beanbody" to " Lady A B" disrespectful and is a first step towards a peasants' revolt and capital curtailment but it would render the article more compact and readable.--SilasW (talk) 17:20, 3 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Salutation in letter - the Sovereign[edit]

Is it worth noting in the 'salutation in letter' column next to HM The King/Queen that this is largely redundant, as style dictates that one does not address a letter directly to the Monarch (unless a personal friend), but rather to the Sovereign's private secretary?

See Debrett's guidance: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 17 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why are peers' wives addressed differently to their husbands?[edit]

I am surprised - and dubious - to see that, for instance, if I am writing to the Earl of Aldershot, I may use the form "My Lord" - which may be outdated, but still correct, but if I am writing to his wife, I may only use the form "Madam" - which could be used to any woman with whom I was not on familiar terms. Similarly, in written form, a Duke OR a Duchess could/would once have been addressed in writing as "Your Grace" - rather than "My Lord Duke" or, in the case of his wife, simply "Madam". (Arguably, a duke/duchess is not a lord/lady, he/she is a duke/duchess.) And what of the case of a woman who is a peeress in her own right? Why should the suo jure Countess of Aldershot be merely "Madam", whilst, if she'd had a brother who had succeeded, he would be "My Lord"? Bizarrely, this difference does not appear to apply to oral address, despite the fact that written communication is normally more formal than spoken.

This also flies in the face of the convention - mentioned elsewhere in the article - that women take the rank/status/title of their husband. If this were followed through, the wife of a British Prince would not be addressed (in writing) as "Your Royal Highness" but simply as "Madam".

This seems totally anomalous and somewhat sexist. I know it was not always the case, and that titled women were addressed similarly to their husbands; can anyone tell me how/why it changed - and who changed it? EnglishBriarRose (talk) 02:32, 9 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since in some circumstances the Queen is called madam too much shouldn't be read into the status of the word used. However the article probably could do with a second source as its a bit too based on one atm Garlicplanting (talk) 14:30, 2 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Female bishops[edit]

The section on church of england clergy does not appear to have been updated to account for the recent consecration of female bishops. I'm assuming 'my lord' is not the correct oral address. The COE website states that 'my lord' is an outmoded form anyway and that 'bishop' is the correct oral address, which would work for a man or a woman. Adagio67 (talk) 23:37, 28 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

church of scotland[edit]

Whilst other sections suggest Mr/Mrs/Ms as examples of correct forms of address, the forms of address in the church of scotland are only listed as Mr, despite women having been ordained since 1969 Adagio67 (talk) 23:52, 28 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Judicial address[edit]

At least three of the judicial forms of address do not account for the possibility of a woman in the role.Adagio67 (talk) 23:58, 28 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am not an expert on this topic, but it seems that the one reference to divorce (the Baron's divorced wife) should be removed, or else more references to the styles of divorced women should be mentioned, for consistency.

Alázhlis (talk) 20:26, 10 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Upper/lower case "the"[edit]

The use of capitalized "The" in a series of ranks and honours, as used in the tables in the article, is incorrect according to reliable traditional sources (cited in the note). The matter is controversial: see Talk:John Buchan for an extreme example. Possibly the usage is changing. The references I have given in the note are both in favour of lc "the". In the interest of NPOV, I hope someone will add counterexamples.D A Patriarche, BSc 01:50, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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What about forms of address for military/naval/RAF officers and retired officers? Aren't there rules about who can be addressed with specific ranks, and in what circumstances? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 29 December 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved at this time, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 01:58, 5 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

– Per WP:CONSISTENCY with Style (manner of address). Less sure about the last one. Chicbyaccident (talk) 01:10, 29 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oppose – "Style" refers exclusively to "an official or legal title", while this page includes forms of address for those with courtesy titles and social forms of address. The pages are different in scope, so WP:CONSISTENCY does not apply. "Forms of address" is also a more natural title as it does not require disambiguation. Robminchin (talk) 02:46, 29 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

How to address?[edit]

Can the daughter of Duke or late Duke married to the eldest son/heir of a Marquess (who would be courtesy Count of X) choose to be address as Lady [First name] instead of Lady X (as courtesy countess of X)?

Also could she choose to be addressed as The Lady [First name] [husband's last name] instead of Countess of X?

Manavati (talk) 11:43, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]