English Titles

I’m sure that you have watched Downton Abbey or you have seen one of the period costume dramas that us English are so good at producing.

No doubt you have heard someone being addressed as “My Lord” or “Your Grace” or “Your Majesty”.

Maybe on the TV you heard Carson the butler ask a footman “if The Dowager Duchess has arrived”.

Do we English still use these old-fashioned titles? Does anyone really care about these outmoded forms of address?

Well, the answer is yes, these ancient titles and forms of address are at the core of English Life. It is one of the things that make us English so English!

OK, in recent years Email has caused a very slight revolution in how you can address someone with a title in writing. But the main forms of address have not changed.

“Thats OK”, you say, “ But what are the chances of the average Mr or Mrs meeting someone titled”?

For those with social connections the need to know how to address an invitation for dinner to the younger daughter of an Earl who has just married the eldest son of a Duke is critical.
And what do you put on the place card on the table? And what do I call her when we meet?

And what about the army Captain who has just been knighted. Is he Sir Captain? or Captain Sir? or Sir? Or what?

For those of you who just want to read about our English titles of nobility, you will discover a complex world that dates back hundreds of years, and which made English Life what it is today.

Duke and Duchess
Sons and daughters of a duke
Widow of a duke
Separated/divorced wife of a duke

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