19 December 2012 - 23:54
A Brief Guide To The Ranks Of Titles

  
  Former Editor
57 Comments

Dukes, Earls, Baronesses, Marchionesses. They’re all titles but to most people, they don’t mean anything. Here is a short guide to peerages and where they fall. The below are all Royal peerages, not standard peerages, so don’t be alarmed if you’re a bit of an expert and notice what you think may be some missing, titles like Marquess aren’t awarded to Royals.

Traditionally, the ranks for titles come from the amount of land the holder used to control (with the exception of Prince), nowadays it’s purely symbolic. The higher ranking your title, the higher you were regarded by the Monarch or the closer you were to the throne.

In reality, the seniority of your title is not what determines how highly you rank, that’s determined by what’s called the Order Of Precedence, this is just a general guide to Royal Peerage ranks.

To define a ‘Royal Peerage’ from a normal peerage, a Royal Peerage will carry the style of ‘HRH’ rather than the usual Peerage style.

On this following table, the highest rank is at the top, the lowest at the bottom. Along each row is the male and female form of the title and what their children would be known as, if a separate title is not arranged by a special Letters Patent.

Male Title Female Title Land Type Male Children Female Children
Duke Duchess Royal Dukedom Lord Lady
Prince Princess Principality (If Prince Of Wales, Otherwise None) Lord Lady
Earl Countess Royal Earldom The Honourable Lady
Viscount Viscountess Royal Viscountcy The Honourable The Honourable
Baron Baroness Royal Barony The Honourable The Honourable

As a little extra point, here is a ranking table with information about Sovereigns. All the following are titles that may be held by heads of state in order of rank from highest to lowest.

Male Title Female Title Realm Name Adjective Style
Emperor Empress Empire Imperial His/Her Imperial Majesty
King Queen Kingdom Royal His/Her Majesty
Grand Duke Grand Duchess Grand Duchy Grand Ducal His/Her Royal Highness
Duke Duchess Dukedom Ducal His/Her Ducal Highness (Royal Highness)
Prince Princess Principality Princely His/Her Serene/Royal Highness




Martin

, Former Editor

Martin was the Editor of Royal Central from July 2012 to July 2014. He can now be found on thecourtier.co.uk
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