The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Royal and noble styles

This page will detail the various styles used by royalty and nobility in Europe, in the final form arrived at in the nineteenth century. In earlier years, many different styles were used, with little standardization. Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are or were properly addressed.


Imperial, Royal, and Princely Styles

Emperors and Empresses had the style of Imperial Majesty (HIM=His or Her Imperial Majesty)

Members of imperial families, generally had the style of Imperial Highness (HIH).

  • In Austria, the members of the Imperial family, due to their status as also members of the royal family of Hungary, held the style of Imperial and Royal Highness (HI&RH).
  • In Russia, children and male-line grandchildren of the Emperor had the style of Imperial Highness (HIH). Male-line great-grandchildren held the style of Highness (HH). Also, the eldest son of any HH Prince of Russia held the title HH Prince of Russia. All other male-line descendants held the style Serene Highness (HSH).

Kings and Queens have the style of Majesty (HM)

Members of royal families (Princes and Princesses) generally have the style of Royal Highness (HRH), although in some royal families (for instance, Denmark), more junior princes and princesses only bear the style of His or Her Highness (HH)

Members of reigning princely families are styled Serene Highness (HSH).

Reigning Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses hold the style of Royal Highness (HRH).

The styles of members of Grand Ducal families has been inconsistent. In Luxembourg, more senior members of the family have also been Royal Highnesses, but only due to their status as princes of Bourbon of Parma. In Baden and Hesse and the Rhine, junior members held the style of Grand Ducal Highness (HGDH). Members of other grand ducal families generally held the style of Highness (HH).

Reigning Dukes and Duchesses bore the style of Highness (HH), as did other members of ducal families.

The Elector of Hesse-Kassel also bore the style of Highness, as did other members of the Hesse-Kassel family.

Mediatized Dukes and reigning and mediatized Fürsten and Fürstinnen (princes and princesses) bear the style of Serene Higness (HSH, German Durchlaucht ), as do other members of princely families.

Mediatized Counts and Countesses bear the style of Illustrious Highness (German Erlaucht).

Noble Styles in Britain

  • Dukes and Duchesses in the peerages of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom bear the style of Grace, eg. "His Grace", "Your Grace". They are also known as Most Noble, although this style is largely archaic, except in the most formal situations.
  • Marquesses and Marchionesses bear the styles of The Most Honourable and Lordship (e.g. "His Lordship," "Her Ladyship," "Your Lordship," and "Your Ladyship.")

For more details, see Forms of Address in the United Kingdom

Noble Styles in Germany

Non-mediatized noble Dukes in Germany bear the style of Serene Highness (HSH) or High Born (Hochgeboren)

Non-mediatized noble Fürsten (princes) in Germany bear the styles of Serene Highness, Princely Grace (fürstliche Gnaden), or High Born

Other non-mediatized German nobles of the rank of count or higher bear the style of High Born

German nobles below the rank of count bear the style of High Well Born (Hochwohlgeboren)


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Last updated: 06-02-2005 17:26:52
Last updated: 08-19-2005 03:39:44