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Basic Forms of Address

by Halima al-Rakkasa (September 2005)
with much quoting from Lord Christopher Thomas, Black Lion Principle Herald, Sept/05,
and in consultation with Morel Laurens, Argent Scroll

So, you want to talk to someone... How do you ask for them? When you get there, how do you address them? How do you address them in your follow-up note to them? What other ways might you address them that reflect their title, rank or status? This chart may help.

Award -about them- -to them- -written address- -opt. to them-
[none] milord/milady Name milord/milady milord/milady Name milord/milady Name
Award of Arms Lord/Lady Name Lord/Lady Name Lord/Lady Name my Lord/Lady
Grant of Arms: Goutte de Sang, Jambe de Lion His Lordship/Her Ladyship Name Lord/Lady Name the Honorable Lord/Lady Name Your Lord/Ladyship
Baron, Landed His Excellency Name, Baron of Land Your Excellency His Excellency Name, Baron of Land my Lord
The first Baron/ess of a Barony retains the title "Baron Land"; e.g. Baron Seagirt. Subsequent barons are "Baron of Seagirt" for their term of office.
Baroness, Landed Baroness - follow form for Baron
Baron, Court His Excellency Baron Name Your Excellency His Excellency Baron Name Baron Name
Baroness, Court Baroness - follow form for Baron
Award -about them- -to them- -written address- -opt. to them-
Patent of Arms: Orders of Chivalry, of the Laurel, of the Pelican
Knight Sir Name (f.) Dame Name
Master Of Arms, Laurel, Pelican Name, Master/Mistress in the Order of Master/Mistress Name Master/Mistress Name (f.) Dame Name
Royal Patent of Arms
Viscounties His Excellency, Viscount Name / Her Excellency, Viscountess Name Your Excellency
Counties His Excellency, Count Name Your Excellency
Her Excellency, Countess Name
Duchies His Grace, Duke Name Your Grace
Her Grace, Duchess Name
Award -about them- -to them- -written address- -opt. to them-
Royalty - Principality
Heirs to Principality Tanist Name
ban Tanist Name
Your Grace Lord Principality / Lady Principality
Prince/Princess His Highness, Prince Name / Her Highness, Princess Name Your Highness
Royalty - Kingdom
Crown Prince / Crown Princess His Royal Highness, Prince Name / Her Royal Highness, Princess Name Your Royal Highness
King/Queen His Majesty, King Name / Her Majesty, Queen Name Your Majesty
Note: It is always appropriate to use the term "my lord" or "my lady" when the person's title and/or rank is unknown to you; a noble will not be offended. You may also make a guess, and use a title that is probably higher than that they have been awarded; the noble in question will likely thank you for the compliment, and gently tell you their highest title or suggest the proper term to be used for them.

For sergeant, squire, cadet, protege, and apprentice, give the relationship: Name, sergeant to Baroness Goodfriend.

For those with multiple titles, use the highest or preferred title. For a further level of formality, add additional information such as "Duke Hammerhand Hitshard, Member of the Chivalry, Master of the Laurel, Hold of the Iron Chain, Baron of the Court of An Tir". To bump it up another notch: "His Grace Sir Hammerhand Hitshard, Duke of An Tir, Master of the Laurel, Hold of the Iron Chain, Baron of the Court of An Tir." These are especially nice for the opening and for the final round of a tourney, or on formal occasions. Otherwise, the shorter single title with name is appropriate.

For persona-specific alternative titles, check out http://www.sca.org/heraldry/titles.html