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Ranks of Nobility
Coronet of an earl
Emperor & Empress
King & Queen
Archduke & Archduchess
Grand Duke & Grand Duchess
Duke & Duchess
Prince & Princess
Infante & Infanta
Marquess & Marchioness
Marquis & Marquise
Margrave & Margravine
Count & Countess
Earl & Countess

Viscount & Viscountess
Baron & Baroness
Baronet & Baronetess
Nobile, Edler von, panek
Ritter, Erfridder
Hereditary Knight
Black Knight, White Knight, Green Knight
Knight & Dame

Traditional rank amongst European royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and between geographic regions (for example, one region's prince might be equal to another's grand duke), the following is a fairly comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences.

Contents

Ranks and Titles

Sovereign

See also Monarch

  • generally used titles
  • specific to one or a few realms
    • Pope ( also "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and Vicar of Christ"); the Pope is also the absolute ruler of the sovereign state The Vatican City
    • Tsar (or Czar) in Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Croatian, derives from Caesar, i.e. Emperor; meant to claim the imperial dignity in its Russian and Bulgarian usages
    • Maharajah, in India, Nepal, (et cetera) "Maha" a prefix meaning highest, and "Rajah" meaning king, hence "highest king", Emperor
    • Shahanshah, Shah of Shahs, hence Emperor
    • Khakhan, Khan of Khans, hence Emperor
    • Padishah, Sultan, Hunkar a Turkish(ottoman) title, rules[1] a sultanate
    • Emir, an Arabic title, rules an emirate
    • Caliph, ruling a caliphate is an Islamic title indicating the successor to Muhammad, who is both a religious and a secular leader
    • Rajah, In India, Nepal,(et cetera), title used for denoting the ruler of a kingdom
    • Shah, in Iran (Persia), referring to the Shahanshah (Emperor)
    • Khan (Mongol, or Turkic) rules a khanate (mainly Central Asian, but also existed in Mongol/Turkic territory in Russia, Ukraine, the Crimea, the Middle East centered around present-day Iran, and parts of India)
    • Yang di-Pertuan Agong, in Malaysia for the King, mean "He who is made great lord"
    • Tunku or Tengku, in Malaysia for princes and princesses of the nine states with Royal Families
    • High King, used in Gaelic and Hellenic culture to designate one who ruled over lesser kings
    • Archduke, before 1806 the title of the ruler of the archduchy of Austria

Sovereign or Noble

Several ranks were widely used (for more than a thousand years in Europe alone) for both sovereign rulers and non-sovereigns. Additional knowledge about the territory (and period in history) is required to know whether the rank holder was a sovereign or non-sovereign. However joint precedence among rank holders often greatly depended on wether a rank holder was sovereign, whether of the same rank or not. This situation was most widely exemplified by the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) in Europe. Almost all of the following ranks were commonly both sovereign and non-sovereign within the HRE. Outside of the HRE the most common sovereign rank of these below was that of Prince. Within the HRE those holding the following ranks who were also sovereigns had (enjoyed) what was known as an immediate relationship with the Emperor. Those holding non-severeign ranks held only a mediate relationship (meaning that the civil hierarchy upwards was mediated by one or more intermediaries between the rank holder and the Emperor).

    • Grand Duke, ruling[1] a grand duchy
    • Grand Prince, a title primarily used in the medieval Russian principalities.
    • Archduke, ruling an archduchy; was generally only a sovereign rank when used by the rulers of Austria; it was also used by the Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire for members of the imperial family; it was also used for those ruling some Habsburg territories such as those that became the modern BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) nations
    • Duke, rules[1] a duchy[2], also for junior members of ducal and some grand ducal families
    • Prince, Prinz in German; junior members of a royal, ducal or princely family (the title of Fürst for heads of princely families and sometimes all members, e.g. Wrede)
      • In particular Crown Prince, Kronprinz in German, was reserved for the heir apparent of an emperor or king
    • Infante, title of the cadet members of the royal families of Portugal and Spain
    • Elector, Kurfürst in German, a rank for those who voted for the Holy Roman Emperor, usually sovereign of a state (e.g. the Margrave of Brandenburg, an elector, called the Elector of Brandenburg)
    • Marquess, Margrave, or Marquis was the ruler¹ of a marquessate, margraviate, or march
    • Landgrave, a German title, ruler of a landgraviate
    • Count, theoretically the ruler of a county; known as an Earl in modern Britain
    • Viscount (vice-count), theoretically the ruler of a viscounty or viscountcy
    • Freiherr, holder of an allodial barony – these are "higher" level of barons[citation needed]
    • Baron, theoretically the ruler of a barony – some barons in some countries may have been "free barons" (liber baro) and as such, regarded (themselves) as higher barons

Regarding the titles of duke and prince: in Germany, a sovereign duke (Herzog) outranks a sovereign prince (Fürst), but a royal cadet prince (Prinz) outranks a cadet duke of a ducal or grand ducal family. In the German nobility as well, being created a duke was a higher honour than being created a prince. The issue of a duke were sometimes styled as dukes or as princes; princely issue were styled as princes. In particular, the heir apparent to a certain title would usually append the prefix Erb- (hereditary) to their respective title, e.g. Erbherzog, Erbprinz, Erbgraf, Erbherr etc, to distinguish from their junior siblings.

Aristocratic

    • Baronet is a hereditary title ranking below Baron but above Knight
    • Nobile (aristocracy) is an Italian title of nobility ranking between that of a baron and a knight (equivalent of Baronet)
    • Dominus (title) Dominus was the Latin title of the feudal, superior and mesne, lords, and also an ecclesiastical and academical title (Equivalent of Lord)
    • Vidame, a minor French aristocrat
    • Fidalgo or Hidalgo, a minor Portuguese and Spanish aristocrat (respectively; from filho d'algo = filho d'alguém = son of someone [noble])
    • Seigneur or Knight of the Manor rules a smaller local fief
    • Knight is the basic rank of the aristocratic system
    • Jonkheer a title for prestigious Dutch families that never received a title, instead a new title was invented. Though these titles have no claim to a territory, city, or province in the Netherlands, they are basically claiming a good family name. A woman who holds this title is called a Jonkvrouw, though the wife of a Jonkheer is a Mevrouw or sometimes Freule, which could also be used by daughters of the same.
    • Esquire is a rank of gentry originally derived from Squire and indicating the status of an attendant to a knight or an apprentice knight; it ranked below Knight but above Gentleman[3]

In Germany, the actual rank of the holder of a title is, however, dependent on not only the title as such, but on for instance the degree of sovereignty and on the rank of the lord of the title-holder. But also such matters as the age of the princely dynasty play a role (Uradel, Briefadel, altfürstliche, neufürstliche, see: German nobility). Thus, any sovereign ruler is higher than any formerly sovereign, i.e. mediatized, family of any rank (thus, the Fürst of Waldeck, sovereign until 1918, was higher than the Duke of Arenberg, mediatized). Members of a formerly sovereign house rank higher than the regular nobility. Among the regular nobility, those whose titles derive from the Holy Roman Empire rank higher than those whose titles were granted by one of the German princes after 1806, no matter what title was held.

In Austria, nobility titles may no longer be used since 1918.[4]

In Germany, the constitution of the Weimar Republic in 1919 abolished nobility and all nobility titles. They are now merely part of the family name, and there is no more right to the traditional forms of address (e.g., "Hoheit" or "Durchlaucht"). The last title was conferred on 12 November 1918 to Kurt von Klefeld.

In Switzerland, nobility titles are prohibited and are not recognized as part of the family name.

General chart of "translations" between languages

Below is a comparative table of corresponding royal and noble titles in various European countries. Quite often, a Latin 3rd declension noun formed a distinctive feminine title by adding -issa to its base, but usually the 3rd declension noun was used for both male and female nobles, except for Imperator and Rex. 3rd declension nouns are italicized in this chart. See Royal and noble styles to learn how to address holders of these titles properly.

English French Italian Spanish German Dutch Norwegian Swedish Czech Slovak Finnish[5] Polish[6] Russian Danish Greek Portuguese[7] Slovene Welsh Latin[8] Turkish Maltese
Emperor,
Empress
Empereur,
Imperatrice
Imperatore,
Imperatrice
Emperador,
Emperatriz
Kaiser,
Kaiserin
Keizer,
Keizerin
Keiser,
Keiserinne
Kejsare,
Kejsarinna
Císař,
Císařovna
Cisár,
Cisárovná
Keisari,
Keisarinna (or Keisaritar, obsolete)
Cesarz,
Cesarzowa
Imperator/Tsar,
Imperatritsa/Tsaritsa
Kejser,
Kejserinde
Aftokrator,
Aftokratira
Imperador,
Imperatriz
Cesar,
Cesarica
Ymerawdwr,
Ymerodres
Imperator/Caesar,
Imperatrix/Caesarina
İmparator,
İmparatoriçe
Imperatur,
Imperatriċi
King,
Queen
Roi,
Reine
Re,
Regina
Rey,
Reina
König,
Königin
Koning,
Koningin
Konge,
Dronning
Kung,
Drottning
Král,
Královna
Kráľ,
Kráľovná
Kuningas,
Kuningatar
Król,
Królowa
Koról,
Koroléva
Konge
Dronning
Vasilefs,
Vasilissa
Rei,
Rainha
Kralj,
Kraljica
Brenin,
Brenhines
Rex,
Regina
Kral,
Kraliçe
Re,
Reġina
Grand Duke/Grand Prince,
Grand Duchess/Grand Princess
Grand Duc,
Grande Duchesse
Granduca,
Granduchessa
Gran Duque,
Gran Duquesa
Großherzog/Großfürst,
Großherzogin/Großfürstin
Groothertog,
Groothertogin
Storhertug,
Storhertuginne
Storfurste,
Storfurstinna
Velkovévoda,
Velkovévodkyně
Veľkovojvoda,
Veľkovojvodkyňa
Suuriruhtinas,
Suuriruhtinatar
Wielki Książę,
Wielka Księżna
Velikiy Knyaz,
Velikaya Kniagina
Storhertug,
Storhertuginde
Megas Doux, Megali Doukissa Grão-Duque,
Grã-Duquesa
Veliki vojvoda,
Velika vojvodinja
Archddug,
Archdduges
Magnus Dux/ Magnus Princeps,
magna ducissa, magna principissa
Grandük,
Grandüşes
Gran Duka,
Gran Dukessa
Archduke,
Archduchess
Archiduc, Archiduchesse Arciduca,
Arciduchessa
Archiduque,
Archiduquesa
Erzherzog,
Erzherzogin
Aartshertog,
Aartshertogin 
Erkehertug,
Erkehertuginne
Ärkehertig,
ärkehertiginna
Arcivévoda,
Arcivévodkyně
Arcivojvoda,
Arcivojvodkyňa
Arkkiherttua,
Arkkiherttuatar
Arcyksiążę
Arcyksiężna
Ertsgertsog,
Ertsgertsoginya
Ærke Hertug,
Ærke Hertuginde
Archidoux, Archidoukissa Arquiduque,
Arquiduquesa;
Nadvojvoda,
Nadvojvodinja
Archddug,
Archdduges
Archidux,
archiducissa
Arşidük,
Arşidüşes
Arċiduka,
Arċidukessa
(Prince)-Elector,
Electress
Prince-électeur,
Princesse-électrice
Principe Elettore,
Principessa Elettrice
Príncipe Elector,
Princesa Electora;
Kurfürst,
Kurfürstin
Keurvorst,
Keurvorstin
Kurfyrste,
Kurfyrstinne
Kurfurste
Kurfurstinna
Kurfiřt
Kurfirst/Knieža voliteľ/Knieža volič
Vaaliruhtinas,
Vaaliruhtinatar
Książę Elektor,
Księżna Elektorowa
Kurfyurst,
Kurfyurstina
Kurfyrste,
Kurfystinde
Pringkips-Eklektor
Pringkipissa-Eklektorissa
Príncipe-Eleitor,
Princesa-Eleitora;
Volilni knez,
Volilna kneginja
  Princeps Elector Veliaht Prens,
Veliaht Prenses
Prinċep Elettur,
Prinċipessa Elettriċi
Prince[9],
Princess
Prince[9],
Princesse
Principe[9],
Principessa
Príncipe[9],
Princesa
Prinz/Fürst,
Prinzessin/Fürstin[10]
Prins/Vorst,
Prinses/Vorstin
Prins/Fyrste,
Prinsesse/fyrstinne
Prins/Furste,
Prinsessa/Furstinna[11]
Kníže,
Kněžna10
Knieža,
Kňažná
Prinssi/Ruhtinas,
Prinsessa/Ruhtinatar[11]
Książę,
Księżna
Kniaz/Gertsog,
Kniagina/Gertsoginya[12]
Prins/Fyrste
Prinsesse/Fyrstinde
Pringkips
Pringkipissa
Príncipe,
Princesa
Knez,
Kneginja
Tywysog,
Tywysoges
Princeps,
principissa
Prens,
Prenses
Prinċep,
Prinċipessa
Duke,
Duchess
Duc,
Duchesse
Duca,
Duchessa
Duque,
Duquesa
Herzog,
Herzogin
Hertog,
Hertogin
Hertug,
Hertuginne
Hertig,
hertiginna
Vévoda,
Vévodkyně
Vojovda,
Vojvodkyňa
Herttua,
Herttuatar
Diuk (Książę),
(Księżna)
Hertug
Hertuginde
Doukas/archon
Doux/archontissa
Duque,
Duquesa
Vojvoda,
Vojvodinja
Dug,
Duges
Dux,
ducissa
Dük,
Düşes
Duka,
Dukessa
Marquess/Margrave,
Marchioness/Margravine
Marquis,
Marquise
Marchese,
Marchesa
Marqués,
Marquesa
Markgraf[13],
Markgräfin
Markies/Markgraaf,
Markiezin/Markgravin
Marki,
Markise
Markis/markgreve,
markisinna/markgrevinna[11]
Markýz/Markrabě[14] Markíz,
Markíza
Markiisi/rajakreivi,
Markiisitar/rajakreivitär
Markiz/Margrabia,
Markiza/Margrabina
Markiz,
Markiza
,
Boyar,
Boyarina[12]
Markis,
Markise
Markissios,
Markissia
Marquês,
Marquesa
Markiz,
Markiza
Marcwis/Ardalydd,
Ardalyddes
Marchio,
marchionissa
Marki,
Markiz
Markiż,
Markiża
Earl / Count,
Countess
Comte,
Comtesse
Conte,
Contessa
Conde,
Condesa
Graf,
Gräfin
Graaf,
Gravin
Jarl / Greve,
Grevinne
Greve,
Grevinna
Hrabě,
Hraběnka
Gróf,
Grófka
Kreivi/(brit:)jaarli,
Kreivitär[11]
Hrabia,
Hrabina
Graf,
Grafinya[12]
Greve
Grevinde, Komtesse
Komis,
Komissa
Conde,
Condessa[15]
Grof,
Grofica
Iarll/Cownt,
Iarlles/Cowntes
Comes,
comitissa
Kont,
Kontes
Konti,
Kontessa
Viscount,
Viscountess
Vicomte,
Vicomtesse
Visconte,
Viscontessa
Vizconde,
Vizcondesa
Vizegraf,
Vizegräfin
Burggraaf,
Burggravin
Vikomte,
Visegrevinne
Vicegreve,
vicegrevinna
Vikomt Vikomt,
Vikontesa
Varakreivi,
Varakreivitär
Wicehrabia,
Wicehrabina
Vikont,
Vikontessa
Vicegreve,
Vicegrevinde/Vicekomtesse
Ypokomis, Ypokomissa Visconde,
Viscondessa
Vikont,
Vikontinja
Iarll,
Iarlles
Vicecomes,
vicecomitissa
Vikont,
Vikontes
Viskonti,
Viskontessa
Baron,
Baroness
Baron,
Baronne
Barone,
Baronessa
Barón,
Baronesa
Baron, Herr,
Baronin, Frau
Baron,
Barones(se)
Baron,
Baronesse
Baron, Herre,
Baronessa, Fru
Baron,
Baronka
Barón,
Barónka
Paroni, Herra,
Paronitar, Rouva/ Herratar[11]
Baron,
Baronowa
Baron,
Baronessa
Baron,
Baronesse
Varonos,
Varoni
Barão,
Baronesa
Baron,
Baronica
Barwn,
Barwnes
Baro,
baronissa
Baron,
Barones
Baruni,
Barunessa
Baronet[16]
Baronetess
Baronnet Nobile / Nob., Baronetto Baronet Edler,
Edle
Erfridder     Baronet   Baronetti, "Herra" (=fiefholder),
Herratar
Baronet Baronet Baronet,
Baronetesse
Baronetos, Baroneta Baronete,
Baronetesa;
Baronet,
Baronetinja
Barwnig,
Barwniges
  Baronet,
Baronetes
Barunett
Knight[17] Chevalier Cavaliere Caballero Ritter Ridder Ridder Riddare/ Frälseman,
Fru[11]
Rytíř Rytier Aatelinen/Ritari[11]
style of wife: Rouva
Rycerz/ Kawaler Rytsar Ridder Hippotis Cavaleiro Vitez Marchog Eques Şövalye Kavallier

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Loss of sovereignty or fief does not necessarily lead to loss of title. The position in the ranking table is however accordingly adjusted. The occurrence of fiefs has changed from time to time, and from country to country. For instance, dukes in England rarely had a duchy to rule.
  2. ^ Dukes who are not actually or formerly sovereign, such as all British, French, and Spanish dukes, or who are not sons of sovereigns, as titulary dukes in many other countries, should be considered nobles ranking above marquess.
  3. ^ The meaning of the title Esquire became (and is now) quite diffuse and may indicate anything from no aristocratic status, to some official government civil appointment, or (more historically) the son of a knight or noble who had no other title above just Gentleman.
  4. ^ Austrian law on noble titles
  5. ^ Finland accorded the noble ranks of Ruhtinas, Kreivi, Vapaaherra and Aatelinen. The titles Suurherttua, Arkkiherttua, Vaaliruhtinas, Prinssi, Markiisi, Jaarli, Varakreivi, Paroni, and Baronetti were not granted in Finland, though they are used of foreign titleholders. Keisari, Kuningas, Suuriruhtinas, Prinssi, and Herttua have been used as official titles of members of the dynasties that ruled Finland, though not granted as titles of nobility. Some feudally-based privileges in landowning, connected to nobily related lordship, existed into the nineteenth century; and fiefs were common in the late medieval and early modern eras. The title Ritari was not commonly used except in the context of knightly orders. The lowest, untitled level of hereditary nobility was that of the "Aatelinen" (i.e. "noble").
  6. ^ In keeping with the principle of equality among noblemen, no noble titles (with few exceptions) below that of prince were allowed in Poland. The titles in italics are simply Polish translations of western titles which were granted to some Polish nobles by foreign monarchs, especially after the partitions. Instead of heraditory titles, the Polish nobility developed and used a set of titles based on offices held. See "szlachta" for more info on Polish nobility.
  7. ^ Portuguese titles in italic are not used in Portugal
  8. ^ Latin titles are for etymological comparisons. They do not accurately reflect their medieval counterparts.
  9. ^ a b c d "Prince" (Prinz in German, Prins in Swedish, Prinssi in Finnish, "Principe" in Spanish) can also be a title of junior members of royal houses. In the British system, for example, prince is not a rank of nobility but a title held exclusively by members of the royal family.
  10. ^ In central Europe, the title of Fürst or kníže (e.g. Fürst von Liechtenstein) ranks below the title of a duke (e.g. Duke of Brunswick). The title of Vizegraf was not used in German-speaking countries, and the titles of Ritter and Edler were not commonly used.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g No noble titles were granted after 1906 when the unicameral legislatures (Eduskunta, Riksdag) were established, removing the constitutional status of the so-called First Estate, though noble ranks were granted in Finland until 1917 (there, the lowest, untitled level of hereditary nobility was "Aatelinen", or "noble"; it was in essence a rank, not a title).
  12. ^ a b c For domestic Russian nobility, only the titles Kniaz and Boyar were used before the 18th century, when Graf was added.
  13. ^ In the German system by rank approximately equal to Landgraf and Pfalzgraf.
  14. ^ The title Markýz was not used in Bohemia and thus referred only to foreign nobility, while the title Markrabě (the same as the German Markgraf) is connected only to a few historical territories (including the former marches on the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, or Moravia).
  15. ^ In Portugal, a baron or viscount who was a "grandee of the kingdom" (Portuguese: Grandes do Reino) was called a "baron with grandness" (Portuguese: Barão com Grandeza) or "viscount with grandness" (Portuguese: Visconde com Grandeza); each of these grandees was ranked as equal to a count.
  16. ^ Does not confer nobility in the British system.
  17. ^ Non-hereditary. Does not confer nobility in the British system. See also squire and esquire

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