Royal and noble ranks  

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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
    • Emperor, King of kings (i.e other sovereigns), rules an empire
    • King, rules a kingdom (sovereign kings are ranked above vassal kings)
    • Duke, the ruler of a duchy, such as the princely states of the German and Holy Roman Empires
    • Prince, Fürst in German, ruling a principality
  • 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 Bulgarian, Serbian, 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
    • Kaiser, German rank, Emperor
    • Shahanshah, Shah of Shahs, hence Emperor
    • Khakhan, Khan of Khans, hence Emperor
    • Padishah, Sultan, Hunkar a Turkish (Ottoman) title, rules 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, etc., is a 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, is the king's title, and means "He who is made great lord"
    • Tunku or Tengku, in Malaysia, is the title 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
    • Grand Duke, ruling a grand duchy

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 whether 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-sovereign 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 Prince, ruling a grand principality; a title primarily used in the medieval Russian principalities; it was also used by the Romanovs of the Russian Empire for members of the imperial family
    • 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 a duchy, 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 baronsTemplate: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

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.

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 Polish Russian Danish Greek Portuguese Slovene Welsh Latin Turkish Maltese
Emperor,
Empress
Empereur,
Impératrice
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/Tsar,
Koroléva/Tsaritsa
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,
Princess
Prince,
Princesse
Principe,
Principessa
Príncipe,
Princesa
Prinz/Fürst,
Prinzessin/Fürstin
Prins/Vorst,
Prinses/Vorstin
Prins/Fyrste,
Prinsesse/fyrstinne
Prins/Furste,
Prinsessa/Furstinna
Kníže,
Kněžna10
Knieža,
Kňažná
Prinssi/Ruhtinas,
Prinsessa/Ruhtinatar
Książę,
Księżna
Kniaz/Gertsog,
Kniagina/Gertsoginya
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,
Markgräfin
Markies/Markgraaf,
Markiezin/Markgravin
Marki,
Markise
Markis/markgreve,
markisinna/markgrevinna
Markýz/Markrabě<ref name="markyz">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).</ref> Markíz,
Markíza
Markiisi/rajakreivi,
Markiisitar/rajakreivitär
Markiz/Margrabia,
Markiza/Margrabina
Markiz,
Markiza
,
Boyar,
Boyarina<ref name="russ" />
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<ref name="ohsix" />
Hrabia,
Hrabina
Graf,
Grafinya<ref name="russ" />
Greve
Grevinde, Komtesse
Komis,
Komissa
Conde,
Condessa
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
Baron,
Baronowa
Baron,
Baronessa
Baron,
Baronesse
Varonos,
Varoni
Barão,
Baronesa
Baron,
Baronica
Barwn,
Barwnes
Baro,
baronissa
Baron,
Barones
Baruni,
Barunessa
Baronet
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 Chevalier Cavaliere Caballero Ritter Ridder Ridder Riddare/ Frälseman,
Fru
Rytíř Rytier Aatelinen/Ritari
style of wife: Rouva
Rycerz/ Kawaler Rytsar Ridder Hippotis Cavaleiro Vitez Marchog Eques Şövalye Kavallier

See also





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