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Is "Sir" a title of nobility?

royal titles nobility noble titles British titles royalty Sir Knights

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#1 reborrell

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 10:22 AM

I've come across several people listed as "Sir".  Are these titles of nobility.

 

Are there "Royal" titles and "Noble" titles?

 

Would you classify these as "Royal"?


  • King, Queen
  • Prince, Princess
  • Duke, Duchess
  • Marquess, Marchioness
  • Earl, Countess
  • Viscount, Viscountess
  • Baron, Baroness

 

How about Knights?  Many are listed as "Sir Knight".  Is that a title of nobility?

 

How about "Lord" and other titles?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Does anyone create separate "Fact Types" for Kings, Queens, Prince, Princess, etc or just use one fact type such as the standard "Title (Nobility)?

 

 



#2 mjashby

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 01:56 PM

Unfortunately. the 'answer' to your question is far from straightforward.

 

A useful introduction to start developing an understanding is: https://en.wikipedia...ritish_nobility

 

'Sir' implies that the person is/was either a Baronet or had/has a Knighthood which might be hereditary, but also might be an award for specific 'services' rendered, e.g. Sir Paul McCartney (Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE) is definitely not royalty but he was awarded a lifetime Knighthood, which cannot be passed on to any of his descendants. Similarly, Sir Bob Geldof was awarded the 'honorary' title Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his charity work - The title is honorary because he is not British but a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. The situation is also similar for Barons/Baronesses, e.g. the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was awarded a life peerage after she 'retired' from her role as a Member of Parliament, becoming Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords (Full Name/Title Honours was: Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness ThatcherLGOMDStJPCFRSHonFRSC.


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#3 reborrell

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 03:03 PM

I agree.  It's complicated.

 

Would you agree these are "Royal" titles?

  • King, Queen
  • Prince, Princess
  • Duke, Duchess
  • Marquess, Marchioness
  • Earl, Countess
  • Viscount, Viscountess
  • Baron, Baroness

and that all the others are non-Royal?  What should we call the non-royal titles as a group?



#4 KFN

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:29 PM

My understanding, historically, is that “sir” is a shortened version of or relates to the title sire as in the “a man who has people working for him, especially servants or slaves”. That in the beginning “landed” men were all Sire, when someone was given the land by the king they became “Sire” to those who were “of the land”. Sire was also used when addressing nobility.

In other cases Sir also refered to Monsieur or Master as a man of “standing” a title that is in use today. The female equvalate of Sir is Dame.

#5 KFN

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:34 PM

A Duke does not necessarily have to come from the royal family, but they would be of Nobility. Nobility is not alway Royal but a Royal is a Noble.

#6 Don Newcomb

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 11:53 AM

Be aware that many answers are anglocentric.  Things are very different in different countries. In much of Germany, princes were not necessarily royal. In Spain, all Basques were considered, by default, to be hidalgo (petty nobility). The whole list will make your head swim.