Author Topic: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address  (Read 115414 times)

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Offline MarshallHowell

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #240 on: May 05, 2010, 01:53:47 PM »
I read somewhere that the Imperial Children were sometimes jokingly referred to as "tsardines". Outside of the palace of course. :)

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #241 on: May 09, 2010, 05:22:40 PM »
:-)

I have an acquaintance who is the member of a royal house. While she would never say so directly to a person, if anyone calls her "Princess" I am given to understand that this is a name best reserved for a spoiled cat. It is quite acceptable to call her by her first name when not in public, but where others can hear, it's "Your -- Highness". Period.

What about adressing the person in the third person with the title in the definite case, as in French "Puis-je offrir la princesse du thé ?"
This is how royals are adressed in Scandinavia in situations where the official styles of Your Majesty or Your (Royal) Highness would be to cumbersome or repetitive, i.e. cognate with English usage of "Ma'am" and "Sir". Or would it rather be "Puis-je offrir madame la princesse du thé ?"?

I now have a vision of some poor soldier, faced with an officer he's never seen before, having to make an instant decision on whether this gentleman is an 'ordinary' Captain in the Guards and so 'your High Nobility' or in fact a Rurikkid prince and so 'your Illustriousness.'

One hopes that if Trooper Ivanov gets it wrong, the princely officer will not say 'Don't you know who I am?' and throw a hissy fit, but instead say something like, 'I am Prince So-and-So. In future you should call me your Illustriousness.'

So is this a rule? Did the styles Светлость and Сиятельство always trump the adress of the service ranks, even Excellency? Were princes and counts who were generals thus invariably adressed as Your Illustriousness instead of Your Excellency, or as one thing on duty and another way off-duty?

What about barons? I gather that господин Барон, Mister Baron, was the official style for Russian barons, even though they often, out of societal nicety, were styled Ваше высокородие, Your Highbornness (the adress below Excellency in the Table of Ranks.) How were barons in the lower service ranks adressed?

And what about plain hereditary nobles without service ranks? Were they plain господин, or Your Nobleness (in the likely event they had gradutated from high school and thus enjoyed service rank XIV) or did they enjoy a higher courtesy honorific?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 05:52:51 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #242 on: May 09, 2010, 06:45:49 PM »
Were Russian morganauts like the Counts and Countesses Osternburg, Zarnekau, Merenberg, Hohenfelsen etc. styled Сиятельство, just like Russian Counts, even though they were created by German sovereigns like the Grand Duke of Oldenburg, the Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and the Prince-Regent of Bavaria? (And thus probably actually technically held the lesser style of Hochgeboren, высокородие, like non-mediatized German counts.)


And of course there is this question, which recently popped up in Mandie's fan fiction story "Lizya & Georgie ~ Love, Power and Tragedy" in the Having Fun section:
NB the dramatis personæ are a young Russian grand duchess and a young Bavarian prince:
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“Sie sprechen Deutsch, Herzogin (You speak German, Duchess)?” Georgie informally asked in his native tongue. (And a very stupid question too! - Tom added).
I understand that the "Duchess" in question is a Russian Grand Duchess? In that case she is Großfürstin (Grand Princess) in German. I think that to a certain extent social equals can adress each other with titles in German as in Russian, but in German I have a feeling this is restricted to lower titles like Gräfin, Countess, i.e. the ones where the titles usually is preferred to the more uncommon predicate. But I think it would be more usual to add, à la mode française, a Frau, or in the case of a young girl as here, Fräulein: "Sie sprechen Deutsch, Fräulein Großfürstin?" But I am not at all sure here - it is indeed a very interesting question: How did royals of equal age who didn't know each other intimately enough to use those well-known nicknames Ducky, Sandro, Vicky, Toria, Bertie, Nicky, Minny etc. really adress each other?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 06:50:53 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »

Offline Mandie, the Gothic Empress

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #243 on: May 10, 2010, 12:03:54 AM »
*blushes red* never again using any other language besides English for my story for now on.

Offline Mike

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #244 on: May 10, 2010, 01:16:40 AM »
Were princes and counts who were generals thus invariably adressed as Your Illustriousness instead of Your Excellency, or as one thing on duty and another way off-duty? 
They were always addressed according to their title rather than the service rank - provided such title was known to the second party. This also applied to titled non-general officers, but not to titled military school cadets or soldiers ("volunteers" who did a year-long compulsory service, usually in privileged Guards regiments).
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What about barons?
Barons were addressed according to their service rank  - Your Excellency etc.

Offline JacksonPearce

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #245 on: December 29, 2012, 09:53:51 PM »
Hi everyone--

Does anyone know what someone would be addressed as in the following circumstances?

A merchant addressing a wealthy woman? (essentially an Imperial Russia version of "ma'am" or "madame")
A female friend addressing a female friend of equal social status (the equivalent of "comrade" or just "friend")
Author of retold fairytales (SISTERS RED, SWEETLY, and FATHOMLESS), scandalous contemporary tales (PURITY), forbidden love stories (AS YOU WISH), and an upcoming historical fantasy series set in Imperial Russia.

Online Kalafrana

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #246 on: December 30, 2012, 04:51:37 AM »
A couple of suggestions here, not necessarily the only possibilities:

French was used a good deal in Imperial Russia, so the merchant could address the lady simply as Madame.

As I understand it, the given name alone is very intimate in Russian, and the name and patronymic are used much more generally, so two female friends of similar status would address one another as, say, Anna Arkadyevna and Daria Alexandrovna, and refer to mutual friends in the same fashion.

Ann 

Offline JacksonPearce

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #247 on: December 30, 2012, 01:28:57 PM »
Thank you! :)
Author of retold fairytales (SISTERS RED, SWEETLY, and FATHOMLESS), scandalous contemporary tales (PURITY), forbidden love stories (AS YOU WISH), and an upcoming historical fantasy series set in Imperial Russia.

Offline Превед

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #248 on: October 19, 2013, 05:05:39 PM »
Starshaya Dama (Mistress of the Robes)
старшая дама being a direct calque from Low German and Danish oldfrue, old / senior lady!

Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #249 on: November 17, 2013, 04:11:12 PM »
As I said, it may very well be that people addressed one another with titles rather than styles in Imperial Russia. But the distinction between the two is very definite, and has nothing to do with what era one happens to live.

Rather it has all to do with social class: An episode of "Downton Abbey" (whose story editor, Lady Fellowes of West Stafford is a niece of the last Earl Kitchener and Lady-in-Waiting to HRH Princess Michael of Kent) brings this up: Tom Branson, the former driver and widower of Lady Sibyl Crawley, adresses a house guest, the Dowager Duchess of Yeovil, as "Your Grace", but is told by the Dowager Countess of Grantham that now, as her social equal, he should adress her simply as "Duchess".
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 04:22:31 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Online Kalafrana

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #250 on: July 28, 2014, 10:46:10 AM »
Msge 242

Going back a long time, but nobody seems to have dealt with the final question - what would royal persons of similar age have called Nicholas etc if they didn't know them well enough to use their familiar names (Nicky etc)?

This is a bit of a guess, but how about 'Cousin Nicholas' to start with. Nicholas could then say, 'you're family, so please call me Nicky.'

Of course, there might be problems if the visitor was, say a Habsburg, and so not related, but doubtless things got sorted out.

The future Kaiser visited Russia in 1886, and Alexander III (his second cousin) was far from impressed with him. I wonder what he called Alexander  - uncle perhaps, though the age gap was only 14 years.

Offline Превед

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #251 on: July 28, 2014, 02:32:28 PM »
Yes, unresolved question somebody hopefully knows the answer to!

For practical pruposes these people had no surnames and it seems quite rude for them to use each other's first names, unless it was a clearly senior royal adressing a younger one.
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #252 on: July 28, 2014, 03:48:03 PM »
I read somewhere, I can't remember where, they always referred to each other as 'cousin' because as royalty they were part of that elite group and even if they weren't related by blood they still viewed each other as equals. Similar generations would call each other cousin while older generations were probably called aunt/uncle, again even if they weren't blood related.

But I might be confusing that with really old customs that were outdated by the time of Nicholas.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 04:03:52 PM by Maria Sisi »

Offline Превед

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #253 on: July 28, 2014, 04:02:46 PM »
I read somewhere, I can't remember where, they always referred to each other as 'cousin' because as royalty they were part of that elite group and even if they weren't related by blood they still viewed each other as equals. But I might be confusing that with really old customs that were outdated by the time of Nicholas.

You are right, at least with regard to writing. (And monarchs adressed each other as 'brother'.) Not sure if it applied orally too in the 19th century.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 04:05:54 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« Reply #254 on: July 28, 2014, 04:07:11 PM »
Of course reigning monarchs commanded enormous respect, even among royals, and were always adressed as "Your Majesty", Sire etc. by "royal strangers", perhaps except fellow monarchs, who adressed them as "dear brother", like in correspondence?

Not sure if Highnesses would adress each other as "Highness". Seems a bit artificial.

You responded before I got the chance to fully change my post. I realized it was kind of silly after I posted it.

As you said of course they always addressed each other with the respect of their positions. My current corrected post is probably closer to answering the question, sorry