How to Address a Duke or Duchess

See also Royal Duke or Duchess
See also Dowager Duchess

Duke | Duchess

—-—-Duke of Abercorn
—-—-Duke of Argyll
—-—-Duke of Beaufort

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email::
—-—-His/Her Grace
—-—-The Duke/Duchess of (place)

—-—-Their Graces
—-—-The Duke and Duchess of (place)

—-—-My Lord Duke:
—-—-Dear Duke/Duchess of (place):
—-—-Dear Duke/Duchess:

—-—-Your Grace

— Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

Royal Duke

—-—-The Duke of Cambridge
—-—-The Duke of York

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email:
—-—-His Royal Highness
—-—-The Duke of (place)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Your Royal Highness:

—-Conversation, initially:
—-—-Your Royal Highness

—-Conversation, subsequently:

Duke Duchess

Royal Duchess

—-—-The Duchess of Cambridge
—-—-The Duchess of Cornwall

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email::
—-—-Her Royal Highness
—-—-The Duchess of (place)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Your Royal Highness:

—-Conversation, initially:
—-—-Your Royal Highness

—-Conversation, subsequently:

Duke Duchess

Royal Duke and Duchess

—-—-Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

—-Envelope or address block on letter or email::
—-—-Their Royal Highnesses
—-—-The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Your Royal Highnesses:

— Robert Hickey

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address a Dowager?

Duchess, Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess or Baroness



Does one address a Dowager as one would the nobleman’s wife? I am a minister and have a Dowager in my parish. Do you think Duchess (first name) or Dear Duchess of (Somewhere), more suitable? How to address a dowager?
— D.W.

Dear D.W.
British style guides suggest in oral conversation with a duchess you use: Your Grace
—-—-In a salutation: Dear Duchess:

The style guides further suggest in oral conversation with a marchioness, countess, viscountess or baroness you use: Lady (Name):  where (Name) is the name of the marquessate, earldom, viscountcy, or barony.
—-—-In a salutation with a marchioness: My Madam: or Dear Lady:
—-—-With a countess, viscountess or baroness: Dear Lady:

But there is a difference is how one ‘describes’ the d0wager or addresses the dowager in writing.  This is determined by how the individual dowager styles herself.

In writing – on an envelope or in full introduction – style books present two ways. These formulas works for duchess, marchioness, countess, viscountess and baroness:

Formula #1 …. The Dowager (Full Title)
—-—-Example: The Dowager Duchess (of Place)

—-Formula #2 …. (Name), (Complete name of rank)
—-—-Example: Mary, Duchess (of Place)
—-—-—-Which is the form the dowager Duchess of Devonshire who died in 2014 used:
—-—-—-—-Deborah Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire

To be certain which formula this dowager prefers, see if she has a personal secretary who can advise which style the individual prefers.

— Robert Hickey  How to address a dowager?

See these Related Posts:
—-Knight/Dame—-Noble Titles: Social Use Only


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”