How to Address a Lord or Lady

Lord or Lady?   1, 2, 3, 4!

Being a ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is not a noble rank: it is an honorific used in conversation, or a salutation, with certain members of the nobility. To address a ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ in writing you need to more information.

—-#1) Find out the rank they hold:
—-—-(A) marquess/marchioness, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess, or baron/baroness
—-—-(B) A son, wife of a son or a daughter of a duke/duchess or a marquess/marchioness.

—-#2)  If (A) … once you are certain of the rank held by the individual check the form of address for the rank in the list just below “See these Related Posts.”.

—-#3) If (B) … the younger sons and daughters of a duke/duchess or marquess/marchioness are addressed in writing as ‘Lord/Lady (first and surname)’ and ‘Lord/Lady (first name)’ in a salutation or in conversation.

—-#4) If (B) … the wives of younger sons of a duke/duchess or marquess/marchioness are addressed in writing as ‘Lady (husband’s first and surname)’ and in a salutation or in conversation ‘Lady (husband’s first name)’ .

– Robert Hickey

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


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

Rock Royalty Meets Authentic Royalty?

I saw in the paper that Lady Gaga was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. Is Lady Gaga really a “Lady”?
———————–– New York Times Reader

Dear NYT-R:
Lady Gaga (“Poker Face,” “Just Dance,” “Paparazzi” … ) is not a Lady in the way the British use the title. She is really Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta of the New York, New York Germanottas. Formally one would address her as Ms. Germanotta, although I admit probably no one does.

A Lady in the U.K. use of the honorific would be a woman #1) holding the rank of Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, or Baroness …  #2) be the wife of a man holding one of those noble ranks … #3) or be married to a Baronet or Knight#4) or be a Life Peeress in her own right.

It seems unlikely that Stefani Germanotta is any of those. But the photo in the New York Times made it look as though she delivered a very dignified performance when she was presented to Her Majesty.

— Robert Hickey


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”