Brit Royalty: what's the difference between "Serene Highness" and "Royal Highness?"

See query. (The hed kind of reads like it is addressed to Brit Royalty, as many OPs do calling physicists, etc., for help in GQ. However, although of course they are also invited, posts from ho polloi are not unwelcome.)

Something to do with a catty remark attributed to Princess Margaret, but that’s all I can remember.

That’s a meaningless question, in the sense that no British royal is styled ‘Serene Highness’.

There was a time when some members of the extended British Royal Family had the German style of Durchlaucht, which was conventionally translated in English as ‘Serene Highness’ and which was officially recognised as their style in Britain. Examples would be Prince Philip’s mother before her marriage or her brother, the future Earl Mountbatten. But these were replaced with British titles by George V during the First World War.

Of course, there are some European royals, such those of Liechtenstein and Monaco, who are still ‘Serene Highnesses’ and whom some other royals, including quite possibly the late Princess Margaret, view as being not quite the real thing.

A “Royal Highness” outranks a “Serene Highness”.

Close relatives of a king are Royal Highness. Close relatives of a prince (like Monaco or Lichtenstein) are Serene Highness. In the ancien regime in France, some of the more distant relatives of the king were Serene Highness. Also some the dukes and grand dukes of the German Empire.

The grand-ducal family of Luxembourg are Royal Highnesses, not because they possess Luxembourg, but because they are the heirs to the Kingdom of Etruria.

Sorry, but the *ho *polloi are always unwelcome in formal scenarios.

Unless and until they marry into royalty. But then they haven’t usually become Highnesses.

Her Reposing Horizontalness.

Mary of Teck, the future King George V of Great Britain’s wife, was born to Francis, Duke of Teck (named after a castle in Swabia in what is now Germany), and his wife Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge. She was a Serene Highness from her birth in 1867 until she married George, at that time Duke of York, in 1893, at which time she acquired the British style of Her Royal Highness.

What an extraordinary idea. The Windsors whose dubious claim to royalty lies in their Guelphic connection to the ex-Hannoverian crown, are mere Trumplike upstarts compared to continental royalty.
And the late Princess Margaret was the most vulgar member of that undistinguished family.

You mean the continental royalty which is largely blood cousins, through their common great-to-the-nth grandmother Queen Victoria? Her son is counted as the beginning of the Windsor house. (Retroactively in that case – Edward VI had died 7 years earlier, but the Royal Proclamation creating the House of Windsor stated that all British descendants of Victoria and Albert in the male line would be Windsors, not Saxe-Coburg-Gothas.)

If I’m missing your point, I apologize, but if your point is that somehow the House of Windsor was inferior to any royal house on the continent, you do so overlooking the fact that they’re related to most of them.

Of course they are, they edged in, but they are not royalty ab initio as it were: they were placed on the throne by traitors as complaisant obedient figureheads, and to get to a wretch foul enough to take this corrupt bargain the traitors had to be refused by over 60 others nearer in line.
As for old Vicky, that is not very long ago: most Euro royalty is also related to Charles V HRE or Karl the Great or Henry IV HRE, she herself was of no more importance than a Bonaparte.

Their current claim to royalty is rather more substantial than “dubious.”

Their current claim to royalty is rather less than dubious.

The last really dubious succession was in, what, 1714?

Whatever happened to “Her Britannic Majesty”?

Still used in passport wording: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”

With the fall of various monarchies, it wasn’t needed anymore to differentiate from other monarchies in formal documents, like His Most Christian Majesty ( King of France), His Apostolic Majesty ( King of Hungary), and His Most Faithful Majesty (King of Portugal).

The King of Spain is back in business, but apparently Juan Carlos didn’t use the title of His Most Catholic Majesty.

But they have sometimes used a similar style. See the Preamble to the Treaty of Paris 1763:

While the title is held by every Regnant of Spain since Isabel I of Castille and Fernando II of Aragon, it tends to be reserved for them in general use and therefore gets trotted out only ocasionally and sparingly. You’re more likely to hear it from a bishop adressing the regnant than to see it in an official document. It’s also been used on occasion by a regnant who wanted to cozy up to the Church, such as Fernando VII in his most conservative moments (dude changed policies, politics and favorites like other people change underwear).

Edward VII.

Was only ever used (and is still used) in diplomatic/international relations contexts, where it’s necessary or helpful to distinguish one majesty from another, or at least politic to acknowledge that other majesties do exist. It has never been current in the domestic context, where His/Her Majesty can only ever mean One Thing.

:mad: I’m pretty sure I typed that correctly (i.e., made the correct number of the correct keystrokes), but this browser is dropping keystrokes like mad. But yes, VII. House of Windsor was backdated to Eddie VII.