Is "My Liege" still correct for addressing British Nobility & Royalty?

Since my experience of seeing English (UK, blah blah) royalty and nobility is limited to decades old BBC productions of Shakespeare, if I were to meet a noble or monarch of that Isle, would it be technically correct for me to address them as “My Liege?” That is what they do in Shakespeare; while I know it is not standard like “Your Majesty”, if I did “My Liege”, would I be meeting the minimum standard of addressing my betters? If not royalty, surely nobility?

Kings and queens are “Your Majesty”, the first time you address them, “Sir” or “Ma’am” subsequently.

Other royals are “Your Royal Highness” the first time, “Sir” or “Ma’am” afterwards.

By the way, with the royals, you are not supposed to speak until spoken to.

Non-royal dukes are “Your Grace” or “My Lord Duke” the first time.

I think most other Lords are “Milord” or “Milady”. Though I’m not 100% certain.

Look for a couple of books: Titles and Forms of Address, and Debrett’s Correct Form. They will tell you everything you need to know about addressing the toffs.

Do you owe them fealty or services?'s&word=Liege&quicksearch=on&sourceid=Mozilla-search

No, not correct and “My Liege” is short for “My Liege Lord” and implies you are talking to your fuedal superior.

He or she is NOT “[Your] Liege” unless you have a feudal relationship. Calling someone “my Liege” is acknowledging that you hold a title by debt of feudal service, and have taken an oath of fealty to that person as your liege lord.

So do (modern) knights still take oaths of fealty when they’re knighted? When Sir Ian McKellan and the Queen are hangng out, does McKellan address the Queen as “my leige”?

There are periodic threads like this in which an American assumes that Brits have to constantly worry about what they would say when they meet some member of the royal family or at least the aristocracy. You’re about as likely to meet a member of the royal family in the U.K. as you are to meet the President, the First Lady, or one of their children in the U.S. They are normally kept from the public except in formal circumstances, and there it will be made clear how you should address them. If you should end up meeting them in some less formal circumstance (for instance, if you should meet a child of the monarch at a public school, a university, or in the military as a friend), you would address them by some informal name. The same thing would be true of the aristocracy. If you should meet one of them at a party, they probably would be introduced to you by some name that wouldn’t even make it clear that they were part of the aristocracy. Only in formal circumstances is it necessary to use titles.

For that matter, most Brits never meet a member of the royal family or aristocracy. I’m not even sure if most Brits ever even meet someone with lesser honors. In three years living in England among smart and educated people, I only knew one such person. Years later he was made a CB.

Corny I know, but this sort of thing always reminds me of… “Rise as my vassal, and take your sword!”

Back when I hung out with the SCA, the protocol mavens were real sticklers about this. Only nobility and certain officers were allowed to swear fealty to the Crown, and only those who had would be allowed to use ‘My Liege.’ Though almost everyone, in fealty or not, just used ‘Your Majesty.’

I once heard a member of the royal retinue refer to the Queen of An Tir as ‘Her Madge.’

You may laugh, but it only took us Americans three years of living in London for my wife to meet (and have a nice chat with) the Queen; the wife has subsequently met Prince Charles and I’ve been in the presence of (i.e. was in the same room as but did not speak to) Her Maj twice in the past ten years. And we’re no one special. It happens. The royals get around a lot.

“Ma’am” (pronounced almost like “marm”) is the least contentious form of address in informal occasions.

I remember a short list of styles of proper address for various members of the nobility from an old D&D book; above a king and queen, of course, would be an emperor or empress, for whom the proper address given was, “Your Imperial Majesty.” Can’t remember most of the others, but the list went from “baron” through other levels such as “duke” and “viceroy” all the way up to “emperor”.

heh … I used to call him Ice Ice Baby … but then again I was camp mommy for him for Pennsic 25 =) and my champion at the time [and for several years] was in Bloodguard.

Given his propensity for pushing quack medical remedies (such as homeopathy and coffee enemas), it is considered correct to address Prince Charles as “Dumbass”.

I saw a 60 minutes segment about some Duke that was giving tours of his estate to raise money. After a few century’s of high living and estate taxes, the nobility’s wealth is running low.

It must be a little satisfying to address someone as My Lord working in a pastry shop. :wink:

I guess the family title remains even if they are shoveling manure for a living?

Yeah, that only applies to your boss.

I thought it was Dumbo because of the ears. :smiley:

Hey, I remember that list! I think it was in the Companion Set.

All I remember from it is that while a duke was “your grace”, an archduke was “your highness”, for some reason.

The last-before-the-current Lord Nelson was a police sergeant.

Another peer who inherited a title in later life was an Australian cattle farmer.

The writer and humourist Patrick Campbell was Lord Glenarvy, though he never used the title.

Conservative MP Michael Ancram is the Marquis of Lothian, although you would never guess it from his website.

I wouldn’t give that source too much credence. Gary Gygax was American, after all, and D&D was set in a fantasy world, not in the U.K.

You want proper forms of address for members of the British nobility? Here’s your proper forms of address for members of the British nobility.

Ya gotcher Dukes, yer Dukes’ wives (Duchesses), yer Dukes’ mothers (Dowager Duchesses), yer Dukes’ eldest sons, yer Dukes’ younger sons, yer Dukes’ unmarried daughters, yer Dukes’ daughters-in-law and sons-in-law, and a whole separate table for yer Dukes’ married daughters depending on the title of the guy they’re married to! Ha ha ha ha, wot larks, eh?

Then ya gotcher Marquesses, yer Marquesses’ wives (Marchionesses) and so on, and the whole bloody thing over again for Earls and Viscounts and Barons and Baronets! Yippeee!

My fellow Americans, I earnestly counsel you, do not try to learn this stuff. We fought two wars so we wouldn’t have to learn this stuff, although we pretended it was about taxation and George III and expansion of territory and all those more respectable-sounding reasons. On the rare occasions that you would actually have to know how to address a member of the nobility nowadays, you can look it up in advance.