Would you call a prince, prince?

If you are in America that is. If a Prince of some foregin nation was here, and you ran into them, somehow, would you address them as “Prince”, or simply as their name, or Mr. something?

I had this conversation with my wife, while watching Syrania, and I wouldn’t call a prince, “prince” in my own country, especially not in a casual setting. Giving someone a title that smacks of superioty for doing nothing except being lucky enough to be born into the right family, just irks me.

Now, if I am a guest in their country the rules would be different. It would still irk me to do it, but I know in some countries not doing so could end you in jail… so not much choice there.

I suppose that in the unlikely case that you should run into royalty in a casual setting, you may call them whatever you like.

Personally, I would address them with their title if they preferred it, the same way I would address someone as Doctor if they preferred it. It costs me nothing, as I don’t see it as an acquiescence of their superiority. It’s simply the polite thing to do.

Hmm… I think it would annoy me, but I’d probably do it in a formal setting (following the advice of Ms. Manners, as I don’t know the proper salutation).

On the street, just walking up and meeting someone, “Bobo, this is Prince Charles. Your Highness, this is Bobo”, I’d probably shake his hand and say “Charles, pleased to meet you”

Just out of curiosity, if a random foreigner were introduced to the President, do you feel they owe him the courtesy of addressing him as such?

I do. As I would address a Prime Minister by his title as well. Titles like that, or Doctor etc…, are earned not given. Calling a foreign royal “Majesty” because of a fluke of birth is just more than I could take… not sure why, just couldn’t do it.

I probably have a problem with authority.

Whereas no one ever attained the position of President or Prime Minister primarily by being born to the right people?

But let me clarify that I’d be annoyed at calling Dubya OR Bubba “Mr. President”, and on the street would probably say “Bill” or “George”.

I’m a patriot and teach my Cub Scouts to honor our flag ‘n’ stuff, but the semi-reverent tone we are supposed to take with someone who should be viewed as no more than an elected representative annoys me. I certainly wouldn’t teach my Cubs this attitude, and if I met someone in my Cub Master uniform, that’d be a different story altogether.

“Prince” is a title, I’ve not much problem with it, but “royal highness” would come out in a sarcastic tone I’m afraid. “Your Majesty” is even worse. “Prince Charles” is no different (to my American ears) than “Prime Minister Tony”.

I suppose that some might feel as though they might be entitled to call the late Pope John Paul II by the name “John” or “Jack” so long as they were not a Catholic, but I would feel that the member of royalty (or any similar lofty position) is entitled to the respect that his position denotes, regardless of my opinion of how that position was reached.

Therefore, I’d call a foreign prince “Your Royal Highness” or “Your Highness” as his position warrants. And I’d have no doubt that he would do me the courtesy of calling me Mr. Ravenman.

Yeah, I’d probably call him Prince Whoever. It’s just the polite thing to do.

If he was being a major jerk, however, I might call him Mr. Whoever just to piss him off. In my book, rude treatment is something you have to earn.

The two times I’ve met Prince Edward, the protocol folks advised that we refer to him as “Your Highness” the first time, and “sir” thereafter.

I don’t think anyone is actually supposed to say “Nice to meet you, Prince.” That’s what he is, but it’s not what you call him.

I’d use whatever term it is that politeness requires, which I would have to look up in Miss Manners. No curtseying, though (which is also according to Miss M.).

I was being a little snarky, I’m sure Bush/Blair/Charles would call me “Mr. Optimist” and I would respond in kind. I cannot imagine me being in a situation where I would ever meet a pope in a casual setting, nor would I be more impressed with his popeness than I would any other elected official. I certainly couldn’t say “Father” or whatever, and I’d appreciate him not calling me “Son”.

As Northern Piper mentioned, “Sir” is perfectly workable - Providing he didn’t address me as “Bobo”. (Hell, I call the guy at the gas station “sir”).

Not something I’m going to worry about. Formal settings are dictated by firmly established rules, and these dudes aren’t going to be anywhere I’m likely to run into them.

Cool! This bolsters the point I was going to make… one does not just “run into” royalty. There really aren’t that many of them, and they’re pretty busy, so their time is fairly heavily scheduled; if you’re likely to meet them, everybody involved knows about it ahead of time and makes sure the accepted protocols are followed.

Kind of like meeting the President, rather than running into Elijah Wood at the supermarket.

If it turns out you’re likely to be so rude as to not use the proper title, your odds of meeting the royal go down considerably.

Northern Piper, do you happen to know if the British royalty has any protocols for address they like to follow in foreign countries?

I would likely ask how he wished to be addressed and probably address him in that fashion. If it ever comes up IRL, I’ll let you know what I did.

Well, if you go to the Protocol Office for the Government of Saskatchewan, there’s a downloadable booklet on all sorts of “Forms of Address”, including the Royal Family, which is used to address the various individuals when they’re in Saskatchewan.

[Note to Mods: hope this quotation comes under “fair use” - it’s from a booklet intended for public education, and this passage is just a small portion of the booklet.]

My wife’s circle of friends in college included Prince Albert of Monaco. She always called him “Al”.

(And no, I’m not just making a joke based on the Paul Simon song. She really did call him “Al”.)

Why would anyone want to be deliberately rude to someone based on what socioeconomic state he/she was born in? High or low?

Jesus, people, what the hell is wrong with simple good manners?

I know at least one knight, and while we were close enough that I never called him “Sir John,” I know people that started out the conversation/introduction/whatever with his title. He personally did not expect you to use it in conversation (he came into the title late in life, which may have made a difference).

How is it rude? I’m not calling him a name, I would call him/her Mr/Miss/Mrs, just not Prince or Majesty. They are not my royals, why treat them with anymore respect than I would the guy at the supermarket? It’s not like they earned the title. They did nothing to deserve it, at least the supermarket guy rang up my groceries!

So you’d be okay with a foreigner not addressing the President as such because he’s not their President?

Because titles - from Mr to Miss to Dr. to “Your Majesty” are meant to be used appropriately. If someone prefers to be known as Mrs. rather than Ms. and I know that, its rude of me to call her Ms. Since my friend has bothered to go get that PhD, I formally address her as Dr. Since she is my friend, I think the next time I’ll need to address her as Doctor is when writing wedding invites for my elementary school aged children…

This isn’t MORE respect, any more than addressing a woman as Mrs. instead of Mr. is more respect, its just using the right title.

Now, if this is friend, I suppose calling Prince Albert “Al” is appropriate. And I would guess Pochacco’s wife and her friends often introduced Prince Albert informally as “Al” at parties. (Its rather awkward, I would imagine, at a college kegger to stop swilling long enough to get out “Karen, I’d like to introduce you to His Royal Highness, Prince Albert of Monoco” and - at least if I were Al at a kegger, I’d really just prefer “Karen, have you met Al?”)