Montenegro traditionally has a nobility composed of Veliki Vojvoda (Grand Duke) for members of the Royal family, Princ/Knez (Prince), Vojvoda (Duke) for leaders of clans, and Serdar (Count) for other clan notables. Titles are hereditary or for life.
General history of Montenegrin nobility
Historically the Hereditary Metropolitans or Prince-Bishops of Montenegro (theocratic rulers) had created nobles. Petar II Petrović-Njegoš issued a Decree creating Prince Alexander Karađorđević (later Alexander I, Prince of Serbia between 1842-1858), the younger son of Karađorđe, as Vojvoda (Duke). During this reign there were fourteen families with the rank of Serdar (Count), namely, Petrović-Njegoš, Vukotić, Đurašković, Martinović, Perović, Plamenatz, Drekalović, Mijušković, Bošković, Božović, Đulović, Medenica, Vlahović and Laketić.
In the diploma creating Nikola Mihailov Vasojević an hereditary Knez (Prince), Petar II signed the document in Cetinje as "Prince Petar Petrović-Njegoš, Vladika (Prince-Bishop) and Gospodar (Lord) of Montenegro and Brda". The diploma establishes a noble lineage for the new Prince Nikola Mihailov as a direct descendant of Prince Radonja of Holmia (Brda) (himself raised to the rank of Prince by Stephen Dušan "the Mighty", Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks, in 1346. The diploma is also a grant of arms describing a blazon for the Princes of Holmia and their heirs.
King Nikola I Petrovic-Njegos, formerly Prince (reigning 1860-1921) deprived disloyal subjects from inheriting the titles of their ancestors; Marko Miljanov Popović, having previously unified his own Kuči clan with Montenegro in 1874, following a fierce disagreement with Prince Nikola in 1882, had to resign the State Council and was deprived of his title of Vojvoda (Duke) by Prince Nikola.
The granting of titles has continued to the present day. In 2001, Prince Nicholas II granted the title Veliki Vojvoda (Grand Duke) of Grahovo and Zeta to his son, Prince Boris Petrović-Njegoš. Other members of the Royal family and persons close to the dynasty have also been ennobled.
- Prince Mirko Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Grahovo and Zeta (1879–1918)
- Prince Peter Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Zahumlije (1889–1932)
- Prince Boris Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Grahovo and Zeta (1980)
- Prince Rade Gvozdenović (1672–1750)
- Prince Anto Gvozdenović (1853–1935)
- Prince Pavle Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, Prince of Raška (1910-1933)
- Duke Miloš Krivokapić (1819-1907)
- Duke Stanko Radonjić (1841-1889)
- Duke Božo Petrović-Njegoš (1846-1929)
- Duke Gavrilo Vuković (1852-1928)
- Count Janko Vukotić (1866–1927)
- Count Milo Martinović