Wikipedia:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization/Guidelines

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The following guidelines regard the proper usage and formatting of succession boxes throughout Wikipedia. This includes the handling of headers, titles, succession lists, and references, as well as the orders of listing and other style issues. For information about the mechanics of succession boxes and instructions for their creation, please see the Documentation page. For a complete list of the succession templates currently tracked by this project, see the Templates page.

Terms to know[edit]

  • succession box – A table that lists notable titles, awards and other honours held by the subject of the page (usually an individual), all of which have the common characteristic that they pass from one holder to another.
  • succession chain – A set of individuals or organisations linked together by the passage of a specific title, award, etc. from all of them. By extension, the term may apply to the articles on these individuals or organisations.
  • succession line – A single row of a succession box, consisting of a predecessor cell, a title cell and a successor cell (usually created by templates s-bef, s-ttl and s-aft respectively).
  • header – A coloured bar bearing a title and placed above one or more lines within the succession box. Headers categorise succession lines into thematic groups.
  • pipe – The pipe character ("|") separates parameters from the template name and from one another. It is also necessary for pipe-linking.

General[edit]

The following guidelines apply to succession boxes of all types, unless noted otherwise.

Inclusion of images[edit]

Images should not be included in succession boxes for any reason, due to standardisation concerns and the potential for problems in their proper display within the boxes. Editors are urged to remove images from any succession boxes in which they encounter them.

Links[edit]

The names of predecessors and successors to titles should be wiki-linked to their respective Wikipedia articles. Even in cases where there is no article for a person, creating the appropriate red link may spur the creation of the missing article and is therefore desirable. Care should be taken to ensure that a link leads to the person referred to in the box, rather than someone else or a disambiguation page—misleading links often appear when a predecessor/successor has no article of their own but shares a name with someone who does.

The title or office of a succession row should also be linked to its respective article, if one exists. Such an article will often describe the title and its functions or history and provide a list of its holders (e.g. Federal Chancellor of Switzerland). In cases where this list is separate from the article (e.g. Lord Mayor of London and List of Lord Mayors of London), the link should preferably lead to the list, to allow readers to bridge gaps in the succession chain where articles on specific holders do not exist. (Also, in most cases the article on the title will have already been linked to in the body of the text.)

Conversely, where the title is covered not in a separate article but in a section of one with a wider subject, link to the section: it is better to write "Chancellor of the University of Birmingham" ([[University of Birmingham#Chancellors|Chancellor of the University of Birmingham]]) than "Chancellor of the University of Birmingham" ([[Chancellor (education)|Chancellor]] of the [[University of Birmingham]]). Such links may be affected if the target section is renamed, so it may be useful to create the full title as a redirect to the section and then link to the redirect in the succession box; this way, only the redirect will need to be updated in case of changes.

If there is no specific coverage of the title in Wikipedia at all, try to link to the next most relevant article, for example "CEO of General Motors".

For the linking of dates, see below.

Years and dates[edit]

The time period for which a person has held a title is filled in the "years" field of the central cell of each succession line, and it appears right below the title itself. Dates reflect the de facto acquisition of a title, generally either the assumption of power (in the case of an office) or the death of the subject's predecessor (when the title is hereditary, as in noble and regnal successions).

Like all information in an article, dates should be attributed to a reliable source. There is usually little need for citations within the succession box itself, because the information is repeated either from elsewhere in the article or from the title's article or list. Where a date is mentioned only in the box, however, the s-ref template should be used so that the date can be cited. Special care should be taken for full dates, where mistakes or inconsistencies are easier to occur; full dates may be written so long as it is possible to find reliable information for the entire chain of succession or at least a large part thereof. Writing full dates for one holder and plain years for another should be avoided.

Within each thematic group of succession boxes (i.e. those boxes under a single header), the boxes should be ordered chronologically: the earlier offices held are to be listed before the later offices held. For terms of office which started simultaneously, place first the one which ended the earliest.

Formatting[edit]

In the overwhelming majority of succession lines, the time period for which a title has been held is given as a range of plain years (e.g., 1973–1975). However, as mentioned above, it is possible to give full dates (e.g., September 9, 1909 – October 10, 1910). There are two ways to write dates in Wikipedia articles: the so-called International format (DD Month YYYY) and US format (Month DD, YYYY). The format used in a succession box should reflect the dominant style of the nation of the office or title, as per Wikipedia Manual of Style guidelines. When a time period has not finished but is ongoing, write the word "present" instead of the end date, lower-case and without any special formatting (e.g., 2007–present or 14 November 2007 – present).

As can be seen in the examples above, the connector in all date ranges is the en-dash, which can be written either in code (–) or simply as – (Windows: Alt+0150; MacOS: option + -). This character should not be confused with the shorter hyphen ("-") nor with the longer em-dash ("—"). En-dashes are not flanked by spaces when connecting plain years, but they should be spaced when either or both connected elements contain spaces, as in the case of full dates or dates BC (see the Manual of Style's section on dashes).

For periods beginning and ending within a single year, where full dates are given, the date range should include the year twice (e.g., 7 March 1980 – 31 August 1980 rather than 7 March – 31 August 1980). On the other hand, if no dates are given, the year should be mentioned just once (e.g., 1886 rather than 1886–1886). The same applies for certain categories of succession lines (such as electoral candidacies, awards and sporting distinctions) which concern regular events rather than continuous periods of time.

A particular subset of these is when the subject holds the same title for two or more consecutive times, in which case a single succession line is used (instead of giving each instance its own line and citing the subject as their own predecessor/successor). All the years are given in the same "years" field, separated from each other by commas (e.g., 1991, 1992 for an annual event or 2000, 2004, 2008 for an event occurring every four years). There are also two types of succession line which do not require any dates at all: lines of succession (to a throne or presidency) and orders of precedence. If you encounter one of those, simply leave the "years" parameter empty or omit it altogether.

When a date cannot be found, write the word "unknown" in its place, lower-case and without any formatting (e.g., unknown – 410 BC). For approximate dates, use "c." (see circa) according to the instructions of the Manual of Style on dates and numbers. Although dates are not normally wiki-linked, certain exceptions are made where links can offer additional information to the reader; the most basic exception is that election dates under the header s-par should link to the articles for the respective elections (see the relevant section for details).

Titles[edit]

The following guidelines regard titles as they appear in the core templates within succession boxes.

Peers and nobility[edit]

All peers should be referred to by their titles, not their names. Full titles are used, rather than the shortened forms Lord/Lady X—which, among other things, can be confused with courtesy baronies (see below).

The appropriate format for holders of substantive titles is "The [rank] (of) [name of title]", as in the following two examples:

Preceded by
The Earl of Liverpool
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
10 April 1827 – 8 August 1827
Succeeded by
The Viscount Goderich
Preceded by
The Duchess of Bedford
Mistress of the Robes
1883–1885
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry

If two or more different peers with the same title are named in a succession box—even if not in the same succession row—then the titles ought to be disambiguated by the addition of a numeral, as in the following example:

Preceded by
The 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
1601–1621
Succeeded by
The 3rd Earl of Pembroke
Note: It is possible that a peer with the same title as the article's subject will be named in a succession box. As long as there is only one such peer in the box, there is no need to disambiguate their title with a numeral; in the extremely rare occasions when the subject itself is mentioned in a succession box, the usual styling conventions outlined here do not apply to it. In other words, only disambiguate between people mentioned with the same title within the succession box.

Unless they hold substantive titles of their own, the eldest sons of dukes, marquesses and earls may use one of their father's titles by courtesy; this way they are addressed as peers, although they remain commoners. The style for a courtesy peer lacks the definite article the and is "[rank] (of) [name of title]", as in the following example:

Preceded by
Lord Ossulston
Treasurer of the Household
1807–1812
Succeeded by
Viscount Jocelyn

In lieu of a courtesy title, the younger sons (i.e., all but the eldest) of dukes and marquesses receive the honorific prefix Lord before their full name. Correspondingly, daughters of dukes, marquesses and earls receive the prefix Lady before their forename and surname. For example:

Preceded by
Lord George Cavendish
Comptroller of the Household
1762–1763
Succeeded by
Lord Charles Spencer
Note: Although the definite article "the" is sometimes used with the honorific prefixes "Lord" and "Lady", this should not be included in succession boxes.

The wives of peers, courtesy peers and sons of peers use similar styles with those of their husbands; please consult appropriate reliable sources for the exact styles, keeping in mind the conventions listed above for the individual elements of the styles.

This section does not apply to the names in succession lines for peerage titles themselves (see the relevant section lower in the page for details).

Baronets and knights[edit]

Baronetcies are a hereditary British honour ranking in precedence between peers and knights. The appropriate style for baronets is "Sir [forename surname], Bt", and that for baronetesses is "Dame [forename surname], Btss", as in the following example:

Preceded by
Sir John Gilmour, Bt
Home Secretary
1935–1937
Succeeded by
Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt
Note: "Bt" and "Btss" are correctly written without a full stop.

Like with peers, if two or more different baronets with the same name are given in a succession box, then they ought to be disambiguated by the addition of a numeral. In this case the post-nominals Bt and Btss are expanded to Baronet and Baronetess respectively, as in the following example:

Preceded by
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet
William Yates Peel
Member of Parliament for Tamworth
1847–1855
With: Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Bt 1847–1850
Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Bt 1850–1855
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Baronet
Viscount Raynham

Knights also should be referred to by their names, preceded by "Sir" for male knights or "Dame" for female knights—unless they are Ladies of the Garter or Ladies of the Thistle, in which case the appropriate prefix is "Lady". For example:

Preceded by
Sir John Anderson
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1945–1947
Succeeded by
Sir Stafford Cripps

This section does not apply to the names in succession lines for baronetcies themselves (see the relevant section lower in the page for details).

General guidelines regarding titles[edit]

Remember to pipe-link the names to the correct article titles which, in cases of peers and baronets, are almost always dissimilar from the format demonstrated here.

Note: When viewing a page, one may see what the correct article title for a person in a succession box is by leaving the cursor on the link without clicking on it and waiting for a few seconds until the label with the name appears. In Wikipedia, this is known as "hovering". Hovering allows one to find out whether a person is featured in a succession box multiple times under different names or titles, or, conversely, whether different persons appear with the same name.

When a noble passes down, or succeeds to, an office, they should be named in the succession box with the title they held at that time of ascension.

In the following example, Fox Maule had no titles until he inherited the barony of Panmure in 1852, while Charles Wood was only a baronet until he was created Viscount Halifax in 1866.

Preceded by
Fox Maule
President of the Board of Control
1852
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Wood

Likewise, a baronet/baronetess should not have the prefix "Sir"/"Dame" in succession boxes before their succession to the baronetcy, and a knight should not receive the prefix "Sir"/"Dame"/"Lady" before they are awarded the knighthood. The same naturally applies to the wives of male title-holders, as their own names and styles are also affected.

If a monarch inherits a title, it often merges into the crown. If it does not, the monarch should be mentioned in the succession box by their name and ordinal. If they were not on the throne at the time of the succession, they should be written with the title they held then; below the name add in small lettering the phrase:

<br /><small>'''later became<br />King/Queen [name] [ordinal]''</small>

as in the following example:

Preceded by
Edward of Middleham,
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
1486 – 1502
Succeeded by
Henry, Duke of York
later became
King Henry VIII

In the event that a title becomes over-long, include a <br /> somewhere in the middle of the title to shift the second portion down a line. This allows the succession line to feel more balanced. In some cases, a second break may be necessary.

Post-nominal letters are not to be included in succession boxes under any circumstance except for the aforementioned special case of baronets/baronetesses and the succession boxes for orders of precedence. Social titles like "Mr", "Mrs", "Miss", and "Ms" are likewise excluded, as are professional titles like "Prof." and "Dr".

Headers and parameters[edit]

General guidelines[edit]

The headers currently managed by this project are divided into the following three classes:

  • offices – their holders are elected or appointed;
  • hereditary titles – their holders inherit their title(s) from their ancestors;
  • distinctions – not actual offices or regular succession chains, but rather lists of holders changing at fixed time periods.

Each succession line may have only one header above it, despite the fact that some titles may merit multiple headers. In the event that multiple headers qualify for a title, choose the most appropriate. For example, President of the United States may qualify as a military position, by virtue of its holder's status as commander in chief of the US Armed Forces; however, it is above all else an elected leadership position, and thus falls under the "Political offices" header.

Each header should be used no more than once in a succession box, and all succession lines of a similar nature should go under a single header, irrespective of overall chronological or other orders.

The order of the various headers (which is to say, the order of the various office/title categories) in any succession box is not fixed. It is generally subject to editorial discretion, although a few rules of thumb apply:

  1. Public offices are normally given precedence over posts in the private sector (e.g. non-profit, media and business positions). Furthermore, offices associated with political power are often placed higher than non-political positions (such as civic, academic and heraldic offices), and the subject's most powerful posts may be placed at the top. Alternatively, the posts for which the subject is most well-known may occupy the first position in a succession box. In any case, such distinctions are not always drawn, and the order is usually partly or fully chronological within the sub-set of offices, with the following two exceptions:
    • The header "Other offices" (s-other) is used as a catch-all for offices which do not fit in the other headers, and therefore comes last out of all office-related headers.
    • Honorary offices (s-hon) are placed after all offices which wield substantial authority. This means they may come before or after "Other offices", depending on the offices listed in each of these two headers.
  2. Hereditary honours (peerage, baronetage, etc.) always follow offices, and are normally low in the table. However, hereditary regnal titles (s-reg), such as for heads of state, normally precede all other titles in a succession box; royal titles (s-roy) tend to follow regnal titles.
  3. Orders of precedence (s-prec) indicate a living subject's precedence in a given country, and should be used only where formal rules of precedence exist.
  4. Titles in pretence (s-pre) are not recognised by the vast majority of the people to whom they are supposed to apply, and therefore rank low in the list.
  5. Distinctions include three categories, namely awards (s-awards), sporting positions (s-sports) and records (s-record), of which records are normally listed last.

Honorary titles may be difficult to determine, given that most such titles were once substantive. Honorary titles held concurrently with other titles (e.g. Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay for Prince of Wales) are not necessary to list. The only exception is when these titles were not always held together by the same individual, in which case they should be listed separately only for the period when they were held by different people, and shown to merge into (or split from) the higher title as applicable.

In groups of headers specialised by region or type, like those for parliamentary seats, the same template is used but it is disambiguated with a parameter. For example, the undifferenced s-par header reads "Assembly seats", but different parameters can produce headers like "Parliament of Canada", "Folketinget" or "Lok Sabha". The parameter is added after the template and separated by it with a pipe, in the format {{template|parameter}}. Headers produced by different parameters of the same template share a single colour and theme, but their text and overall result is unique. Therefore, they are considered separate and individual headers for the purposes of the rule on using headers only once per succession box.

Offices[edit]

This category, the largest of the three, includes various offices, the incumbents of which were either appointed or elected to their positions. These offices are or were usually connected to a certain amount of power, although in most cases the extent of this power has fluctuated through time, and has sometimes been lost altogether at one point or another in their history.
After categorised under their respective headers, succession lines for offices should be placed in ascending chronological order; this way the subject's career can be seen more clearly.
Please note that the order of the sections that follow slightly deviates from the proper order that headers should have in succession boxes, which is given in the previous section.

Parliamentary seats (s-par)[edit]

S-par regards seats in legislatures. This includes both current and historic bodies, national and regional.

This template requires the use of a parameter to function properly. Although simply writing {{s-par}} will result in an "Assembly seats" header, it is too vague and is thus not encouraged. For a list of parameters, see Template:S-par.

Parliaments of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom[edit]

The parliaments of England and Great Britain were, and the Parliament of the United Kingdom is, bicameral. The House of Commons is a democratically elected chamber and falls under the header of s-par. The House of Lords is partly hereditary and partly appointed, but never elected and thus does not qualify for the s-par header. Templates s-reg and s-rel should be used for members of the House of Lords, with a label to indicate that they were in the Lords (see the Documentation page for details). Note that Life Peers are not entitled to succession boxes for their peerage at all, as it is not inherited.

Members of Parliament for a given constituency in England before 1707, in England or Scotland from 1707 to 1801, and in the United Kingdom after 1801, should have the correct header above the succession box for that constituency.

Members of Parliament who served for one constituency before one of those dates and another (or the same, non-consecutively) after that date should have headers for both Parliaments, but each header should only appear once. Example: a person serving in the Parliament of England for constituency 1 and the Parliament of Great Britain for constituencies 2 and 3 should have the following templates, in this order: s-par|en, succession (1), s-par|gb, succession (2), succession (3). (Note that the order of the parliament headers should be ascending chronological, with England coming first, followed by Great Britain and then by the United Kingdom.)

Members of Parliament consecutively serving for a single constituency in multiple Parliaments should have the header of the later Parliament. Example: a Member of Parliament representing an English constituency from 1689 until 1710 should have that succession box placed under an s-par|gb header.

In constituencies which returned multiple members, all predecessors and successors should be listed, using the parameters before2= / after2=, before3= / after3=, etc. Members of Parliament simultaneously representing the constituency should be listed using the parameters with=, with2=, with3=, etc. If one of the other members represented the constituency throughout the length of the subject's term, the date range may be omitted; otherwise, the years between which that member served should appear after the member's name.

When a Member of Parliament is the first or last to represent a particular incarnation of a constituency because it has just been created or abolished, different templates should be used. For newly created constituencies, replace the s-bef template with s-new, using the proper parameter as well: {{s-new|constituency}}. For abolished constituencies, replace the s-aft template with s-non and in the reason field write "Constituency abolished".

Years should be wikilinked to the election at which a given Member of Parliament was elected to the seat, or at which a successor was chosen, e.g. 19831989. Note that in the second example the Member of Parliament ceased to represent the constituency in 1989 (due to death), but the successor was not chosen until 1990, in a by-election.

For lists of elections in the United Kingdom see United Kingdom general elections and List of UK by-elections.
Here follows a fictional example that showcases several of the above standards (names and dates have not been linked). Writing...
{{s-start}}
{{s-par|gb}}
{{s-bef |before=Richard Roe |before2=Lord Sunway}}
{{s-ttl |title=[[Member of Parliament]] for [[Swevenham (UK Parliament constituency|]] |with=Richard Roe 1689–1700 |with2=Thomas Atkins 1700–1710 |years=1689 – 1710}}
{{s-non |reason=Constituency abolished}}
{{s-new |constituency}}
{{s-ttl |title=[[Member of Parliament]] for [[Higham (UK Parliament constituency|]] |with=Thomas Atkins |years=1689 – 1710}}
{{s-aft |after=Thomas Atkins |after2=Richard Teague}}
{{end}}
...will produce this:
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Richard Roe
Lord Sunway
Member of Parliament for Swevenham
1689–1710
With: Richard Roe 1689–1700
Thomas Atkins 1700–1710
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Higham
1710–1715
With: Thomas Atkins
Succeeded by
Thomas Atkins
Richard Teague
Other[edit]

Legislative positions in the US should be listed chronologically, beginning with the first elected title and continuing down to the last. If an individual was elected to a position in another legislative body, that title should be below a new header reflecting the change.

Political offices (s-off)[edit]

Under this header may be placed all sorts of offices that are political in nature. Most of these offices are senior positions in the government of a country, and those with significant power are usually elected. Such offices usually belong to the following categories:
  • Elected heads of state, e.g. Presidents (U.S.A., France, Germany, Ireland, etc.)
    • Elected monarchs, e.g. the monarch of Malaysia
  • Heads of government
    • Elected heads of government, e.g. Prime Ministers (U.K.), Chancellors (Germany), etc.
    • Appointed heads of government (e.g. the French Prime Minister)
    • Mayors (e.g. the Mayor of Washington, D.C.)
  • Ministers, Secretaries of State (U.S. / U.K.), Cabinet members (U.S. Secretaries of ...)
  • Elected Governors, e.g. those of U.S. states (for appointed Governors, e.g. those of Australian states, see s-gov)
  • Political offices of Parliament, including and not restricted to: Speaker of the House of Commons and Lord Speaker (in the UK), Speaker of the House of Representatives and Vice President of the United States (in the USA), etc.
For political offices within party structures (like Party Leaders and Whips), see s-ppo.

Government offices (s-gov)[edit]

This category includes a multitude of notable government officials whose positions are or were non-political. No elected officials should be placed under this header; they should be assigned to s-off (political offices) instead. Offices below this header include, but are not limited to:
  • Appointed Governors (e.g. Governors of Australian states, the Governor-General of Canada, etc.)
  • Civil servants (e.g. permanent secretaries, private secretaries, etc.)
  • MI5/MI6/GCHQ (and other intelligence service) officers who were not serving officers in the armed forces (in that case see s-mil)
  • Non-political offices of Parliament (e.g. the Clerk of the Parliaments, the Clerk of the House of Commons, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, etc.)

Honorary offices (s-hon)[edit]

a. These are offices that are not associated with any power, either because they were always intended to be honorary or ceremonial, or because they used to be positions of authority but lost it at some point of their history. Some of the offices now considered honorary are:
  • Custos Rotulorum (after the English Interregnum; prior to that it was political)
  • Lord Lieutenant (as above)
  • Most offices pertaining to orders of knighthood
b. If there is a strong ambiguity over whether a title is honorary or still holds some power, it should have a s-gov header.
c. More can be found in the Offices page.

Court offices (s-court)[edit]

These are appointments in royal courts. They include:
  • Private Secretary to the Sovereign
  • Keeper of the Privy Purse
  • Lord Warden of the Stannaries
  • Page of Honour

Party political offices (s-ppo)[edit]

These are offices that are part of the mechanisms of political parties. They include:
  • Party leaders/chairmen
  • Whips
  • Party candidates for the Presidency of the United States, France, etc.
  • Chairpersons of the Democratic and Republican National Committees (United States)
Only important positions in major parties should be given succession boxes.

Legal offices (s-legal)[edit]

These include positions of power, whose common element is that they deal with the legal system of their respective countries. Such offices include:
  • Solicitors general
  • Attorneys general (in countries where this is not a political office)
  • District attorneys
  • Chief judges and justices
  • Directors of public prosecutions

Diplomatic posts (s-dip)[edit]

These are posts in diplomatic missions of various countries. This should not include the most senior foreign minister resident in the country (i.e. US Secretary of State, Foreign Minister, etc.) as they are considered political offices. Thus, the most high-ranking officials include:
  • Ambassadors
  • High Commissioners (Commonwealth of Nations)
  • Consuls-general

Religious titles (s-rel)[edit]

a. Religious offices are those whose duties are restricted to religious matters, having originated from, or being intimately connected to, a certain religion. There are specialised headers for the various religions; the parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) follow in the list below:
  • ac for Anglican Communion titles
  • bu for Buddhist titles
  • ca for Catholic Church titles
  • en for Church of England titles
  • or for Orthodox Church titles
  • is for Islamic titles
  • jw for Jewish titles
  • mo for Church of Latter Day Saints titles
  • sc for Church of Scotland titles
  • sh for Shia-Islam titles
  • su for Sunni Islam titles
b. If no parameter is given (thus simply writing {{s-rel}}), the resulting header will read Religious titles.
c. Only important titles and positions should be tracked by succession boxes, like Bishops, Archbishops, Abbots, Cardinals, Popes, and Patriarchs in the Christian religion, and Imams and Caliphs in the Islamic religion.

Military offices (s-mil)[edit]

a. These are positions of authority within the military, including army, navy, marine and air force offices. These offices must both be important and constitute succession chains that fulfil the criteria of this WikiProject. Examples include:
  • Commanderships-in-chief (only when separate from the head-of-state)
  • Chief of staff positions such as Chief of the General Staff or Chief of the Air Staff
  • Colonelcies of regiments
  • Offices of the Board of Ordnance
b. Military ranks do not form succession chains, and as a result they are not included here.

Civic offices (s-civ)[edit]

a. These are positions within local authorities. Falling under this category are posts in the police, fire, and medical services, and parameters are used to create these three specialised headers. The parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) follow in the list below:
  • pol is for Police appointments
  • fir is for Fire appointments
  • med is for Medical appointments
b. If no parameter is given (thus simply writing {{s-civ}}), the resulting header will read Civic offices.

Academic offices (s-aca)[edit]

These are senior posts in major academic institutions, including:
  • University rectors, chancellors, provosts, presidents, and deans
  • Headteachers and headmasters of schools and colleges

Educational offices (s-edu)[edit]

These are senior positions in important educational organisations, including:
  • Heads of significant non-political councils, companies, authorities, and unions related to education

Cultural offices (s-culture)[edit]

These are important positions in prestigious cultural institutions, including:
  • Chairmen and curators of major museums
  • Managers of famous theatres
  • Heads of important organisations, institutions, unions, and companies related to culture
    • President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Heraldic offices (s-herald)[edit]

These are positions connected to heraldic authorities around the world, including the College of Arms (for the United Kingdom except Scotland, as well as for several Commonwealth countries), the Court of the Lord Lyon (for Scotland), and the Canadian Heraldic Authority (for Canada). The senior heraldic offices are:
  • Kings of Arms
    • Garter Principal King of Arms
    • Clarenceux King of Arms
    • Norroy and Ulster King of Arms
    • Lyon King of Arms
  • Heralds
    • Heralds in Ordinary
    • Heralds Extraordinary
Note: This header is only supposed to be used for strictly heraldic offices—for offices connected to orders of knighthood, please use s-hon.

Non-profit positions (s-npo)[edit]

a. These are positions in non-profit organisations, including, amongst others, charities and labour unions. There are specialised headers for some types of non-profit organisations; the parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) follow in the list below:
  • scout for Scouting
  • waggs for World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
  • wosm for World Organization of the Scout Movement
  • bsa for Boy Scouts of America
  • gsusa for Girl Scouts of the USA
  • tsa for The Scout Association
  • tbsa for The Boy Scouts Association
  • pro for Professional and academic associations (e.g. the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Linnaean Society, the Bar Association)
b. If no parameter is given (thus simply writing {{s-npo}}), the resulting header will read Non-profit organization positions.

Media offices (s-media)[edit]

a. These are posts in the mass media. They are based in the following areas:
  • TV and Radio, in which case they include posts such as directors-general, controllers, and others
  • Magazines and Newspapers, in which case posts may include editors-in-chief, owners, etc.
b. Both the media in question and the posts within their ranks should be of a certain notability.

Business positions (s-bus)[edit]

These include high-ranking posts in major corporations, such as:
  • Chairman/president/manager
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Presidents of professional sports teams

Positions in intergovernmental organisations (s-intgov)[edit]

These include high-ranking posts in intergovernmental organizations.

Other offices (s-other)[edit]

This tag should be used if it is unclear to which area an office can be charged or a correct area does not exist yet. For this reason it should be checked on Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:S-other from time to time, where the tag comes to application. Following a choice of the present uses:
  • With the line parameter for Lines of succession to non-royal title (e.g. the President of the United States)
  • Chairman/president/manager of (CND / National Coal Board)
Note: if the offices in a succession box all belong to this category, the header should not be used as there will be no other offices from which these can be distinguished.

Hereditary titles[edit]

This category encompasses all important hereditary titles except for those already covered by s-off and s-gov: monarchs, peers and noblemen, and baronets.

General guidelines[edit]

a. Hereditary titles regard only inheritors, those whose titles were inherited, or titles that may be inherited.
b. Titles should be listed below their appropriate headers for the country in which the hereditary title exists. Thus, "Steward of York" should be below the "Peerage of England" header, while "Duke of Aquitaine" should be below the "Nobility of France" header. This provides for better subdivision of the succession box and better understanding of the countries involved.
c. The order of titles within their correct categories and under their appropriate headers is analysed separately in each of the following sections.

Monarchs (s-reg)[edit]

a. For regnal titles (titles regarding the reign of a monarch), it is enough to use the s-reg template, without any parameters. The resulting header will be Regnal titles and below it may be placed various monarchical titles a person has held throughout their life, regardless of the country. Note that, although succession lines for titular monarchs are also placed under s-reg, titles in pretence should go under the corresponding header: s-pre.
b. Titles that are closely connected with each other, as in cases of long personal unions, the titles may be placed in the same box, separated by a <br />. (i.e., the Kingdoms of Castile and León)
c. Regnal titles should be placed under their header first in an ascending chronological order (oldest to newest) and, for titles inherited in the same day (or year, if date information is unavailable), in descending order of importance (from the most important to the least important).

Royalty (s-roy)[edit]

a. Members of royal families with important hereditary or successive, non-noble titles use the template s-roy. Some of the titles that fall under this category include, but are not limited to:
Note: Many royal heirs have not held the titles customary for heirs (like Prince of Wales for the United Kingdom and Prince of Asturias for Spain), usually because they were heirs presumptive as opposed to heirs apparent.
b. There are headers for the royal families of many nations, and parameters are used to create these specialised headers. For example, {{s-roy|uk}} will produce the header British royalty. The full list can be found at Template:S-roy.
c. If no parameter is given (thus simply writing {{s-roy}}), the resulting header will read Royal titles.
d. The royal titles should be placed under their headers in ascending chronological order; lines of succession, which are not proper titles and for which there are no dates, should occupy the last position(s).

Peers and noblemen (s-reg)[edit]

The terms peer (in the British Isles) and nobleman (in Continental Europe and other countries) are synonymous. Succession boxes should be given only to those whose titles are held by a single person at any given time. Courtesy titles are not included (as they are not proper titles and are actually part of the substantive peers' titles), and life peers are likewise excluded (as their titles are not inherited).
a. Peerages and nobility use different parameters to disambiguate between them. The parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) are as follows:
  • uk is for Peerage of the United Kingdom (after 1801)
    • gb is for Peerage of Great Britain (1707–1801)
    • en is for Peerage of England (before 1707)
    • sct is for Peerage of Scotland (before 1707)
    • ie is for Peerage of Ireland (until 1922)
  • cm is for Cambodian nobility
  • cn is for Chinese nobility
  • de is for German nobility
  • es is for Spanish nobility (after 1555)
  • fr is for Nobility of France
  • im is for Head of State of the Isle of Man
  • it is for Nobility of Italy
  • jp is for Japanese royalty
  • nl is for Dutch nobility
  • nv is for Navarrese royalty
  • pt is for Portuguese nobility
  • vn is for Vietnamese nobility
  • other is for Titles of nobility (titles of nobility not related to the previous peerages)
Note: There are multiple peerages for the British Isles. Choose the appropriate one for the country or the dates given. If you are unclear, check the title's page to determine the proper peerage or check the appropriate dates on the various national pages.
b. When listed below a peerage or nobility header, the titles should be listed in descending order of seniority, and for titles of the same rank, in ascending order of elevation (title granting).
c. Peerages of the British Isles
In succession boxes for peerage titles, the format "Earl of Somewhere" is used for the title passed down (in contrast to "The Earl of Somewhere" which is used to refer to people holding the title in question).
Also, the predecessor and successor are not written with their title but with their name(s) and surname (it would be pointless to have a succession box naming, e.g. the fourth Duke of Wellington's predecessor and successor as the third and fifth Duke of Wellington respectively). Still, the names must be pipe-linked because their article titles are different.
The following is an example of the above:


Preceded by
Thomas Willoughby
Baron Middleton
1729 – 1758
Succeeded by
Francis Willoughby


There are no disambiguation guidelines for men with the same name preceding and succeeding a person to a peerage, and so we have succession boxes like the following:


Preceded by
Hugh Percy
Duke of Northumberland
1786 – 1817
Succeeded by
Hugh Percy


[The guidelines on peerage headers have yet to be decided.]
For more information about titles and their proper forms, see WikiProject Peerage.

Baronets (s-reg)[edit]

A baronetcy is a uniquely British honour, which qualifies as upper gentry and ranks between peerage and knighthood but belongs to neither of them. There are five different baronetages, all of which have originated in the British Isles. In order to find what baronetage a specific baronetcy belongs to, see List of extant baronetcies; if it is dormant, unproven, under review, forfeit, or extinct, you can look it up in List of Baronetcies. As with peerages, it is necessary to disambiguate between them using the correct parameter.
a. The parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) follow in the list below, when entered following the pipe in {{s-reg|}}:
  • uk-bt is for Baronetage of the United Kingdom (after 1801)
  • ie-bt is for Baronetage of Ireland (before 1801)
  • gb-bt is for Baronetage of Great Britain (1707–1801)
  • en-bt is for Baronetage of England (before 1707)
  • sct-bt is for Baronetage of Nova Scotia (before 1707)
b. The predecessors and successors are written with their names and surnames, without any titles. There are no disambiguation guidelines for the occasions when the predecessor's and successor's names are similar; it is understood by the very format of the succession box that they are different people.
c. In the s-ttl|title= prompt, the text should state that the person's title is "Baronet" and give the territorial designation "(of Somewhere)", replacing "somewhere" with the place; the word "Baronet" should link to the article for the baronetcy in question. It should follow with the years between which the individual held the baronetcy, as per general guidelines.
The following is an example of the above:
New creation Baronet
(of Scotney)
1991 – 2003
Succeeded by
Mark Thatcher
Note: it is important to remember to add three apostrophes (''') after the word "Baronet", as well as at the beginning of the years field (that is, right before the first year/date), in order to prevent the territorial designation and the dates from appearing in bold. This measure is also necessary for other succession boxes (e.g. those for consorts) that need an explanatory sentence that will not be in bold.
d. Although it is not usual for a person to hold more than a single baronetcy, if one does hold multiple titles their corresponding lines of succession ought to be placed in ascending chronological order (order of granting).
For more information concerning proper forms about baronets, see WikiProject Baronetcies.

Distinctions[edit]

This category lists titles which were won by people as a result of their proficiency in the arts, sciences, or sports, and are not accompanied by any office or power.
Within each of the following two categories, the titles should be placed in ascending chronological order, unless there is a very important reason one of them should take up the first place. As of December 2007, the SBS have not found any such exception.

Awards and achievements (s-ach)[edit]

a. This header is used for awards, records, and miscellaneous achievements that merit a succession chain. Depending on the specific category, the template may be disambiguated with parameters. The parameters (italicised) and the resulting headers (in bold) follow in the list below, when entered following the pipe in {{s-ach|}}:
  • awards and aw are for Awards
  • records and rec are for Records
  • achievements and ach are for Achievements
If no parameter is given (thus simply writing {{s-ach}}), the resulting header will read Awards and achievements; as too general, it ought to be replaced with the appropriate specific header when possible.
b. Awards
1. This header is to be used for prestigious awards bestowed upon people for their excellence in various fields merit this header. Fields in which such awards are given include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Music (Grammy Awards, MTV Awards, etc.)
  • Literature and journalism (Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prizes, etc.)
  • Science (Copley Medal, Fields Medal, etc.)
  • Arts (Pritzker Prize, etc.)
  • Beauty (Miss World, Miss Universe, Mr. Universe, etc.)
2. This category does not include awards in sporting events (see s-sports). Honours, decorations, patriotic medals, and scouting awards are also excluded, as they are not successive.
c. Records
1. These are prestigious records, of mostly but not exclusively sporting nature, including:
  • Various maritime records:
    • The Blue Riband
    • Largest ship in the world
  • Various engineering records:
    • Highest building/tower in the world
    • Various types of longest bridges in the world
  • Various sports records:
    • National records
    • World records
    • Olympic records
2. Simply because a record has been earned does not merit a succession box for that record. Succession boxes for records should only regard records that are part of a series (for example, not all Guinness Book records deserve a succession box).
d. Achievements
Various important achievements that do not constitute a record.

Sporting positions (s-sports)[edit]

a. Winning sporting titles in major events such as the Olympic Games and various world championships merit this header. In addition, chairmanships and presidencies of important non-political committees and organisations pertaining to sports may be included. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Distinctions in sporting events
    • Olympic medallists
    • Winners of major sport competitions
    • Winning teams in international football, basketball and other championships
  • Presidents of the International Olympic Committee
  • Presidents of prestigious sports clubs
b. Presidencies of professional sports teams are business positions and should go under s-bus.