Forms of address in the Russian Empire

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Since the time of Peter the Great, forms of address in the Russian Empire had been well-codified, determined by a person’s title of honor, as well as military or civil rank (see Table of Ranks) and ecclesiastical order. One’s position within the clergy was considered most important, followed by title, and then by civil/military rank (e.g., a commoner in rank of Privy Councilor would be styled His Excellency) a prince of the same rank would retain the style of His Highness, while the same prince serving as an archbishop would be referred as His High Eminence. All of these styles are now obsolete and are only used in historical context.

Aristocratic styles[1]
Style Transliteration Translation Addressee
Ваше Императорское Величество Vashe Imperatorskoye Velichestvo Your Imperial Majesty the Emperor, Empress and Dowager Empress of Russia
Ваше Императорское Высочество Vashe Imperatorskoye Vysochestvo Your Imperial Highness Grand Princes and Princesses (i.e., Imperial children and grandchildren; from 1797 to 1886 the title applied to great- and great-great-grandchildren as well)
Ваше Высочество Vashe Vysochestvo Your Highness Princes and Princesses of the Imperial bloodline
Ваша Светлость Vasha Svyetlost Your Serene Highness Dukes; younger children of Imperial great-grandchildren and their descent; Serene Princes
Ваше Сиятельство Vashe Siyatelstvo Your Illustrious Highness Princes, Counts, and Marquises
Ваше Благородие Vashe Blagorodiye Your Well Born Barons, Viscounts and untitled nobility
Ecclesiastical styles[2]
Style Transliteration Translation Addressee
Ваше Святейшество Vashe Svyateyshestvo Your Holiness the Patriarch
Ваше Высокопреосвященство Vashe Vysokopreosvyaschenstvo Your Eminence Metropolitan Bishops and Archbishops
Ваше Преосвященство Vashe Preosvyaschenstvo Your Grace Bishops
Ваше Высокопреподобие Vashe Vysokoprepodobiye The High Reverend Archimandrites, Hegumens (Abbots), and Protoierei
Ваше Преподобие Vashe Prepodobiye The Reverend Hieromonks and Priests
Ваше Благовестие Vashe Blagovyestiye Your Evangelism Protodeacons and Deacons
Bureaucratic styles[3]
Style Trasliteration Translation Addressee
Ваше Высокопревосходительство Vashe Vysokoprevoskhoditelstvo Your High Excellency Table of Ranks Grades I and II
Ваше Превосходительство Vashe Prevoskhoditelstvo Your Excellency Table of Ranks Grades III and IV
Ваше Высокородие Vashe Vysokorodiye Your High Born Table of Ranks Grade V
Ваше Высокоблагородие Vashe Vysokoblagorodiye Your High Well Born Table of Ranks Grades VI to VIII
Ваше Благородие Vashe Blagorodiye Your Well Born Table of Ranks Grades IX to XIV

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