Wikipedia talk:History standards/Archive2

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HI JHK, I agree with the standards with one possible reservation. For ease of use, especially among people with less background in history, i can see a case for using the most familiar names. What immediately comes to mind are the "Greats": Catherine, Frederick, Peter. Perhaps there is some way to include the appelation in the title of the article. (On the other hand, I do like uniformity too.) Other than that, I think it's great. Now we can get to work on history being factual--or have you missed some of user:H.J.'s latest claims in Talk:Warmia. Danny

Oh -- I agree on Great, although I think that's a losing battle. If people search, though, and the article has "the Great" in the first line, it'll still come up! JHK

I am for continued use of BC and AD. The CE -Common Era is a term, that was used in communist countries because they frouned on referring to Christ.

On names the most widely used names should also be used in wikipedia and the country or better countries ruled, should be mentioned. Mentioning Sigismund III of Poland alone is misleading, because he was called Sigismund (III) Vasa. He was the son of the king of Sweden and king of Sweden himself, as well as his sons, who remained titled king of Sweden. The same for August the Strong. While he was known as August the Strong of Poland, he was however the Holy Roman Empire elector of Saxony.

If people were officially called Hedwig of Anjou and Saint Hedwig, they should remain that. While most writers do stick to that, Polish language writers refer to her as Jadwiga, which is fine in Polish language writings. But when she becomes Jadwiga of Poland in 2002 in the English language wikipedia, that even goes against the here stated rules, which say to use English.

I do not like the term , "Henry of the HRE" at all, but I do like the now used "Henry, Holy Roman Empeor.

I really like the nicknames that were given to the famous people. They definately need to be listed. They are much easier remembered by their nickname, 'the Great', 'the Fat', 'Irontooth' etc.

We should adher to some sort of conformity rule, but at the same time be very flexible. It is obvious that people of different countries refer to one and the same person in very different ways.

I do not agree on making everyone and everyplace English language. Apparently even former Americans agreed to leaving Martin van Buren 's name alone. They did not turn him into 'Martin of Buren'. That is unfortunately what happened and happens to a lot of people written up in wiki.

As long as different names and different countries ruled by one and the same person are mentioned in the article, I can work with whatever name is assigned to him by wikipedians. user:H.J.


Clarifications to user:H.J. and Toby:

  • The saint thing was decided a long time ago, I think (I wasn't in on this) the "St." was left off because some people are saints in one church and not another -- hence the table of saints. I think Jadwiga was listed as she is because there is also a Hedwig who is a different person.
I'd like to see the earlier discussion, but at this point my argument is that if people are generally known, in English, with the "Saint" prefix but don't have last names, then we're better off using it. (And "Saint", not "St.", although the latter is a reasonable redirect.) — Toby
An additional comment on "Saint": If the Catholics think that somebody is a saint and the Orthodox disagree, or vice versa, either way say "Saint" if that's how they're known. We're not judging that somebody is holy or that there is such a thing as holiness to begin with (I certainly don't believe so). We're simply noting that somebody is best known by the title "Saint". — Toby 13:45 Jul 26, 2002 (PDT)
  • English is the language of this wikipedia. Sometimes, English is the language most commonly used (for example, English-language History texts NEVER say 'Bernsteinstrasse', so we use 'Amber Road' -- what people who are looking for more information would look under. By the same token, we say "Casimir" reather than using the Polish equivalent, because that's what English speakers normally use. On the other hand, the kings of Portugal whom we could call Peter, if we followed this rule unthinkingly, are instead called Pedro, because that's the norm. Generally, I think that the people most familiar with what English-speakers call a subject should make the call, and that means putting personal preferences aside sometimes for the sake of clarity. (BTW, I do this myself with the Carolingians -- although I normally think of Charles the Great -- what he was called in the 19th c.-- as Karl der Grosse, the entry is under Charlemagne, because that's what English speakers everywhere are most familiar with. I make up for it by using Lothar rather than Lothair and Odo rather than Eudes, because the trend really is moving that way and I'm a Germanist ;-)
I'm glad to see you getting away with the German names that are probably closer to what they used themselves. As I said, I'm not going to fight for this one; familiar English names are OK. The important thing is to have redirects (or disambiguation pages in ambiguous cases) for all likely accidental links, and listing in the article of all names likely to be searched for. — Toby
  • Family names ARE important, but not appropriate for the title of an article. Also, family names of rulers and nobles aren't usually used (in English, at least) as surnames. So we Don't say Ludwig II Wittelsbach of Bavaria -- He's Louis II of Bavaria. For the first line of an article, I would suggest Name (language variations), dates. Then, in the next section - usiually the biographical precis, I would say something like , "a member of the Wittlesbach ruling house..." For Sigismund, you could even say, Swedish -born King of Poland, Sigismund was a member of the Swedish Vasa dynasty...
I agree with you here, so I'll just let user:H.J. answer this one ^_^. — Toby
  • The non-linking thing is a pet peeve of mine. I think that, by creating a link, you're begging for an article. Potentially, lots of people should have articles. The reality is that history is full of younger children and wives who only have first names. we may have dates for them, and we may be able to trace their family trees, but that's genealogy, not biography or history. If this is all we have, then the article is the biographical equivalent of a dictionary entry -- and wikipedia is not a dictionary! Also, sometimes we get this type of entry for someone who did nothing important (that we know about, at least), and the name really should be used for someone else who was demonstrably more important, or about whom we know more.
It seems fundamentally antiWikipedian ^_^ not to create spontaneous links; I second Eclecticology's argument. If you, a historian typically writing about your own field, know that no interesting encyclopædia article could ever be written about somebody, then by all means, leave off the link. But I, who have no idea, will want to include it in those cases where I venture into history. Then if you, knowing better, remove the link, I won't complain. But I don't want a policy that expects me to know that a reasonable encyclopædia article could be written before including the link; the default should be to make the link and, as Eclecticology says, thus vote for the article to be written. — Toby

Anyway, I just thought some of your concerns should be addressed. JHK

Thanks. — Toby Bartels, Friday, July 19, 2002

JHK , I agree with all this.

Only a note on the Jadwiga=Hedwig switch by wikipedia. There is a St.Hedwig of Andechs, which was the first Hedwig to have been canonized and there is St.Hedwig ,which wiki renamed to St.Jadwiga of Poland. As it is demonstrated with St.Adalbert of Prague and many other names, people are specifically named for a previous person. Now to make St. Hedwig into St. Jadwiga next thing you would want to change St. Hedwig Cathedrale in Berlin, especially established for the Silesian people who moved to Berlin and Brandenburg, and all other St.Hedwig churches for that matter, into St. Jadwiga.

Problems are also created by changing the 'von' to 'of'. All genealogists keep the 'von' as part of a name. These people are registered as 'von so and so', or 'van' or 'de' or 'de la' and that way people centuries later can still trace that person where they came from and what country they were connected to. In can be written just like this : Wernher von Braun, of Wirsitz or : Oda von Stade, of Stade, Germany. This is how I see it written many English language publications.

But like I wrote, I am alright with whatever, as long as there are mentionings somewhere in wiki. user:H.J.

Here's the general rule in English for names -- we don't translate them. By this I mean that "Schmidt" and "Müller" are generally left as they are, rather than translating them to "Smith" and "Miller." Obviously, this isn't always true -- sometimes people anglicized their own names, and other times, the authorities did it for them. But, if you look at the earlier discussion, you'll see that last names, even with prepositions like 'von', 'van', 'de', de la', remain that way because they are part of their last names. BUT, what you seem to misunderstand is which names are last names that have historical meaning (most do, but especially the ones that mean "of somewhere"), versus names that meant something at the time. To take your example of Martin van Buren -- when he was alive, it would have been ridiculous for his contemporaries to have thought of him as Martin of Buren -- the name had by then solidified into a cohesive "van Buren." But in the case of someone like Otto von Braunschweig, "von Braunschwieg" isn't really his name, it's more part of a formal title or reference to his family holdings. In such cases, we DO translate, so that in English he's Otto of Brunswick. Hildegard von Bingen is Hildegard of Bingen -- the "of Bingen" is a description, not part of her name. I think this is also true in other languages -- in German, Matin van Buren stays the same, but Eleanor of Aquitaine is Eleanor von Aquitaine...hope this makes things clearer! (Oh -- and the Hedwig-Jadwiga thing was actually researched, if I remember correctly, and we went by what was in the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Church names themselves SHOULD NOT be changed, because we leave those as is -- like we don't translate Notre Dame de Paris into Our Lady of Paris -- BUT, the articles should make clear that the churches in question are dedicated to St. Hedwig or Jadwiga of Poland, and linked back to her. JHK
Excellent points! The key point to remember is that surnames surnames are a relatively recent invention that in general application relates to the development of literacy. In the middle ages the vast majority of the population were completely illiterate. But, like Wikipedia, they had to develop disambiguators if several men named John lived in the same village. Thus John Miller, John Cooper and John Smith milled grain, made barrels and shod horses respectively. Place names were another disambiguator as were looks and patronymics. The fact that a father often taught his trade to his son did contribute to these disambiguators becoming family names. Eclecticology, Friday, July 19, 2002
And mother to daughter — hence, for example "Baxter" (the feminine of "Baker"). — Toby 06:43 Jul 21, 2002 (PDT)

There was some voting and posting of mixed opinions here lately. What will we do with it? Jeronimo

There seems to be widespread agreement on points 1, 2, and 3. I say that we move everything above the new proposed standards to an archive, list these accepted standards as official, and list the others as tentative. The official standards can be rewritten and clarified as discussed in the mixed opinions, and the mixed opinions themselves can be kept for the tentative standards. Of course, Julie can also rewrite those if she finds the mixed opinions convincing. — Toby 06:31 Aug 3, 2002 (PDT)


So much attention has been deferred to setting the standards. Popularizing the current standards is also a crucial way to improve them and preventing users putting arbitary or sometimes their own standards when naming the nobles, which completely defeat our purpose. I have created a page Charles to start out. If usage of common personal names of noblity (like Charles, Louis, Frederick, Alphonso, Edward, George, Ferdinand, Francis, etc.) can be regulated by creating pages of the same kind, other users will follow those rules. IMO most users care more about the article than the nomenclature as long as they know which monarch or noble it talks about. KT2

Yeah, neat KT2. This looks like the way to go. user:sjc

For kings of England, the numbering began anew with the Norman Conquest. Thus, Saxon "Edward"s don't have numbers, and the first Norman "Edward" was "Edward I". Our article titles thus identify the Saxon "Edward"s by cognomen, in violation of these standards.

I won't go on about it here! This is just to tell you that there is discussion at Talk:List of British monarchs.

Toby 02:24 Sep 29, 2002 (UTC)


The Monarchs who reigned over part or all of the British Isles presided over kingdoms that changed in terms of name, geography and political structure. It is necessary, I presume to reflect these variations in their title (eg, Henry VIII of England, George I of Great Britain, George IV of the United Kingdom), as they were different kingdoms, not the same one with a different name. Some have suggested that all kings and queens be called of England which to me seems absurd, as England as a kingdom ceased to exist in 1707, and the Irish and the Scottish would be none to happy to be told that their kings after that date should be described on Wikipedia as 'english'. Any observations? JTD 21:34 Dec 23, 2002 (UTC)

This seems reasonable enough to me. All I ask is that redirects are made to assist those that are less informed to find and link to the correct articles. And instead of making the incorrect page titles orphan redirects they should be linked on a talk page (orphan redirects are invisible to the outside world). Otherwise somebody looking for "George I of England" on Google will not find our article on George I of Great Britain and we will miss the opportunity to inform them. --mav

Good point, Mav. I'm still getting the hang of using Wikipedia, so I'm still learning how to use the system. What is the best way to achieve this, and avoid orphaning pages?

Just make a list of links to redirects on the monarch's talk page of the other possible titles that a person might look for. For example, on the talk page for George I of Great Britain we could list George I of England and George I of the United Kingdom. (talk pages are open to Google). --mav

this stuff arose from talk:Anne Windsor - see that page for more

We have a major problem over how to refer to members of a Royal Family other than monarchs. Do we use (i) surnames or (ii) titles? What happens if a personal surname is different to a Royal House name? (eg, Princess Anne's pre-marital surname, as confirmed by Buckingham Palace on the occasion of both her marriages isn't Windsor but Mountbatten-Windsor but Wiki has her as Anne Windsor, a name she never used, isn't correct and which many people won't apply to her.)

To create a clear template for how we should solve this, I've the following suggestion: Apply what could be called the Three Generation Rule.

  • First Generation Royals. Children & siblings of A monarch (not just the present monarch!) should be referred to by title where they have one, or 'Prince/Princess of [country]' where they have no formal title, for example;
    • Charles, Prince of Wales
    • Andrew, Duke of York
    • Anne, Princess Royal
    • Margaret, Princess of the United Kingdom (daughter of George VI, sister of Elizabeth II)
    • Beatrice, Princess of the United Kingdom (daughter of Queen Victoria, sister of Edward VII)
    • Philip (or spanish version), Prince of the Asturias (or Crown Prince of Spain)
    • Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
    • Joakim, Prince of Denmark
    • Willem Alexander, Crown Prince of the Netherlands

(REASON: such royals are widely known and so recognised almost exclusively by name or title)

  • Second Generation Royals descended only from the present monarch should be referred to by title if they have one, by Royal House name (eg, Windsor, etc) if they don't, for example:
    • Princess Beatrice of York
    • Princess Eugenie of York
    • Eloise Sophie Beatrix Laurence, Countess of Orange-Nassau
    • Princess Anne's children have no title, an almost unique situation. They are universally known by their fathers surname of Phillips, so a degree of flexibility is required here, but as I say they do SEEM unique.

(REASON: such royals are less well known but again are known largely by name/title. Using a surname would be confusing as many would have different surnames, not just the like of Windsor.)

It could if people agree be applied to Second General Royals of any past monarch; for example,

    • Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh (grand-daughter of Queen Victoria)
    • Princess Victoria of Connaught (grandaughter of Queen Victoria)

But how many grandchildren of long dead monarchs are likely to crop up on Wikipedia? In any case, they are ALREADY going to cause problems, as their births predated the change of the Royal House name to Windsor, so if they were put here as Beatrice Windsor, (a) that would be wrong, (b) if we called Andrew's daughter as merely 'Beatrice Windsor' (as some people want to do now) we'd be producing all sorts of complexities.

  • Other Royals. The Royal House name should be used, for example:
    • The Earl of Ulster referred to by Royal House (in this case, Windsor)

Where a minor royal is unambiguously identified by a clear surname, that could be used. For example

    • Viscount Linley as David Linley.

By using a Royal House name, we would be using the name most people would associate with a monarchy. In Britain, that would be Windsor.)

(REASON: Such royals are hardly known, and rarely by title. But as they may have a different and almost totally unknown surname, using the Royal House name may be the most straight-forward way).

If in doubt, just put in Royal House name as surname, with a note on the talk page. Someone in Wiki will know. It isn't fail-proof but it does produce a name that would be easily recognised by the average Wikipedia user.

It is just a suggestion. We currently have numerous people adding in royal references using different structures, then others changing the names to follow the structure they use. Some royals seem to change their names weekly on wiki, so one standard set of rules is needed. This is my proposal. Any opinions? JTD 01:15 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

I'm afraid so - just a few little niggles. For a start, as you mentioned, Princess Anne's children do have a surname - Phillips - so they can't also be called Windsor, as you seem to be suggesting (or maybe you didn't mean that...) (And, by the way, "Lindley" is "Linley", but that's just me being pedantic.) My only real concern is that there will be a need for disambiguation on many of these pages. I can say this without being accused of nit-picking, because 'twas I who created Prince William of Wales (the article, that is) without at the time considering the possibility that there might have been a previous one, which I think there was. So we need to be extra careful. But as long as there are plenty of redirects, I think your suggestions are broadly acceptable. Deb 20:11 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for your observation. Anne's children are unusual as they have no title, but are mentioned in the media by their father's (Anne's ex-husband's) surname, so that complicates it. Yeah, I guessed I had David's surname wrong but I was too tired to rummage through my files to check. (I've now changed it, and made some minor additions to the Three Generation Rule. As for Prince William, the only other William in recent history I can think of is William of Gloucester. I don't know of any other William of Wales, though one might crop up. In which case, we would have to deal with that crisis, but I think on balance it may be quite a while (possibly many years) if at all before it arises. Most Wiki references will probably be to senior royals (past and present) and most will be pretty straight-forward, as they either became monarchs (and so are referred to as such; William if the monarchy still exists and he is still alive will become king, possibly as King William V) or will be known by name and title (Duke of Clarence, York, Connaught, etc). For example, among the descendants of Queen Victoria listed in the family tree in Harold Nicolson's King George V, there are two Beatrices (a third with Prince Andrew's daughter). One would be called 'Beatrice, Princess of the United Kingdom), the other would be Beatrice, Princess of Edinburgh, both clearly distinguishable from Beatrice, Princess of York, Andrew's daughter. I know it is complex but I think it is probably more workable than always using a surname (which usually is the wrong one, being mixed up with the Royal House name!), when that will throw up names that few (not even the person being written about) but the writer of the article would ever recognise. And just using references to the United Kingdom would cause confusion between all three generations of Beatrice, for example. JTD 22:27 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

I'll look into previous Williams. I just want to make one more comment, which is this - When I first started contributing to the British history pages (nearly a year ago now - aaah), it wasn't anticipated that we would go into the depth we have done now - for example, it wasn't expected that we would cover minor nobles or every single queen consort. However, time has revealed a determination on the part of many people to make wikipedia a complete and utter history of everything. I can't quarrel with that, but it does mean that disambiguation becomes more of a problem, one which I feel you may be in danger of underestimating. But let's carry on with these standards, anyway, and see how it goes. Deb 22:46 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)
I think there needs to be a bit more thought about "Beatrice". She has no "York" title: her title (with the style of "HRH") is as "Beatrice, Princess of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland", and she is the daughter of the Duke "of York". Popularly, she is known as "Princess Beatrice" and further identified, if necessary, as "of York", which functions here as a surname surrogate rather than as a title. I would favor naming her article "Beatrice of York" (easily linked to, easily found, doesn't include a false title), or if necessary, "Princess Beatrice of York" (less easily linked to, and includes a partial but familiar title), or. correctly, "Beatrice, Princess of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland" (not easily linked to, but includes an accurate title). The one alternative that is NOT very good is the one she is under now: "Beatrice, Princess of York". She's not a "Princess of York", though she's a "Princess" and she's "of York". The problem is more acute for (hypothetical) daughters of a Prince of Wales: "Hermione, Princess of Wales" is necessarily the wife of a Prince of Wales, while "Princess Hermione of Wales" is a viable shorthand alternative for a daughter who more fully would be "HRH Princess Hermione of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland". -- Someone else 23:13 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

I get your point. As daughters of a prince they are princesses automatically. Royalty use the title linking them to their father's title. Hence William is officially named in Court Circulars as Prince William of Wales. SImilarly Beatrice is referred to as Princess Beatrice of York as indeed was the current queen, who was known as Princess Elizabeth of York. I think it is important to clarify that they were a 'Princess' or 'Prince' in a title; monarchs we know so well we don't have to state it. Hence my reference to Princess of York which I agree isn't technically correct. The alternative is to include 'Princess' before the name, as in 'Princess Beatrice of York'. 'Beatrice of York' is workable, but it doesn't indicate clearly a royal status; non-royals in the middle ages were sometimes called [x] of [y], which might add some confusion. But I can certainly live with 'Beatrice of York', but I do feel some sort of clarification of royal status in the title would help, if we can agree on a methodology. Otherwise, I think the general idea of the Three Generation Rule is the best way of dealing with the general 'royal problem'. JTD 23:45 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)

I think "Princess Beatrice of York" is quite reasonable. You're right that it has the benefit of being familiar, and since it doesn't make up a title, "Princess of York", I'm happy <G>. I'll move her to there, and you can see if there's some general rule here that belongs in the "3-generation policy statement". -- Someone else 23:52 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC) (Another advantage: It doesn't have a comma in the title of the article)

The overall consensus seems to be that the Three Generation Rule is the best solution to the issue of how to refer to royals on Wikipedia. Deb, Mav, Someone Else and Oliver Pereira have all agreed with it. So far no-one has voiced any opposition to the principle, merely practical issues as to its implementation in isolated individual cases. Indeed some people have already begun to use it, or adapt existing pages to follow it. I think the overall consensus is clear. We simply have to implement it.

On final point: there has been some dispute as to what is the correct surname for British royals, to be referred to in the opening line of a biog on them. I checked with Buckingham Palace for clarification. The surname of all the Queen's children and her descendants is Mountbatten-Windsor not Windsor as many presume. That doesn't effect any title headings used, as under the THREE GENERATION RULE if there is no title or recognised alternative surname, we simply should use the Royal House (ie, Royal Family) name which is Windsor. But inside the article, if we are giving a surname, it should be MW, not simply Windsor, for all direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth. (It doesn't apply to Princess Margaret's descendants or anyone else's, just Elizabeth's). I've put a stub on defining Royal House so what we could do is in the case of any member of the British Family is add in the line of the Royal House of Windsor after their full name. That way, the title of the article will cover their most recognised name, the opening line will name them and give a separate surname if they have one, while the above addition will link them into the Royal Family, so it should cover all aspects of their complicated nomenclature. JTD 20:41 Jan 22, 2003 (UTC)

I very much agree with this later addendum. It makes no sense for an author to append a surname that is seldom or never used by a person just because that author "feels" that everyone should have a surname. (I think The Princess Royal has used her surname just once, in registering her marriage...) This comes up repeatedly not just with the House of Windsor but with Hohenzollerns, etc. -- Someone else 23:12 Jan 22, 2003 (UTC)

I'm going to put this suggestion on the Wiki list to see are there any problems, but so far it seems workable, usable and sensible. JTD 23:33 Jan 22, 2003 (UTC)

Yes, it's me again. I wonder if we could have a bit more flexibility on the "Other Royals" front? For a start, the Earl of Ulster - perhaps not the best example, but a valid one - IS normally known as the Earl of Ulster. I'm not even sure what his other names are. So I don't see why he has to be called whatever-it-is Windsor, Earl of Ulster. (Mind you, I haven't checked the Court Circular recently to see how they refer to him.) There's also a fundamental difference between the children of male royals and the children of females. Prince Michael of Kent's children are known by the surname Windsor, but his sister, Princess Alexandra, took her husband's surname when she married, so her children are James and Marina Ogilvy. Had her husband been given a title (as the Earl of Snowdon was), her children would inherit a title through him, not through her.Deb 18:52 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Absolutely, I'm open to any ideas. Very minor royals are a problem, though I suppose as they are more likely to have surnames than senior royals, we could rely on surname or on title. Maybe we should stick totally to title. That might solve everything. I have made changes to the structure as suggestions have come in. The Other Royals seems to be the big problem. Maybe unless we know what someone's surname really is, we simply put their first names following by 'of the [Royal House] of [House of Windsor|Windsor] in the text and use title in the headline. Is that workable, do you think? JTD 19:45 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Um...it just seems a bit OTT. I think, if in doubt, we'll simply have to get you to check with the palace again. I'm not joking -- I'm all for calling people by their "proper" names (except for "Bonnie Prince Charlie"). Deb 22:20 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

It is an absolute nightmare, isn't it. But then I suppose what are the chances of the Earl of Ulster, etc cropping up on Wiki? BTW, another Wiki problem, calling women by their pre-marital name. It just dawned on me - former Irish President and ex-UN Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson is defined as just that, MR. But technically, we should be using her maiden name, Mary Bourke. Except that nobody (possibly not even Mary herself!) would find herself as that on Wiki. The same is true with her presidential successor, Mary McAleese. I'm a friend of hers and even I don't know what her pre-marital name is. How many people know Laura Bush's maiden name? (But then even saying 'maiden name' is offensive to some, even though it is widely used outside America, never with its previous meanings, but simply the easy term for 'pre-marital' which sounds clinically 'pc', which itself is reason enough in many people's eyes never to use 'pre-marital'!) God, the job of sorting out names, eh! JTD 22:39 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

I've never felt that women should be exclusively listed under their maiden names, and I'm surprised to learn that it's a rule (are you sure?). If you're talking about the "queens", that's a different kettle of fish. They fall into two categories: those who were already royal, eg. Catherine of Aragon, Alexandra of Denmark, etc, in which case they continue to be called by their original names, even though they were queens of England/Britain. That's simply because they don't have a unique title - there have been various Queen Catherines, Queen Alexandras, etc, and there's no other way of differentiating. Queens don't, as far as I know, take their husband's surname. Then there are the queens who weren't royal to start with, eg. Elizabeth Woodville. Same applies there - there are zillions of Queen Elizabeths, which is why history books call her Queen Elizabeth Woodville or just plain Elizabeth Woodville. Princesses of Wales go by the same rules. However, other women of historical interest can be called whatever we like. I wouldn't think of putting Lady Caroline Lamb under "Lady Caroline Ponsonby", for example. Tell me if I'm missing something.Deb 17:45 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC)