Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility)

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Except when they are overwhelming usage[edit]

I am currently quoting the following for the tile of an article:

"No cognomens (nicknames) in article titles, except when they are overwhelming usage as above."

so it would be inappropriate for me to alter the text to fix the grammar. Could someone else please do it (without any change in meaning). For example:

"No cognomens (nicknames) in article titles, unless they are overwhelmingly used—see above".

-- PBS (talk) 11:44, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

I probably should not do it, since I may well have written that text. I still do not see an error. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:03, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

When to use the term "royal family" in the title[edit]

There is an ongoing RfC here about when to use the term "royal family" in the title of a Wikipedia article. Cheers. -The Gnome (talk) 08:57, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Relevant move request (Elizabeth I of England)[edit]

Editors may wish to participate in the discussion at Talk:Elizabeth I of England#Requested move 10 January 2018. Egsan Bacon (talk) 23:11, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Deposed royalty[edit]

Do we have actual guidance here? The best I can find is "For claimants to titles which have been suppressed, as with the dukes of Bavaria, follow the general article titling policy." with a link to WP:AT. This is unhelpful.

A particular problem is the example of the Bavarian claimants; there is a complication here that does not exist in other cases: their legal surname is not Wittelsbach but Herzog von Bayern. Surely the House of Austria would be a better choice? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:43, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Relevant RFC[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Article titles#Should Wikipedia:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility) override WP:COMMONNAME in all cases?, a recently opened RFC which is relevant to the subject of this page. DES (talk)DESiegel Contribs 00:26, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

Proposed changes to WP:SOVEREIGN[edit]

The latest move discussion at Talk:Elizabeth I of England was closed with no move, but the suggestion that the naming conventions here be reviewed. Here are my suggestions:

  1. If there is an overwhelmingly common name, use it: William the Conqueror, John Balliol, Peter the Great, Henry the Fowler, Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, Gustavus Adolphus, Eric of Pomerania, Charlemagne. This is in line with WP:COMMONNAME and is no change from the status quo.
  2. If the regnal name and number are unambiguous, use them: Louis XVIII, Edward VIII, Ivan V, Gustaf VI Adolf. Adding a country to the article title, when there is no other country with a monarch of that name, goes against WP:PRECISION.
  3. If the regnal name and number are not unambiguous, but it has been decided that the subject of the article is the primary topic, use just the name and number: Louis XV (could also be a decorative style), Louis Philippe I (could also be a Duke of Orléans), George III (could also be a King of Georgia), Isabella II (could also be a Queen of Jerusalem). This is already the case for Edward VII, George V, George VI, Elizabeth II. It seems silly to have a redirect from a shorter title to a longer one.
  4. If there is no primary topic for monarchs with the same name and number, then add the country: Peter IV of Aragon and Peter IV of Portugal, James III of Cyprus and James III of Scotland, William III of the Netherlands and William III of England. For Polish kings using the surname is more common: Casimir IV Jagiellon, John III Sobieski.
  5. Only use the rank if necessary for disambiguation: Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse to distinguish from Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, Frederick I, Duke of Württemberg to distinguish from King Frederick I of Württemberg, Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria because there was also a King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. The current convention of including the rank for rulers below kings gives us Baldwin V of Flanders as a redirect to Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Casimir IV of Pomerania to Casimir IV, Duke of Pomerania: why? Surely again the shorter title is preferable per WP:PRECISION. I agree that Holy Roman Emperors and German Emperors are an exception and should still be described as such.

Names should be given in the form most commonly used in English sources. This usually means using English forms before about the nineteenth century and native forms for more recent rulers, but exceptions abound. It means we have Philip III of Spain and Felipe VI of Spain, but we shouldn't attempt to impose a consistency where none exists.

I think these changes should bring this naming convention more in line with Wikipedia:Article titles, and hopefully make move discussions easier as a result. Opera hat (talk) 12:59, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

I prefer consistency & it annoys me to no end, that we've got articles named William the Conqueror, Frederick the Great, Catherine the Great, Mary, Queen of Scots, Felipe VI of Spain, George VI etc etc. IMHO, they should be William I of England, Frederick II of Prussia, Catherine II of Russia, Mary I of Scotland , yes Philip VI of Spain & George VI of the United Kingdom, for examples. GoodDay (talk) 15:23, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

It is unfortunate that this proposal has been ignored. One might even interpret that as tacit approval. I would like to note that many articles already follow Opera hat' suggestion. Namely all articles in Category:Sultans of the Ottoman Empire (e.g. Bayezid II), many in Category:Pharaohs of the Ptolemaic dynasty (e.g. Ptolemy VIII Physcon), all in Category:Byzantine emperors (e.g. Basil II), etc. Surtsicna (talk) 19:48, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

I would also rather agree that this is a good, well thought out proposal, with some possible quibbles about point 5, only. I think rank should be used for recognizability and clarity (particularly for monarchs we don't use ordinals for) as well as for disambiguation. John of England isn't exactly ambiguous, but I think it's a lot less clear who that article is going to be about than John, King of England. john k (talk) 17:26, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Further question - should this affect popes? Pius XII and Leo XIII are clearly primary topics. Why do we need to include "Pope" in their article titles? (On the other hand, Pope Alexander II or Pope John V would remain necessary to disambiguate.) john k (talk) 17:28, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Per consistency, it's best to leave all popes the same. GoodDay (talk) 13:56, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
I think it should affect popes, John K. Francis is the first pope since Alexander IV (1254) to require disambiguation. For the vast majority of them, the title "Pope" is unnecessary. Currently the articles about the bishops of Rome are inconsistent with the articles about all other bishops, including other patriarchs. For example, Bartholomew I of Constantinople is not called Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. (He really should be called simply Bartholomew I.) Surtsicna (talk) 14:24, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
I would agree - if the basic name and ordinal is already a redirect, that's where the article should be. john k (talk) 18:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
You may want to contact WP:CATHOLICISM, about the topic of papal article titles. GoodDay (talk) 16:31, 8 July 2018 (UTC)


Does anyone want to offer suggestions here for wording of MOS:JOBTITLES bullet 3 ? This recentish add is being read that the long-standing capitalised “Queen of” as in “Queen of the United Kingdom” should be reworded to lower case “queen of”. I have reverted a few cases such as “Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom, but unless further consensus input occurs the lower case “queen of” and “king of” is occasionally being inserted. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 21:02, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

It is correct to write: "Henry VIII was King of England." That is a proper title. It is not correct to write: "Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms." That is not a proper title but a descriptive one, referring to 16 countries. Surtsicna (talk) 21:31, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
Bullet 3 is not very clearly worded. It appears to be adding restrictions to bullets 1 and 2. My interpretation is as follows:
Titles may only be capitalised if either bullet 1 OR 2 applies AND they are singular, don't have "a" or "the" in front and aren't a "reworded description" (whatever that is).
Actually I don't agree with "the" or "reworded description" if it is defined as Surtsicna suggests above. "Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom" refers to her specific title and so does "Louis XIV was the King of France". Personally I'd delete Bullet 3 and just stick with the first two. Then we're not being heavy-handed in a way that the sources aren't and we're allowing editors a small degree of freedom that matches the outside world. Then we can get on with enhancing Wikipedia without becoming bogged down in pernickety, style disputes. HTH. Bermicourt (talk) 21:47, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Bermicourt, of course, "Queen of the United Kingdom" is Elizabeth II's specific title, but "Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms" is not. In fact, when capitalized like that, it looks confusingly similar to her official British title, which calls her "of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen". Much like we would not capitalize the word "queen" in "queen of the Commonwealth realms", we should not capitalize it when we pull one realm out of the bunch to emphasize it, i.e. "queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms". Surtsicna (talk) 23:38, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
Then simply fix the grammar instead of making a second wrong, perhaps simply add a comma to end the title phrase: “Queen of the United Kingdom, and ” Cheers Markbassett (talk) 17:48, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong about having the word "queen" in lowercase. It is not a holy, untouchable word. When it is a common noun, as it is in that sentence, it should not be capitalized. Adding a comma after "and" in that phrase would be a crime against orthography. Surtsicna (talk) 18:00, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Consistency is my goal here. If we have the capitalized "Queen of the United Kingdom", at Elizabeth II? then we use King & Queen in the other British Isles monarchs (British, English, Scottish, Irish). If we have queen of the United Kingdom? then we use king & queen, etc etc. For the moment, I changed to lower-case on 'only' the British monarchs (i.e. 1707-present). When this dispute is settled, I'll make sure all are consistent, which includes English, Scottish, Welsh & Irish monarchs. GoodDay (talk) 23:53, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

But please consider the possibility that you cannot make them all consistent because they are not all in the same boat. They did not all reign over multiple realms, let alone sixteen of them. Forcing one standard on both a 12th century feudal or tribal ruler and a 21st century constitutional monarch does not help anyone. Surtsicna (talk) 00:04, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
JOBTITLES alone, calls for lower-casing of them all. Same discussion has developed about the intros to US presidents & vice presidents, as well. GoodDay (talk) 00:13, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
The problem with consistency is that a) it doesn't always reflect the sources and b) there isn't always a consensus first. All that then happens is endless disputes. That's presumably why the early editors of Wikipedia agreed on WP:ENGVAR recognising that there would otherwise be an endless battle to force one particular regional variation of English over all others. And so we live with a degree of inconsistency that keeps the peace. Of course there are many areas where consensus can be achieved and then consistency can follow. Bermicourt (talk) 11:59, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
The JOBTITLES calls for capitalised titles - the interpretation of this as mandate to 2019 being the year of lowercase, and/or that one should revise all lines to eliminate titles seems a horrific misread. For the moment I have reverted all the List of British monarchs back to capitalised “Queen of”, “Empress of”, and “King of”, but again ask people for input here and/or at JOBTITLES on what wording or examples should be. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 17:38, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Elizabeth II's entry in the The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Volume 1, p. 172, says she is "queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms."[1] So that's a precedent. I think either is correct or we could say "Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent countries." Note this problem is limited to modern UK monarchs so we should have a separate rule for them. TFD (talk) 22:21, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
I think the problem is more widespread than that. I came across an article recently which said something like "Margaret married prince Christian of Foo" (Foo being a European princedom) which is clearly an over-application of the lower case rule. It doesn't even look right. And I'm afraid one source isn't representative of the corpus of reliable sources; especially one tertiary source. This needs comprehensive research before we can reach a consensus. Bermicourt (talk) 22:27, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Well obviously that is wrong - titles before names should always be capitalized. TFD (talk) 22:45, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Tosh. I don’t see any evidence shown to support this “limited to modern UK monarchs”. On the contrary, it seems the last MOS edit is more a recentism and perhaps focused on Trump, and that diverse and long-standing examples are visibly capitalised for examples ranging among the 14th Dalai Llama, the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, the more complicated List of Chinese monarchs, Jair Bolsonaro “the 38th President of Brazil”, Ptolemy XV The last Pharoh of Egypt, and so on. Even the cite above (which DOES use uncapitalised “queen of”) is right next to a contrary example in a capitalised “the Duke” at Prince Albert the Duke of York. Look, the recentish MOS edit confused a number of folks so it should at least be written more clearly... or, given the number of contrary examples and RS guidances and depth of existing contrary usage should just be given up as a bad job. There are certainly examples the other way as well, but there simply seems not an accepted external guidance or usage in the manner bullet 3 stated. The record shows that was simply something made up without any deep discussion or examination, and seems clear to me just got it wrong. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 23:48, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Markbassett: This is not an issue about WP:NCROY, because it is about content of an article not an article title. The best place to raise the issue would be Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Royalty and Nobility and a heads up to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Peerage and Baronetage -- PBS (talk) 11:54, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

User:PBS Thanks, I’ll try there as well. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 03:07, 15 June 2019 (UTC)