Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility)

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Disambiguation of Dukes (title)[edit]

Just stopping by to point out the page moves of the new editor Barbudo Barbudo.

e.g. (Barbudo Barbudo moved page Duke of Medinaceli to Duke of Medinaceli (title): specify the fact that this article is the actual title itself.)

to try to get a consensus on this. Is it unnecessary disambiguation? wbm1058 (talk) 01:18, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Looks to me unnecessary and also not accurate, since the article covers not only the title itself but also the various Dukes. W. P. Uzer (talk) 06:49, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
I've undone these moves per Wikipedia:Requested moves#Undiscussed moves. DrKay (talk) 07:38, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

RfC: "Sir"[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The supporters tell us that Sir is part of the name and should be bolded. They also admit that the "Sir" is sometimes not really in use. The opposers told us that Sir is not really in widespread usage anyways. Consensus seems to be the following:

If "Sir" is usually used in the reliable and independent sources found, it should be bolded. If not,it should not be bolded. Bolding or unbolding "Sir" should not be done with WP:AWB unless there is clear consensus to use it .

This consensus has its roots in the discussion as well as in WP:Neutral point of view, one of our core policies, which states that every article should be made without being influenced by personal opinions. And treating it as part of the name or not should be based on the sources, and not bias. 188.174.69.13 (talk) 18:35, 20 August 2016 (UTC)




Currently, biographical articles of knights and baronets begin with "Sir Firstname Lastname". Wikipedia convention dictates that the person's name at the beginning of a biographical article should be in bold. Most such articles (around 95%) bold "Sir" as well, but a minority of such articles do not bold the "Sir". It goes something like this:

Sir John Major (born 29 March 1943... vs.

Sir John Major (born 29 March 1943...

I want to make it clear that this is not about renaming articles, but about the first mention of the subject's name in the body of the article.

I have been editing certain articles to bold "Sir" as part of the name. I do so for the following reasons:

1) This is the style prescribed by Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies. The relevant section reads as follows: "The honorific titles Sir, Dame, Lord and Lady are included in the initial reference and infobox heading for the subject of a biographical article, but are optional after that. The title is placed in bold in the first use of the name." (Emphasis added).

2) This is the logical style. "Sir" is part of a person's legal name: it is used not only socially, but in official documents as well. To not bold "Sir" is to imply that is is not part of the subject's name.

3) It is long-standing Wikipedia practice. As previously indicated, 95% of the articles surveyed so far bold "Sir".

I would also like to quote from the MOS, where it is stated that its purpose is to "achieving visual and textual consistency in biographical articles and in biographical information in other articles; such consistency allows Wikipedia to be used more easily". Hence, this is not a case of (say) preferring 'colour' over 'color', but is part of keeping a basic degree of consistency across articles so as to improve usability.

User:PBS is against the bolding of the prefix in articles' body and asked that I refrain from editing them until a consensus emerges. He will no doubt wish to set out his arguments below. We would be grateful for any comments editors might have on the subject.

Atchom (talk) 19:24, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Bold Your reasons (1) and (2) explain why we have (3) as common practice. Schwede66 19:57, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold My view is that (in the real world) if "Mr Joseph Bloggs" becomes "Sir Joseph Bloggs", then all references to "Mr Bloggs" should be changed to "Sir Joseph", and all other references ("Bloggs", "Joseph", "Joseph Bloggs") should be left unchanged. I may well be incorrect; the article Sir ought to provide the real-world information; it's not currently a very high-quality article. jnestorius(talk) 11:42, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
    • I have added "Not bold" to my previous comment to conform to the emergent standard for this section. I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but I find the assertion "Sir" is part of a person's legal name dubious; see Legal name#England and Wales. jnestorius(talk) 15:26, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
      • Home Office guidance states that "Titles of nobility are part of a person's name and identity"; knighthoods and damehoods are specifically included in the definition of 'titles of nobility. Atchom (talk) 01:00, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold. The short version: "Sir", "Dame", etc., are only "part of the name" to some people, in some contexts, not everyone in an encyclopedic context. All the "it can be used as part of the legal name" arguments also adhere to post-name initials, and to other prefixed titles like "Dr" and "Rev.", but we do not boldface them in leads. The more detailed version: Jnestorius's points are valid, and there are more such considerations. What's happening here is a confusion, an operator overloading, of two entirely different concepts of what the word "name" means, and an unsustainable commingling of different contexts. For WP lead purposes it means the WP:COMMONNAME of the subject, and any close competitors to it that we include in the lead (e.g. a stage name or other alias by which the subject is commonly known, like "Buster Poindexter" for David Johansen), and the expanded full name when someone's common name is their first and last name and we're also giving their middle name (as at David Johansen again), and may also include generational/patronymic elements ("Jr.", "III", etc.). And that's it. It does not include academic, ecclesiastical, governmental, or peerage titles prepended to the name, nor academic, peerage, honorary, or other suffixes. Those in favor of bolding the "Sir" or "Dame" in front of names are instead taking the broadest possible view of how a name could be defined, in any context, not the WP context. One of many problems with doing so, and one with which we're constantly engaged in cleanup against, is that it implies to new (and even not-so-new) editors that neutral academic style should be dropped when referring to such people, and that royalist British subjects' deferential, honorary style should instead be used (i.e., that Dame Judith Andrews should, in short form in later references, be referred to as "Dame Judith" instead of as "Andrews"). This may be acceptable in a London (perhaps even a Melbourne or Toronto) newspaper, but it is not appropriate in an encyclopedia, used by billions of people to whom someone's knighthood is no more (and possibly less) impressive than someone else's Congressional Medal of Honor, Hero of the Russian Federation medal, Nobel Prize, AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, or Hockey Hall of Fame induction. This is before we get into the fact even in the UK the titles Lord and Lady can be bought and sold (with a brisk trade in them since at least the 1980s [1], plus indications that some small independent principalities and such have been selling knighthoods since at least that long (I think Palladin Press has a book on how to buy your way into a knighthood from Malta, Monaco, or another of those European microstates; I remember seeing something of this sort in their catalog, around the same time the afore-cited Los Angeles Times article originally came out).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:23, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
    • A few observations.
1) We are not talking about further references but the first mention. The first mention occupies a different position from the rest of the article. As the Manuel of Style currently states, the subject's full name should be given at the beginning of an article. Thus we list the four first names of a subject whereas in daily life he only uses one of them. And of course all the first names are bolded.
2) Whereas peerages or knighthoods are bought or not (or are more or less impressive than other non-titular honours) is irrelevant; what is relevant is that people are referred to by them in mainstream sources. A 'republican' naming philosophy such as the one you suggest would lead to patent absurdities. Are we then to have Henry John Temple instead of Lord Palmerston, to point to an obvious howler? Neutral academic style, in the British context, is to count "Sir" and titles of nobility as part of a subject's name. As User:Choess pointed out below, the main UK academic reference works inevitably include 'Sir' as part of the subject's name. It would be extraordinary indeed if Wikipedia took upon itself to unilaterally strip people of parts of their name. Atchom (talk) 22:01, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
    • Another quick observation. You said WP:COMMONNAME controls for the format of the lead as well. This is not the case. WP:COMMONNAME only controls for article titles. As I have already pointed out above WP:MOS already specifies that "Sir" should be bolded. Atchom (talk) 22:26, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
      • To respond in series: 1) Already addressed this. The subject's full name, in the WP context, means their name in the narrow, encyclopedic sense, not the broadest possible sense all festooned with titles. Did you read what I wrote the first time? 2) No, isn't irrelevant, per WP:NPOV policy. Your point about Palmerston is isn't valid, because a) the conventions differ (jnestorious fills you in on that in a subjection below, the summary of which is that the name of the lordship can optionally be used as a surname, a situation that has nothing to do with Sir/Dame titles), and b) our article is in fact not at "Lord Palmerston", but at Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (the second half of which is a comma disambiguation). "The main UK academic reference works" of which you speak follow British royalist customs and are thus exemplary of an insular, culturally specific practice not an global encyclopedic one, so you're just making my point for me. "Strip people of parts of their names" is hyperbolic and off-topic; the discussion is about "Sir John Major" vs. "Sir John Major", and is not entertaining just "John Major" in the lead. 3) I did not say what you claim I said. PS: "inevitably" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:34, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
        • As best I can make out from fragments on the web, Encarta treated "Sir" in the same unique way, differently from other titles. This usage is not "royalist", it's simply the norm for general works of biographical reference. The questions of what invididuals are legally "entitled" to or what their legal name is, whether this is logical, fair, culturally narrow, or just, are entirely beside the point. Treating "Sir" as part of the bolded or capitalized name in the first line or abstract of an article is standard among comparable works of general reference and is what is expected by readers. If you have evidence for works of similar authority and scope following the practice you favor, please post it. Choess (talk) 17:22, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Leaning toward Not bold. The legal entitlement to use is not the same as 'legal name', any more than Professor, Doctor etc. I wouldn't get upset if I saw it in an article, but wouldn't want it to be policy to use it, especially since so many modern recipients choose to not use it in everyday circumstances. I also note SMcCandlish's point that if we start saying this is 'legal name', we drift towards the convention of referring to 'Sir Paul', 'Sir Sean' etc. Pincrete (talk) 19:48, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
    • It is already Wikipedia policy to list, in biographical articles, a person's full name at the beginning, even though he may not use part of it. Joe Biden is never referred to as Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. but we still list it at the beginning of his article, with an indication that he is always known as "Joe Biden". Similarly, whether someone uses "Sir" or not it is part of his name and it should be listed, and treated on the same basis as the rest of the name, whether it is used or not. Finally, I'd like to note that nowadays people are invariably asked by the Cabinet Office whether they wish to accept a knighthood or not; some decline because they object to titles, but most accept, and it should be taken that having accepted it they will use or, or at least are not adverse to be referred to by it. Atchom (talk) 22:12, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
      • I don't feel strongly either way about boldening 'Sir', but I do object to the suggestion that it is part of someone's legal name. I see no evidence for that and am not even sure what it means. The individual is granted an entitlement to use it and formal 'state' situations would therafter use it. Pincrete (talk) 23:56, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
        • On the 'legal name' point, the Home Office passport guidance states that "Titles of nobility are part of a person's name and identity, and for holders who use their title as part of their name for all purposes, the title should be entered in the surname field of the personal details page of their passport"; 'holders of knighthoods' and dames are specifically included in its scope. By way of contrast, professional titles such as Professor are only to be entered in the Observations field. The terminology might be somewhat vague but the point I was making is that "Sir" cannot be compared with professional titles, as the former is considered to be part of the name in UK official documents while the latter are not. Atchom (talk) 00:58, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
    I think the question of whether "Sir" is part of the "legal name" is a bit of a red herring. (This would introduce complications related to British courtesy titles, for instance.) If North Korean law mandated that Kim Jong-un's name be preceded by 83 emojis, I don't think we'd feel bound to follow it. The key point is that reference sources comparable to us use "Sir" as if it were an additional forename (except for alphabetization, of course). Choess (talk) 01:09, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
    for holders who use their title as part of their name for all purposes, the title should be entered in the surname field of the personal details page of their passport, so 'Sir Paul' and 'Sir Sean' are able to have the title in their passports if they so wish. I agree Choess, that the 'legal name' issue is a bit irrelevant. Pincrete (talk) 21:53, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold: The most obvious comparable encyclopedias (the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Encyclopedia Britannica) treat "Sir" as an integral component of the extended name, e.g., "Croft, Sir Richard (1429/30–1509)" from the ODNB, or "Sir John Chandos, (died Jan. 1, 1370, Mortemer, France)" from Britannica (formatting in original). This is also done for hereditary peerages, but not for academic degrees, ecclesiastical titles, military ranks, and other miscellaneous honorifics ("Mr.", "Esq.", "Rt. Hon", etc.) "Sir" is almost sui generis in that, unlike the other things mentioned above, it regularly gets attached to the forename as well as the surname. ("Sir John" is common, but not "Dr. John", "Lt.-Col. John", "Bishop John", etc.) Whether it's good style to use the forename extensively in running text, with or without "Sir", or whether knighthoods are "impressive" are separate issues from the question under discussion. Choess (talk) 20:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold - I find Atchom's arguments compelling, and besides, it is not just the Wikipedia standard, but it tends to be the English language standard as well. The title is part of the name. You don't split off the title from the name in any way. Any formatting done to the name is done to the title, unless you are specifically trying to emphasize something. To top it off, as a native speaker/reader/writer of English, it simply looks WRONG to split the formatting, and that's gotta count for something. Fieari (talk) 07:05, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Not always bold. The reason I asked Atchom to seek other opinions is that Atchom was using AWB to change hundreds of articles, some of which show up on my watch-list. I to not think it is appropriate to use AWB to make such style changes, particularly as the guideline quoted Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies is not a widely read one, and some of it is contradictory. For example Atchom quotes it as saying it is to "achieving visual and textual consistency in biographical articles and in biographical information in other articles; such consistency allows Wikipedia to be used more easily" yet that is contradicted by the much better know lead in the main MOS article "Style and formatting should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia". This naming convention suggests that the Sir in Baronet ought to be in bold. This was added because it was never considered appropriate to always place Sir in bold. I think that this is something to be decided case by case not one to be automated using bots or AWB. To answer specific comments by others "It is long-standing Wikipedia practice" (Atchom) yes it is but it is also long standing Wikipedia practice not to do so, as you said you have changed 500 odd articles before being asked to gain a consensus. Did you not ask yourself whether it was appropriate to use AWB to make so many style changes basing it on a minor guideline without checking the consensus on the MOS talk page or this one to see if that had wide support? "a native speaker/reader/writer of English, it simply looks WRONG to split the formatting, and that's gotta count for something" (Fieari). I presume that as you use "gotta" you are not a native British English speaker. I am and I can not say that I consider it odd, but I do not think that one ought to base ones justification of mass changes to article style on what one considers be "simply looking wrong". Take for example Sir Walter Scott and Winston Churchill. Scott was and is usually called Sir Walter Scott as he held the knighthood when he was famous. Churchill on the other hand was knighted late in life and is usually referred to as Winston Churchill. Personally if I saw a reference to Sir Winston Churchill without context I would assume it meant the Cavalier (and father of the John, Duke of Marlborough) after whom the more famous Winston Churchill was named, because the cavalier is usually refereed to as Sir Winston [Churchill]). So in my opinion the bolding of the "Sir" at the start of an article should not be automatic. -- PBS (talk) 19:12, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The 'little-read' MOS:HONORIFIC you denigrate returns 180 search results on Wikipedia, whereas the section of the Naming Conventions you quote returns 157 results, and it's worth remembering that the vast majority of the 157 results returned have to do with disputes over article titles. I don't see how that supports the case you're making in the slightest. Moreover, the issue is one of formatting: to quote the naming convention is a non sequitur. And you can't draw out the inference you did simply from an omission in a guideline which isn't actually germane to the issue at hand, when a more widely used AND more relevant guideline provides for specific instructions to the contrary.
Also, you have failed to make a case against bolding. Even accepting, arguendo, that there is no need to have consistency across articles as to the bolding, what is your criteria for bolding it in some articles and not in others? Are baronets' nominal prefixes any different from knights' prefixes? How do we know which knight's prefix to bold and which not to bold?
Finally, your assertion re: Sir Winston Churchill is puzzling to say the least. A quick Google search for "Sir Winston Churchill" reveals that the vast majority of the results are for the PM not his ancestor. I am a professional historian, and I have difficulty believing anyone would think of the relative obscure Sir Winston instead of the PM. Might I also note that the redirect for Sir Winston Churchill is to the PM? Atchom (talk) 19:14, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold. This is longstanding practice across thousands of articles. It is part of the legal name, and is fundamentally different to other social titles. Mr John Smith's legal name is "John Henry Smith", not "Mr John Henry Smith", but Sir John Smith's legal name is "Sir John Henry Smith", and he would always be listed as such in a legal document. Comparisons to "Mr", "Dr", "Professor", etc., are therefore misconceived. Proteus (Talk) 20:21, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold but Not by AWB. One point of being a collaborative enterprise is to gather the views of many. Therefore one industrious person should not simply sweep away such diversity as there is.
But that being said, yes, the title is part of the name - and helps tell the reader they have come to the right article. For sensible reasons, we use Arthur Conan Doyle as the header of that article. But the subject's full name, when he was most prominent, was Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, and it's a good thing to say that too. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:05, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold - The majority of pages already bold "Sir" so we should maintain consistency. We shouldn't treat "Sir" the same as Dr, Mr, Mrs, etc. because it is part of the name. Meatsgains (talk) 23:06, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
    • But we do not include or bold those terms in the lead. And they are not part of the name, they are prefixed to it. If I am Eusebius Xerxes Smith, you are not presenting my name "more completely" by calling me "Mr. Eusebius Xerxes Smith", nor abbreviating it when you call me "Eusebius Xerxes Smith".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:08, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
      • I think you are failing to understand the difference between an honorific and a title (although it is true that the two terms are often used interchangeably). One is simply polite in formal circumstances; the other is always used. It is polite to call John Smith "Mr Smith" if you don't know him, but it's not incorrect to call him John or John Smith. It is incorrect to call Sir John Smith "John Smith" if you don't know him. It's also incorrect to call him Mr Smith. He is Sir John Smith or Sir John. The only time this may not be applied is if the individual is a well-known popular cultural figure (e.g. we do not always refer to Sir Elton John or Sir Michael Caine, although you will often still see them referred to in this way). -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:41, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
        • That seems like a highly idiosyncratic interpretation to me. I do agree with you that "Sir" ≠ "Mr." for all purposes, but the suggestion that there is a default implication of impropriety attached with not using Sir does not really carry water with me. It's really a matter of context (where they are, what their relationship is) and pretty significant variation between individuals (adressor and adressee). So, although the actual formatting issue here seems to trivial to justify this level of editorial debate, if I'm to be frank, my perspective is that if "Sir" is utilized, it seems most consistent with formatting of the lead sentence in general to bold it. But, I don't make any judgement here as to whether "Sir" should be used to begin with, in any particular case. Snow let's rap 05:32, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Home office document[edit]

@Atchom: has quoted a Home Office document in several places above. I disagree with the interpretation given. The relevant sections of the document are as follows:

Titles of nobility

Titles of nobility are part of a person's name and identity, and for holders who use their title as part of their name for all purposes, the title should be entered in the surname field of the personal details page of their passport with an observation recorded on page 32 of the document.

Titles are recorded for:

  • All members of the House of Lords (including Archbishops and Bishops), their wives and families
  • Holders of knighthoods and baronetcies and their wives
  • Dames of the Realm

Where the title of a peer is different from the family name, he should be able to choose whether to show the title or the family name, on the personal details page. This will avoid any problems at frontiers, hotels and banks where a peer signs with a title rather than a family name.

Honours and decorations

Honours and military decorations may be accepted as an observation where the applicant has recorded them on the application form or requests their inclusion in a letter accompanying the application. NOTE 1: Some honours are prefixed with a title (e.g. Sir John Smith KBE)

Knighthoods and dames are discussed in the "Titles of nobility" section of the document but are not in any "definition of 'titles of nobility'": no such definition is given. Passports have "surname", "given names", and "observation" fields; there is no "title" field for Mr, Sir, or Dr. The Home Office guidance says that "Sir" is added as an observation whereas a title of nobility is both an observation and, optionally, a surname. See also Observations in Passports: Annex B - Observations for titles: Baronets, Knights, and their wives; Dames

Title Surname Given Names Observations
Knight McCartney James Paul The holder is Sir James Paul McCartney KBE
Duke (family-name style) Grosvenor Gerald Cavendish The holder is His Grace Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor Duke of Westminster KG
Duke (dukedom style) Duke of Westminster Gerald Cavendish The holder is His Grace Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor Duke of Westminster KG

jnestorius(talk) 14:32, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Bold. Utterly obvious. This is longstanding practice on Wikipedia and there is absolutely no reason to change it. The title does become part of an individual's name. Why are we even discussing this when we always do it and have always done it? Any failure to do it is a mistake, pure and simple, and will be changed by any of us experienced editors who spot it. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:58, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold without AWB: To begin with AWB #3 states: "Seek consensus for changes that could be controversial at the appropriate venue; village pump, WikiProject, etc. "Being bold" is not a justification for mass editing lacking demonstrable consensus. If challenged, the onus is on the AWB operator to demonstrate or achieve consensus for changes they wish to make on a large scale.". In light of the many comments here I am sure that the editor using AWB is now aware of this. I will add some comments about this in another place. We bold such usage for more than one reason, to include policy that the common name (What is commonly used in references) is not always used as the article title. As an "alternate name" we bold the use in first instance because "alternative names" can be used in article text in contexts where they are more appropriate than the name used as the title of the article.. I admit that by very common Wikipedia practice the "policy" is not strictly followed. Many many articles such as John F. Kennedy, not John F. Kennedy (John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy), deviate from the use of parenthesis and I am glad. We have policy that we are not suppose to try to change other forms of English to "American style". As an "American" I use the spelling "color" but am directed to use "colour". Undue weight goes both ways, especially in Biographies of living persons, where what is notable, that includes common usage, certainly that is referenced, should be used. In the British custom Sir, Lady, or Dame, is part of the name and not some occupation like doctor, to be separated out by lack of bolding, or parenthetical use. Google Sir Sean Connery, Sir Roger George Moore KBE, Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr., KBE, DSC (oops AWB missed that one) and any number of others. Mainstream media and references, overwhelmingly use the title and if in bold, so are the titles of Sir, Lady, or Dame. Let's not come to a consensus to change something that common editing practices will fight against, either creating an ignored policy, or one that will be a battle for a long time. Otr500 (talk) 06:16, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold. The proposer gave three reasons for bolding which I'll argue against:
1)This is the style prescribed by Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies: "The title is placed in bold in the first use of the name."
This is circular, since this RfC is about whether the passage is operative. If the "not bold" camp wins then I assume the person closing will remove "The title is placed in bold in the first use of the name" from the rule. You can't invoke the existence of a disputed passage to argue for the continued existence of that passage.
2)"Sir" is part of a person's legal name: it is used not only socially, but in official documents as well. To not bold "Sir" is to imply that is is not part of the subject's name.
But there are other parts of a person's legal name -- their middle name, for instance -- which we often don't even include let alone bold. Legal names are not that important, we go by common names.
3)It is long-standing Wikipedia practice. As previously indicated, 95% of the articles surveyed so far bold "Sir".
But this RfC is to see whether or not this situation which we have drifted into by default is what the larger community wants and intends. So it is also circular to invoke this -- at least arguably. (Although you could also make the counter-argument that rules exist to codify existing practice.)
Honorifics are appendages. (It's not at all clear to me why we are using them in article titles, as various rules of WP:AT militate against that form). "Sir" is noxious aristocratic poofery and inherently a NPOV weasel word. It should be be used as little as possible, only when it serves the reader such as differentiating the subject from other other people or to otherwise better understand the subject, and there's no need to emphasize them. Herostratus (talk) 16:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Rebuttal: I will interject an objection to the comments from Herostratus. We are "not" debating the title name. It seems to me that any such diverging would need to be addressed in a different RFC.
This RFC specifically states "I want to make it clear that this is not about renaming articles, but about the first mention of the subject's name in the body of the article.".
With this boundary I position my comments to logically follow certain criteria. It is not only common practice but follows policy and guidelines to place alternate names, in bold at first use, at the beginning of the lead. We are debating not bolding the word "Sir", treating it as "Mr" or "Mrs.", regardless of common usage, but treating the word as it is presented in references and according to such policies and guidelines, as an alternate name. I have looked at many hits involving the title "Sir" and it is overwhelming found in references. I followed many of the links and read the content and there is clear evidence that the use of the titles "Sir", Lady, and Dame, especially in anything British, the title becomes part of the name.
I suppose because some of us might think using bold to include usage as part of the rest of the name is "noxious aristocratic poofery and inherently a NPOV weasel word.", but this does NOT mean we are suppose to toss common usage in the trash. This is an English Wikipedia and there is NO DOUBT clear community-wide consensus has supported using British words, terms, etc... in articles. I am an American, living in America, and as far as I know I do not have any royalty blood in my veins, however, right is right, and wrong is a disservice to Wikipedia. As I stated, I have seen, even in American publications without using "Sir" in the title, using bold to include "Sir", and many includes the word repeatedly as part of the name in the body of such publications.
I think that, considering the US view of honorary titles, American subjects should continue as with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. with Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr., KBE, DSC.
The title "Sir" should be used in the lead in bold, as an alternative name, especially when commonly used in reliable sources, regardless of how biased non-British editors may feel on British subjects.
  • Note: Unless there is some drive to push a change to British style articles, like Isaac Newton, then I can not imagine not continuing with Sir Isaac Newton PRS in the lead. If we are going to debate making changes that will effect good articles we should notify the relevant projects because that one is covered by several. Twelve projects in fact rate the article as GA-class as well as the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team (listing as Vital). Eight projects list the article as top-importance, two as mid-importance, one as high-importance and one doesn't rate it. I can look but I am just guessing one or two editors belonging to all those projects didn't work it up that high without a lot of consensus, collaboration, and even peer review, so all bias aside, this is not a cut-and-dried case. Otr500 (talk) 03:03, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. ""Sir" is noxious aristocratic poofery and inherently a NPOV weasel word." With an appalling attitude like that it's not worth even taking note of the comment. How POV and insulting can you get? If someone has been knighted by the British state, how on earth is it "weasel words" to use that title? If you personally don't agree with titles, fine, but that doesn't make them in any way POV or your attitude NPOV. They are a fact and Wikipedia reports facts, not your point of view. Get over it. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:02, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Unbold Under the formal class system, male gentry were either baronets, knights, esquires or gentleman and the titles Sir, Esquire or Mr. were added to their names. Beginning in the 19th century, the term Mr. has increasingly been added to men's names, regardless of social status. As SMcCandlish points out, some Toronto newspapers do use noble titles when referring to people but they are consistent. In the first instance, all people are referred to by their full names without titles. Subsequent references use their title and name. For example. "The UK ambassador John Smith met with Robert Roe, this newspaper's editor. Sir John told Mr. Roe...." It might even make sense to eliminate "Sir" entirely (except where it really is part of the name such as "Sir Galahad," and keep the postnominal Kt, GCMG, etc. TFD (talk) 20:30, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
    • I can assure you that the British media pretty much always add titles to knights' and dames' names. What foreign media ignorant of the rules do is not really relevant. It is simply incorrect to call Sir John Smith simply John Smith or Mr Smith. He is not. The only time this may not be applied is if the individual is a well-known popular cultural figure (e.g. we do not always refer to Sir Elton John or Sir Michael Caine, although you will often still see them referred to in this way). -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:37, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
      • English style guides do not recommend titles in the sports and entertainment pages for sports and entertainment figures. However, Wikipedia is not obligated to provide any special respect for UK titles. Mr. John Smith and Sir John Smith enjoy the same rights and privileges outside England and no distinction should be made between their honorifics. Incidentally, most titles in England are used by courtesy for wives and children of people who have substantive titles. And when peers, baronets and knights appear in court or other legal documents, their titles are omitted. TFD (talk) 20:25, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
        • What English style guides recommend for the running text of an article is not germane to the point under discussion, which is the style of the name in the first line of the article. I agree that regularly referring to "Sir Elton" in running text about Elton John would be silly. Whether English-language sources independent of us should treat the two John Smiths the same, and whether that grants unfair privilege to the English honours system as opposed to that of, say, Botswana, is irrelevant. Those sources do treat Sir John differently, in the context under discussion, and it's none of our business to invent our own, more "equitable" convention when one already exists (see my comments above). Please strike your last two sentences or provide a citation: it's trivial to show that they're untrue (see, e.g., the legal document here re. the Earl of Onslow) and this RfC is sufficiently confused without authoritatively stating falsehoods. Choess (talk) 00:14, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold, as the arguments in favor of Sir being an essential part of the name seem to have been debunked. Dicklyon (talk) 00:23, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold per Dicklyon, etc. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:02, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold per SMcClandlish. Tony (talk) 04:17, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. Note that both the standard reference works on British biography, the Dictionary of National Biography and Who's Who, bold titles in the first line. I think we may have a bit of a problem here with non-British editors not realising quite how significant or commonly used they are in Britain (plus, given some of the comments there's definitely a bit of anti-title POV going on which is discounting the facts that they exist and are commonly used in favour of a completely biased opinion that titles are nasty royalist things that should be disposed of and not "propagated" on Wikipedia; note to these people, republicanism is not an NPOV!). To me, a non-bolded title with a bolded name would just look bizarre. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:59, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
    • I'm British and don't find anything bizarre about doing that at all (nor do I find anything bizarre about doing it the other way). I can't agree that the British media "almost always" add the titles. For example, try looking up someone like John Major or Winston Churchill on Google News. You will find many entries from respectable media that include the title with the name, and many that don't. I have no sense that either form is in any way considered incorrect. W. P. Uzer (talk) 14:00, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Not bold, per all of the above, particularly SMc Clandlish and Dicklyon. Joefromrandb (talk) 15:44, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Do not mandate bold. The arguments by the proposer are unconvincing for the reasons given previously by the other opponents: the first and third arguments in the opening statement are circular: just because something has been done doesn't mean we should carry on doing it if there's no good reason to do so. The second argument is wrong. There is no such thing as a "legal name" in England and Wales. Your name is whatever you are known as. And TFD is correct, the titles are not used in legal proceedings: either in Britain e.g. "The Duke, who was named in Northallerton Magistrates' Court as David Charles Rutland" or abroad e.g. Black v. United States. Note also Debrett's guide to use of titles and styles in legal documents: no-one can surely suggest that "Knight Bachelor" or "The Most Noble" is part of a name. These are styles and titles not names. The sentence The title is placed in bold in the first use of the name should be removed from the style guide; leave it up to individual editors to decide the format of the name. DrKay (talk) 08:09, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
    Duke of Westminster v Guild, 1985. Also, Rutland's surname is "Manners", so the title is partly incorporated in his name as well and not "omitted". That said, I agree with you that ferreting after the "legal name" is completely pointless in this case, and probably WP:OR, which is why we should look to other major English-language encyclopedias for guidance and maintain conformity with them in how we style our opening line. Choess (talk) 15:18, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
    Your point about titles not being used in court proceedings is incorrect: see e.g. McAlpine v Bercow, whose full title is 'The Lord McAlpine of West Green v Sally Bercow'. But quite apart from the 'legal name' argument (which has been misinterpreted but I will grant the point) the other arguments stand Atchom (talk) 17:16, 16 July 2016 (UTC)


    • The plaintiffs in Westminster v. Guild were the "trustees of the will of the second Duke of Westminster."[2] This is an unusual example. The estates held by the family are entailed and the landlord is known as the Duke of Westminister. I suppose it is similar to being sued by the Attorney-General. That's the name that would appear on the summons but it is not part of the name of the person who holds that office. In McAlpine v Bercow it should be noted that under common law a person may call oneself whatever one wishes, so long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. So if you normally call yourself Dr. Smith or Miss Smith, Lady Gaga or Cher, Postman Pat, you can file suit under that name. But plaintiffs and especially prosecutors are more likely to use the name on one's birth certificate or marriage license. 00:05, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
      • Earl of Lonsdale v Attorney General (1982), then. I apologize for being snappish, but given that there's a specialized apparatus, in the form of the Roll of the Peerage and Roll of the Baronetage, to ensure that only the proper persons "shall be addressed or mentioned by that title in any civil or military Commission, Letters Patent or other official document", I was a bit gobsmacked by the bland assertion that "their titles are omitted" in legal documents. But certainly no one is compelled to have their title used in official documents, either. In any case, I would agree that the "legal name" standard is not actually one we would wish to adopt for the purposes of our first line. Choess (talk) 01:23, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
I partially agree with Choess. I am against AWB being used to mass change entries in the lead. The lead is a summary of what is contained in the body of the article. By policy and guidelines we do not generally have to reference already sourced content (in the lead and in the body of an article) however, if someone is commonly known by a name that includes a title, and referenced as such, it is wrong to treat such a title differently than any other alternate name. Phil McGraw (from the article) is also well known as Dr. Phil and is in bold as it should be. This does not matter the "legal name", but is simply covered under alternate names. Such alternate names is to be in bold as early as possible, on first instance of use, in the lead. The correct answer is, like it or not: NO, do not use AWB to indiscriminately effect changes to the lead that may not be referenced in the body of the article. This will be using AWB to potentially advance OR. The answer is also yes to using bold for Sir if this is a known thus referenced alternative name of a subject. I am sure a closing admin will not be ignorant of the policies and guidelines, nor the spirit of this RFC, nor implications of what Do not bold Sir will make concerning what someone may be commonly known as and used as an alternative name according to current policy. Otr500 (talk) 18:53, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
The full quote is "That no person whose name is not entered on the official Roll of Baronets shall be received as a Baronet, or shall be addressed or mentioned by that title in any civil or military Commission, Letters Patent or other official document." Compare with the Chartered Accountants Act, 2010 (Ontario) 27(1): "No individual, other than a member of the Institute, shall, through an entity or otherwise, (a) take or use the designation “Chartered Accountant” or the initials “C.A.”, “CA”, “A.C.A.”, “ACA”, “F.C.A.” or “FCA”, alone or in combination with other words or abbreviations...." Certainly it would be bizarre if the Palace in garden party invitations referred to guests as baronets when they had not received that title. Incidentally, there are English court cases where clergymen are referred to as "Rev." TFD (talk) 02:44, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold unless consensus exists otherwise in the case at hand I note that most biographical articles currently do use bold, but I do not suggest that exceptions might occur. Collect (talk) 19:19, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Here is an example of a person with a derivative title being referred alternately by his name and his title. TFD (talk) 20:32, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Actually, he's not referred to by his name at all in that article. His name is Jamie Spencer-Churchill. His title was the Marquess of Blandford, which was purely a courtesy title (his father being the Duke of Marlborough, he used his father's secondary title) and not a substantive one. He was often therefore called Jamie Blandford, a mixture of name and title, just as Prince Harry of Wales was known in the Army as Harry Wales. Now he's the Duke of Marlborough and will be referred to as the Duke of Marlborough (I certainly have not yet seen him referred to as Jamie Marlborough in any reliable sources, and certainly not as Jamie Spencer-Churchill without his title being added as well!). In any case, given this discussion is not about peerages I fail to see its relevance. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:29, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Bold – It's an integral part of the name. Graham (talk) 23:50, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Anne of Romania's queenship[edit]

The article at Queen Anne of Romania is under discussion for a move to "Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma" since her death on 1 August 2016. The main arguments in favor of the move appear to be that since she married Michael I of Romania after he had been deposed from the throne, she was never entitled to share the feminine form of his title; it is misleading for the title of "Queen" to be attributed to her since she was never married to a reigning king; and "Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma" is "the highest title" she ever properly bore so this guideline supports moving her article to that name. The main arguments in opposition are that the most common name for her in reliable sources is "Queen Anne", including nearly all news articles which note her death last week (as well as the statements of the current Presidents of the Republics of Romania and Moldova in proclaiming a national day of mourning in her memory); that she has not used or been known as "Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma" for the nearly 60 years that she has been married to Michael I; that it is long-standing practice for a woman who marries a deposed monarch to share her husband's former title during her lifetime and, like other widows of monarchs, to have her Wikipedia article moved to her maiden name -- if at all -- only after some time has passed since her death (e.g. Queen Augusta of Portugal, German Empress Hermine and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria), except when she would have been a morganatic spouse if she had wed her husband while he still reigned (e.g. Anna Canalis di Cumiana, Henrietta d'Oultremont); and that the strong objections some editors make to allowing her to remain at "Queen Anne of Romania" (until her article is moved to "Anne of Bourbon-Parma" in accordance with usual Wikipedia practice) are POV opinions based on the ahistorical notion that Anne ought properly to have always been denied the title of queen despite Wikipedia's neutral policy of titling bios with "the most common form of the name used in reliable sources in English", regardless of what may be "legally" correct. Please consider reviewing the arguments put forth and expressing your opinion here. FactStraight (talk) 12:04, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

This is a potentially problematic situation, specially if the move requests on the Queen Anne, and the Queen Margarita articles go in different directions. I tend to agree with the analysis made by FactStraight in these matters, but whatever the outcome, I think matters like these should be clarified in policy here. I have always understood that wives take the titles of their husbands by courtesy at least. I also understand that "Former or deposed monarchs should be referred to by their previous monarchical title... ", which by extention would also influence what their wives are called whenever the marriage took place. Perhaps we should take the conversation about this here and clarify the guidelines in matters like this, as I have suggested on the talkpages of both articles. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:57, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't get this courtesy thing. We're building an encyclopedia, not an almanach. If it was ok for the never crowned "Empress" of Germany and "Queen" of Portugal to be titled per policy, according tot their maiden name ( neither was a former or deposed monarch, they were just spouses to such people, therefore that guideline does not apply), why should we wait "some time" to pass before moving the article to the guideline-mandated title. Using courtesy titles for people who never legally held a title, when that title is used to advance a political pretense (as opposed to subject such as Gipsy Kings), amounts to a violation of WP:NPOV. The use of WP:COMMON is also dubious, as the subject is marginally notable, and GBooks doesn't even have a ngram for "Queen Anne of Romania", unlike for "Anne Bourbon Parma". Note that I took the liberty to edit FactStraight's comment to rename a misleading link title, purported to be a policy when is only a guideline. Anonimu (talk) 12:36, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Note please that former or deposed monarchs and their family members are generally mentioned by their former titles on Wikipedia. Members of deposed dynasties are also mentioned by their historical titles, which they still hold by courtesy. Prince of Prussia, Duke of Saksony, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Two Sicilies, and indeed Prince of Bourbon-Parma etc. So are their wives. I don't care if it's a policy or a guideline, it is general practice on Wikipedia and we should for consistency have the same rules for the different articles involved. I would strongly advise you also, not to edit other editors comments on talkpages, but to assume WP:GOODFAITH, and just comment on them. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 13:17, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not invent new standards for how subjects are characterized, but follows established usage. Almanacs are appropriate reliable sources for such usage. It is usual for women who marry former monarchs to be referred to thenceforth by their husbands' monarchical titles in reputable English sources, rather than by any other name or title, and so it is usual for Wikipedia to do so -- and difficult to find examples when they are not so referred except when their pre-marital name is used to indicate their origin. But nobody calls or addresses such women by their pre-marital title during their married lives or widowhood, and Queen Anne was almost never referred to as such, including by the Republic of Romania. Just as it is also typical for women who were consorts of kings during their reigns to come to be referred to by their maiden titles sometime after death (e.g., Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary of Modena, Ingrid of Sweden, Elizabeth of Bavaria), it is usual for consorts of former monarchs to eventually be re-titled posthumously to their birth name -- minus any title lower than that of their husband (e.g. Suzanne, Duchess of Mantua, Queen Augusta of Portugal, German Empress Hermine, Grace Kelly and Queen Marie José of Italy). The reason this is done "eventually" rather than immediately after death is to aid readers, who are more likely to look her up in an encyclopedia after her recent death yet are less likely to know her maiden name than her monarchical title. Almost every major news publication in English has covered the death of Anne, not to mention all of those in Romanian, and nearly every one refers to her as "Queen Anne", in addition to the fact that the Presidents of the Republics of Romania and Moldova have publicly acknowledged her importance as "Queen Anne", and those republics also declared days of national mourning in her honor, Romania also requiring that any flag flown yesterday be at half-mast, while Moldova observed a national moment of silence, all of which simultaneously establishes both Anne's queenly title and her notability. The notion that Wikipedia shouldn't call a dead woman queen who was called that by nearly every reputable publication in English that ever referred to her (despite the fact that she lived in exile from Romania during most of her life) because "that title is used to advance a political pretense" is not plausible (especially since the President of the Republic of Romania does so in his official capacity) and, being contrary to prevailing usage, would itself be in violation of NPOV. FactStraight (talk) 18:08, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
User:Anonimu, you say "Sorry, I don't get this courtesy thing". Well it's important to understand that, if you want to adjudicate how these things have been dealt with on Wikipedia so far, so I do suggest you try and find out. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:22, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand why people are talking about a "guideline-mandated" title or the like. From my reading, the guideline specifically does not mandate any title in cases like this. In any case, usage in reliable sources would carry more weight than a Wikipedia guideline. W. P. Uzer (talk) 08:09, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
And that is? FactStraight (talk) 16:36, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. As the proverb (at least in Dutch, which is my language) says: "Asking the question is answering it". And I do think that in these particular matters the WP:COMMONNAME issue should be of the prime importance. That having been said however I also believe we need more detailed guidance on how to deal with titles carried by members of deposed dynasties. And I also think those should follow the general practice that has been followed on Wikipedia up until this moment. I'm personally thinking about crafting some proposals on that subject for the benefit of this page, and putting them to the community at large in the form of a WP:RfC. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:37, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Please provide any other example of never-crowned wife of a deposed monarch having the page title after her husband's title. The case of Anne, wife of former King of Romania, and Margarita, wife of former King of Bulgaria, seem to be the exception rather than the rule (the cases of Hermine Reuss of Greiz, Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern, etc indicate the "maiden" name is used in such cases), so there can be no talk of "common practice on Wikipedia". Creating a rule from an anomaly seems overkill. Regarding the courtesy comment, what I don't get is why would it be OK to have her page at Queen of the Solar System in the week of her death, and then move it to Princess of Phobos eventually (per actual WP usage).Anonimu (talk) 08:59, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
That's a red herring, as the names of the relevant consorts are detailed in context above, along with the reasons why such queens are/were eventually apt to be moved to their maiden names -- and including those arbitrarily excluded as "anomalies" -- all having invariably been referred to by their regnal titles in life. FactStraight (talk) 12:16, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Please do me a favor and list them again. If indeed that's the case, I think a copy-paste is quite an easy operation. Note that I'm talking about actual article titles, not redirects, which are subject to much more relaxed standards. Anybody can be referred by whatever courtesy title he choses to, so that's not an argument. Please be more careful with semantics: according to our article, "A regnal title is the title held by a monarch while in office", which is not the case for any of the discussed subjects, who never were "in office".Anonimu (talk) 13:04, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
There are simply not that many modern examples of this. I know of only four in the past century, when it comes to ex-monarchs. Two of which we are discussing. In the case of Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern the point is that she remarried after the death of the ex-king and used the name of her second husband for the rest of her life. Hermine Reuss of Greiz, I believe, simply didn't use the titles of Empress and Queen in everyday life and may therefore not have been commonly known as such. But I could be wrong. Anyway, that's a long time ago and she is now known in her article title as most dead consorts from decades back are on Wikipedia. Remember User:Anonimu, that long dead consorts of monarchs are generally known by their maiden names on Wikipedia! Furthermore I don't agree that this is an anomaly. Wives can take the titles of their husband by courtesy. Nothing less, nothing more. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:17, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
If there are not that many examples (for the time being, I didn't see any example but the spouses of Michael I of Romania and Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), what does "general practice that has been followed on Wikipedia up until this moment" actually mean? The spouse of former king Carol II of Romania doesn't get the same treatment, and for some reason not even all actually crowned queen consorts get it. Creating a new guideline for two articles seems excessive, if not special pleading. The supposed influence of time since death of a subject over WP guidelines is another novel interpretation of our standards (the closest thing being uncofirmed deaths under BLP, but that's not the case here).Anonimu (talk) 15:30, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Have there been exceptions? Sure. But "Creating a new guideline"? "Novel"? Only if acknowledgement in this guideline of the consorts-delayed-name-change practice as typical here on English Wikipedia back in 2003 makes it "new" and "novel". If you don't know why Magda Lupescu was never called Queen like Anne, see the cases of Anna Canalis di Cumiana and Henrietta d'Oultremont, already explained above or, for that matter, Wallis Simpson. FactStraight (talk) 01:58, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you seem to understand English very good. What you propose is a novel manner of applying a guideline created for cases that constitute an anomaly considering current actual usage. I appreciate your effort in searching discussion from a time gods still walked on earth, but that's a straw man, as the discussion was about disambiguating between two actually "reigning" monarchs, not "courtesy" titles, never actually held (the case for Romania and Bulgaria). You implicitly agree to the fact that such a guideline would not apply anywhere but on these two articles, as other spouses of non-reigning monarchs will never get that treatment. Therefore, the only possible wording for a new guideline is "The articles about Queen Anne of Romania and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria should stay at the current titles until enough time has passed since their death".Anonimu (talk) 09:11, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

The general practice that I speak of Anonimu, is not about these situations, but about the more general use of titles by persons. That general practice is that wives can, all things being equal, use the titles their husbands use. That means that the wife of a king (even if he is just a titular king) can use the title queen. On another note, it however doesn't mean that a pretender that has never actually been king, can use the title king. Nor in such cases can his wife use the title queen. I think that summarises the practice on Wikipedia as it is generally followed. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:41, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Take this article for instance. The husband of the person involved was born the Crown prince of Greece. She married him way after the monarchy was disestablished, but she takes his title anyway. Their descendants can never do that again, and Marie-Chantal will not be a titular Queen of Greece after the death of her father in law. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:49, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia merely records. So it is what she most commonly referred to as. Simple as that. They buried her with all the official Romanian bells and whistles, [3] as Anne of Romania. Queen Marie isn't listed as Marie of Edinburgh. It's not how you start, it's how you finish! However, as per other monarchs, the headline should not feature the title 'Queen'. Engleham (talk) 17:59, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Engleham, I would agree with you if the lady involved had been dead for at least some years. Living Queen-Consorts are generally given the title of Queen in their article titles and those generally remain until they have been dead for some time. Long dead ones are mentioned by their maiden names or titles. I've changed the article titles of Queen Marie of Romania and also that of her daughter the Queen of Yugoslavia. Just for consistency. Anne can still wait a while. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:31, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Discussion elsewhere[edit]

See a discussion which has started at Wikipedia_talk:Article_titles#British_nobility. PamD 08:19, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Article names for reigning queens vs queen consorts[edit]

This discussion was initiated about Queen Anne of Romania but may apply to many cases, so a general discussion here is appropriate.

Queen Anne of Romania[edit]

As per other monarchs and their consorts, the title 'Queen' should not be in the article title. Is it agreed the article be retitled? (No unsolvable shitfight please about whether she was a queen or not: this is just about standard practice.) Engleham (talk) 18:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Standard practice is mostly that a married woman can use her husbands title by courtesy, and that it can also be used in the name of the article about her, if she is actually known by it. Queen-Consorts are mentioned in article titles with the title Queen, while alive and also for some time after that. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps after she has been dead for a while. We've just had a RfC. Also there is no such thing as a standard practice for Balkan Queens. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 14:47, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Gerard von Hebel that the article need not be re-titled now, so soon after Anne's death. It is not true and has never been agreed that all persons who bore the queenly title in life lose that title in their article names immediately upon death or loss of position, e.g. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Queen Paola of Belgium, Empress Kōjun, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Sofía of Spain. I do, however, support re-titling Anne's article eventually, as is usual (but not inevitable) on English Wikipedia. FactStraight (talk) 19:18, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

The woman who became a queen by marrying a deposed king is known here as Queen Anne of Romania. The king she married, the person whose title was recognized by Romanian constitution and who actually reigned, is called simply Michael I of Romania. It's not King Michael I of Romania and Queen Anne of Romania, nor is it Michael I of Romania and Anne of Romania. It's Queen Anne of Romania and Michael I of Romania. There is nothing sensible about that. Anybody unfamiliar with this absurd Wiki practice will be confused and possibly even misled. Surtsicna (talk) 15:38, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Other cases[edit]

As I see it's also Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Yes I agree that's peculiar. Queen seems to be exclusively for Queen consorts. Living ones or recently deceased ones that is. And for Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon... Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:46, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps the practice was meant to express the dichotomy between reigning queens and queens-consort? The first of them being treated like their male counterparts? Not sure... Gerard von Hebel (talk) 16:46, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Express it to whom? And why in such illogical manner? Can we really expect an average reader (who can barely distinguish between a queen consort and a queen regnant) to understand whatever it is we are trying to say with this practice?
Now we have Anne, dead, a woman who was a queen consort and never really even that, as Queen Anne of Romania. Then we have Michael, living, a man who was once a reigning king, as Michael I of Romania. One simply cannot justify that. Surtsicna (talk) 17:11, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Basically you are right. We'll have to change a lot of articles to correct this however. And perhaps find a way to dichotimise reigning Queens from living Queen consorts.... If that is necessary. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:48, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm glad you see it. For years I took this practice for granted, but now I just cannot fathom how the titles Queen Sofia of Spain and Beatrix of the Netherlands indicate a consort and a monarch respectively. If anything, it suggests that Sofia is a monarch and Beatrix a consort. A Wikipedia user with experience in this area is used to the practice, but outsiders are left dumbfounded. And of course, we write articles for those who want to learn and not for those who already know. Surtsicna (talk) 18:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Surtsicna previously argued for the same change here, but it did not gain actionable consensus. Although there was a lengthy debate involving many editors and arguments, my interpretation is that 1. other editors saw some value in what has long been NCROY usage in this matter (yes Gerard von Hebel, your guess is correct: we usually distinguish the style used for rulers from that used for spouses of rulers because, confusingly, the title of "Queen" is traditionally used for both), while pointing out how the situation might be improved without having to massively change articles which currently reflect that usage. 2. Although inconsistencies and the potential benefit of improvement were largely acknowledged during the discussion, no alternative was considered in the RFC, at that time, which addressed concerns that are important to some (e.g. that, insofar as practical, article titles continue to distinguish between queens regnant and queens consort, as many now do). Perhaps it's time to consider a proposal with a specific alternative? I reco that we reduce the perceived incongruity between emperors/kings and their spouses by modifying the title of the ruler, rather than that of the consort, thus: "Bios of emperors and kings should have either an ordinal number or a regnal title in the article name" e.g. Alexander, King of the Hellenes; Alexander, King of Yugoslavia (whose consort was Queen Maria of Yugoslavia); Alexander III of Scotland (whose consort was Queen Yolande of Scotland). Thus such monarchs as Cleopatra VI of Egypt, Mary, Queen of Scots; Christina, Queen of Sweden; Maria II of Portugal, Isabel II of Spain and Verónica I of Matamba remain titularly distinct from consorts such as Queen Sonja of Norway and Queen Noor of Jordan. FactStraight (talk) 19:18, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I am afraid you are completely missing my point. I understand that you want to distinguish between consorts and rulers, but neither the current way nor the proposed way of doing so can make sense to anyone who is not already aware of who is a consort and who a ruler. What is it about the phrasing "Queen Silvia of Sweden" that suggests that she is a consort? What is it about the phrasing "Christina, Queen of Sweden" that suggests that she was a ruler? Inherently - nothing. "Silvia, Queen of Sweden" is just as natural and correct as "Queen Silvia of Sweden", and "Queen Christina of Sweden" is just as natural and correct as "Christina, Queen of Norway". Try considering this from the point of view of an average reader. We should not expect readers to become familiar with NCROY in order to understand our peculiar article titles, nor should we expect them to open a bunch of articles to figure out the pattern. It should be simple and clear to them from the beginning. As it stands now, it surely isn't. Surtsicna (talk) 19:42, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Based on the previous discussion of this matter here and on the points already raised in the current discussion, I don't think you have been misunderstood. Rather, then and now some have expressed a willingness to reduce differences in titling between royal spouses for which you have advocated, while preserving a distinction many, if not most, article names already reflect between rulers and consorts. Although you have not affirmatively given the wording for the change you'd like to make to NCROY, it sounds as though you want us to address the concern you care about (eliminating titulature dissimilarity between royal spouses in article names) while dropping the concern others care about (distinguishing in article names between rulers and consorts), in which case the issue is not lack of understanding but lack of agreement -- just as before. Usually we expect differences to be resolved by compromise, not capitulation. You have raised an objection to my proposed compromise for addressing the two concerns. So I'm interested in hearing your alternative compromise? FactStraight (talk) 21:01, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Plase continue the discussion below. I am just a facilitator here, I have no opinion.JFG talk 01:04, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

One justification is that queens-consort do not have numbers, hence "Anne of Romania" would sound strange. The title for the article about the most well-known Queen Anne is "Anne, Queen of Great Britain." But Henry VIII's wives are called Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves. I think what is important is how the person is best recognized.
Also, there is a distinction between adding the title before or after the first name, but that could vary by country.
TFD (talk) 18:14, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • As a comment from the peanut gallery. Surtsicna's original proposal ages ago carried the day as far as I'm concerned, but the discussion dragged on far too long, and there were certain hardcore editors who really feel that the current system is perfectly logical and sensible, and it ended up stalling out under weight of a zillion comments that rewarded dedication (on both sides) not actual editor count. I cannot understand the stance that thinks a leading "Queen" obviously means a Queen consort but not a Queen regnant, but I'd recommend just doing an RFC with a voting section. That way we can see actual voter counts. The RFC should have some examples of the resulting article titles - e.g. titles for nobody, titles for everybody, titles for the following cases, etc. SnowFire (talk) 01:03, 29 September 2016 (UTC)