Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility)/Archive 23

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Alleged princes

What is our attitude to people who claim titles like prince or princess where this is not associated by a currently existing monarchy? This has come up in relation to Paul-Phillipe Hohenzollern, who describes himself as "Prince Paul of Romania". His supporters have argued that it could be inconsistent or biased to deprive him of this title when e.g. a descendant of the last de facto king of Romania is described as Princess Margarita of Romania. I would prefer not to use titles like this to describe anyone who was never recognised by a ruling monarchy. Just saying "look at reliable sources in English" may not be very easy since e.g. with Paul most of the sources are in Romanian, the few English sources which refer to people like these may be by their supporters or people with a monarchist bias. Or do we just treat them as like Lady Gaga or Screaming Lord Sutch? PatGallacher (talk) 21:23, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

This is a real conundrum, and in many cases the tensions are political: communists and other anti-monarchists, when in command of a state, generally do all they can to abolish all inherited titles; monarchists and conservatives generally consider many or even all such titles to be living - indeed, often consider them to be an integral part of their own country's cultural heritage. I do not think it will do to say "Grimmland is now a republic, therefore the Duke of Grimmstad is not a duke and should be called Augustus Werister" if in fact most people (and most reliable sources) still call him the Duke of Grimmstad. Of course, many titles of the German-speaking world were created by the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, which was wound up in 1806, and subject only to mortality those titles have sailed on obliviously to the present day. If Wikipedia wishes to minimize the number of future battles between warring factions, often accompanied by a host of IPs and by sockpuppetry, it seems to me the best line for us is simply to use the name most commonly used in reliable sources. For instance, I am completely comfortable with the page name "Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris", because in English-language sources this important prince's title is nearly always included. Often, of course, tensions simply can't be resolved. I remember in my own distant youth Dimitri Obolensky was usually referred to as "Professor Obolensky" by those on the left and as "Prince Obolensky" by those on the right (who included myself). He rose above it. Moonraker (talk) 21:52, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
As a pretender to the throne of Roumania and the grandon of a king, I think he is probably entitled to call himslef Prince (if he wishes). The claim to the throne presumably depends of Michael's (forced) abdication having deprived him of a claim to the throne, and male primogeniture: Michael only has daughters. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:00, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually it's based on the disputed validity of the annulment of Carol II's (Michael's father) first marriage which produced Paul's father, Carol Mircea. Carol Mircea's status as a legitimate son of Carol II has been ruled on in Romanian courts, with appeals by Michael over the years. This is one of the even more tricky cases of legitimism - and those tend to get even more vicious than monarchists vs republicans. Timrollpickering (talk) 21:01, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Right to expand a bit the issue of pretenders and princes of abolished monarchies has come up a bit before and the rest of the world has a general solution which we've followed. Ex Kings who didn't abdicate are normally accorded their title for the rest of their lives, however once they die the new Pretender doesn't get the King title. The same applies for Crown Princes. (And in some republics you also get titles applied to people when they no longer hold the office - former US Presidents are often still called "President Carter" etc..., ditto former Senators and Governors.) The title of Prince (and other associated titles) is a little different as these are hereditary titles not tied to a current office and they carry on through the family line. These conventions are followed by nearly all countries, whether monarchies or republics themselves. A few countries have tried to go against them and seek to wipe out the titles completely - the Greek republic is probably the best known case, complaining to everyone from foreign presidents to newspaper editors who still call the ex King by his title and getting no result beyond increasing sympathy for him. The main exceptions on Wikipedia tend to be cases where the ex monarch or prince has gone into public life by another name - Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha springs to mind. Otherwise the problem is normally restricted to dealing with objections from a mixture of republicans and followers of rival pretenders & their lines, usually in the form of badly formatted comments from anonymous IPs. The situation with Paul-Phillipe Hohenzollern/Prince Paul of Romania/Paul Lambrino is different as the claims to both the title of prince and to be pretender to the throne are rooted in the validity of his grandparents' marriage, which was ruled legally invalid (but not religiously?) during the monarchy but where since the abolitions courts both outside Romania and within have ruled otherwise. The case this seems most reminiscent of are the Russian Romanovs, who have various rival claimants each based on the validity of particular marriages under various interpretations of royal marriage laws, though I don't know if the courts and/or churches have ever weighed in on that one, and where many would rather run a mile than wade into that dispute. Timrollpickering (talk) 16:37, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

This discussion seems to have come to a halt. Although it may vary from country to country, in Britain the title of prince is closely tied to the monarchy, it is awarded by the monarch, generally to children or male-line grandchildren of the monarch. It is probably impossible to come up with a totally consistent approach to this, but I suggest that there should be a presumption against using the title of prince for people who have not been awarded it by a reigning monarch, unless it can be shown that this really is how the person is generally known, or it is not clear what non-royal name we might use to describe them. PatGallacher (talk) 12:50, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

duc to Duke

I had noticed that a fairly new user called user:HammyDoo has in recent days been moving lots of articles some such as Louis François, duc de Boufflers to Louis François de Boufflers, Duke of Boufflers without explaining on the talk page the sources used to justify this move. Today I saw this move François de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguières to François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières by user:Templatier.

Linking these moves into the discussion above (#Should royals have their names in their native tongues?) which seems to indicate that names should be based on reliable sources.

The problem is that many of these articles carry few modern English language reliable sources, so the choice of article title seems to be based on one of personal preference rather than sources based.

Unless it is agreed there that as a policy we use English titles (rather than French/German or whatever), and unless there are reliable English language sources that use the native titles, I think that such moves should only be made either by placing them under WP:RM or providing reliable sources on the talk page of the article to justify the move (in either direction). With luck such efforts would start to produce modern English language reliable sources for an area of Wikipedia that often has articles with no English language sources at all. What do others think? -- PBS (talk) 16:56, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

French, German and Italian princes/nobility are in those forms on their respective pages. Why should it not be the same here? Admittedly, there are hundreds of nobles with their names in these forms on here, but surely it is more useful that they are in English!? Templatier (talk) 17:36, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Plus, give readers a bit of credit. One can easily work out that a duc is in fact a duke and so on Templatier (talk) 17:38, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Our job is to summarize and synthesize outside information for readers, not to set them to logic puzzles. Choess (talk) 18:53, 22 April 2012 (UTC) Apologies, this was unnecessarily snarky of me. But there's a difference between "the form written using English-language words" and "the form written by English-language authors". Choess (talk) 19:08, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I think they should be styled as they are in reliable English language sources per the policies WP:V and WP:AT. If you do not have reliable English language sources that support the page moves I do not think you should be making them without a requested move. -- PBS (talk) 18:10, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. It seems to be a common disease in Wikipedia that people want to create a general standard (especially on article names) for things that, in the real world, are not standardized. Whether the titles of French nobility are written as "duc de..." or "Duke of..." in reliable sources will probably be inconsistent for medieval nobles, but will almost certainly be in the French form for post-medieval nobles, such as the two examples given above. It is presumptuous and high-handed for us to write names in a form that we have invented ourselves, even if we are following consistent rules in doing so. The fact that the name uses English words does not make it an improvement if it is different from what readers will find in reliable English-language sources. (To give a slightly hyperbolic example, would it be an improvement if we moved Georgius Agricola to "George Farmer"? After all, that's his name translated into English, while "Georgius Agricola" is his name translated into Latin.) Choess (talk) 18:53, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
English?! This should be a common goal? Surely? Templatier (talk) 20:37, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Definitely! Duc is not a name (like Agricola was), and is not a title in English. So on English WP it ends up being nothing. God help us if we get Eugén, hertig av Närke over his English article and same idea over thousands more! Even the lovely French language is going to have to do in Rome...! SergeWoodzing (talk) 23:14, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
So would you argue for Robert Knight of Greim and the like? Surely not. Opera hat (talk) 23:36, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, let's consider the question this way. Let's go to the library and read five books, in English, about the War of the Spanish Succession. Almost certainly, all of them will refer to the French commander at Lille as the "duc de Boufflers", not "Duke of Boufflers". They will refer to Max Emanuel as "Elector of Bavaria", not "Kurfürst" or "Herzog". How they would render the title of d'Arco (of the Schellenberg) is anyone's guess. Baden will probably be the "Markgraf" or "Margrave", but not the "Marquess".
The lesson we take from this is that THERE IS NO CONSISTENT RULE that says that all foreign titles are translated into English equivalents, or that all foreign titles are left in their original language. We should let ourselves be guided by the predominance of sources, rather than inventing rules which force us to be inconsistent with the majority of English-language sources outside the encyclopedia. Because English-language sources do not, to the best of my knowledge, regularly refer to the artist as "hertig av Närke", Serge's example has no relevance to the issue and, despite what he may think, is not in conflict with my position. I'm not sure how much more clear I can make this. Choess (talk) 00:13, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
And another simple experiment: go to dictionary.reference.com and look up "duc". Now look up "Herzog". Note the difference in results. So much for the argument that duc is "nothing" in English, a language which routinely incorporates foreign words en passant. (See what I did there?) Choess (talk) 00:20, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I disagree that there is no prevalent rule, the problem is rather that the rules are complex (because descriptive, i.e. we know them only by observation, not prescription) and, sometimes, the rule is clear but not decisive. So if a title is dissimilar to its English equivalent, it is consistently translated into English -- a rule that is both simple and decisive (e.g. Imperator = "Emperor, Reine = Queen, Herzog = Duke, Fyrst = Prince, Graf = Count, Pfalzgraf = Count Palatine, Friherre = Baron). But if the title is similar to its English equivalent the rule is clear but "indecisive", that is, both the English translation and the untranslated version are acceptable (Barone or Baron, Duque or Duke, Vicomte or Viscount, Marchese or Marquis) provided that the particle is given in the same language as the title (Barone di V, Duque de W, Vicomte du X, Marchese della Z but "Duke of C"). As for complex: certain words have been accepted as the English form of a title and should not be translated (e.g. "Count" rather than Earl, "Marquis" rather than Marquess, "Infanta" rather than Princess), however it is acceptable to use either an English or non-English particule with these words [except Infanta which, like all words <titles and particules> indicating affiliation with a sovereign dynasty, it is given in English and not translated -- "Infanta Cristina of Spain". For example, although both Antoine and Claude were ducal brothers, Antoine is properly the "Duke of Lorraine" and Claude is, often, Duc de Guise, because Antoine reigned over the realm called Lorraine whereas his younger brother Claude was merely a nobleman in the French nobility under the peerage of Guise]). "Prince" is never translated when referring to royalty (i.e. sovereign or formerly sovereign dynasties) but may be left untranslated when referring to simple nobility (e.g. "Prince Emanuele of Italy" but "Emanuele, Principe Torlonia"). Wikipedia editors who haven't noticed these patterns, or have a different preference, ignore them -- but that doesn't mean there is no prevalent practice in English. FactStraight (talk) 02:30, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

The naming conventions tell us to "use the most common form of the name used in reliable sources in English". What they perhaps don't make clear is that, as Choess said, that doesn't necessarily mean the English-language form of the name. We don't want Robert Knight of Greim, but we also don't want Shōwa Tennō or 昭和天皇. I confess I'm not very knowledgeable about French nobility, or how they're normally referred to in English-language sources, but if the sources indicate that the people in question are generally known by their French-language titles, then Wikipedia should not impose Anglicized ones. Alkari (?), 23 April 2012, 00:38 UTC

User:HammyDoo and user:Templatier have been blocked as suspected sock-puppets of user:LouisPhilippeCharles.

That is not to say that LouisPhilippeCharles' opinion is wrong just because it is the opinion of a sockmaster, but I think moves from one style of naming to another without using reliable source to justify the move is is a bad idea.-- PBS (talk) 12:56, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

  • I suspect that we need to formulate a rule. I do not think there is a clear rule for the French nobility, except that Count is the usual English used by modern English-language historians, not Earl. Duc/Duke is probably a matter of discretion: it is essentially the same word. German titles are almost always translated, except sometimes "friherr". Vicomte and Marchese are I think commonly retained, becasue they are not similar enough to the English titles. However Neapolitan dukes are usually called dukes, though there are so many that the currency is greatly devalued compared to the Englsih equivalents. Since this is about the activities of a sockpuppet, I would vote to have all his changes reversed. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:49, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Entirely agree. Although I would make a small distinction when you say, "I do not think there is a clear rule for the French nobility...probably a matter of discretion." That is what I tried, inadequately, to say above: the rule derived from English usage in reliable sources with respect to translating Latin-based (viz, French, Italian, Spanish) titles (except those of members of an enthroned dynasty) is...that the original editor is free to exercise discretion because writers in English have always done so (including "Count" or Comte or comte but never "Earl"). The problem is that many editors here have strong personal preferences (uh, guilty here) and can't bear seeing "Viscount of Turenne" or have conniptions looking at "duc de Guise" instead of the translated version, but properly we should restrain ourselves in such cases by respecting the original editor's pattern in that article. The seeming alternative -- establishing a rule -- has, in the past, led to acrimony, defiance, surreptitious reverts and yet no consensus. I second the vote for an admin to mass revert all of the sock's many edits. FactStraight (talk) 19:37, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Groan see here there are over 230 page moves to be moved back (I have already deleted the more than 30 new articles created by these two socks of LouisPhilippeCharles which is why some of the links are red). As an administrator I will do it (comes with the territory), but does anyone know of a tool I can use rather than doing them by hand and would anyone like to help? -- PBS (talk) 17:12, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it's a disease on Wikipedia to seek consistency, this is often desirable, although there is often a trade-off with other factors. Actually, I think as a general rule we can translate "Duc de" as "Duke of" we don't need a source for each individual duke. "Knight of Greim" is different since this is not the sort of title used in English. There are dangers of an anglocentric bias here, since because French is widely taught in British schools most educated British people know a smattering of French and can translate phrased like "duc de", but we are writing an international encyclopedia. PatGallacher (talk) 13:02, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Anna of Russia

There is an important but lightly taken up discussion at Talk:Anna_of_Russia#Requested_move.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:23, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Lord Lucan

There is a discussion at Talk:Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan#Requested move which affects the vast majority of articles on British hereditary peers.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Necrothesp (talkcontribs) 14:19, 16 July 2012

Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

The naming system for the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg is so confusing not even the German wiki has any idea how to go about it. Brunswick-Lüneburg-X doesn't work and isn't followed at all because there are Princes of Lüneburg who would be called Brunswick-Lüneburg-Lüneburg. Since all dukes were Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of X, would it be better to move all the pages of the dukes to this system? Also can someone help me compiled a list of dukes from all the branches of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg in a bulleted list to better understand the problem?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:54, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

The regnal numbers are really difficult too with two Henry I and one plain Henry before I went ahead and changed it. The Williams and Ottos are also a problem and it seems as if all the regnal numbers are just made up because they followed one another. William the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg was plain William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg before I moved it. --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:54, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

The naming of Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg is utterly confusing, not just on Wikipedia, but in the sources. I have drawn up such a list, but its in table form and quite complicated. What it shows is that many of these people had 2 numbers, one indicating their sequence as a Duke of B-L and a different (lower) number indicating their sequence in one of the princely lines. For example, there were two William the Youngers. The first was Duke William VI of Brunswick-Lüneburg, but Prince William II of (the Middle Line) of Brunswick, as well as a Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Prince of Calenberg-Göttingen. He is at William IV, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, not sure where the IV came from. On German Wiki he is William II of Brunswick-Calenberg-Göttingen. The second (reigned 1559-1592) was Duke William VII of Brunswick-Lüneburg, but Prince William (I) of Lüneburg (noting there were no more Prince Williams of Lüneburg). He is at William the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
So there you go and I've only mentioned 2 of about 70 of them. It is not helped by the fact that some of these dukes had several different princely titles at different times as they lost or added to their estates.
My suggestion is that we do not move any more without consensus and sufficient research. Someone must have compiled a complete and unambiguous list, either in German or English, but I haven't yet found it. I could allocate them unique sequential numbers myself but that would be original research! HTH. --Bermicourt (talk) 18:17, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
The Ernests are also a problem. Ernest III, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg redirect to Ernest I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg when there is a Ernest III, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen. Wouldn't it be better to adopt a longer article title for the sake of correctness and to abandon/discuss the regnal numbers in favor of nicknames. --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 04:16, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Some but not all of them:

I certainly agree we need a consistent, clear and unambiguous naming scheme; I'm just not sure what that is yet. Nicknames are one way to go, but sometimes they are also repeated as in the case of William the Younger. Also we need to keep in mind that we should be following reliable sources and paying some attention to WP:COMMONNAME. I will have another search of German sources on the internet to see if there's one that fits the bill. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:18, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it would help if others would join in, hint, hint.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:34, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, the best source on their correct titles is Huberty-Giraud-Magdelaine's 3rd volume of L'Allemagne Dynastique, but mine is packed away and I won't get to it before the end of summer. The best in English (house laws in German, however), meanwhile, is Velde's Heraldica.org. FactStraight (talk) 03:21, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I have studied Heraldica, but it refers to many of the dukes just by their name which doesn't help distinguish them. It also mixes nicknames and regnal numbers. I've tabulated all this, but there is still a confusion. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:04, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Charles, Prince of Wales

A move request is underfoot to move this article to Prince Charles. Input is welcome. john k (talk) 14:06, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Deletion of articles tracking heirs to defunct thrones

Several requests to delete articles entitled "Line of succession to the former throne of X" (e.g. Württemberg, Tuscany, Two Sicilies) have recently been proposed for deletion from Wikipedia by Pat Gallacher. Although Wikipedians from various projects are being notified of these requests for removal, I think those who monitor this page may also appreciate being notified. FactStraight (talk) 03:04, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

First mention

I would like to build consensus on the naming convention of the first mention for royalty, specifically regarding the children of the British monarch in modern times, following the standards set in Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Biographies#First_mention which states, "While the article title should generally be the name by which the subject is most commonly known, the subject's full name should be given in the lead paragraph, if known (including middle names, if known, or middle initials). Many cultures have a tradition of not using the full name of a person in everyday reference, but the article should start with the complete version."

I would argue that the first mention in the article Charles, Prince of Wales, for example, should include both the personal name and title as well as the substantive title. Currently, the first mention in this article is the same as the article title, Charles, Prince of Wales. I would argue that, although the article title should stay as it is, the first mention should be The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales since he, as the son of a monarch, is "The Prince Charles" and is properly part of his full name per the naming convention for biographical articles in the Manual of Style cited above.

The standard states that honorifics should not be part fo the first mention. I agree with this policy. Some have argued that the inclusion of 'The' in The Prince Charles is an honorific, but I don't see it as such, since this indicates he is the son of a monarch as is part of his name and titles proper, whereas His Royal Highness is his honorific.

I want to be clear that I am making a distinction between the article title and first mention and agree with the current policy for the title, which states, as it applies here (Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(royalty_and_nobility)#Royals_with_a_substantive_title):

  • If an individual holds a princely substantive title, use "{first name}, {title}". Examples: Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Princess Royal, Felipe, Prince of Asturias.
  • If a prince(ss) holds a substantive title that is not princely (a peerage, for instance), use "Prince(ss) {first name}, {title}". Examples: Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

I argue that the first mention, however, should make no distinction, but in either case should include the individual's proper personal name/title and substantive title, so that the first mentions would be consistent for all the children of a monarch, The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, The Princess Anne, Princess Royal, The Prince Andrew, Duke of York, The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The same would apply to Prince Philip who, though not the child of a British monarch, has been created The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JamesReyes (talkcontribs)

Thoughtful suggestion but I find myself in opposition for 3 reasons: 1st, use of "The" preceding title is not "part of the name" but is a style specific to British usage in English. It is neither customary in all monarchies nor is it prevalent on Wikipedia to refer to children of non-British reigning dynasties in this fashion (e.g. we do not write "The Princess Stephanie of Monaco" nor "The Princess Basma bint Saud of Saudi Arabia, although she is the 115th child of King Saud and lives in the UK; 2nd, it is needlessly redundant to repeat "Prince"; 3rd, it is stilted, sounding excessively formal/deferential -- a concern given that articles on royalty are increasingly subject to efforts to "cut them down to size" by those who object to the hereditary notability from which they benefit -- why needlessly irritate? Given that Wikipedia already accords royalty their generic and substantive title (unless both are "Prince"), and identifies their honorific. These compromises between British court usage and WP's encyclopaedic style have been worked out through endless discussions here and no compelling reason is given for the proposed change. FactStraight (talk) 05:18, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it is a style, and an archaic and excessively formal one, which is out of place in a 21st-century global encyclopedia. Note that the royal website does not use it here except in describing the full style. I think the same professional standard should apply to wikipedia (per MOS:HONORIFIC: "styles and honorifics should not be included in front of the name, but may be discussed in the article"). DrKiernan (talk) 09:07, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
You both bring up good points and I would concede that the use of the"The" can be viewed as excessively formal. I would still argue, that a British prince with a princely substantive title should still be styled in an article's first mention as, for example, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales or Princess Anne, Princess Royal. Is the only reason that is avoided is because it is repetitive? British princes with non-princely substantive titles use prince before their names as with Prince Andrew, Duke of York. --JamesReyes (talk) 03:07, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I object to it because it is 1. repetitive, 2. confusing (most don't understand the difference between a generic dynastic title and a substantive individual title, and therefore), 3. it gives the appearance of excessive deferentiality. 4. Worse, it looks anglo-centric; why should a Brit prince get it but not, e.g., the Prince of Asturias or a Prince of Liege? However, when the substantive title is non-princely, I think that both princely prefix and substantive title should be given, both in first mention and article name. FactStraight (talk) 17:47, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I think if we lose them (those who don't understand) after the first mention if they don't read the rest of the article and figure out the difference then it is their problem, not ours. I don't object to the double use of prince (because it is based in fact that the aforementioned individuals have two princely titles) but I think it may be an issue with Felipe of Spain because, although I am not sure, some people think that he is not an Infante formally although Prince of Asturias. Seven Letters 20:53, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree that because one's full name and titles may not sound well, i.e. being repetitive, is sufficient reason to reject this proposal. Again, I go back to the Wikipedia Manual of Style's standards on first mentions which states, "Many cultures have a tradition of not using the full name of a person in everyday reference, but the article should start with the complete version." There is significance in starting the article Prince Charles, Prince of Wales because it is matters that Charles is a British prince as opposed to simply Diana, Princess of Wales who was not. This contrast may help clarify the incorrect usage of Princess Diana. I think precision matters. Additionally, I would like to bing this in line with the articles for Prince Andrew etc. who do not enjoy princely substantive titles. As far as "loosing" the reader, users come to Wikipedia for information and it would be my hope, if anything, that seeing prince twice may provoke a question in the reader to seek further understanding, rather than loosing the reader. I doubt that readers will be lost. --JamesReyes (talk) 02:11, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

There's lots of POV and WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT statements, but surely the key question is "What is the official usage?". If the official way of referring to them (and there must be a way of finding out) is "The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal" then surely we should use that. Whether it is repetitive, Anglo-centric (huh?), sounds deferential, never heard it, looks funny, bla, bla, are not encyclopaedic arguments. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:47, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

I've tried to avoid WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT statements in my case and agree completely with you, Bermicourt. I think we need to apply professional and objective editorial standards here. I would like to hear more feedback. --JamesReyes (talk) 09:01, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
My argument tries to address what is and is not encyclopedic. I linked to the official website and usage above, and professional standards was one of the main points of my argument. DrKiernan (talk) 10:15, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm kind of in support of your proposal, though I fear it may be difficult to police. Deb (talk) 12:05, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Common usage (as opposed to official usage), certainly in the British media, is just to use either "the Princess Royal" or "the Prince of Wales" or "Princess Anne" or "Prince Charles", with the former being commoner. -- Necrothesp (talk) 17:19, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The article title uses common usage. The first mention uses official usage. I want to be clear about what we are talking about here. --JamesReyes (talk) 22:13, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The "first mention" mandate of the MOS calls for complete recitation of the person's names, not titles, and the standard for that is completeness, not "officialness". Some of us have already dissented from the novel argument that "The" in "His Royal Highness The Prince Charles...The Prince of Wales" is part of his name, rather than part of his honorific and/or style. Likewise, "Prince", whether generic or substantive, is a title and not part of his name. Titles and styles for royalty are to be given in their complete and/or official forms in a section of the article reserved for such and, by long-standing and hard-fought-over agreement, not in the article's lede or elsewhere. If, in the lede, British royalty are to be accorded their complete and official "names", which is being broadened in definition here, that should be the same standard for non-British royalty, which (especially in the case of non-European royalty, where it is not uncommon to have a unique dialect to refer to everything concerning royalty, e.g. Japan) often will include very lengthy styles/honorifics that in the native language are considered the only correct and proper way to refer to royal personages. Wikipedia's style should be encyclopaedic, obliged to mimic neither the official pomp employed by royal courts nor the short-cut journalese the media uses, nor the colloquialisms by which "royals" are known to the public. (BTW, there is no difference in the official style of the wives of born-royals based on their pre-marital royal or non-royal status: the married style of Kate Middleton and of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, as consort of the Prince of Wales, was the same; so that's not a relevant issue.) FactStraight (talk) 01:32, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
  • We have two issues here - article title and how they should appear in the lead. It is entitlely appropriate to give the full name in the lead (and harmless). Article titles need to be unique, to prevent dab-issues arising. For those with a title, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Duke of Edinburgh, etc. there is likely to be no problem. The male children of George VI all have (or had) titles, but the grandchildren of Elizabeth II (except William) do not. "The" is an honorific; so is HRH (and the obsolete HIH, HSH, etc): by convention we do not prefix the articles on knights with "sir", unless for dab-reasons. It may be useful for colloquial titles used by the press, etc. to exist, but they should be redirects to the article, not generally articles in theri own right. Peterkingiron (talk) 14:45, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

I am in complete agreement with FactStraight that these articles should "be encyclopaedic, obliged to mimic neither the official pomp employed by royal courts nor the short-cut journalese the media uses." What I am really seeking here consistency. Either the lead in both cases is Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Andrew, Duke of York OR it's Charles, Prince of Wales and Andrew, Duke of York. To remove the "Prince" in "Prince Charles" merely because it doesn't sound right, being repetitive with his princely substantive title, isn't a good reason and violates WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT. And if we go with the latter option, should the leads for royals without substantive titles simply be Harry of Wales or Beatrice of York? Which way should it be? --JamesReyes (talk) 03:55, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Consistency (across articles, rather than within each) and JustDon'tLikeIt are not Wikipedia guidelines, but stylistic preferences editors sometimes find useful to apply. To add a specific injunction that we use a confusingly redundant form of titling for British royalty which has long been deprecated by NCROY and is not prevalent in Wikipedia's royalty bios requires, IMO, arguments more compelling than that the British Queen's children's titles ought to look consistent. I understand it as a personal preference, but not as a Wikipedia mandate. FactStraight (talk) 04:45, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Naming conventions for Baronets

WP:NCPEER para 4. says "If there is more than one Sir John Smith, 2nd Baronet then add the territorial designation of the baronetcy (e.g. Sir William Williams, 2nd Baronet, of Clapton and Sir William Williams, 2nd Baronet, of Gray's Inn)." I don't really see that this is necessary if the other Sir John Smith, 2nd Baronet is never going to have an article. See Talk:Sir William Bruce, 1st Baronet, of Balcaskie#Requested move. Opera hat (talk) 13:28, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

It says earlier to use the number or place "If the name is ambiguous and the baronetcy is the best disambiguator". In the case of William Bruce the profession might be a better disambiguator. There could also be a case for primary usage in his case. DrKiernan (talk) 16:05, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
It isn't necessary unless the other chap also gets an article. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:53, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Popes

Popes (and patriarchs) are not covered by WP:SOVEREIGN but by WP:NCCL. For some reason that guideline requires article names that start with "Pope" or "Patriarch". There is a discussion on whether to change this practice at WT:Naming conventions (clergy)#Pope as part of the name. I think it could do with a little more activity. Hans Adler 21:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

I've moved the following article

Denis of Portugal to Denis, King of Portugal, per this Naming convention. GoodDay (talk) 15:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium?

It has been requested that the article about Mathilde of Belgium, wife of Philippe of Belgium, be moved to Queen Mathilde of Belgium. The reason is this guideline. I believe the guideline is very faulty in this respect. It imposes illogical, senselessly inconsistent titles formatted "Y of X" and "Queen Z of X" where Y is the monarch and Z the monarch's wife. It should be either Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium, or Mathilde of Belgium and Philippe of Belgium, or Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians and Philippe, King of the Belgians. It would be ridiculous to have her as Queen Mathilde and him as plain Philippe. Common sense indicates that, if the titles are not to match for some reason, he should actually be the one with the royal title and she the one without it. There is no reasonable justification for referring to the monarch's wife as "Queen Z of Y" and to the monarch himself as "X of Y". Surtsicna (talk) 17:56, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I would support moving the reigning monarchs to King/Queen X of Y/X, King/Queen of Y (so Queen Margrethe II of Denmark/Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark and so on) I think the point of the naming was to differentiate between reigning monarchs and consorts, but it does make things a bit confusing. I'd also argue for ordinals on kings who are the first of their name. Morhange (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC notification

There's a related RM/RFC at Talk:Queen Sonja of Norway, where it's been proposed that a series of articles should be moved from "Queen X of Y" to "X of Y". There's some argument over whether the discussion should be at that talk page or this one; I'm not too concerned either way, but I thought this page's watchers should at least be notified. DoctorKubla (talk) 19:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

RfC regarding the titles of articles about queens

Comments that the proposal should have been better worded should have been heeded early on, because as an uninvolved editor, navigating this discussion based on the proposal has been less-than-easy. Insofar as the proposal is concerned, I'm calling this one no consensus on the basis that edtiors were split between several options about the naming convention including (but not limited to) 1) Abandoning any particular convention and deferring to WP:COMMONNAME, 2) Keeping titles when no ordinal is present, and removing them when ordinals are present, 3) Removing or maintaining titles based on the naming convention for the regnant monarch, and 4) Titling based on living / historical status. There was agreement that the current conventions on the naming of consorts is insufficient, but because of the nuances in participants' positions, no particular solution was wholly agreed to. I recommend starting a new RfC where one or two concrete proposals from this discussion are put forward, and phrased such that a decision to change the convention indicates support of that particular proposal. RfCs where "no" or oppose means "support", and where some of those "no's" are actually supporting the proposal are never going to be a very effective means of developing consensus. I, JethroBT drop me a line 16:33, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Restarting the RfC here, per NickCT's suggestion.

Should articles about living queens be titled "Queen Y of Someland" while articles about living kings and queens regnant are titled "X of Someland"? 18:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

  • No. There is no reasonable justification for referring to the monarch's wife as "Queen Z of Y" and to the monarch himself as "X of Y". It should be Noor of Jordan and Hussein of Jordan, not Queen Noor of Jordan and Hussein of Jordan; Máxima of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, not Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, etc. Common sense indicates that, if the titles are not to match for some reason, he should actually be the one with the royal title and she the one without it.
    The notion that the format Mathilde of Belgium indicates a monarch while the format Queen Mathilde of Belgium indicates a consort is nothing but a Wikipedia invention. Only Wikipedia editors who have been editing royalty-related articles for years can find it natural to have a monarch's wife as Queen Sofía of Spain and an actual monarch as Juliana of the Netherlands. A random John Smith who comes to read about kings and queens will certainly not find that natural. If there is anything a random user can conclude from such formats, it's that the person with the title is more important and thus the monarch, while the one without the title is the consort. Believe it or not, nobody can conclude that Máxima is a consort just by reading "Queen Máxima of the Netherlands", and nobody would conclude that she is a monarch just by reading "Máxima of the Netherlands'". Surtsicna (talk) 18:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - To try and clarify a little here, I believe Surtsicna is proposing a change to Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(royalty_and_nobility)#Consorts_of_sovereigns. NickCT (talk) 19:30, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks for clarifying on my behalf! Surtsicna (talk) 20:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No - I would say I basically agree with Surtsicna. john k (talk) 19:46, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No - Delete section on Consorts - Pretty much the one and only policy I look to in naming debates is WP:COMMONNAME. Thus, I find myself asking whether the guideline spelled out under the Consorts of sovereigns section is a common naming convention for monarchs. I'm not deeply versed on matters of royalty, but after brief review and search engine testing, I get the feeling that the guideline is not frequently applied in English language reliable sources. Frankly, the guideline looks arbitrary to me and appears to be something that was established to suite an individual editor's preference. The rule does not seem to be universally applied across WP (e.g. Mathilde of Belgium). I stand very much in the "No" camp on this one unless someone can explain to me how the current guideline for naming living consorts is useful or how it reflects common practice. NickCT (talk) 19:48, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment We usually have the benefit of the ordinal to distinguish sovereigns which is why we haven't included kingly or imperial titles. That got muddled up with the absence of "the first" for some. Move all monarchs to "Name, Title of Place" and consorts "Title Name of Place"? Seven Letters 22:03, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No. As Surtsicna notes, this is a (to my knowledge) novel Wikipedia naming scheme. That is acceptable in certain cases, but it should usually be for some needed usability or clarity reason. Yet, I highly doubt that said convention is clear enough for Wikipedia readers to realize "Queen X" means consort, and just "X" means they reigned. And even that isn't the end; it doesn't matter if only 2% of readers pick up on it if there's no chance of confusion. Yet, as Surtsicna notes, it's quite plausible that this naming scheme is confusing enough that there's another 2% of readers who draw the *wrong* conclusion at first, and assume that "Queen X" means regnant. So yeah, kill the titles. (Presumably this should also apply to Prince Claus of the Netherlands and the like as well.) SnowFire (talk) 22:34, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Surtsicna has made the case that the Wikipedia convention is confusing and needs changing.
As I speculated at Talk:Queen Sonja of Norway, I think the current usage derives from usage in pirmary source medieval documents, when monarchs refered to each other on familiar terms. (because kings didnt' like to address others as "king", or because they often were family, more related to each than to their subjects?) If true, I don't think this is a good basis for a convention in an encyclopedia. If not true, the Wikipedia convention is still confusing.
My preference would be:
  • For living, current monarchs, regnant and consorts: Title Name of place (skipping "of place" can cause biographies to be ambiguious with ships).
  • For historical regnant monarchs: "Name, Title of Place"
  • For historical consorts: "Name, Title consort of Place"
This much better satisfies recognizability and accuracy, removes the regnant-consort ambiguity, and removes the artifical convention differences between King and Grand Duke, for example.
Where the historical monarch/consort had multiple transient titles, we have to choose one, usually the highest, or otherwise do our best drawing guidance from the best sources.
I would leave Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother alone until she is no longer in living memory. Eventually, she should be titled Elizabeth, Queen consort of the United Kingdom
Where [Name, Title consort of Place] is ambiguous, disambiguate with (yyyy-yyyy)
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:42, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Comment. I have no idea what the actual reason was, but I presume the reason the title is omitted is a combination of (1) - titles change over time, or are different in different countries; "King-Emperor Grand Duke President Franz Joseph I" is unwieldy for a page, and not really accurate either, as the titles were theoretically separate. Also, (2) - Wikipedia owes no deference to any specific claim, similar to the rules against adding "PBUH" after Muhammad, or referring to people as "Their Eminence" or whatever in articles. There's no need to step in and imply that line X are the "true" kings if that means anything, and these other guys are just pretenders. More generally, leaders of countries don't get titles either - the article's at Barack Obama, not President Barack Obama, even if both are common names - so yeah. SnowFire (talk) 02:57, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
The logic of that comment is hard to follow. Where someone had multiple titles at different times, one needs to be chosen. This is usually no big deal. Mary Queen of Scots comes to mind. Deference to specific claims comes from sources we choose to be the best.
Honorifics, whether mister, sir, HRH, eminence, majesty, I didn't think were part of this discussion?
I also didn't think truth-of-kingship was part of the discussion. Can we just assume that we're talking about ordinary cases first?
Bringing in presidents just muddies the water. True, there are elected, term limited monarchies, and the US President was modelled as a pseudo monarch, but we're talking royalty here, and royalty is moderately well contained, even if there are edge cases.
What sways me is consistency and recognizability. Consistency with other titles, such as Duke. Exclusion of King/Queen/Emperor amongst royalty/nobility is inconsistent. Recognizability - I don't think that anyone doubts that putting "Queen" in Mary Queen of Scots helps with recognizability. There is a very small concision cost. I can't see how any quantification of the cost leads to anything much. Similarly for consorts, the title helps with recognizability. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:15, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Isabella of Angoulême. This article title gives very little suggestion of who she was. Could be a consort of no greater significance. Could be a monarch of Angoulême. This convention of naming consorts by their maiden name is very much at odds with naming people according to what they were best known, and of naming historic people according to their highest rank.
The following would be better
I oppose the proposal and essentially concur with FactStraight. The current situation may be unideal, but removing "King" and "Queen" across the board doesn't seem likely to help. Especially where women are concerned, "X of Y" often doesn't mean "Queen X of Y" (e.g. Mary of Modena wasn't queen of Modena; Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen wasn't queen of Saxe-Meiningen). A better solution would be to add "King"/"Queen" to article names for monarchs without ordinals (e.g. Hussein, King of Jordan and Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands). An added advantage is that this follows the pattern already established by a number of articles (e.g. John, King of England and Anne, Queen of Great Britain). Not all readers will notice or understand the difference, but the distinction will help those who do, and those who don't need only read the article's first paragraph to have it clarified. Alkari (?), 2 August 2013, 13:12 UTC
I also oppose the proposal and add my support for what FactStraight is proposing. Kings/queens with ordinals remain as they are, and we include 'X, King/Queen of Y' when there is no ordinal. Queen consorts would remain at Queen X of Y and then revert to their maiden names (even though I find this rule silly) upon their deaths. Morhange (talk) 18:22, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Oppose or Yes, ie. I agree with the above comments. Queens consort absolutely do need to be distinguished from queens regnant.Deb (talk) 10:32, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
The question was not whether queens consort should be distinguished from queens regnant. Why do so by referring to a consort as Queen Sonja of Norway and to a monarch as Juliana of the Netherlands? There is nothing sensible about making such a distinction. It is terribly contra-effective. No distinction is certainly better than a misleading distinction. Surtsicna (talk) 11:22, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree with that last statement. If you have an alternative suggestion as to how they should be differentiated, I would be glad to consider supporting it, but at the moment the "common name" addicts have made such an inconsistent mess of article naming conventions that I would prefer to leave things as they stand.Deb (talk) 12:16, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
You wish to make it clear to readers that queens consort are not monarchs, and you believe that the best way to do that is by using article titles that actually suggest the opposite? I truly cannot understand that. It is senseless to claim that a misleading, contra-effective distinction is better than no distinction. Surtsicna (talk) 13:22, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No. Surtsicna's arguments convince me, but then I didn't need much convincing. This never made any sense. Deb's argument, such as it is, boils down to "I don't like WP:COMMONNAME". Fine, then get it changed. You've had long enough. Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:35, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
This is simply untrue. I am not opposed to WP:COMMONNAME. I just don't like the way people use it as an excuse for being sloppy and not giving thought to article naming. But as you say, you didn't need much convincing that I am wrong whenever I happen to have a different opinion from yours. Deb (talk) 21:08, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • No - we should use WP:COMMONNAME much more - searching for consistency when the sources aren't just means we've imposed an artificial hard to understand "standard" on our articles which doesn't fit with real world usage. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
The truth is that a good, consistent, useable standard was introduced early in the history of this project. The "commonnamers" who found it too much of an effort then proceeded to dismantle it bit by bit, and now all we have is a tangle - forget any educational goal, we are "dumbing-down" as much as possible. Whilst I agree that the present method of differentiating between queens regnant and consorts is not ideal, it is still better than inviting confusion between the two.Deb (talk) 15:04, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
The truth is it's not consistent and it's not useable by folks who aren't deeply familiar with monarchy/royalty articles. There is a good reason WP:COMMONNAME exists. One shouldn't need to read pages of policy to figure out how to title a small subgroup of articles. I don't get your "dumbing down" point b/c the naming convention you're supporting doesn't educate the reader of anything beyond some weird naming convention used by wikipedians. NickCT (talk) 16:17, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
It's no longer consistent because it's been changed so much over the years. I support the differentiation of naming conventions for monarchs and consorts as a means of helping readers understand that there is a difference. The present convention for this is different from the original, which was to use maiden names for all consorts - this was felt to be confusing in some cases. The result is that now we have a halfway house that no one really likes.Deb (talk) 16:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
re "helping readers understand that there is a difference" - Do you really think many readers are looking at "Queen Noor of Jordan" and thing "Ah, b/c there is a 'Queen' there it means she's a consort"?!?! That's nutty. I'm well familiar with what a consort is but I had no idea when looking over royalty pages that the include of "Queen" meant that such and such a person was a consort. NickCT (talk) 17:27, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
So I return to my previous question - how do you propose to differentiate them? If a proposal is put forward, I am quite likely to support it. Until then, I support the existing method.Deb (talk) 07:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The same way we make clear the difference between Head cheese and other kinds of cheese. By putting text in the body of the article. It would be very easy to put straight into the first sentence of the lead "X of Someland is the queen consort of Someland". The reader doesn't have to go very far to understand that there is a difference. NickCT (talk) 20:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
You mean brawn. Okay, I can see where you're going with this, but an individual queen isn't a "kind" of queen. I favour a more immediate method of distinguishing them - in fact, I favour returning to maiden names, but, since that's not what this discussion is about, I really don't think that having no distinction is helpful to a reader. I suppose we could put some kind of header in the article saying something like "This article is about a queen consort" or "This article is about a queen regnant... Deb (talk) 21:02, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
If the present guideline suggested titles such as Queen consort Mathilde of Belgium and you wished to retain that guideline for the purpose of distinguishing consorts from monarchs, I would understand that. That is not the case, however. The guideline you wish to retain provides no meaningful distinction, as there is nothing about the title Queen Mathilde of Belgium that suggests that she is a consort. Absolutely nothing. If there is anything it can suggests, it's exactly the opposite - that she is a monarch. Surtsicna (talk) 21:26, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I expect that once readers have opened an article they will find out all the relevant info about its topic. Consistent formatting of bio titles to distinguish between the fundamentally different types of queen who share that title is, however, helpful to at least some and harmless to the rest, just as is the differentiation we make in titling articles about substantive titleholders (e.g., Charles, Prince of Wales or Marie, Princess of Liechtenstein) and courtesy or cadet titleholders (e.g., Prince Harry of Wales or Princess Marie Isabelle of Liechtenstein - the latter, born a fille de France, is known in real life exclusively as "Princess Marie of Liechtenstein" -- only Wikipedia compels her to add "Isabelle"). The distinction is appropriate, aids some, burdens none, and therefore should be retained. FactStraight (talk) 21:19, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
It can only aid us, users who are used to this sort of "distinction". We are not writing these articles for us, however. We are writing them for those who have no idea that we mean Queen consort Silvia of Sweden when we say Queen Silvia of Sweden. If there is anything those non-experts can assume, it's the opposite. Surtsicna (talk) 21:31, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is chockful of features and formats which aid those who regularly edit more than they help those who simply read Wikipedia -- this talk page for example. Yes, that inscrutable "talk" button may be meaningless for some, an annoying distraction for a few, and a clue to how to understand and participate better for the Wikipedians who edit the encyclopaedia and appreciate signposts that explain and/or guide them. Ditto for everything on a Wikipedia page that isn't text in the article -- Navigation, Tool Box, Statistics, Templates & Categories: for most these will never be useful, for a few they may make the project more bewildering, while for others they help map how things function, encouraging involvement. Any distraction is minimal or non-existent to the vast majority so we don't withhold the utility from those who find the format a worthwhile tool. Whether most people do notice that Marie, Princess of Liechtenstein and Princess Marie Isabelle of Liechtenstein are not only two different women but occupy two related but profoundly different roles in Liechtenstein or whether most never notice, the distinction is appropriate, it's one some are affirming is important to us to preserve, Wikipedia's way of flagging it disrupts nothing, and the format may become more familiar and useful over time to those editing these kinds of articles. This format isn't "broke", so doesn't need fixing. FactStraight (talk) 23:43, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I never said that "X, Princess of Anyland" and "Princess Y of Anyland" formats were broken. It's clear which format is broken. I strongly disagree that we should force readers to wait until such broken formats "become more familiar and useful over time", especially when we can present to them a format that does not require any puzzling over to figure it out. Surtsicna (talk) 11:33, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Contrary to FactStraight's belief that the format is not broken, Surtsicna has made the straight forward case that the titling format is broken in that a reasonable reader may mistake "Queen" titled articles as articles on regnant queens, alongside Name of Place articles as articles that are not about queens. The forseeable likely possibility of misleading means it is broken. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No, because the format shouldn't be compared to some non-existent ideal, but to a real alternative before us that addresses the concerns under discussion. But this oddly-worded proposal deprecates a particular combination ("Queen Firstname of Realm" when her Sovereign spouse is at "Firstname of Realm"): it doesn't specify an alternative, although one would be that all queens, regnant and consort, are henceforth to use the same format (whatever that format is -- we have yet to decide that!) requiring that we deliberately blur the distinction some consider important and do-able and requiring re-titling of all the articles that have been titled differently. The fact that some people will miss the distinction between consorts and regnants isn't a problem because it doesn't impede use of the encyclopaedia any more than any other formats apppearing on these articles that are ignored by most. Article titles which don't reflect the distinction would continue to get re-directs or re-names from editors who are aware and care -- exactly as now happens. A better and far easier fix, and the alternative advocated by at least 3 in this discussion, is to resolve the problem on the vast majority of cases by inserting the monarch's title whenever s/he lacks a regnal number or cognomen (Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Philippe, King of the Belgians), leaving the "Queen Firstname of Realm" format for consorts of living kings where it's now in use. FactStraight (talk) 14:32, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No, aka support for clear reasons of common name and consistency. It's illogical in the extreme to distinguish them this way when reliable sources do not. Red Slash 03:29, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose proposal - for all the reasons above and, further, the birthright royalty or nobility is actually the one who holds the title unless, generally, letters of patent are issued for the spouse; the spouse (and children) hold titles by courtesy. So if only one half of a royal couple is going to be identified by title then shouldn't it be the holder? EBY (talk) 20:17, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
    • I'm a bit confused, EBY. You say you oppose the proposal but your arguments seem to perfectly match the arguments of those who support the proposal, including me (i.e. not identifying the consort by title because the actual holder is not identified by title). Could you please reread the question and my original comment? Thanks. Surtsicna (talk) 09:02, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
      • I think that's because the proposal (I would prefer to call it a question because it doesn't actually propose anything) is worded back to front and can be taken either way - either "Do you agree with me that articles about living queens should be titled "Queen Y of Someland" while articles about living kings and queens regnant are titled "X of Someland"?" or "Does it make sense that articles about living queens be titled "Queen Y of Someland" while articles about living kings and queens regnant are titled "X of Someland"?" Deb (talk) 10:02, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No. I agree with Surtsicna: the current scheme makes no sense. Plus, as an American, I find this obsession with identifying mere consorts to be vastly amusing. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 07:41, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, per WP:COMMON. Status quo seems to be part of the pattern where Wikipedia royal-article editors have developed their own layers of ossified custom and convention, on top of those of the royals they seek to document, and without a sound basis in reliable sources and common usage. In some broad thematic sense that's very apt, but in WP policy terms, it's not. Also agree with the observation that it would have been better if the proposal had avoided the "double negative" construction. It could be seen as confusing, or worse, an attempt at subliminal shifting of "burden of changing the consensus". 84.203.33.254 (talk) 22:35, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • There seem to be several questions. I believe that the title, whatever the case, should be either the "official" or the "common" name, not something that is never or hardly ever used (like we are forced to endure, owing to Wikipedia's strange interpretation of "consensus", in the case of Prince Harry of Wales). If this is not possible due to ambiguity constraints, then the title should at least be something that readers will correctly interpret, and will not give the impression that some name or style is commonly or officially used when it isn't (which is my objection to Prince Harry of Wales). The convention for reigning kings and queens seems to me to be OK in this regard, as long as exceptions can be made when helpful. The convention for consorts also seems to be largely OK, but it seems a bit silly to me to change titles as soon as someone dies - why not wait and see how they become known by history, rather than try to second-guess? There is a good reason for including "Queen" with a queen consort and not (necessarily) with a reigning sovereign: the consort will not have a numeral to indicate royalty as the topic (and when the reigning sovereign lacks a numeral, the convention is to include King or Queen in that title too). Normally a name like "Jane of Somecountry" doesn't imply that Jane is the Queen (or anything similar) of that country, so should not be used unless that particular person really is commonly called by that name. All told I think I support no change to the convention except as regards the rule about changing names on death, and except it should perhaps be made more clear that exceptions are fine where appropriate. W. P. Uzer (talk) 07:16, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Notice to closing admin

Not like you needed the help, but this proposal is really confusingly worded. Currently, we do use article titles to distinguish reigning monarchs from consorts. My understanding is that Surtsicna, John K, NickCT, 7 Letters, SnowFire, SmokeyJoe (roughly), Angusmclellan, Ealdgyth, Red Slash (myself) and EBY3221 all agree that we should not distinguish between regnant and consort queens by including a word such as "queen" in any title of the article about a consort (except perhaps in extreme cases), since we don't include the word "queen" in the title for regnants. Meanwhile, generally speaking, Deb, Alkari and FactStraight (EDIT: and 7 Letters) all disagree. Let me know, commenters, if I've inaccurately represented your position. Red Slash 02:06, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Good try, but my read on this differs somewhat. Currently we do not use the title "king" in those bios on sovereigns who lack a regnal number yet we do so for their consorts, producing an incongruous "Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands" combination which no one here cares to preserve. As one solution, three of us support inserting the title where the ordinal would be for monarchs who lack it, yielding combinations such as "Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands", consistent with extant combinations like "Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja of Norway" or Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sophia of Spain", resolving most of the incongruity while preserving the usual distinction between queens regnant and living queens consort that is currently prevalent in royal bios. Although no one seems to support the status quo, it's not clear what alternative is preferred by those who want to drop the regnant-vs-consort distinction even if the "unnumbered kings" problem is resolved as suggested: Klaas wants to drop all use of titles in all royal bios (i.e., Máxima Zorreguieta) while Surtsicna has proposed retaining at least part of the royal title for consorts (i.e., Maxima of the Netherlands) but I have not heard which if either of these options is preferred by others, like 7 Letters. This proposal calls for a consensus against a format without there yet being a discernible consensus for an alternative. Our work here isn't done yet. FactStraight (talk) 04:30, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Unless I'm mistaken, the people in favor of what you describe are who Red Slash already lists as opposing (e.g. Alkari would prefer adding the title). Most of the positions are vanilla agreements with Surtsicna's proposal. SnowFire (talk) 16:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Red Slash, you are incorrect, I'm afraid. I support keeping the naming convention "Name (Ordinal) of Place" for kings-, queens-, emperors- and empresses regnant and the form "Title Name of Place" for consorts. However, if that is not acceptable, I would prefer "Title Name of Place" for consorts and "Name (Ordinal), Title of Place" for ALL sovereigns. Seven Letters 16:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know. I've re-sorted you. Not sure how I messed that one up, sorry!! Red Slash 01:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Others continue to weigh in. NinjaRobotPirate supports Surtcicna's original proposal, as does anon 84.203.33.254 (having contributed 6 edits to 3 talk pages from 8-10 August) while observing that the proposal's wording may seem confusing or biased. EBY states opposition to the proposal, yet seems to argue in favor of it, but hasn't responded to a request to clarify. Neljack and Morhange oppose the proposal. Klaas|Z4␟ and TFD want the use of titles minimized, and so don't opine on whether they should distinguish between types of queens or not. SnowFire and Red Slash, agreeing with the proposal, interpret it to deprecate distinguishing between queens regnant and consort in article titles and conclude that most here agree with that, while I, opposing the proposal (and mindful of points 4 & 6 of the Straw Poll Guideline), interpret it to deprecate use of titles for consorts so long as their regnant spouses get none. FactStraight (talk) 23:59, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion 1 - for distinguishing consorts and explaining what they are through the article text

  • Here's a suggestion for how to deal with this issue, whether or not Surtsicna's proposal is adopted. How about creating a template that can be put at the head of articles about consorts (male or female), explaining the difference between this and a monarch? (Or have we already got such a template and I just haven't spotted it?) I haven't had much time to think this through so I won't be offended if people disagree. Deb (talk) 10:28, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
@Deb - 1) Kudos for trying to think outside the box to come up with a resolution. 2) Take a look at Template:Infobox_royalty. Look at the "spouse =" field. Is this like what you are thinking about? NickCT (talk) 13:28, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Not really. I was thinking more of something that says "This article is about a consort, not a monarch, blah-di-blah." Deb (talk) 13:44, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't a lead sentence, as the very first sentence in the article, make that clear? Something like: "Sonja (née Haraldsen; born 4 July 1937), queen consort of Norway, is the wife of the reigning Norwegian monarch, Harald V." Take a look at how that looks. It's as straightforward as possible; her husband is identified as the monarch, and she as his consort. Surtsicna (talk) 14:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it could, but I felt that a template might
  1. serve to underline the distinction between consort and monarch
  2. be less liable to accidental omission or alteration
Deb (talk) 15:23, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't think that is a good idea. The articles have ledes that make it quite clear. This is an issues of titles, not content. The titles are ambiguous to readers who are looking at the title, before they click and download (or purchase, or order, or print, in whatever downstream product they may be using). Given a list of titles of royalty, a reader may reasonably make false assumptions about which were consorts and which were regnant. It is a titling issue, and it is just a titling issue. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:26, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Ultimately, isn't that what reading the article is for? Seven Letters 18:46, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion 2 - for distinguishing consorts through the article title

Having had further thoughts, I have an additional suggestion about titling, but once again I would like to know people’s immediate reaction before I go to the lengths of putting it forward as a proposal. Suppose that we had an article called The Queen of (anycountry) for every country that is likely to have a living queen consort. (I don’t think there is really an issue with male consorts, as titles are not consistent in any case.) This article would be distinct from an article called Queen of (anycountry), which would be about the ‘’title’’ and would have a cross-reference to the present incumbent.

The article entitled The Queen of (anycountry) would have the following characteristics

  1. If the incumbent queen is a monarch, it would redirect to her article, at whatever title it happens to be (eg. Elizabeth II)
  2. If the incumbent queen is a consort, it would be an article about that individual
  3. If there is no incumbent queen, it would say so, or redirect to a disambiguation page or list of consorts for that country
  4. If the consort is known by some other title than “Queen”, it would redirect to that

I know it may sound a little off-the-wall, but I believe it might work.Deb (talk) 17:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

So, to be clear, you're suggesting the following changes:
Would this also apply to non-European consorts? To consorts of European grand dukes and princes? What about consorts of deposed monarchs, like Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Anne of Romania, and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria? john k (talk) 20:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
You are correct in your interpretation of what I mean. At the moment I am only talking about queens, as I'm not sure how many exceptions there might be. I don't see why it shouldn't apply to consorts of deposed monarchs, if they are presently titled as "Queen".Deb (talk) 21:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Alright, but why would we do that? What would we accomplish? There was never any initiative to move articles such as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to The Duchess of Cambridge and such titles. Isn't Margrethe II of Denmark "The Queen of Denmark"? How would that help readers understand that The Queen of Spain is not a monarch but Wilhelmina of the Netherlands is (which seems to be your main goal)? It puts us back to square one. Surtsicna (talk) 11:45, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Because The Queen of Spain would be a redirect if it was a monarch and an article about a person if it was not. You don't want a way of distinguishing between consorts and monarchs - fair enough - but I find this is a major area of misunderstanding, especially for readers who come from countries that don't have a monarchy (eg. the USA). Deb (talk) 11:48, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
But how would an engineer from the USA know that articles about monarchs are supposed to be at "X of Someland" while articles about wives of monarchs are supposed to be at "The Queen of Someland", and not the other way around? Why should we expect that same person to know that "The Queen of Someland" is not supposed to be a monarch? It's not that I am against distinguishing between consorts and monarchs; it's that I am against distinguishing between them in ways that are not obvious and logical to outsiders, and especially against distinguishing between in ways that mislead and confuse outsiders. Surtsicna (talk) 11:57, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
In what way do you think this would be misleading? My thought was that it would assist because it would not only take the reader immediately to the exact place they wanted to be, but it would make it clearer that there is more than one type of "Queen". At the moment you are proposing removing all distinction between consorts and monarchs without replacing it with anything, and I am trying to seek solutions that would benefit those who find the present situation confusing. Deb (talk) 12:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Deb: the point is that the distinctions you are making are arbitrary. There's no more reason to put reigning queens at "X of Country" and consorts at "The Queen of Country" than there is to do the reverse, and put reigning queens at "The Queen of Country" and consorts at "X of Country". Titles shouldn't be based on arbitrary distinctions like that. Added to that, I don't see why the article title needs to inform anyone of the difference between consorts and reigning monarchs. That is what the lead paragraph is for. john k (talk) 12:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think they are arbitrary, because they are rooted in the present naming conventions (which exist purely because people used to get very confused when there were no conventions). To "put reigning queens at "The Queen of Country" and consorts at "X of Country"" would mean having to reconsider the titles of male monarchs as well, thus there is more reason to do what I suggest rather than the reverse. I accept that the titles resulting from this proposal would not be "intuitive", which I think is what you mean, but this was never a question that was going to be easily resolved. I'm just making a constructive suggestion to try and find a compromise. If someone wants to suggest an alternative, I would love to hear it. Deb (talk) 12:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The distinctions aren't arbitrary, the titling is: queens regnant and queens consort are different offices with different functions which, for historical reasons, bear the same title and similar though not identical styling. The attempt to distinguish between them in Wikipedia article names isn't some newly fabricated intention or effort, but is something many if not most of these articles already reflect, by no coincidence. For instance, in using maiden names for past consorts we've tried to build on a common principle that operates outside of Wikipedia. Is it perfect? No, there are non-queens who share the naming form of "Firstname of Place" (Joan of Arc), but we've preserved it precisely because it is based on a real world distinction that generates a consistent enough pattern to not be ignored by an encyclopaedia (e.g., Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary of Guise, Anne of Austria, Mary of Teck). When readers don't pick up on that pattern no harm is done, yet as with any convention the more consistently it is adhered to the more intuitive it becomes to people (irony: Dutch newspapers reported that last week freshly hung portraits of the new Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were ordered taken down from court house walls, although the portraits of the 3 previous Dutch queens had always been displayed. But they had been regnants and Maxima is a consort. The portraits were hung on the erroneous assumption that the fact Maxima is also titled "Queen of the Netherlands" meant that she was due the same treatment as Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix. But the judges objected -- they dispense judgment in the name of the Sovereign only -- and the distinction was re-asserted by removing Maxima). The fact that Marie, Princess of Liechtenstein and her cousin Princess Marie Isabelle of Liechtenstein or Margrethe II of Denmark and her sister Queen Anne-Marie of Greece are styled differently to reflect different types of titleholders may not be picked up on by most readers, yet the distinction is appropriate, does not impede anyone's use of the encyclopaedia and was correctly picked up on by Wiki editors. Wikipedia conventions for article titles, such as usually omitting articles (Eagles not The Eagles) or usually only capitalising the first word (Living room) are not obvious, not particularly intuitive, not always adhered to, but they work because they don't impede those who never notice, while aiding those who do. A compromise which respects the premise on which many of these articles have already been edited is what's sought here, given that no significant adverse impacts flow from doing so. FactStraight (talk) 13:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No For queens who rule or have ruled, I would use their first name and number if applicable, and office if necessary for disambiguation. For example, "Elizabeth II, or "Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom." For queens consort I would use their names before they married, e.g., "Mary of Teck" for Queen Mary. Otherwise, both "common name", "disambiguation" and common sense apply, such as with "Queen Victoria." We should avoid unnecessary use of titles in articles about individuals. I note that some editors consider the name of their realms to be the equivalent of last names, but that is only true in some cases, such as "Teck." TFD (talk) 04:55, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Depends on the rules of the country. Belgium has three queens: Mathilde (king'n wife), Paola (king's mother) and Fabiola (king's aunt) while Netherlands has none.  Klaas|Z4␟V:  08:49, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Máxima is the Queen of the Netherlands as much as Mathilde is the Queen of the Belgians. Neither of them have a constitutional position but are nevertheless undisputably queens of their husbands' realms.Surtsicna (talk) 09:56, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
      • The important point is that Paola and Fabiola are ex-queens and would be treated as such in a new naming conventions.Deb (talk) 10:32, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
      • What do you mean "indisputably"? Klaas is making it clear that he does dispute that "Máxima is the Queen of the Netherlands" and, as he says, Dutch Wikipedia agrees, inasmuch as their article on King Willem-Alexander's consort is titled Máxima Zorreguieta and still refers to her as "prinses Máxima" therein, while the article on the consort of King Philippe of the Belgians is Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, and the consort of Queen Elizabeth II is Philip Mountbatten, which is the "NPOV" format he is recommending that English Wikipedia adopt -- his (and Dutch Wikipedia's) "no titles" variation on the proposal under consideration here. FactStraight (talk) 23:07, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
    • All problems are solved if one returns to the proposal to not mentioning any title in the article's title as is usual on Dutch Wikipedia (the only exception is Pope (Paus). All others head of state, consort etc. are just named like anybody else. NPOV so to speak. Any Wikipedia can have their own policy of course.  Klaas|Z4␟V:  12:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
      • "Queen of the realm" is inaccurate. In this case, "Queen" is not a substantive title. It is merely that women take their husband's name upon marriage, and may retain it upon divorce. It is similar to Hilary Clinton being entitled to call herself "Mrs. Bill Clinton." I agree with ZeaForUs. For disambiguation, however, we sometimes need to mention the person's position. "Ann, Queen-consort of Ruritania" reads better than "Ann (queen-consort of Ruritania)". TFD (talk) 17:51, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No. Whatever the decision on usage of "King" and "Queen" in titles, biography titles should include the name of the person. "Queen of England" should be considered a position not a person, and redirect somewhere such as Monarchy of the United Kingdom. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:00, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
    • In my proposal above, "Queen of England" would always be an article about the title, and "The Queen of England" would always be a redirect (because there is no one who holds that title now and quite probably never will be again).Deb (talk) 10:39, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose proposal per FactStraight. Neljack (talk) 08:53, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No. If it sounds off the wall, that'll be because it is off the wall. This moves even further away from common names when any move should be in the opposite direction. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:27, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia doesn't follow its own guidelines

The guidelines say: " Living royal consorts are referred to by their present name and title".

Well, there are no such titles as Queen Máxima of the Netherlands or Queen Mathilde of Belgium. Based on what Wikipedia itself recommends, the articles should be renamed "Queen Maxima, Princess of the Netherlands" and "Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians" (or "Queen Mathilde of the Belgians"). 161.24.19.112 (talk) 13:33, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

FWIW, I agree. Laura1822 (talk) 16:48, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Wives of British peers

The guide states that the style "Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire would be anachronism." What is the basis for this claim? Both presently and historically, the Duchess of Devonshire does not use the surname Cavendish. She would never have been known to her contemporaries as "Georgiana Cavendish," she would not have signed her name that way, either in legal or personal papers, nor would anyone have known her by that name. She would have signed her letters "Georgiana Devonshire" and legal documents as "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire" (N.B.: I looked for a historical example and couldn't find one easily for the latter, though I have plenty for the former, and would be interested in reviewing a page image or transcription of, say, a will of a peeress). And it was not at all unusual, then or now, to use the style "Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire" because it distinguishes her from any other Duchesses of Devonshire who also happen to be named Georgiana (this is the style usually seen in portrait captions in both books and prints and in online art collections, though they frequently omit any surname); a peeress's contemporaries who knew her before her marriage might continue to refer to her by her maiden name familiarly; and this style is common in modern usage in the genealogical context. If anything is anachronistic, in my opinion, it's imposing a 21st-century view of naming conventions in placing her under a name she never used, and which never looks or "sounds" right to me, no matter how many times I see it on Wikipedia. I do note that DNB and similar works do alphabetize under the surname, but this is an editorial decision made to group all members of a family together: such alphabetizing considerations do not apply on Wikipedia, where we create groupings in different ways (or not at all, relying on search engines), so it seems strange to me to use a rule designed for obsolete printed material (we don't title articles "Cavendish, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire" as the DNB does, after all).

I am certain that this issue has been thrashed out ad nauseam in the past, so I'll simply ask: What is the justification for this styling fiat? Not trying to start WWIII here, just wondering why, and wondering if it's etched in stone. Thanks! Laura1822 (talk) 16:48, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

I observe that the article is at Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. This seems appropriate. Her husband's surname was Cavendish and so was hers. Though she probably rarely used it (due to her title), it would also have been the surname of her children. With Defaultsort, we do not have to use the artifical word order of DNB. I see nothing wrong with the present title of the article. The titles for consorts are a difficult area. Since there is no ordinal (unlike peers) there is room for ambiguity, but we do not need to be too pedantic over the strict application of WP rules. We now often depart from them these days, though a redirect from the "correct form" should exist in such cases. Peterkingiron (talk) 14:18, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Our objection, in short, is to the use of her maiden name. I do not recall the cry for this, but I'm sure there was one. I have attempted to clarify.
It may be time to rethink our use of surnames with peerage titles. It is arguably incorrect; but it is so convenient for us, as a diachronic institution. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:16, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Proposed restrictions on styles & titles of former royals

A proposal is now pending to !vote to ban use of titles, honorifics and styles historically associated with titled members of no longer reigning families or to require that wherever such titles are mentioned in a Wikipedia bio, article or template that a disclaimer must be attached informing the reader that the title/style is not legal or is a courtesy title only. You may read opinions and express your views here. FactStraight (talk) 22:47, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

There currently doesn’t seem to be such discussion and I also didn’t find it in that page’s archives. — Christoph Päper 08:28, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Former titles

This page is lacking a guideline for naming articles about persons whose nobility has been revoked by civil law, e.g. when aristocracy was abolished as a whole – and so is WP:MOSBIO. See for instance Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography#Former noble names of Germans. — Christoph Päper 08:28, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

The guideline is "For claimants to titles which have been suppressed, as with the dukes of Bavaria, follow the general article titling policy." DrKiernan (talk) 09:09, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Which one is that? WP:ON, WP:UCN. If reliable sources – and I’m speculating here, wildly – from the UK tend to use aristocrat titles and such from the US don’t, even WP: is relevant.
That’s saying, you’re right that we don’t always have to choose the legal name as a lemma, but the descendants of such families are not “free to style themselves by their title”; doing so would even be a punishable offense in Austria (but not in Germany) as far as I know, because they just don’t have a title (unlike people from aristocrat countries like the UK). The only source that would apply such outdated titles is the “yellow press”, hardly what I would consider reliable. Anyway, we also don’t always have to choose the name the individual applies to themself.
In conclusion, we should use the lemma as uncontroversial as possible and that is not to include any titles, so I’ll state it more precisely: Konrad von Sachsen-Meiningen is preferable over Konrad Prinz von Sachsen-Meiningen. Comma notation must be reserved for actual nobility. — Christoph Päper 11:19, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The words "general article titling policy" in the guideline are linked to the same page as UCN. Sorry, I should have carried the link over when I copied the text above. I wasn't disagreeing with or commenting on your post in my reply, merely pointing at the current wording for cases of this sort. DrKiernan (talk) 09:01, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

New example needed

Sir Arthur Dean is now Arthur Dean (judge) and is no longer useful as an example of a title that includes the word "Sir" as a disambiguator. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:06, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Frankopan

At House of Frankopan, we currently have the description of the Croatian medieval nobility (which should be the primary topic for the term), as well as a description of a British Frankopan family that claims descendence from the former, but which is disputed. Regardless of this dispute, the latter could have an article of their own, which would reduce the focus on that dispute in the main article. But how should a new article be named? House of Frankopan (United Kingdom)? Frankopan family (United Kingdom)? Something else? --Joy [shallot] (talk) 20:04, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Anglicizing names

Colonies Chris moved dozens of articles today with the edit-summary stating "unanglicised name", and I reverted a number of the moves as they had not been properly discussed. Apparently, Colonies Chris had started a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Biography#Anglicising_names_of_nobles three days before and, unsurprisingly, received no response. Should names of the medieval members of the House of Hohenzollern be anglicized? Surtsicna (talk) 22:32, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, they should be anglicized. GoodDay (talk) 23:22, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I see little reason to Anglicize names of articles for royalty prior to the 19th century and none after the 20th unless the royal in question was well-known via English sources and known by an Anglicized name. As a rule of thumb, I would Anglicize the names of those whose native name is likely to be so unfamiliar to most English-speakers that it is traditionally translated, e.g. Baldwin V, Count of Flanders (rather than Baudouin) or John IV of Portugal. The other exceptions might be for cased where the royal is famous enough to have a sobriquet, so William the Silent, and his father would be William the Rich, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, while the latter's father could remain Johann V, Count of Nassau-Vianden-Dietz. Why call William the Silent's brother ??? when probably never in his life was he called by that name and seldom written of by that name either. FactStraight (talk) 03:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
That was my thinking. There's no reason to anglicise someone's name unless there's clear evidence that they're well known by the English name. In the changes I made, I consciously decided not to touch familiar names such as William the Silent or Frederick the Great. And I agree about using the English version of more obscure names such as Baudouin. My changes applied to names with close equivalents such as Philip/Philipp, Frederick/Friedrich, Charles/Karl, Albert/Albrecht, William/Wilhelm. There are some bizarre anglicisations - for example, in Wilhelm IV of Eberstein, Kunigunde, the name of his mother and one of his daughters, had been inexplicably anglicised to Gwendolyn. Colonies Chris (talk) 08:18, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I generally agree we shouldn't be doing Anglicizations unless they are well supported by sources, although on the other hand, if we're writing about someone as William because he's well known as such (when he was originally Wilhelm), then it may seem odd or confusing if, in the same article, we refer to some other less well-known relative as Wilhelm rather than William (or even as Friedrich rather than Frederick). But I suppose that problem doesn't really apply to the titles of articles. W. P. Uzer (talk) 09:37, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, these articles should be treated on a case-by-case basis. Deb (talk) 10:33, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Query about sorting by surnames

I've noticed that several royals and nobles such as Antoinette de Bourbon have "de", "von" "van" where an "of" would be in English. Should it sorted with the first name first as articles with "of" in the name are, or with "de Whatever" or "van Whatever" be placed first the surname, as is the case with non-nobles with foreign words (like Dick Van Dyke meaning "of" in their names are? Should it vary by time periods, such as placing the first name first in time periods where surnames were not formally recognized as such? Its very confusing and I'm trying to sort royalty and nobility articles and I'd like to do it properly. Asarelah (talk) 15:16, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Generally, I'd use an untranslated particle in noble titles of persons when the particle is likely to be familiar to English encyclopedia-readers (e.g. de, von, van, af, di, du, della, zu, etc.), except when English generally accords an English-language particle with the name (e.g. "Mary of Teck" not "Mary von Teck", "Daisy of Pless" not "Daisy von Pless", "Joan of Arc", not "Jeanne d'Arc", but "Marquis de Sade", "Baron von Steuben", Vicomte de Turenne, "Marquis de LaFayette, etc. These particles should not be translated when treated purely as a name (i.e., not preceded by a title). When a territorial designation is preceded by a title, noble particles still shouldn't be translated but should be sorted neither by title nor particle, but by the territorial designation ("Merode, Prince Emmanuel de" not "De Merode, Prince Emmanuel" and "Lesseps, Ferdinand, vicomte de". For royalty, all particles should be translated into English, since normally their territorial designation will have been the realm ruled by their dynasty (but note, whereas Herzog in Bayern translates "Duke in Bavaria", Prins til Danmark and Prins av Danmark both translate as "Prince of Denmark"). FactStraight (talk) 01:37, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree. It's an age-old problem and there's no easy answer. Deb (talk) 15:15, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Ignore the particle in sorting except in those rare cases where the sources use it in their indexing routinely. The only example of the exception I can think of is Martin Van Buren; we do not want Beethoven under V. You want to sort on a significant word, rather than grouping all French nobles under D. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:19, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Earls of Mar

I've just noticed that following a discussion at Talk:Earl of Mar, articles on Earls of Mar and Earls of Mar and Kellie (see the Category:Earls or mormaers of Mar) are now being distinguished by dates of birth and death, rather than by numeral as in this naming convention. I can see why this was done (the numerals are not always easy to establish) but was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the matter. If the current names are retained, then the Earls of Mar probably needs to be listed as an exception to the rule on this page. Opera hat (talk) 11:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

It's largely covered by "When, however, as with some very early earldoms, the numbering is disputed (in the case of the first Scots earldoms, it is artificial) it is acceptable to omit the number." but this could read "When, however, as with some very early earldoms, the numbering is disputed (in the case of the first Scots earldoms, it is artificial) it is acceptable to omit the number or disambiguate by other means." DrKiernan (talk) 13:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
A good idea. Is there objection to adding "or disambiguate by other means"? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:06, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Requested moves of George III and George IV

Editors are invited to comment at Talk:George III of the United Kingdom#Requested move 5 February 2015. DrKiernan (talk) 23:33, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Sir Arthur Dean

The convention main page currently says: "However, Sir may be used in article titles as a disambiguator when a name is ambiguous and one of those who used it was knighted, e.g. Sir Arthur Dean." However, Sir Arthur Dean got moved in 2011 to Arthur Dean (judge). Maybe a new example is needed? (This was pointed out last year!)

I was pondering the whole issue of honorifics in article titles today, and the practice of using 'Sir' as a disambiguator seems to cause confusion among those who create articles with 'Sir' in the article title, as they may just be copying what they see in existing articles, not realising that the 'Sir' is usually only there to act as a disambiguator. On that topic, I was wondering if this search would help find articles with 'Sir' in the title that should maybe be moved? Would something like Sir David Philip Tweedie be a good example of that? Also, Sir James Ramsden? It is not easy to tell (without looking at the other articles) whether such articles are disambiguating or just wrongly placed. So I suspect time gets wasted with people checking that and those 'silent' checks not getting recorded anywhere. Carcharoth (talk) 23:24, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

I do not think it should be used for disambiguation. If someone is a judge, that fact is more significant than their knighthood in disambiguating. The reader looking for the article may be unaware of their knighthood but obviously knows they are a judge. TFD (talk) 00:54, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely. The only articles on knights that do sometimes use the title as a disambiguator are those about medieval or early modern knights who aren't really notable for much other than being knights and for whom it is difficult to find another disambiguator. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:14, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I've moved both Sir David Philip Tweedie and Sir James Ramsden to more appropriate titles. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:16, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, not to be pedantic, but knights and baronets are not royalty or nobility, they are gentry, which also includes esquires and misters, etc., and those titles are now extended by courtesy to virtually everyone. (Of course, some knights and baronets may also be royal or noble, but then they would also have grander titles.) TFD (talk) 21:38, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
I see Sir Julius Caesar has also been moved. My sense of humor deplores this... (twice, since it doesn't actually disambiguate; Julius Caesar was praetor urbanus, a judicial office.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:48, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Baronet naming policy - suggest reversal

I have made a BOLD, reversing the policy which stated that pages on baronets should generally not be named by the full title. Why? Surely the naming policy should be consistent with naming of peers? I suspect in fact that 99% of all existing articles on baronets have page names using full titles, so a policy which states that full titles should generally not be used is clearly out of line with the reality of what has been done. No rationale is given for this policy. I have given a rationale for my reversal of this policy, namely, "for the sake of consistency". (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 00:37, 10 February 2015 (UTC))

The full titles are rarely used. Also, do you know where they go? E.g., for the McConnell baronets, is it Sir Robert McConnell, 1st Baronet of The Moat in Strandtown in Belfast or Sir Robert of the Moat or Sir Robert McConnell of the Moat? TFD (talk) 03:01, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Your first option is the correct one, see the guideline. A baronet should always have "Baronet" or "Bart." or Bt." after his name to distinguish him from the knight, not a heritable title and lower in the Order of Precedence. (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 13:37, 15 April 2015 (UTC))
No, a baronet should only have "Bt" after his name as often as a knight would have "KCB" or whatever after his name, i.e. hardly ever. Try googling Sir George Young and see how often the postnominal is actually used. Opera hat (talk) 18:31, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
And the argument for distinguishing baronets' higher precedence doesn't wash, either - Knights of the Garter and of the Thistle outrank baronets, but I'm sure you wouldn't argue that KG or KT should be added to their article titles. Opera hat (talk) 18:37, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The rationale for the convention is given in the lead; it's unnecessary to repeat it lower down. DrKiernan (talk) 09:36, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
You'd suspect wrong! They are in fact consistent with knights, where titles are not usually used. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:43, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't know what you mean by "consistent with knights", whose titles are not hereditable and rank below baronets in the Order of Precedence. (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 13:37, 15 April 2015 (UTC))
I was answering your claims that you had done this "for the sake of consistency", as it is not consistent with the naming guidelines for knights. Since baronets are effectively hereditary knights there's no especial reason they should be consistent with peers instead of with knights, and we have decided to prefer consistency with the latter except for disambiguation purposes. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:42, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Baronets have considerably greater status than knights, so they cannot be said to be "effectively hereditary knights". They are from their name "small barons", without seats in the House of Lords. That's the other way of looking at it. They are surely more akin to peers than to knights.(Lobsterthermidor (talk) 20:23, 27 April 2015 (UTC))
As has been pointed out above, they actually have lower status than some knights! Including even GCBs. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:58, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Baronet change reverted

Per WP:BRD, I have reverted (in this edit) the WP:BOLD changes made by User:Lobsterthermidor, and restored the status quo ante. The principle of using the simple name for baronets except in the case of ambiguity is long-standing, and has been the basis of many many naming discussions (and some bitter, high-profile disputes).

Such a prominent and longstanding convention is a really bad place to apply WP:BOLD, which warns that 'The admonition "but please be careful" is especially important in relation to policies and guidelines, where key parts may be phrased in a particular way to reflect a very hard-won, knife-edge consensus – which may not be obvious to those unfamiliar with the background. In these cases, it is also often better to discuss potential changes first.'

I don't see any consensus above for this change amongst the 5 editors above, let alone a wider consensus. If User:Lobsterthermidor wants to pursue this change, an WP:RFC would be needed. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:52, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

"The principle of using the simple name for baronets except in the case of ambiguity" may well be "long-standing", but as far as I can see is very rarely applied, I would suggest for good reason. Virtually all the articles on baronets, except perhaps living ones in the modern title-free age, use the full name as the page name. Perhaps you could direct me to the archived discussion where this matter was fought over with so much bitterness, and let's hope we can have a more gentle discussion this time.(Lobsterthermidor (talk) 20:13, 27 April 2015 (UTC))
Historically, they were jumped-iuup knights--read the article. The current title was invented "by James I of England in 1611 in order to raise funds...[and] granted the first Letters Patent to 200 gentlemen of good birth with an income of at least £1000 a year." Using their official name in WP is an anachronism that makes no sense generally, There's not likely to be a gentle discussion of this one, as will become clear when you red the prior discussions. My general view is that WP naming conventions should be as general as possible. We're not here to be an assemblage of small group, but a common encycopedia . The question is whether it is worth the effort of getting specialist editors to accept this. In other words, are we a collection of hobbyists, or working to make an encycopedia. DGG ( talk ) 04:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Lobsterthermidor
Here are some previous discussions in the archives of this page. The list is probably incomplete:
The last of those three was a proposal by me, AFAICR which got no support. C'est la vie ... and in hindsight, I recognise that it was a bad idea :)
Here are some of the WikiProject discussions about baronets, from the days when some POV-pushing pro-aristo editors were demanding that all baronets be automatically notable and all coverage follow the sort pof titling used in places like Debretts, and other POV-pushing editors who despise the aristos were railing against the whole thing:
The result of this conflict was mass AFDs, mass page moving, and huge conflicts which ended up at ANI and Arbcom (where baronets became part of the issue in other unrelated disputes).
There are several ways in which we could approach titling these articles, all of which have their merits. But after more than 9 years editing en.wp, I am convinced by now that it is far more important to have a stable naming convention than to have the best naming convention. Instability causes massive fights and wastes huge amounts of the time and energy of editors changing pages from one format which works to another format which works.
If, after reading all the previous discussions, you still genuinely believe that there should be a change, then an RFC will test whether there is a broad consensus for it. If change is made, a broad and durable consensus will ensure that it doesn't involve all the disruption of pages being moved back and forth.
But I would caution you on two points:
  1. Collect data, rather than making assumptions. You assertion that "Virtually all the articles on baronets, except perhaps living ones in the modern title-free age, use the full name as the page name" is not true. I just checked the first 1,000 articles in Category:Baronets in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom, and 533 of them use the "Sir X Y, nth Baronet" format. 53% is not "virtually all".
  2. Remember that the overriding principle for naming articles on en.wp is WP:COMMONNAME. That applies to all types of topics, and it is widely understood by readers and editors. The more that any topic-specific convention deviates from WP:COMMONNAME, the less stable it is. As DGG points out above, this isn't a specialist publication for baronetcy-hobbyists. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:34, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and most of those articles that do use the title are using it for disambiguation purposes. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:42, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

So what you've found is that 53% of articles - a clear majority - contravene the guideline! That was my precise point. If guidelines are allowed to stand which are so clearly not reflected in reality, the guideline system falls into disrepute. What is the guideline there for? The true consensus of editors involved in articles in this field clearly is not in accordance with the guideline. I don't think at WP we're here to enforce revolutionary guidelines which destroy the status quo of stable long-existing existing articles. There would be an almighty bun-fight if anyone tried to go through all those 53% to bring them into line with the present guideline. Moreover, of those 53% how many were baronets living in the modern age when titles are rarely used? I fully accept that it would be inappropriate to name an article in the full style for a person who does not use his title. From a brief review of Category:Baronets in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom, per your post above, I found that of the first 9 page names under "A" not using full styles, 8 of them died in the 20th century. My assertion is that of all the articles on baronets who died in the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries, there are only a tiny number which do not use the full style. In other words almost all contravene the guideline. The figure of 53% is grossly understated when baronets of the modern era are stripped out of the figures. If those were stripped out the number of articles which would contravene the present guideline would be far higher. And for good reason in my opinion, which appears to be shared by editors involved in these 53%. My BOLD sought to finesse the guideline so that it refelected this actual consensus on the ground and was not completely out of touch with reality. I completely agree that we don't want to fight over it, I just want the present slightly fuzzy status quo to remain - which works, no one's fighting anymore and stability has been reached, supported by a suitably worded guideline. In other words to summarise: I'd like it accepted in the guideline that page titles on pre 20th century deaths generally use the full style, and that those on post 20th century deaths (let's say "post Victorian era") generally do not. Or do we want to go on with a guideline which has been superseded by reality? (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 12:47, 30 April 2015 (UTC))

Sorry, but you are talking from a completely false premise. The vast majority of baronets whose articles use the title use it for disambiguation purposes, which is specifically permitted under the guidelines. Many baronets had the same name (or the same name as other people on whom we have articles), so obviously we disambiguate using the most obvious disambiguator - their title - and so many articles on baronets use their titles. Of those whose names are unique on Wikipedia, most articles are at the name only, without the title. Yes, some have slipped through the net, especially given a few years ago another editor (since retired) was as zealous as you are about using the titles and renamed many articles and not all his changes have yet been picked up. That does not mean it is anything like common practice to do so. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I've attempted to give some scientific evidence for my argument in my last post, can you provide some scientific basis for your assertion above that "The vast majority of baronets whose articles use the title use it for disambiguation purposes"? (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 11:51, 1 May 2015 (UTC))
I don't need any "scientific basis", since no science is involved in Wikipedia naming. But try actually looking at them. How's that? Look at one that has a title, then search to see whether there are other people by that name on Wikipedia. You'll find that usually there are. Ergo the title has been retained for disambiguation purposes. Repeat until you realise that you're wrong in this respect. Also remember that you're the one who wants to change a long-established guideline, so it's far more incumbent on you to provide evidence to back up your claims. But the fact is that most articles follow the guidelines. A minority don't, but they'll be changed in time. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:27, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the problem here is just the way the guideline is worded. It says "generally" where it means "if none of the following exceptions apply", while (understandably enough) it is being understood as meaning "usually". I suggest someone rewords it. W. P. Uzer (talk) 14:01, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, I think we're now beginning to engage with the problem identified: It is absurd to retain the wording of a guideline which says "Pages on baronets should generally not be named by the full title" when in fact 53% of them are. I'm not at all convinced that the 53% are all there due to the wish to disambiguate. They are there because the majority of editors on the ground contributing on this subject do not agree with this guideline. (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 12:11, 2 May 2015 (UTC))
@Lobsterthermidor: It is a bit presumptuous to assume that any pattern of over-verbose naming reflects a wide preference.
There were in the past one or two editors who systematically moved pages to the longer format, though I think that this may no longer be an issue. There is also a matter of sloth, at least in my case. When I create an article, I often create it at the long-form title "Firstname Middlename(s) Lastname" or "Sir Firstname Middlename(s) Lastname, nth Baronet", and then abbreviate it later when I have checked for ambiguity. I don't always get round to the ambiguity-checking, so an article may remain at a longer form than is fully appropriate. Having created probably 1,000 articles on baronets, I would guess that I alone may account for a significant proportion of any excess verbosity of titling ... but that's because I have tended to place a low priority on the extensive work which can be involved in doing the checks before that name-shortening, rather than any objection in principle. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:47, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I think I follow that last bit. I'm certainly very appreciative of your work on WP. I think I'm going to drop this challenge, it doesn't seem to have much support, although I'm still not convinced. One last try: you refer to "excess verbosity of titling", but why is this apparently OK for peers? (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 19:04, 6 May 2015 (UTC))
Because the common name for a hereditary peer is normally Lord Haddock, or the Earl of Haddock - and either is ambiguous with all the other Earls Haddock. We could follow DNB, and use only George Fishmonger for the 5th Earl Haddock, but this might well be confusing, and what if the 1st, 3rd, and 6th Earls are also named George?
I don't care if we make life peers less verbose, but I see no great advantage either. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:39, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Are we not dealing with a "set" or "group" of things, i.e. "Fishmonger baronets", with ordinal numbers? Surely it would be logical and neater to name all the members of the set in the same style, as for example neatly listed in the umbrella articles such as Dunbar baronets? See Linnaean taxonomy as used for plants. This clearly is not the case for knights, who form no such inter-generational sets, but are effectively stand-alone items. Compare for yourself the neatness and consistency of the following list in article Dunbar baronets:

The argument for using the full style for disambiguation purposes is fine for the Jameses, Georges and Williams, but what about Sir Uthred? When and if his article is created, is he alone to stand out of all the preceding set with a page title "Uthred Dunbar"? - clearly no disambiguation is required due to his very unusual first name. It would be more consistent to give him a page title "Sir Uthred James Hay Dunbar, 8th Baronet", or even just "Sir Uthred Dunbar, 8th Baronet". That is "verbosity of titling" kept to a bare minimum, to an acceptable level, to maintain the concept of my quasi-Linnaean taxonomy mentioned above. Any WP user going from the link on the "umbrella page" to the individual page might expect a consistency in treatment.

By the way I have noticed in my brief research for the purpose of this post that, as I'm sure you already knew, very many baronet families appear to use the same first names (or group of first names) down the generations, which while it supports the arguments made above for using full styles as disambiguators, has the result that in practice the majority (based on 53% as quoted above) of articles on baronets do use the full styles, hence the WP guideline we are discussing here looks a bit absurd when it says "pages on baronets should generally not be named by the full title". It might better recognise reality and be better stated as: "In general it will be useful to use full styles for disambiguation purposes, but in rare cases where no possibility of ambiguity exists the simple form may be used". (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 13:12, 10 May 2015 (UTC))

I hope most of those articles on unnotable baronets remain unwritten. As it is William Dunbar (Privy Seal) would be a more useful disambiguator.
Again, the difference between peers and baronets is that with peers we begin, following usage, with the title. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

@Lobsterthermidor:, the Dunbar baronets are a very poor example for you to cite in support of your case. There are 49 baronets listed on that page, but it appears that so far only 3 are notable. Wikipedia doesn't need to disambiguate against non-notable people.
Nor does Wikipedia follow the concept of the quasi-Linnaean taxonomy to which you refer above. WP:COMMONNAME is a clear principle from which we divert only in rare cases. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:55, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Titles of individuals from different countries

(Initial part of discussion below replicated 9 July 2015 from Talk:Wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock.)

When English Wikipedia is listing royalty from different nations or dynasties in attendance at an event, it seems to me that the purpose is not to duplicate the format used in the guest list (which, if released to the general public, can be linked to so readers can see it for themselves) but to provide readers and history the information about who was present (or expected) at the event. In doing that, the styles in use at any one court (including the Court of St. James's) may at times be useful but Wikipedia is not bound to use them, since they often refer. e.g., to "The King" or "The Crown Princess", terms appropriate from the point of view of the court or country in which the event is held, but not appropriate for an international encyclopedia for whom "The Queen" applies equally to all persons so titled. Moreover, Spain, for instance, has two queens, Luxembourg two grand dukes, and every monarchy has multiple princes, princesses and dowagers. To distinguish them, their given names are essential -- otherwise as time goes by, one must search to figure out which "Princess of Orange", for example, was present -- an inconvenience to the reader easily eliminated by simply providing that person's usual given name or personal title. I'm not suggesting creating a novel, Wikipedia format for replacing styles used at monarchical courts -- which remain as applicable and appropriate at those courts as ever -- but that Wikipedia adhere to its overriding function of providing clear, complete and convenient information. To that end, guest lists of multi-national royalty and nobility should include a given name or personal locution which uniquely identifies the individual. And it should usually dispense with "the" (which shouldn't be capitalized either: since we don't do it for monarchs, why should we do it for their family members?) except on the rare occasions when that word is used to distinguish among persons who share the same title (e.g., "Present were both King Juan Carlos and his son Feliipe, the King of Spain" or "the Prince of Prussia" (a substantive title when used to refer to the Hohenzollerns' royal dynastic heir, but otherwise shared by all members of the dynasty), but "Firstname, Duke of X" because that crown princely dukedom is a substantive title and when provided with the individual titleholder's name (as I've argued it should be, on first reference), no further distinction is needed. Ditto for "Prince Givenname, Prince of X", a redundancy that is as uncustomary and unattractive as it is unnecessary. FactStraight (talk) 16:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

I support the idea that we should strive to identify members of royal families a little more understandably than merely by their formal titles. Monarchs' Christian names are typically used with their titles in the press, and I think this could be extended to heads of deposed dynasties, like Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia or Prince Ernst August of Hanover. But there are important caveats to be made.
As far as British titles are concerned, the capitalized definite article makes the difference between a substantive title and a courtesy title. See The Countess of Wessex (wife of the current Earl) vs. Countess of St Andrews (whose husband is styled as an Earl merely by courtesy, as he hasn't inherited that title yet). Other members of the British royal family having only courtesy titles include the Queen's grandson, Viscount Severn, her nephew, Viscount Linley, and male heirs of royal dukes. The lack of definite article can also mean a change in marital status, as seen in the difference between 'The Princess of Wales' (such as she was until 1996) and 'Diana, Princess of Wales' (when she was no longer the wife of The Prince of Wales). And this last title proceeds to show why the first prince in the style 'Prince Willem-Alexander, The Prince of Orange' is not unnecessary to avoid possible confusion, and also it's true for a fact that Willem-Alexander was a Prince of the Netherlands even before he became The Prince of Orange, and further see the Belgian heir to the throne at the time, Prince Philippe, The Duke of Brabant, where his personal title (Prince) and the his heir to the throne title (Duke) were of different rank. Furthermore you inserted the title of 'Princess Edward' for The Countess of Wessex. If some title is uncustomary, than this is it. It is indeed part of her full official title, but no-one ever uses is (it's like referring to The Duchess of Cornwall as Princess of Wales which she technically is).
So in my opinion, in order to improve on clarity, we can insert the names of current sovereigns into their titles, as it is commonly done anyway (e.g. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg instead of The Grand Duke of Luxembourg). This way the distinction between abdicated and current monarchs will be lost in some cases (like King Juan Carlos of Spain and King Felipe VI of Spain), but it's not too big a price to pay for improving readability. And in some other cases people's titles change upon abdication or the death of their husband (e.g. after her abdication Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands became Princess Beatrix, upon her husband's abdication Queen Paola of the Belgians became Queen Paola of Belgium, upon her husband's death Queen Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother).
For lesser (non-sovereign) royals we could insert their personal titles, if they have one (e.g. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, to distinguish him from past Princes of Wales). It should be noted that even this changes in some cases, one prominent example being the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who from 1947 to 1957 was merely titled as The Duke of Edinburgh, and only received the title of Prince in 1957 (and thus became Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh). British princes' wives who were not born royal (e.g. Catherine, Camilla, Sophie) have no suo jure personal titles, they are princesses only by virtue of, and for the duration of marriage (so there is no Princess Kate, and strictly speaking there was no Princess Diana). They should be mentioned by their official title only (as The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Countess of Wessex), because the style Sophie, Countess of Wessex would imply that she has divorced from the Earl of Wessex (that's exactly why Prince Andrew's ex-wife is titled as Sarah, Duchess of York). But this rule is not necessarily true for other countries. Please note that Queen Mathilde of the Belgians was created a princess in her own right, therefore she was legally Princess Mathilde and Duchess of Brabant before her husband acceded to the throne. ZBukov (talk) 16:20, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed about using given names for both reigning and formerly reigning monarchs and their consorts. Your point is also well-taken about the usage of, e.g., "and the Countess of Wessex" or "and the Duchess of Cambridge" in lieu of a given name or prefix+own name for a royal's spouse where the given name ceased being used after marriage, but where does that now happen except in the UK? Further exceptions for Wikipedia to accommodate English Court of St. James's customs are neither appropriate nor needed, such as use of "the" (and definitely not "The") for obviously substantive titles such as dukedoms and earldoms when we don't accord that article to the monarchs whenever their given names are included: the distinctions connoted by "The" matter little in lists and contexts enumerating international royalty, and are better clarified in Honorifics, Courtesy title, British peerage and individual bios. Stylistically, redundant titles (e.g., "Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales", Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice and Piedmont") are confusing, ungainly, unnecessary, excessively deferential and usually dispensed with anyway (there isn't a single royal whose normal style included both "Prinz" and "Fürst"), and I strenuously object to the duplicate usage, especially inasmuch as they are so rare in today's monarchies, i.e. Charles, Prince of Wales, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange and Leonor, Princess of Asturias. (Replicating this discussion at NCRAN where it probably now belongs.) FactStraight (talk)
You said that earldoms are "obviously substantive titles". That’s not true. Both Earl of St Andrews (borne by the heir of Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent) and Earl of Ulster (borne by the heir of Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester) are courtesy titles.
You also said that "there isn't a single royal whose normal style included both »Prinz« and »Fürst«”. That’s not true either. See Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (after 1957). (By using German names for titles, I presume that you didn't mean to limit the scope of your comment language-wise, since today there is only one German-speaking monarchy, Liechtenstein, to which your statement is true.)
In order to get rid of „redundant titles” you want royals listed without their personal titles (e.g. Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange). Unfortunately that is exactly the format used for divorced former royals (see Sarah, Duchess of York and Diana, Princess of Wales). So by removing what you consider “confusing”, you would actually mix up two radically distinct kinds of people (former and current royals).
You further claimed that having both personal titles and territorial titles is rare. That’s not true either. The majority of European crown princes / crown princesses (6 out of the 10) are like that. 8 members of the British, 8 members of the Swedish, 5 members of the Spanish and 2 members of the Monegasque royal family has some other title apart from being Prince or Princess. Let me know if you want the list.
I don’t know whether the capitalized definite article is used in continental royal families, or if it makes a difference, so I wouldn't object to the removal of the definite article from the titles of non-British European royals. But anyhow, I don't see why we would have to force a uniform usage of titles on the royals of all those different countries. See the cases of Letizia, Mathilde and Máxima. When she married Prince Felipe, Letizia only got the female version of her husband’s title (The Princess of Asturias), and she was not created Princess (Infanta) Letizia. When Mathilde wed Prince Philippe, she was created Princess Mathilde, and became the Duchess of Brabant. When Máxima married Willem-Alexander, she only became Princess Máxima, but not Princess of Orange. ZBukov (talk) 18:56, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I did not intend for us to bog down in technicalities, but hoped to address underlying issues. In saying that earldoms are "obviously substantive titles" I am referring to the relevant fact that they are unique, i.e., used by only one person at a time as compared to their Continental equivalent, "Count", which is often borne by every male in a family, only the primogeniture head of the family sometimes being known as "the Count of X"; therefore "the" is not needed when referring to an earl. Whether that earl is legally the peer or an heir to the peer need not be indicated in a list of international royals (such lists being the topic which evoked this discussion, as they are sometimes included in Wikipedia articles and sometimes constitute the bulk of articles, e.g. Albert II of Monaco's wedding, Guest list for William of Wales' wedding, Otto von Habsburg's funeral, Investiture of Willem-Alexander, Victoria of Sweden's wedding): after all, we have already agreed that reigning and former kings/queens need not be distinguished from one another using "the" in such lists. With respect to using "Prince/Princess" twice in listing one person, I stand by my statement "there isn't a single royal whose normal style included both »Prinz« and »Fürst«”, and I used German to emphasize the difference in meaning between the two types of princes, one who is a cadet of a current or former reigning family (Prinz) and one who is the head of a family (Fürst) -- Philip Edinburgh has never held a title translated as Fürst. My point was that even in German, where entitlement to both types of princely title would not generate redundancy, either one is used or the other -- never both. Since lists of royalty commonly include both German princes who are married into reigning dynasties (Ernest Augustus, Prince of Hanover, Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern) and those who belong to non-reigning dynasties (Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, Jean Christophe, Prince Napoléon, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark), the distinction in meaning is worth noting, but in actual usage, these titleholders avoid using redundant princely titles, whether in English or German. I noted that such redundant titles are rare in reigning families, i.e., the number of members of dynasties who possess two princely titles -- and I listed the three heirs apparent who fall into that category; Charles of Wales, Leonor of Asturias and Catharina-Amalia of Orange -- and I made the point that we need not preserve the duplication of titles for the sake of those three (In fact, I must correct myself: there is no "Princess Leonor of Spain, Princess of Asturias" because a sovereign's children in the Spanish royal family bear the title "infante/Infanta", yet the dynasty's house law expressly states that the Prince or Princess of Asturias is not an infante/infanta like their younger siblings and children -- precisely because the title of Prince/ss is always used instead). Only at the Court of St. James's is "The" used to distinguish between: marital and divorced titleholders, between children and other relatives of a sovereign, and between actual peers and courtesy nobles. It is inappropriate to accord "The" in referring to British royals while not doing so for Continental and non-European royalty because it appears Anglocentric: we don't import the customs of other monarchies into Wikipedia's rules for referring to royalty. Conscious of this, Wikipedia editors often attribute the Royal "The" to non-British monarchs, royalty and nobles. Yet we should not make the exception of compelling Wikipedia to conform to the protocol of the Court of St. James's, either for British or non-British royalty. This encyclopedia is Wikipedia in English, not English Wikipedia, and we should avoid distinctions which give the impression that the British royal family or the British nobility's national customs are global when they are not. FactStraight (talk) 18:09, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with "Prince Givenname, Prince of X" is a redundancy that is as uncustomary and unattractive as it is unnecessary: "Givenname, Prince of X" is enough. I frequently do as you suggest eg "William, Pince of Orange", in the Waterloo articles, but it does not necessarily help much in identifying an individual, because only a few first names are often used within families, so links and context is still needed. For example it makes little difference if "Dauphin" is preceded by Louis and one can not use a numeral as it is not infrequent that someone who is heir presumptive dies before inheriting the more senior title which tends to have a numerical disambiguation. For example the Black Prince was Edward, Prince of Wales, the use of numerals to disambiguate him from the other "Edward, Prince of Wales" would be confusing—Is the current Prince of Wales "Charles II, Prince of Wales" or "Charles III, Prince of Wales", I suspect his is II (as King Charles I was the "spare" and had an elder brother who died while holding the title Prince of Wales), but people would think of King Charles II if they read "Charles II, Prince of Wales", it would be confusing, and it is not commonly done in reliable sources. So while I do use the format you suggest I am not sure that in practice it is particularly informative. -- PBS (talk) 16:39, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Dear FactStraight, you already conceded that my point is "well-taken" about the usage of the format Countess of Wessex, because the lady in question would only become Sophie, Countess of Wessex if she divorced her husband. But now you are advocating the introduction of the exact same style for non-divorced royals. So - to bore you with another British example - if Prince Andrew were to re-marry, his former wife would continue to be Sarah, Duchess of York, and his new wife would be Given Name, Duchess of York all the same...? Isn't that a bit inconsistent? And apart from inconsistency, my impression is that this style is simply not used officially (and I don't mean the Court of St James's only).
According to my understanding your initial proposition was that you wanted to make the articles a bit more informative than merely providing people's formal titles, as Queen of Denmark or Princess of Asturias doesn't specifying which of the Danish queens or Spanish crown princesses is being mentioned. As for monarchs we've already agreed to the Queen Margrethe II of Denmark format. As for the others: I know the most about the British royals, so allow me to stick to their examples. The heir to the throne has been titled Prince Charles from birth, and his current highest peerage title is Prince of Wales (between 1952 and 1958 it was Duke of Cornwall). So let's see what options we have if we wish to specify which Prince of Wales we are talking about. As you suggest, it could be Charles, Prince of Wales - but that's the title format for his former sister-in-law, the divorcée Sarah, Duchess of York (as well as his late ex-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales). Or Prince Charles of Wales, which isn't good either, as that is the title format for a son of the Prince of Wales (currently borne by Charles' son, Prince Henry of Wales). Or alternatively it could be my proposition: Prince Charles, (The) Prince of Wales. Or possibly Prince of Wales (Charles). Or it would have to be simply Prince of Wales, and the hyperlink will lead the reader to the article about the appropriate person anyway.
I realize that the world wouldn't end by removing the capitalized definite article from British titles. But I don't see why you are so determined to put a stylistic straitjacket on royal titles of many different countries. What is there to gain by standardization, instead of according everyone their titles? And returning to the example which I brought up in my last post, how would your suggested solution differentiate between the former crown princesses Letizia, Mathilde and Máxima when they were titled as Princess of Asturias; Princess Mathilde, the Duchess of Brabant; and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands respectively?
I'm not competent in the title usage customs of deposed German royals or aristocrats, so I cannot comment on that, and won't argue with your propositions on that matter.
You wrote: "we don't import the customs of other monarchies into Wikipedia's rules for referring to royalty". Well, why don't we...? Why don't we refer to people by their own title and style?
You again brought up the claim that "such redundant titles are rare in reigning families". I stand corrected on the Princess of Asturias issue, who apparently is not referred to as an infanta anymore. But - as I noted in my previous post - in actual fact double titles are far from occurring in only two cases. Such heirs to thrones apart from Charles and Catharina-Amalia are: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden who is also Duchess of Västergötland, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium who is also Duchess of Brabant, Hereditary Prince Jacques of Monaco who is also Marquis of Baux and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg who is the current Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Other royals with double titles are: Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland; Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland; Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland; Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland; Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland; Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland; Prince Nicolas, Duke of Ångermanland; Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld; Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo; Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz; Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria; Infanta Alicia, Dowager Duchess of Calabria; Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria; Princess Anne, Duchess of Calabria; Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès; The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh; Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge; The Princess Anne, Princess Royal; The Prince Andrew, The Duke of York; The Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex; Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester; Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent; Princess Stéphanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg; Princess Marie Gabriele, The Dowager Countess of Holstein-Ledreborg; Princess Alix, The Dowager Princess of Ligne. ZBukov (talk) 22:46, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
The "redundancy" to which I object is not "Prince Givenname, Duke of Y", rather it is, as PBS acknowledges in agreeing with me above, specifically to any repetition of the same title, as in "Prince Givenname, Prince of Y". Since we've agreed that we need not distinguish in running prose and lists, between "King Juan Carlos I of Spain" and "King Felipe VI of Spain", we need not do so for lesser royals -- so if someone wants to know which "Princess of Wales" was married to the Prince of Wales at the time of a dated event when both are mentioned, they can click on either article, or his, to discern that datum. Use of "The" is not only not universal in all monarchies, but is unnecessary and therefore sounds overly deferential, and is not universal and therefore sounds Anglocentric. The specific titles of each royal is (or can be) explained or boxed in their respective bios, so its use elsewhere is extraneous: those editing articles on non-British royalty should not need to look up and include the specific titulature of each royal in their own language and court to mention them, just so that Wikipedia can preserve a custom of the Court of St. James's: other courts (e.g. Spain's) have very precise customs for referring to hereditary titleholders, while some courts, particularly but not only, Asian ones use lengthy, obscure locutions to make proper reference to royalty. These need not be generally employed in a global encyclopedia the charge of which is to provide enough info, outside their respective bios or monarchical articles, to distinguish which individual is being referred to. Use of "The" and of two princely titles for any one person goes noticeably beyond that responsibility. FactStraight (talk) 02:04, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay, so now I understand that you don't object to every double title, only where people's personal title of Prince(ss) coincides with a substantive title that begins with Prince(ss). That is indeed rare. Among current European royals that would be Charles, Anne, Catharina-Amalia and Alix of Luxembourg (plus the deposed Italians). But removing them under the pretext of being "overly deferential" seems arbitrary and glaringly inconsistent.
This naming convention would be inconsistent for the same person, among members of the same family, or even within the same category. It would lead to the following situations:
• Charles would be referred to as “Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall” before 1958, but “Charles, Prince of Wales” afterwards, or Princess Catharina-Amalia before her father’s accession and Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange afterwards, while their personal titles didn't change.
• If all of Queen Elizabeth’s children attended an event they would be listed as Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Anne, Princess Royal. Or the Dutch king's children would be Princess Alexia, Princess Ariane, but Catharina-Amalia (Princess of Orange) - merely because you are annoyed by the coincidence that she is a Princess both by birth, and (temporarily) by virtue of being the heir to the throne.
• If there was a list of European crown prince(sse)s, it would be
Crown Prince Haakon
Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland
Crown Prince Frederik
Charles, Prince of Wales
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume
Princess of Asturias
Hereditary Prince Alois
Hereditary Prince Jacques, Marquis of Baux
…and this looks strikingly inconsistent to me, if we are giving everyone their personal titles (i.e. to those who have one), but not to these two people, because in your opinion that would be overly deferential. Therefore if you are so determined to remove those "confusing, ungainly, unnecessary, excessively deferential" "redundancies" from Charles, Anne, Catharina-Amalia and Alix, than we should revert to only providing people's official titles (e.g. Prince of Wales, Crown Prince of Norway, etc).
But if we want to insert names where we can, we could introduce a distinction between incumbent and former sovereigns, listing the incumbents as regnal name and regnal number, title:
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg vs Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
Felipe VI, King of Spain vs King Juan Carlos of Spain
Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom vs Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark vs Queen Ingrid of Denmark ZBukov (talk) 10:30, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
What I said seems "overly deferential" is use of "the" in royal titulature when the given name is included: "Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother" was not The Queen Mother, but the UK's (and the mother of King Albert I of the Belgians shared that given name during her son's reign). PBS and I have both asserted that redundant titles are "uncustomary" and objected to on that ground, among others: As I've pointed out several times, such redundancy is generally avoided outside the Court of St. James's (even in German where two different words, Prinz and Fürst are available to express the distinction) -- which is why it looks odd and excessive enough that I think readers will understand Wikipedia's following the non-British custom of avoiding the duplication -- indeed, most English language usage seems to avoid it and only in the most formal circumstances is it usually employed by the press. Nonetheless you have made clear your preference for the locution, as PBS and I have expressed our opposition. Otherwise, I think we are beginning to converge, as I do not object to distinguishing between current and former monarchs and consorts -- unless you are still insisting on retention of British "the"? FactStraight (talk) 13:44, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
As I mentioned, we can do without the capitalized definite article. It's just that I don't see why we shouldn't be more precise if we can be. Is there some title usage custom which is being ignored in the cases of Continental royal families, which would be revenged by the omission of 'The' from British titles?
My concern is that if we add 'Princess Elisabeth' to specify 'Duchess of Brabant', than it should be the same for 'Princess Catharina-Amalia' and 'Princess of Orange'. If you are unhappy with the latter, than the name should be omitted in both cases. So either everyone should have their Prince(ss) Givenname added, or no-one.
Apart from reiterating your arguments, would you please react to my objection (demonstrated in detail in my previous post) that changing the style format for a handful of people would result in confusing internal inconsistency in lists of royals?
By the way, your first mention of the charge of excessive deference did refer to the double use of Prince as a redundancy. And it was Albert I's wife who was called Elisabeth, but - at least according to her Wikipedia article - she never held the title of "Queen Mother". ZBukov (talk) 14:43, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
@FactStraight: I'm curious as to how you would entitle the article on Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. I can see your point, but it does avoid some of the painful attempts at disambiguation we sometimes see, and it does meet WP:COMMONNAME (given we can't just call the article "The Queen Mother", which is how most people in Britain still know her). The article used to be entitled Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, but that clearly wasn't her common name (and hadn't been since her wedding) and it was moved after an RM discussion. Elizabeth, The Queen Mother still incorporates the definite article. Elizabeth, Queen Mother of the United Kingdom is possible, I suppose, although not technically accurate. Elizabeth (Queen Mother of the United Kingdom) looks terrible and is certainly no improvement as far as I can see. Neither is Elizabeth (wife of George VI). What would you suggest? -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:49, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we're making progress on the point of redundancy vs inconsistency and are now simply repeating arguments. PBS and I both object to redundancy in use of dynastic titles and have been explicit as to why; so far you alone defend it here and so far none of us is changing views on that matter. If the bio on Elizabeth II's mother is not yet to be named Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as NCRAN calls for, Elizabeth, Queen Mother of the United Kingdom seems a practical alternative. FactStraight (talk) 08:45, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Isn't the existing title of the article practical enough? And why do you think NCRAN calls for anything in that case? W. P. Uzer (talk) 09:16, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Use of "The" in royal titulature when the given name is included is unnecessary and therefore sounds overly deferential, and is not universal and therefore sounds Anglocentric. The specific titles of each royal can be explained in their respective bios, so its use elsewhere is extraneous: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was not The Queen Mother, but the UK's (and the mother of King Leopold III of the Belgians shared that given name during her son's reign, 1934-1950). NCRAN relevantly advises, "Deceased consorts are referred to by a name by which they are commonly known or (if recently deceased) are expected to become known. This can often differ from the name and title they held as consort or at death...Consorts who are native subjects of their spouses are often known by their maiden name or the title they held in their own right, as with Catherine Parr and James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell." That said, it has long been recognised during NCRAN discussions that Wikipedia bios have no need to immediately change title upon a consort's death, and no such change for Elizabeth II's mother has been called for in this discussion -- still, NCRAN offers a guideline for doing so. FactStraight (talk) 23:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
There is a difference between WP:NCRAN and usage within articles. Here we are primarily discussing usage within articles.-- PBS (talk) 10:17, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────FactStraight I think your are digging yourself into a hole. In the case of the Queen Mother, (notice the lower case "the") when the Queen dies, that article title will look odd, will be inaccurate, and will most likely be changed. The section "use commonly recognizable names" means that sometimes article titles will not fit into a general rule, and the W:AT policy is a compromise with that flexibility in mind. There is also the issue of WP:IAR if following the rules ends up with a less than optimal solution. However that does distract from the idea that we do not usually use superfluous titles when writing about someone. For example we do not include all of the Duke of Wellington's titles when mentioning him in an article (we have a whole article dedicated to them: Arms, titles, honours and styles of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington). It is not unique to Wellington, just have look at the titles used by the plenipotentiaries to the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna (and some of the are so verbose they end in etc) and imagine having to include all the titles of every man of the era in an article, its not done because its not necessary to identify the person and is usually seen as a distraction.

Placing outliers such as the Queen Mother aside, I disagree with "They should be mentioned by their official title only (as ... The Countess of Wessex), because the style Sophie, Countess of Wessex would imply that she has divorced from the Earl of Wessex (that's exactly why Prince Andrew's ex-wife is titled as Sarah, Duchess of York)." to be unnecessary. Someone styled "Mrs Wessex" does not inform us whether the woman is still marred to Mr. Wessex, we get that information (if it is relevant) via the context of the sentence, or through a link). I think that ZBukov's general push (even if it is true and I have my doubts about that), that there is a substantive difference in text between "The Duchess of Cambridge" and "the Countess of St Andrews" will go straight over the heads of the vast majority of readers of a general encyclopaedia. As a side issue, I have no idea whether Sylvana Windsor, Countess of St Andrews or Sylvana Tomaselli is the most appropriate article title, but there will be times when either name will be correct in other articles. Naming here Sylvana Tomaselli in a royal wedding article would look out of place and be confusing, while using her aristocratic title when mentioned her work at Cambridge University would also be out of place and confusing (eg see: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Mary Wollstonecraft, by Sylvana Tomaselli (Sep 17, 2013) ). -- PBS (talk) 10:17, 26 July 2015 (UTC)


As I indicated above, I am ready to forego the capitalized definite article in British titles (though Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother would potentially be an exception), but I would appreciate an explanation of what is it exactly that is missing from the shorthand titles of Continental royals.
FactStraight and myself have both concluded that we just keep reiterating our arguments. So instead of you repeating your side once again, I would really welcome if you would give some substantial reaction to my demonstrated argument about inconsistency (whether you don't think it's a problem at all, or if you agree that we should ditch this project of adding names to short titles, etc). ZBukov (talk) 18:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
AFAICT and I can not speak for FactStraight but the I think that "Prince Charles, Prince of Wales" can be shortened to "Charles, Prince of Wales", and I see no reason not to as for "Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh" I's probably shorten that to "Prince Philip", but I am not particularly fussed over that one. But let us look at a few other entries:
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
  • Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain
  • Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex and The Countess of Wessex
All those could do with pruning. I do not see you argument about inconsistency to be a problem at all. Indeed if you really want to be into formality then, there are bound to be problems with foreign nobility in countries that have abolished nobility. For example there is a person who's name is "Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen" How does one derive
  • "Prince Georg Friedrich" and "Princess Sophie of Prussia"
from that? As Sophie married "Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen" she is presumably "Frau Pruessen" or something similar. To use a title in such cases is like calling Bonny Prince Charlie "Charles III of Great Britain, Ireland and France". The whole thing reminds me of Major Major Major Major in Catch 22
-- PBS (talk) 18:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Note that Philip is probably more commonly referred to as the Duke of Edinburgh than by his given name, certainly by the British media. And remember that whatever the official styles may be by the German state, members of the German nobility do in practice still use their titles as titles rather than as surnames, as do most other people when referring to them. Bonnie Prince Charlie, on the other hand, was not called a king by anyone other than his supporters, who were vastly outnumbered by those who did not recognise him as king. WP:COMMONNAME over WP:OFFICIALNAME. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:08, 31 July 2015 (UTC)'
Exactly, usage outside of each republic which deposed its dynasty -- in reliable sources and especially in English -- is to accord them traditional titles (but note that tradition has widely-adhered to standards, largely initiated by the Almanach de Gotha during Napoleonic upheavals, e.g., a pretender who has never reigned is never accorded a title borne only by a ruler, ergo "Bonnie Prince Charlie"). Moreover, today monarchies still recognise the titles of both reigning and non-reigning dynasties, so when listing their members (which is the original topic of this discussion) it would be odd to ignore prevalent international usage in the relevant milieu. As mentioned earlier, Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern; and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia are examples of consorts of members of currently reigning dynasties in whose realms they are referred to exclusively by their families' former titles. Indeed, when Elizabeth II gave the legally required Royal Assent to the 1999 marriage of Princess Caroline of Monaco, the official Order-in-Council referred to her bridegroom as "His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg", not "Ernst August Prinz von Hannover" and still less as "Ernst Welf". FactStraight (talk) 12:24, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Dear PBS, while you suggest pruning, the starting point of the discussion was the opposite. FactStraight suggested clarifying the person of the titleholders, which inevitably required a bit of elaboration (e.g. mentioning Queen Sonja of Norway instead of Queen of Norway, or Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland, as opposed to merely saying Duke of Värmland, so that it become immediately apparent which Norwegian queen, of Swedish Duke is being mentioned). If you can't see my argument about inconsistency, then please read again the explanation and examples I gave above. It's pretty simple: we should either include everyone's personal title (Prince(ss) Givenname) who has one, or no-one's.
Dear FactStraight, I'm still eagerly looking forward to hearing some substantial feedback from you on the matter of inconsistency. ZBukov (talk) 18:29, 3 August 2015 (UTC)'
I've been responsive on this issue ("Stylistically, redundant titles (e.g., 'Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales'; 'Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice and Piedmont') are confusing, ungainly, unnecessary, excessively deferential and usually dispensed with anyway (there isn't a single royal whose normal style included both 'Prinz' and 'Fürst'), so rare in today's monarchies, i.e. Charles, Prince of Wales, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange and Leonor, Princess of Asturias"). You simply disagree, repeat your own view, and contend that mine and that of PBS must be inadequate because you remain unconvinced -- but that's not the criterion; consensus is, and the argument you make lacks articulated consensus by comparison. FactStraight (talk) 22:29, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, the argument is that in contexts where other royals are being identified in the form "common name, actual title", it is appropriate to be consistent about it, and in that case "Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales" is quite all right (it's not to be read as a single title, but as two references to the same person, separated by a comma). That argument seems quite sound to me, though I suspect some other mode of punctuation might be more appropriate. W. P. Uzer (talk) 06:39, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Necrothesp as I said I'm not fussed which tile is used. ZBukov my point was that yes use the first name if it is wanted, but in many cases it does not uniquely identify the individual because family names are often the same. I think FactStraight's last posting is a fair summary of my position. W. P. Uzer see my comment above about the Prince of Waterloo. Prince Charles also has a string of titles, why stop at at two? But equally way use Prince Charles, Prince of Wales when the Prince of Wales is commonly identified by first name only "Charles, Prince of Wales" or alternatively as "Prince Charles", my preference is for the former (particularly where it is used in an international list -- there may a "Prince Charles, Prince of Ruritania"). --
Using two forms (the official title by which the person would normally be referred to in announcements, and the common name by which readers are likely to know him/her) seems the right amount to me, at least in some contexts. If that's what's being done, I might prefer something like "The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)" or "The Prince of Wales – Prince Charles", to avoid giving the impression that the whole thing including the comma is a self-contained title. W. P. Uzer (talk) 11:11, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Dear FactStraight, I know fully well what you think of the Prince(ss) Givenname, Prince(ss) of X formula, as you repeated it enough times already. What I don't think you have addressed is the inconsistency which this "excessively deferential" and "confusing" solution would cause (I never understood why or how Prince Charles, Prince of Wales would confuse you more than Charles, Prince of Wales would, but I don't think it really matters). I demonstrated above how it would result in applying different title formulae during a person's life, without the personal title having changed (e.g. Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall until 1958, but Charles, Prince of Wales afterwards, while he has been Prince Charles all along; and the other examples I explained above). So please let us know, if you disagree that this would be inconsistent, or you realize, but just don't care.
I think that the combination of personal title (Prince(ss) Givenname) and official title (e.g. Prince of X or Duke of X) sufficiently identifies a person in most cases, because holders of the same title who furthermore happen to bear the same given name are usually separated by quite a long time (e.g. there were no two Princes of Wales in the past century who were both called Charles).
The reason why I argued against the Givenname, Prince/Duke of X formula is that in Britain that is the title used of divorced, ex-royal wives (e.g. Diana, Princess of Wales or Sarah, Duchess of York). So that would indeed be potentially confusing.
I believe that we should come up with a consistent naming formula for listing international royalty. That's why I cannot accept that we add the Prince(ss) Givenname to people's official titles (e.g. Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland), except for four current royals (Charles, Anne, Catharina-Amalia, Alix), only because FactStraight thinks that it would be "excessively deferential". So there would be three solutions for applying a consistent naming formula to current European royals: either Prince Charles, Prince of Wales or Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) or simply Prince of Wales and in the last case clicking on the link will clarify for the reader which Prince of Wales is being mentioned. ZBukov (talk) 23:36, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
We disagree about the relative importance of issues of redundancy and consistency for Wikipedia's readership. I argue that redundant titulature and use of "The/the" are unnecessary (because "Given name + Title" {e.g., "Charles, Prince of Wales"} correctly identifies and distinguishes most royal individuals from one another); the standard is therefore as concise and global as it should be. Redundancy, by contrast (i.e., "Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales"; "Princess Anne, the Princess Royal"; "Princess Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange"; "Princess Alix, the Dowager Princess de Ligne") goes needlessly beyond the encyclopedic purpose of accurately distinguishing persons mentioned, and is therefore over long, Anglocentric, and smacks of exaggerated deference (the Court of St. James's uses such formalisms, but modern media usually don't). You object to the status of Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson as ex-royals not being apparent (unless the Court of St. James's protocol is adhered to) and to the styles of the four royals named above appearing inconsistent with those of all other royalty, while I disagree that preserving and clarifying their precise titular status is as important as being succinct and not promoting British protocol to global status. We're going round in circles rather than making progress, so I don't see a consensus emerging. FactStraight (talk) 15:46, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
You said earlier that you don't object to the "Prince Givenname, Duke of Y" formula, but above you are only calling for "Given name + title", as being concise and global enough. If you want to go succinct, than no need to call anyone Prince or Princess, a simple Astrid of Belgium or Benedike of Denmark will do, because in a list of international royalty readers will not presume that it's some random Astrid Peeters from Brussels or some Benedikte Jensen from Copenhagen. Right...? Anyway. The compromise solution would be using the short formal titles and not bothering with adding names. ZBukov (talk) 20:00, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
As NCRAN notes, "Givenname of Realm" has long been the most common format we use to distinguish monarchs of the rank of king/queen and emperor/empress from other royalty, and is therefore probably best left for that use. A "compromise" on Wikipedia is with someone other than yourself and is concurred in by others with whom one has heretofore disagreed. Since the position you now advocate and have begun implementing doesn't differ from the one you espoused before this discussion began, nor has it yet been agreed to by others, I don't see how it's a compromise. Up until now, we've been discussing pros and cons of different approaches in an effort to build consensus for a useful guideline. Although we've agreed on some points and contextualized others, we're not there yet. But I don't see how declaring an impasse to be a compromise, and then unilaterally imposing that view on the articles under discussion either helps us reach consensus or respects the collegiality necessary to make progress. I ask and urge that you re-consider. FactStraight (talk) 21:58, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
For some time now you just keep repeating your arguments for the "Givenname, Title" formula and nonchalantly dismissing my concerns about inconsistency and incorrectness, while I remain unconvinced that it's okay to make an exception for four people just because you would perceive the application of the general rule as resulting in something overly deferential. As far as building a consensus is concerned, you declared yourself that you don't see one emerging and that we are just going round in circles, so that sounds like you've already given up on seeking a compromise (therefore appealing to my collegiality at this point sounds faintly disingenuous). I disagree with the "Givenname, Title" formula (regardless whether it's only for the four people or everyone), while you are hostile to the "Prince(ss) Givenname, Title" formula. These positions are irreconcilable. Therefore the only neutral solution I could think of is not adding names unless where it's part of the short official title. Or do you have another solution in mind which would avoid favouring either of the formulae we espouse? Feel free to revert my edits, but I'm curious what more neutral and compromising you come up with. ZBukov (talk) 10:13, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Perceived deference issue aside, several specific other objections have been raised to Wikipedia's use of the duplicative titulature under discussion: 1. Redundancy: PBS notes in this discussion, "'Prince Givenname, Prince of X' is a redundancy that is as uncustomary and unattractive as it is unnecessary: 'Givenname, Prince of X' is enough" and "we do not usually use superfluous titles when writing about someone...its not done because its not necessary to identify the person and is usually seen as a distraction." 2. Anglocentrism: The Court of St. James's unique protocol for royal styles should not be favoured in a global encyclopedia. Use of "The/the", of two princely titles in the single mention of any one royal, and of the princely prefix to distinguish, respectively, the former from current wife of the present Prince of Wales and Duke of York all go noticeably beyond that responsibility in deferring to the British court's traditions. 3. Custom: most English language usage, the Court of St. James's aside, avoids "Prince Givenname, T/the Prince of X", including reputable modern media, which includes Wikipedia. It has become an unusual form of locution even in referring to royalty, which is why I argue, in response to the assertion that consistency with the official titles of a few royals ought to be deemed of higher priority, that readers will understand Wikipedia's avoidance of what has become an odd redundancy. The fact that you and I must agree to disagree on these points does not mean that we cannot do so respectfully, that dialogue is futile, or that eventual consensus is impossible: neither of us own this discussion or this issue. Given that there is no urgency for Wikipedia to resolve stylistic disagreements such as this, we can and should encourage others to weigh in rather than prejudice the matter by unilaterally imposing a solution lacking consensus. Ironically, the format now being imposed, title without any given name, least reflects the points of agreement this discussion had achieved. Since I stopped reverting edits that were contrary to my own views and initiated this discussion instead, no disingenuousness about my commitment to pursuing a consensus solution is in evidence. FactStraight (talk) 14:08, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Apart from reading your arguments another time (I feel no need to summarize mine yet again), I would be curious what is the consensus solution you are pursuing (especially after having concluded that you don't see one emerging and that we are just going round in circles).
I welcome others to offer their opinions and join the discussion. I hope nothing I wrote can be construed to opposite effect. ZBukov (talk) 16:47, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

What about titles without a fief

An editor has recently created the articles Count de Salis-Soglio and Count de Salis-Seewis, both having survived an AfD. According to the articles and their sources, we're dealing with the originally Swiss family "de Salis", which implies that the part "de Salis-Soglio/Seewis" is merely a surname. The article Count de Salis-Soglio also specifically indicates that the official title is "Count of the Holy Roman Empire", without an attached fief. The editor's intention is to create a list of counts of these respective families, although I'm not sure if the articles are correct. My question is then, what the article title should be for such a list article and for articles on individuals in this list. Since I'm not an expert on nobility, I hope someone here can provide a good answer. Thanks! - HyperGaruda (talk) 09:27, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

The individual articles should be called "Count X de Salis" or "X, Count de Salis" as given in the sources. The numbers appear to be original research. DrKay (talk) 12:00, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Use of baronetcy as disambiguation in article titles

Comments would be welcome at Talk:Sir Robert Douglas, 3rd Baronet#Requested move 12 March 2016. Opera hat (talk) 17:01, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

Disambiguation of Dukes (title)

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"

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

@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

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

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

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

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

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)
To me it's no longer that important what an article's name is, because I have learned (with some sadness) to accept consensus about names/countries-before-marriage normally being used as article titles for royal women, a common and established practice based on frequency of use in scholarly sources, such frequency being a cornerstone of Wikipedia policy, or a pillacy, as I call pillars of policy.
With such a policy it does seem helpfully important for readers that we note the married status of a royal woman in bold type in the lede of each article. Has there ever been a decision against doing that, that anyone can remember? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:27, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Simplicity, at least as redirects

For years and years, I've had a wonderful daydream that English Wikipedia would/could/should come through and adopt the very simple and effective article naming conventions which some other Wikipedia language projects seem to have been clever enough (in my opinion) to use for all royalty from the very beginning, which has led to great success in avoiding all the confusion we have here. Confusion such as thousands of text references - which all need to be cleaned up (I've been quite busy at times) - to persons called nutsy things like "Queen Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp [sic]" or "King Eric of Pomerania of Denmark" or King Christopher III of Bavaria [sic]". (As most or all of you know here, Holstein-Gottorp has never had a queen, nor has Pomerania ever had a king, nor has Bavaria ever had a King named Christopher, much less three, but people writing article text are obviously not always so sure.)

Could conseusus support using that simpler naming, at least as redirects to the articles on royal personages?

The simpler system is:

  • [Name] of [Country of which King, Queen, Monarch, Prince or Princess by birth, election or marriage] ([year])

The year is the year when that person became royal in that country by birth, election or marriage.

I look forward to your opinions. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:55, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Not sure why we need a year. That's not standard naming procedure. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:10, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
This is not intended to be about standard naming procedure as it has developed on English WP. It's about adding redirects according a system used very effectively elsewhere. The year is then what very clearly distinguishes one Eric of Sweden from another, etc. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 08:24, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

That system seems extremely unhelpful, when trying to locate, let us say, Henry of France. When did Henry of Navarre "become royal", and is the reader required to remember which year in the sixteenth century is associated with Henry III and which with Henry IV? (The same problem with the fifteenth century and Henry IV or V of England.) There are reasons we use Roman numerals, rather than inventing our own novel system. And I dread its application to Henry of Reuss - all the Princes of Reuss, of both houses, had that name = there were hundreds of them - and anywhere but these Wikipedias disambiguates them by number.

But, that being said, I have no objections to redirects, if care is taken to avoid cases in which Name of Country means someone else entirely - a saint, for example. And, as a user, I would expect Henry of France to be, as it is, a disambiguation page. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:06, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

You've misunderstood. The Roman numerals would still be used for the monarchs that have such. Henry VIII of England (1509) for example. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:06, 6 November 2016 (UTC) a
Then you've misexplained it: I am reacting to your description. And Roman numerals are used for every royal House in Europe - and Brazil. Certainly for the Kings of Sweden. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:14, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Swedish scholarship on medieval Swedish kings do not use roman numerals, as they were only rarely used by the kings themselves, and as it would either be misleading or lead to confusion due to later kings styling themselves with numerals muych larger than there is historical evidence for. The practice of English scholars might of course be different.
Andejons (talk) 07:27, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
We are written in English. Of course we should explain that Eric XIV is a misnumbering wherever convenient; but it is the obvious and natural way to differentiate him from the other Kings called Eric - in this language. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:31, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
The Cambridge history of Scandinavia seems to get by just fine without the numerals. What is "obvious and natural" to one person might be convoluted and strange to another. English kings do not seem to use numerals prior to the Norman invasion (with the exception of Edmund I), so there it is obviously ´possible to use other systems. Numerals is just a default.
Andejons (talk) 12:45, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Which other projects use this system? Opera hat (talk) 19:35, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Relevant discussion

See Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Should "Sir" and "Dame" be treated as part of someone's name?. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:00, 24 August 2017 (UTC)