Friday, August 19, 2016

Etiquette for Addressing Monarchs

Through the chaos of the Middle Ages, the Plantagenets rose to seize control of England. It was one of the most violent periods in history, famed for the Hundred Years’ War, the Peasants’ Revolt, and the beginning of the Wars of the Roses.


The usual forms of address for a King for much of the "Plantagenet era" in England were ‘your highness’ and ‘your Grace’. Richard II introduced the terms ‘your majesty’ and ‘your high majesty’ to the court vocabulary, having had a grander and more elaborate vision of kingship than his predecessors.

During the King's later reign, there are accounts of Richard II sitting in splendor on his throne after dinner, while glaring around the room at the courtiers assembled there. It is said that, whomever his gaze rested upon was to fall to their knees in humble appreciation of his royal awesomeness. Eventually wearing thin, in 1399 Richard was deposed by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, who took the throne as Henry IV, which abruptly ended an unbroken succession of Plantagenet kings since the 12th century.


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia