Noblesse obliege.

British nobility and its order of precedence (British nobility chart) have played a major role in influencing the history of the country.

It is a complex system and the most important thing about this is that Britain still functions under the class system. Though the system has gone through many changes and developments through years, many of them are remembered till date.



Eldest son:

Younger sons:

Unmarried Daughter:



a duke who is also a royal prince, being a member of the royal family.

At present there are 24 dukes.





The daughter of a duke, marquess, or earl who marries an untitled man becomes "Lady husbands last name"



The second most senior rank in the peerage, beneath duke, is marquess. The marquess stands above the ranks of earl, viscount and baron.

At present there are 34 marquesses.






Earl is the third rank of the Peerage, standing above the ranks of viscount and baron, but below duke and marquess.

At present there are 191 earls.







The fourth rank in the peerage, the viscount is ranked below duke, marquess and earl, but above baron.

At the present time there are 115 viscounts.


The Honourable

The Honourable

The Honourable



The fifth and last rank of the peerage is that of baron, which is ranked beneath duke, marquess, earl and viscount in precedence

There are currently 426 hereditary barons.


The honorable

The Honourable

The honorable



(in Britain) a commoner who holds the lowest hereditary title of honour, ranking below a baron.

At the present time there are 962 baronets


The Honourable

The honorable

The honorable


Courtsey titles:

If a peer of one of the top three ranks of the peerage (a dukemarquess or earl) has more than one title, his eldest son – himself not a peer – may use one of his father's lesser titles "by courtesy". However, the father continues to be the substantive holder of the peerage title, and the son is only using the title by courtesy, unless issued a writ of acceleration.

The eldest son of the eldest son of a duke or marquess may use a still lower title, if one exists. In legal documents the courtesy title is implied but not used directly, e.g. the name of the person is given then "commonly called [title]".

For example, the Duke of Norfolk is also the Earl of Arundel and Baron Maltravers. His eldest son is therefore styled "Earl of Arundel" (without the definite article "The" which indicates a substantive title). Lord Arundel's eldest son (should he have one during his father's lifetime) would be styled "Lord Maltravers". However, only the Duke of Norfolk is actually a peer; his son Lord Arundel and his hypothetical grandson Lord Maltravers are not.


Another form of courtesy title is the honorific prefix of "Lord" before the name. This non-peerage title is accorded to younger sons of dukes and marquesses.

he wife of the holder is entitled to the feminine form of her husband's title, which takes the form of "Lady", followed by her husband's given name and surname, as in the example of Lady Randolph Churchill. The holder is addressed as "Lord Randolph" and his wife as "Lady Randolph".

Spouses of peers:

The wife of a substantive peer is legally entitled to the privileges of peerage: she is said to have a "life estate" in her husband's dignity. Thus a duke's wife is titled a "duchess", a marquess's wife a "marchioness", an earl's wife a "countess", a viscount's wife a "viscountess" and a baron's wife a "baroness".

Despite being referred to as a "peeress", she is not a peer in her own right: this is a 'style' and not a substantive title. However, this is considered a legal title, unlike the social titles of a peer's children.

The wives of eldest sons of peers hold their titles on the same basis as their husbands, i.e. by courtesy. Thus the wife of the Marquess of Douro is known as the "Marchioness of Douro"

The United Kingdom

The ranks of the Birtish nobility