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53 votes

What is the oldest European royal house?

In terms of continuously dateable genealogy, it is probably the Bagratids of Georgia, the current head of which is disputed between three branches. The Georgian branch was founded by Adarnase in the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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27 votes
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When was the last promotion in the British Peerage?

On 7 December 1964, when the former Lord High Chancellor Reginald Manningham-Buller was created Viscount Dilhorne, of Greens Norton in the County of Northampton. He had originally been elevated to the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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21 votes
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How common was marriage between nobles and peasants in the Middle Ages?

Probably more common than you would think. Lots of nobles were little more than farmers with a coat of arms. Peasants could acquire a lot of wealth. Where the division between the two classes fell ...
andejons's user avatar
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21 votes

Has a hereditary peer ever been promoted or demoted to a higher or lower rank?

Yes to the first. Examples: the 1st Marquess of Montrose had inherited the title of Earl of Montrose from his father. The 4th Earl of Devonshire was made a Duke for his support of William III in the '...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
19 votes
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Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title?

It is very common to have titles based on the surname such as Barry Jones, Baron Jones or with a location so as to reduce ambiguity such as Nigel Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham There are others ...
Henry's user avatar
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19 votes

Has a hereditary peer ever been promoted or demoted to a higher or lower rank?

Someone who illustrates both aspects of the question is Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford who as an adviser to Charles I, progressed from Baronet, through Baron, Viscount and Earl, to being ...
John Dallman's user avatar
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17 votes
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How is it possible to be a baronet and not a peer?

The ranks of the UK peerage are duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron. A baronetcy is an hereditary title awarded by the British Crown, and (with a couple of exceptions) is the only British ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why didn't a noble family change their last name from a kind of duck to something more prestigious?

Actually, the answer is a bit confusing. The name was apparently originally a 'normal' one before one of Nikolai's ancestors added the 'Gogol' bit. A Reference Guide to Russian Literature tells us: ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 997
16 votes

Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title?

There have been several dukes whose titles match their surnames. These include Frederick Schomberg, a German-born general who, at various times, commanded forces for France, Brandenburg and Portugal....
davidlol's user avatar
  • 1,579
14 votes

Is there any valid basis for this claim that German Emperor Wilhelm II and the Hohenzollern family had Jewish blood?

Q: Is there any valid basis for this claim that German Emperor Wilhelm II and the Hohenzollern family had Jewish blood? No. Title of the pamphlet: "1888-1918. Eine genealogisch-...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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14 votes

Prior to 1963 did a British nobleman ever disclaim or renounce his title? What would have happened if someone had tried?

The closest case is probably that of Thomas Moreton FitzHardinge Berkeley, born 1796, de jure 6th Earl of Berkeley. Upon the death of his father (Frederick Berkeley, the 5th Earl) in 1810, Thomas' ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
12 votes

What is the oldest European royal house?

"The oldest noble family" is a somewhat fictional concept: When a 'House' starts or ends is somewhat arbitrary, and not uniformly handled throughout European history. There were countless exceptions, ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
10 votes

How common was marriage between nobles and peasants in the Middle Ages?

It's hard to prove a negative (outside of math, of course), but let me try to show why this would be extremely rare (and mostly exist in legends). The institution of marriage exists to protect the ...
sds's user avatar
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10 votes

What would a 9th-century German count do if he wanted to spend some time with his wife?

A count in the 9th century? Well, then we are speaking not just about a very rich person, we are speaking about a head of his own state. He is not subject to any other state authority except loose ...
Anixx's user avatar
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9 votes

Was Erich Ludendorff any form of nobility?

There seems to be three different claims as to why Ludendorff should be considered noble in the question: Ludendorff being descended from Eric XIV of Sweden. Ludendorff being descended from several ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 5,631
9 votes

Prior to 1963 did a British nobleman ever disclaim or renounce his title? What would have happened if someone had tried?

It has not happened for many centuries, but it did happen, principally in order to bring about a change in the title rather than to surrender it forever. Roger le Bygod, fifth Earl of Norfolk (1245-...
Ecu91's user avatar
  • 144
8 votes

What is the oldest European royal house?

Short Answer: Nobody knows for sure. Long Answer It is very complicated. A royal pedigree in the agnatic (male only) line that is more or less totally proven and accepted by everyone who studied ...
MAGolding's user avatar
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8 votes
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Until when did Castile consider all Basques to be noble?

Apparently, it is still valid. If you can read Spanish and you have a stomach for legalese, you can try to digest this. It is a relatively long but definitely dull exposition on what you should do in ...
Rekesoft's user avatar
  • 577
7 votes
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Is Carolyn Seymour (the actress) related to Alexander von Benckendorff (the Russian statesman)?

Related, probably Yes. Descended from, probably Not. Of course a quick look at the wiki page for Alexander von Benckendorff tells us the connection isn't one of descent : Children 3 daughters So ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.6k
7 votes

What legal test, if any, distinguished gentlemen from commoners in Tudor England?

I only have a conjecture, it is derived from one case. But I suppose it is typical. George Green was a miller in Nottingham in the first half of 19th century. He owned a mill and worked in it. He was ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
7 votes

Has a hereditary peer ever been promoted or demoted to a higher or lower rank?

Peers have often been promoted by being granted another peerage with a higher rank. In some cases, a peerage can be inherited by someone who already holds another peerage title. So a number of peers ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
6 votes

Did princess Maria von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen -Belgian king Albert's mother- have a child out of wedlock?

It seems highly unlikely that this story is true. Searches on other sites (not just Wikipedia) do not mention it at all. There is no citation on the Spanish Wikipedia page to support the claim. ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.4k
6 votes

Did princess Maria von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen -Belgian king Albert's mother- have a child out of wedlock?

To add to sempaiscuba's answer: Although there was a 'Prince Pierre d'Orleans', his full name was Pierre Philippe Jean Marie d'Orléans, not Pierre Antoine Lacouture d'Orleans. The only other 'Prince ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Do the Chadwyck-Healey baronets have a coat of arms?

Yes - the coat of arms is recorded in Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, the 1999 edition of which is available to borrow for free on archive.org and includes the description of the Chadwyck-Healey ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 1,168
6 votes
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Are there any examples of European rulers with a rank lower than king to utilize a "throne" and a "throne room"?

Sure. "Throne room" is perfectly fine, though I think "audience chamber" may have been more common. Pulling an example out of my hat (I visited and was very, very impressed) take ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 7,703
5 votes

What present-day monarchs descend from Rodrigo de Borgia, a.k.a., Pope Alexander VI?

PART ONE: General discussion. Here is the simplest way I know to research such questions: Here is a link to the surnames list at the Genealogics website. http://www.genealogics.org/surnames.php1 ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
5 votes
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Why was the Titles of Nobility Amendment proposed?

Yes, the Titles of Nobility Amendment was prompted by the marriage of Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, brother of Napolean Bonaparte, and Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte who together had a child named Jérôme ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 1,258
5 votes

Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title?

Yes, it is possible for a British peer to have the same surname and title. Although it depends on what period you're considering. In more recent times, not every title is based on giving title to land ...
Steve Bird's user avatar
  • 19.8k
5 votes

Hunting in Armour in Medieval Europe?

Any hunting depicted in medieval art is likely to be by members of the nobility, regardless of whether they are wearing armor or not. The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes the use of ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 21.5k
5 votes

When was the last promotion in the British Peerage?

Alexander Duff, 6th Earl of Fife, was made the First Duke of Fife on 24 April 1900: On 24 April 1900, Queen Victoria issued another Letters Patent by which she created for The 1st Duke of Fife the ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar

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