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 ...
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  • 95.8k
39 votes
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How were nobles 'promoted' in aristocracies?

Firstly, there is the distinction between inherited versus conferred titles. Inherited titles passed more or less automatically from parent to child, e.g. King, Duke, Baron, Viscount. Conferred ...
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  • 1,088
26 votes

Has there ever been a revolution backed by a royal or a noble against their own family?

Louis Philippe II the Duke of Orléans, who avidly supported the French Revolution - arguably, the quintessential revolution of the modern era. As First Prince of the Blood, he was one of the most ...
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22 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 ...
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  • 95.8k
21 votes

How were nobles 'promoted' in aristocracies?

You don't usually get promoted. You either are or you aren't. Titles are additive. So if you are the Baron of Butterscotch, and the king decides to make you the Duke of Diddlysquat, you don't stop ...
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  • 37.2k
20 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 ...
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  • 5,401
19 votes
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Could a nobleman's land be enclosed within another noble's land?

Yes, the name of the process to which you are referring is subinfeudation. It's important to remember that most people only had a few meaningful things to trade - land, food, fighters, and protection....
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  • 1,256
19 votes
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Did any English duke ever grant away an earldom he held?

This question Did an English Duke ever grant away an Earldom that he held?" generated so much confusion, including references to courtesy titles and European practice, that I decided to contact ...
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  • 7,691
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 ...
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  • 2,390
18 votes
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Why did Baldwin of Boulogne proclaim Edessa a County, not a Kingdom?

This may sound unintuitive, but a new kingdom could not be trivially proclaimed. Calling yourself a king has very little meaning if it isn't recognised by anyone else. For maximum acceptance by your ...
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  • 95.8k
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 ...
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  • 76.2k
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....
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  • 946
14 votes

How were nobles 'promoted' in aristocracies?

Nobles don't get promoted, they gain titles Someone may obtain a title 'Duke of Someplace'. If he wasn't a duke before, that event might be treated like a 'promotion'. Do note that it always involves ...
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  • 1,302
14 votes
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What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

So your fantasy is about about a common man obtaining a title by marrying into a noble family? To my best knowledge the chances of this happening are slim. What is more likely is that the woman (or at ...
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  • 14.2k
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-...
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  • 73.7k
13 votes
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What was the order of precedence for ancient China nobility ranks?

Neither, really. The Zhou Dynasty classed its vassals into five ranks, 公 侯 伯 子 男, which are usually translated into English as Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount and Baron. The State of Lu held a rank of ...
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  • 95.8k
13 votes
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Did any commoners become prince-electors during the Holy Roman Empire?

The three ecclesiastic electorates; Trier, Cologne, and Mainz have well documented lists of the Archbishop-Electors who served and at what times. The majority of them in the latter period of the Holy ...
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  • 1,661
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, ...
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  • 73.7k
10 votes

How were nobles 'promoted' in aristocracies?

I do not dispute the other answers, but I did want to point out that George Robinson, Earl de Grey, was raised to the 1st Marquis Ripon as a result of his success in negotiating the Treaty of ...
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  • 30.9k
10 votes

Did any English duke ever grant away an earldom he held?

They couldn't! All titles were bestowed by the sovereign, you couldn't just say "Oh, I've got a spare earldom etc I don't want, I'll give it to a friend." Apart from any other consideration, your ...
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  • 7,691
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 ...
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  • 25.5k
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 ...
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  • 31.8k
9 votes
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What did the nobles do after the French Revolution?

The Reign of Terror resulted in an estimated 40,000 executions, primarily landed nobility, courtiers and clergy. Many upper class French emigrated to other countries. A typical example is that of ...
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  • 37.2k
9 votes

Rulers' titles in Middle Age Italy

As T.E.D. already mentioned, titles were tied to the territory, and mostly didn't change unless a feudal lord higher up in the "foodchain" granted one of its vassals a higher title (it usually came ...
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  • 1,367
9 votes

Do British peers have a special way of signing their names?

In the old days (meaning pre-Tudor times) the land of Britain was divided into parts each assigned to a man bound to the king by oaths of fealty and often blood ties in one way or another. Such men ...
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  • 37.2k
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 ...
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  • 5,401
8 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

During the preparation of the royal wedding between The Royal Heiress to the Swedish throne and a commoner, people talked about heraldry and the possibility that a new royal house will emerge. But ...
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8 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

First, I am assuming that you are giving your fantasy world a "Western European" flavour. Working from this assumption there are still a myriad details that vary from nation to nation within ...
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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 ...
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  • 16.7k
7 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

In one unusual circumstance, when the Count von Bohlen married Bertha Krupp (of the Krupp arms house), the man (von Bohlen) was asked by the Kaiser to add his wife's surname, Krupp, to his own. They ...
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