Monday, October 13, 2014

Lady Charlotte Prentiss

So, despite taking Friday off I got very little accomplished this weekend. Not even laundry... argh. Fortunately I'm not teaching this week so I can scruff it a little bit at work. Pretty much all I did do was look at the rain and finish up my annual(ish) rewatch of Leverage. And once again I'm annoyed by Sophie's "Lady Charlotte Prentiss" persona.

Oh, not that she has one, or that she really is a duchess, or anything like that.

It's that "Lady Charlotte Prentiss" is not a duchess's title, despite so many people recognizing it as one.

"Lady Charlotte" is a peer's daughter. Period. It's a courtesy title - a flibberty, throwaway title - any peer's daughter (edited: not barons or viscounts, thanks Picky!) is Lady Firstname. Earls' sons or barons' sons aren't Lord Firstname; only dukes' (edited: and marquesses', again thanks Picky!) sons are (like Lord Peter Wimsey, who was the younger son of the fifteenth Duke of Denver (Note, by the way, that his wife isn't Lady Harriet; she's Lady Peter. Because women take their husband's names, doncha know.)).

Lady Charlotte Prentiss might be the eighteen Duchess of Hanover's daughter. She might be her sister. She's not the duchess herself. The duchess would be "Charlotte, Duchess of Hanover" or "Charlotte Hanover". She would not be "Lady Charlotte Prentiss, the duchess of Hanover". Not. And it's so uncool to introduce yourself as the "eighteenth duchess of Hanover" anyway.

PS - Peers aren't royalty. 

PPS - Also, dammit, she would outrank the Countess of Kensington. Sure, the countess is older, and the duchess might defer to her in age/family (aunty), but not on order of precedence - and if the mark is so hipped on status, he'd know that.

PPPS - Don't let Miss Manners see this ep! Sophie leaves her gloves on to eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

(Can you tell this has been bugging me for four years? embarrassed face )

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At 1:57 PM, October 14, 2014 Anonymous Picky had this to say...

Brilliant! I thought you had to be English to understand this stuff!

One quibble: not all peers' daughter are Lady X X. Barons' and viscounts' daughters have to put up with being called the Hon X X. And marquises' sons get the same titles as dukes'.

Otherwise, spot on. And to introduce oneself as the 18th Whatever of Thingummy is just not possible. Well, it may be possible if you are the 18th Akond of Swat, I don't know.

At 2:24 PM, October 14, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Dangit. I knew that - I mean, Phryne Fisher is "the Honorable"! Argh!

At 2:25 PM, October 14, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I mean, Thank you, Picky.

At 3:13 PM, October 14, 2014 Anonymous Picky had this to say...

Dangit will do for me. I'm a peasant.


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