ANSWERS: 1
  • The nobility consists of dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons. The nobility are commonly referred to as the "titled upper-classes." The female counterparts are as follows: Duchess is the female counterpart for a Duke, Marchioness is the female counterpart for a Marquess (spelled Marquis in France), Countess is the female counterpart to an Earl, Viscountesses are the female counterparts for Viscounts, and Baronesses are female counterparts for Barons. However, in Scotland, it's important to note that the lowest rank of the peerage (i.e., nobility) is NOT called a Baron/Baroness, but actually is called a Lord, or Lady. Also dukes are given the style, "His or Her Grace," when addressed. The rest of the aristocrats are always referred to as "Lord/Lady" whether in writing, or in person. Incidentally, the titled aristocracy, or simply the aristocracy mostly live in huge landed estates. Some primary examples are as follows: The Earl of Harewood's estate called Harewood House, which can be viewed as follows: http://www.harewood.org His Grace the Duke of Devonshire's estate is Chatsworth House in Derbyshire: http://www.chatsworth.org/ The Duke of Norfolk's estate called Arundel Castle: http://www.arundelcastle.org/ The Earl of Warwick's castle called Warwick Castle: http://www.warwick-castle.co.uk/warwick2004/index.asp The Countess of Sutherland's Scottish castle can be viewed at this website; although, this isn't her OFFICIAL website: http://www.castles.org/Chatelaine/DUNROBIN.HTM There are several more, but you get the idea! The Gentry is commonly referred to as the "untitled nobility," because like the "titled upper-classes,"individuals from the gentry in the direct male line are given the privilege to bear coats-of-arms, which represent their individual surname. The Gentry consists of Baronets not to be confused with the peerage titles of Barons (in England), knights, and squires. Commoners are those subjects of the UK & Northern Ireland, who do not possess a coat-of-arms. However, it's important to note that the Gentry are legally recognized as Commoners, too; despite the fact that individuals from the Gentry (called Gentlemen and Gentlewomen) are allowed to bear coats-of-arms. There are several reference books out on the market both in and out-of-print that are excellent sources for better understanding the UK and Norther Ireland social class system, which is still very much in existence and used today and here's a sampling: "Burke's Peerage," "Debrett's Peerage," "Dod's Peerage," "Lodge's Irish Peerage," "The Complete Peerage," which is edited by the late George Edward Cokayne, and "Collins' Peerage." A wonderful website that discuss the peerage (i.e., nobility) in greater detail is as follows and it is an online exhaustive database, which is very user-friendly & provides excellent graphics bearing coats-of-arms of both the Royal Families of the UK & Northern Ireland and some of the UK & Northern Irish aristocratic families, too! http://www.hereditarytitles.com Another online website is called Thepeerage.com: http://www.thepeerage.com I hope this helps to answer your question!

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