Understanding the nobility titles in Bridgeton, from Earl to Marquess

Each season of Bridgerton introduces us to a new noble standing. We’ve had Dukes and Duchesses, Viscounts and Viscountesses, and now Earls and a Marquess have descended on the Ton. But what do these nobility titles mean?

In the world of the Ton (and in some social circles of England), nobility titles are everything. Far more than how much land you own, the peerage dictates aspects of your social habits, including who you can marry, where you can work (or not work), and, if you ask the newly noble Mondriches, where you can sleep.

In this season, former boxer turned bar owner, Will Mondrich, and his wife Alice inherit (via their son) the land and title of the Lord and Lady of Kent. Once belonging to Alice’s great aunt, the Lady of Kent gave her estate to the Mondrich’s eldest son, Nicholas, upon her death, making him a Baron.

Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich in Bridgerton

If you’re curious about what this means, we’ve broken down the English peerage system that Bridgerton—and all period dramas—use in their stories.

What is the order of nobility titles in Bridgerton?

At the top of the class system, you have the main players: the King and queen, followed by their heirs: the Prince and princess.

You don’t need us to explain these, so let us detail the more finicky titles, in order of rank:

1. Duke & Duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Hastings:

A Duke is the highest nobility rank and is often associated with a large estate and a small area of governance called a ‘duchy’. Like most titles, it is either inherited by children of Dukes and Duchesses or granted by a king or queen. In the British tradition, royal men (and their wives) can also receive it after marriage, such as Prince William and Kate, who became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge upon marriage, and Prince Harry and Meghan, who became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

While not all Dukes and Duchesses are of direct royal blood, they are usually close relatives of royalty. To address a Duke or Duchess, you use the phrase ‘Your Grace’.

Dukes and Duchesses in Bridgerton:

  • Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings
  • Daphne (née Bridgerton), now the Duchess of Hastings

2. Marquess & Marchioness

Queen Charlotte with a favourite nobleman, Lord Samadani, a Marquess.

A Marquess, or in French Marquis, is the second-highest nobility rank. Traditionally, a Marquess owned a ‘frontier district’ and was responsible for defending borders. A Marquess title can be inherited but can also be appointed by a king or queen. For instance, an Earl can be made a Marquess—and can also be demoted from this rank. The feminine version of Marquess is a marchioness.

Every rank below the Duke and Duchess, including Marquess and Marchioness, are referred to as ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’.

Marquess in Bridgerton:

  • Lord Samadani (one of Francesca Bridgerton’s suitors)

3. Earl & Countess

Francesca Bridgerton has taken to liking the Earl of Kilmartin.

An Earl is quite a high rank, though you won’t hear it much in real life. It is the British equivalent of the European Count. Earls once had the governance of a region, but the title doesn’t really exist anymore. In Bridgerton times, however, it would have been quite important.

Fun fact: there is no feminine version of ‘Earl’. Instead, the wives of Earls are called ‘Countess’.

Earls and Countesses in Bridgerton:

  • Lady Danbury was given the title of Countess by the Queen
  • John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin (the other of Francesca’s suitors)

4. Viscount & Viscountess

The Viscount and Viscountess Bridgerton.

The fourth nobility rank is Viscount. We are familiar with this one because of the Bridgertons receiving this title. Viscounts were once the assistants of Earls. They might also have a small area to govern.

Viscounts & Viscountesses in Bridgerton:

  • Viscount Anthony Bridgerton
  • Viscountess Kathani (Kate Sharma)
  • Dowager Viscountess Violet Bridgerton

5. Baron & Baroness

Lord Featherington was a baron.

Last but not least is a baron. This is the last title before you reach the untitled.

Barons and Baronesses in Bridgerton:

  • Lord Featherington
  • Lady Portia Featherington
  • Lord Nicholas Mondrich (son of Will Mondrich), who inherited the title from his mother’s relatives

What are the ranks and titles of the Bridgertons?

As for the rest, you can still be a gentleman or a lady without a title. Consider, for instance, the other Bridgertons. They do not technically have titles (yet!) but are still sons and daughters of a viscount.

These are the titles of the Bridgertons in summary:

  • Dowager Countess Violet Bridgerton
  • Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (and Viscountess Kate Bridgerton)
  • Benedict Bridgerton, no title
  • Colin Bridgerton, no title
  • Duchess Daphne Bridgerton
  • Eloise Bridgerton, no title
  • Francesca Bridgerton, no title (yet!)
  • Gregory Bridgerton, no title
  • Hyacinth Bridgerton, no title

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Australia
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer

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