Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A Pedant's Point

The Mass Media, including some who should know better, continually allude to TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as "the Duke and Duchess".

Of course, most people in this egalitarian world couldn't care less about Correct Form nowadays.

Nevertheless I shall remind the Daily Telegraph and the British Broadcasting Corporation or, more specifically, the staff whom they hire, of the errors of their ways.

The Term Duke and Duchess rightly refers to a non-royal duke and his wife.

Royal dukes and duchesses are traditionally referred to (in this context) as Their Royal Highnesses, His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness, often abbreviated to TRH or HRH.

I sometimes vary the appellation by calling the Duke of Cambridge "Prince William" or "HRH"; and his wife, "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge" or "HRH".

As a royal couple I'd refer to them as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Their Royal Highnesses or TRH, never as the Duke and Duchess. A royal duke, certainly in past times, was never referred to as "the Duke".

Might I suggest that the Corporation and other media obtain a copy of Debrett's Correct Form?


Anonymous said...

I don't see the big deal here; it's quite awkward to continually put HRH/TRH before their names. It's the same for all the Royal family too. One never sees "H.M. Queen Elizabeth II" for instance.

I'm more annoyed by the media's current penchant for the lower case.


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

I think Posh and not so posh would also suffice ;-)

Timothy Belmont said...

Lord Snooty the Second:-

Former Telegraph editor Charles Moore makes withering comments about journalistic standards in his Spectator column. But he appears to have scored an own goal in an item about businessman Sir Paul Judge, who endowed the Judge Business School at Cambridge.

According to Moore — Lord Snooty to pals — Judge wanted the plaque to him and his wife to read to ‘Sir Paul and Lady Anne Judge’.

This, explains Snooty, is incorrect unless Lady Judge were the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl. But, relates Moore, the school humoured him. When Sir Paul divorced and remarried he wanted to revert to the original plan for the plaque, removing ‘Anne’, says Moore. But the school refused.

‘So there the first couple remain, locked together for posterity, a mistitled mesalliance,’ says Moore.

Over to Sir Paul, who is puzzled by this version of events. After all, he says, the plaque reads ‘Sir Paul and Lady Judge’.

‘I shall be asking Charles Moore to make a correction,’ he tells me.

‘It is particularly ironic that he should display such poor journalistic standards in an edition of “Spectator’s Notes” which is largely dedicated to bemoaning poor standards at the News of the World.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014892/Charles-I-deserve-loved.html#ixzz1S9soqNTP