Dukes, Earls, Baronesses, Marchionesses. They’re all titles but to most people, they don’t mean anything. Here is a short guide to peerages and where they fall. The below are all Royal peerages, not standard peerages, so don’t be alarmed if you’re a bit of an expert and notice what you think may be some missing, titles like Marquess aren’t awarded to Royals.
Traditionally, the ranks for titles come from the amount of land the holder used to control (with the exception of Prince), nowadays it’s purely symbolic. The higher ranking your title, the higher you were regarded by the Monarch or the closer you were to the throne.
In reality, the seniority of your title is not what determines how highly you rank, that’s determined by what’s called the Order Of Precedence, this is just a general guide to Royal Peerage ranks.
To define a ‘Royal Peerage’ from a normal peerage, a Royal Peerage will carry the style of ‘HRH’ rather than the usual Peerage style.
On this following table, the highest rank is at the top, the lowest at the bottom. Along each row is the male and female form of the title and what their children would be known as, if a separate title is not arranged by a special Letters Patent.
Principality (If Prince Of Wales, Otherwise None)
As a little extra point, here is a ranking table with information about Sovereigns. All the following are titles that may be held by heads of state in order of rank from highest to lowest.