Countess

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Countess is a hereditary title in European countries for a member of the Nobility Class of varying status, but historically deemed to convey an approximate rank intermediate between the highest and lowest titles of nobility. Sometimes, more rarely, the title is granted to untitled royalty. [1][2] The word countess came into English from the French language comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning “companion”, and later “companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor”. The adjective form of the word is "comital". Equivalents of the rank of Countess exist or have existed in the nobility structures in various countries, such as Gräfin in the Kingdom of Prussia, Contesa in the Kingdom of Romania and Grevinde in the Kingdom of Denmark.

Issuance of Title

In the Principality of the Northern Forests the title of Countess is often conferred by the Princess as an honorific title for special services rendered, without a feudal estate (Countship, County) being attached, so it is merely a title, with or without a domain name attached to it. Just like through history a a Countess can acquired the title through marriage to a Count or hold the title in their own right. Countesses are always a member of the House of Nobility of the Principality and often serve as Judges in the Princess's Court. The title can be for the life of the holder or hereditary. The Letters Patent and them alone will specifically state it.

Land Attached to Countess Title

The title comes with a symbol of entitlement, that is the ownership of and jurisdiction over land, hence the term county. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the control of a Count, Countess.

Forms of Address

A Countess is theoretically the ruler of a County; she can be addressed as "The Countess of [Placename]"; My Lady or Dear Lady [Placename]; or Your Ladyship or Lady [Placename]. A Countess has the title of Countess of [X] when the title originates from a placename, or Countess [X] when the title comes from a surname. In either case, she is referred to as Lady [X]. A Countess who holds an Countship in her own right also uses Lady [X], but her husband does not have a title (unless he has one in his own right). The eldest child of a Countess is technically, though not themselves a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title, usually the highest of his Mother's lesser titles (if any); younger sons are styled The Honourable [Forename] [Surname], and daughters The Lady [Forename] [Surname] nut cannot use any placenames with the courtesy title. .

References

  1. Mitchell, L. E. (2012). Women in Medieval Western European Culture. Routledge.
  2. Pine, L. G. (1991). Titles: How the King Became His Majesty. Barnes & Noble.