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Re: Duke and princes
User logged in as Johan
You have to look at the ruler of that particular family. Princes can be junior members of a dynasty that has an Emperor, King, Grand Duke, Duke or Prince(= Furst) at its head. They are not all equal to each other.
Similarly a Duke can be the head of a house but also be a junior member of a house. All the various branches of the Saxony dynasty have the title Duke or Duchess of Saxony as part of their titles or could use that title in case of the Belgian Royal dynasty.
I know: that's why I was confused by the titles -- thinking that if dukes ranked higher than princes, then cadet members of Baden (who were Grand Ducal Highnesses) should have been dukes, not princes.
Another complication is that as a child, I grew up thinking that dukes ranked behind princes. The reason was that I associated the former with nobility: consider all the dukedoms in the UK. But a dukedom is obviously not the same thing as a duchy. By contrast, princes are always associated with royalty -- although I realize that some high ranking nobles are styled thus.
The lines are indeed blurred: take, for instance, the Italian duchy of Parma. The sovereign was styled as Duke, but cadet members were styled as Prince(ss). However, they were all Royal Highnesses (not just Highnesses or Grand Ducal Highnesses), by virtue of being male-line descendants of King Louis XIV of France.
The style Grand Ducal Highness ranked above Highness - I know it appears confusing. If in doubt, go by the style: HRH before HGDH, HGDH before HH, HH before HSH
In that case, why were cadet members of large grand duchies (e.g. Baden) styled with the title Prince(ss), with the qualification of Grand Ducal Highness, while cadet members of smaller grand duchies (e.g. Oldenburg) were styled with the title Duke/Duchess, with the qualification of Highness?