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Noble Titles for Women

Writers love writing about royalty, but too often it’s Euro-centric and I’m not a huge fan. As writers, it’s so fun to learn more about different cultures and different parts of history and use them to tell our own stories. I’ve compiled a short list of four noble titles specifically for women. Keep an eye out for a partner blog for men!

British Empire

The British. These are the most common English titles that you see in most stories, so I have to include them.

  • Queen - female ruler or King’s wife

  • Queen Consort - King’s wife

  • Queen Regent - female who rules when the King cannot

  • Queen Dowager - widow of the King

  • Princess - daughter of ruler

Romanov-era Russia

One of my favorite things about the Shadow and Bone trilogy is its use of Russian culture and history throughout the novel. I am a self-proclaimed Romanov girl, which means I obsessed over the family for a long time, so it genuinely hurt me that Bardugo used Queen/King titles in your book over THESE PERFECT ALTERNATIVES THAT WERE RIGHT THERE!!

  • Tsaritsa or Tsarina - female ruler or Tsar’s wife from 1547-1721

  • Tsarevna - used before 18th century for daughter of a Tsar or wife of a Tsarevich

  • Empress - title of female ruler or Tsar’s wife after 1721

  • Grand Duchess - daughter of the Tsar

  • Countess - wife of a Count - a prestige title granted by the Tsar

  • Baroness - wife of a Baron - title given to people of foreign countries

Ancient Egypt

Every woman in Ancient Egypt with a noble title had some relationship with the King (ew). I will go in further detail in my noble titles for men post, but the King was believed to be the incarnation of Ra, the Sun God, and did not necessarily pass the throne through blood. Women had more status the closer they were to the King.

  • King’s Mother - mother of the reigning King

  • King’s Great Wife - wife of the reigning King (might have many, all will be known as King’s Wife, but he chooses a Great Wife)

  • King’s Daughter - daughter of the reigning King

Arabic/Indian Peninsula

Prominent titles in the Mughal empire. I’ve attached their origins so you can be more accurate in your research.

  • Sultana - female ruler or wife of Sultan (Arabic)

  • Maharana - female ruler or wife of a Maharaja (Sanskrit/Hindustani)

  • Shahbanu - female ruler or wife of Shah (Persian)

  • Children called Maharaj Kumar (sons) or Maharaj Kumari (daughters)

  • Nawab Begum/Begum - sovereign ruler of kingdom below Emperor

  • Children of Nawabzada (sons) or Nawabzadi (daughters)

  • Rani - reigning monarch of a state or wife of a Raja

  • Children called Rajkumar (sons) and Rajkumari (daughters)

There are hundreds of cultures throughout the world that aren’t represented in fantasy, and a lot of it begins with innocent ignorance—you don’t know it exists, so how do you know to look? Deeply researching cultures is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons and see the world without ever actually leaving your home.

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