This is a follow-up post to a previous blog about noble titles for women. Writers love to write royalty into their works, but diversity within that royalty is few and far between. With fantasy typically being Euro-centric, it’s time to dive into other types of royal cultures to broaden your research!
This can’t be a post about noble titles without including the British. These are your standard titles for nobility and has be used interchangeably throughout literature:
King - male ruler
Prince Consort - Queen’s husband (not a King)
Prince - son of ruler
This is my favorite era of nobility and I am so hurt that even Russian based fantasies don’t include these (I’m looking at you, Leigh Bardugo).
Tsar - male ruler or Russia from 1547 to 1721
Tsarevich - used before 18th century for son of a Tsar, typically the heir
Emperor - title of male ruler after 1721
Grand Duchess - daughter of the Tsar
Count - a prestige title granted by the Tsar
Baron - title given to people of foreign countries
Ancient Egypt has some of my favorite royal rules because, in all my research, it felt very divine and circumstantial, unlike typical bloodline primogeniture.
Pharaoh - ruler of Egypt (mostly male, some women have claimed this title)
The Pharaoh is titled as “the son of Ra” which means he is a divine son of the Sun God. There is no such thing as royal blood or royal families, only the direct descendant of the Sun God. Because of this, women are not easily “sons of Ra” because the sun-god is male and thus his offspring is male. There have been known female rulers of Egypt. All his kinship is female (see my previous post about female titles) and his son is called King’s Son.
Prominent titles in the Mughal empire. I’ve also attached their origins so you can be more accurate in your research.
Sultan - male ruler (Arabic)
Maharaja - male ruler (Sanskrit/Hindustani)
Children called Maharaj Kumar (sons) or Maharaj Kumari (daughters)
Shah - male ruler (Persian)
Nawab - sovereign male ruler of kingdom below Emperor
Children of Nawabzada (sons) or Nawabzadi (daughters)
Raja - reigning monarch of a state
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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