Etiquette for the .001%

British peerage
Just in case you’re ever in England, Debrett’s offers “a unique and indispensable guide to negotiating the social minefields of British titles and styles.”

An example (and my head just hurts reading it):

I would be most grateful for your advice on the following. In July this year my sister-in-law, Jane XXX, is being ordained as a Deacon in the Church of England. Afterwards there is a splendid lunch to celebrate, to which she has kindly invited me. My problem is how do I address the envelope for my thank you letter?

Jane is the wife of the younger son of a peer, now deceased (the peer, not the husband!).  The current Baron, Lord XXX, has only one son and he is unmarried. My sister-in-law’s husband, David, is next in line thereafter so, as the current heir is unmarried, is she the Hon Mrs XXX or the Hon Mrs David XXX?

Might the following be correct: The Revd Jane XXX, the Hon Mrs XXX? 

Thank you for your enquiry, which is probably as complicated a combination of titles as we have ever received! 
I think it would be perfectly correct to address an envelope to your sister-in-law upon her ordination as ‘The Rev and Hon Mrs David XXX’.  I can think of a Countess who is also a Reverend, and she quite naturally wishes to be addressed as ‘The Rev the Countess of Kimberley’. Alternatively, if you think your sister-in-law would prefer to be styled by her own Christian name, as a Deacon, she should be addressed as ‘The Rev Jane XXX’, for to use ‘The Hon’ with her own name would be to imply that she has a courtesy title in her own right.


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