What Is A ‘Viscount’? The Ranks & Titles Of Bridgerton, Explained

Do you know an Earl from a Marquess?
the ranks and titles of brigderton

Each season of Bridgerton seems to introduce us to a new noble standing. We’ve had Dukes and Duchesses, Viscounts and Viscountesses, and now Earls and a Marquess have descended on the Ton. So, what do these titles mean?

In the world of the Ton (and in some socials circles of England) your nobility ranking is everything. Far more than how much land you own, the peerage dictates aspects of your social habits, including who you can marry, where you can work (or not work), and if you ask the newly noble Mondriches, where you can sleep. 

In this season, former boxer turned bar owner, Will Mondrich, and his wife Alice inherit (via their son) land and title of the Lord and Lady of Kent. Once belonging to Alice’s great aunt, the Lady of Kent gave her estate to the Mondrich’s eldest son, Nicholas, upon her death, who is now a Baron. 

If you’re curious what this means, we’ve broken down the English peerage system that Bridgerton — and all period dramas — use in their stories.

What Is The Order Of Nobility In Bridgerton?

At the top of the class system you have the main players: the King and Queen, followed by their heirs: Prince and Princess. 

You don’t really need us to explain what these ones are, so allow  us to detail the more finicky titles, in order of rank…

1. Duke & Duchess

the duke and duchess of hastings in bridgerton season one
The Duke and Duchess of Hastings. Image: Netflix

A Duke is the highest nobility rank, and is often associated with a large estate and a small area of governance called a ‘duchy’.

Like most titles, it is either inherited by children of Dukes and Duchesses. However it can be granted by a King or Queen. It can also, in British tradition, be given to royal men (and their wives) after they marry — such is the case of Prince William and Kate, who became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge upon marriage. Prince Harry and Meghan became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

While not all Dukes and Duchesses are of direct royal blood, they are usually a close, direct relative of royalty. 

To address a Duke or Duchess, you use the phrase ‘your Grace’. 

Dukes and Duchesses in Bridgerton:

  • Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings
  • Daphne (nee) Bridgerton, now the Duchess of Hastings

2. Marquess & Marchioness

the queen and lord samadani, a marquess, in bridgerton
Queen Charlotte with a favourite nobleman, Lord Samadani, a Marquess. Image: Netflix

A Marquess or, in French Marquis, is the second highest nobility rank. Traditionally, a Marquess owned a ‘frontier district’ and was responsible for defending borders. A marquess title can be inherited but it can also be appointed by a King or Queen. For instance, and Earl can be made a Marquess — and can also be demoted from this rank.

The feminine version of Marquess is a Marchioness.

Every rank below Duke and Duchess, including Marquess and Marchioness, are referred to as ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’.

Marquess in Bridgerton:

  • Lord Samadani (one of Francesca Bridgerton’s suitors)

3. Earl & Countess

francesca bridgerton and the earl of kilmartin
Francesca Bridgerton has taken to liking the Earl of Kilmartin. Image: Netflix

An Earl is quite a high rank, though you won’t hear it much in real life. It is the British equivalent of the European Count. 

Earls once had governance of a region but the title doesn’t really exist anymore. In Bridgerton times, however, it would have been quite important.

Fun fact: there is no feminine version of ‘Earl’. Instead, wives of Earls are called ‘Countess’. 

Earls and Countesses in Bridgerton:

  • Lady Danbury was given the title of Countess by the Queen
  • John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin (the other of Francesca’s suitors)

4. Viscount & Viscountess

viscount anthony and viscountess kate bridgerton
The Viscount and Viscountess Bridgerton. Image: Netflix

The fourth nobility rank is Viscount. We are familiar with this one due to the Bridgertons receiving this title. 

Viscounts were once the assistants of Earls. They might also have a small area to govern.

Viscounts & Viscountesses in Bridgerton:

  • Viscount Anthony Bridgerton
  • Viscountess Kathani (Kate Sharma)
  • Dowager Viscountess Violet Bridgerton

5. Baron & Baroness

the featherington parents are a baron and baroness in bridgerton
Lord Featherington was a baron. Image: Netflix

Last but not least is a baron. This is the last title before you reach the untitled. 

Barons and Baronesses in Bridgerton:

  • Lord Featherington
  • Lady Portia Featheringon
  • Lord Nicholas Mondrich (son of Will Mondrich), who inherited title off his mother’s relatives

What Are The Ranks and Titles Of Bridgertons?

As for the rest, you can still be a gentleman or a lady without a title. Consider, for instance, the other Bridgertons. They do not technically have titles (yet!), but are still sons and daughters of a Viscount.

To summarise:

  • Dowager Countess Violet Bridgerton
  • Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (and Viscountess Kate Bridgerton)
  • Benedict Bridgerton, no title
  • Colin Bridgerton, no title
  • Duchess Daphne Bridgerton
  • Eloise Bridgerton, no title
  • Francesca Bridgerton, no title (yet!)
  • Gregory Bridgerton, no title
  • Hyacinth Bridgerton, no title

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Who Are All The Bridgertons? The Family Tree, Explained

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