Addressing royalty in French?
I'm writing a story set in a time similar to the medieval/renaissance period in England/Anglo-whatever, and there's a king. He has a French head steward, who addresses him directly. I know the French word for king is "roi" or "roy," but we don't say, "Yes, king." So, how should this French steward address the king?
- David HLv 610 years agoFavorite Answer
I don't remember reading anything where a steward addresses a king.
I will not take issue with Alfie and Celia about Tudor kings being "Your Grace", though it is more likely they were just referred to as "His Grace" in English. The Court language of the time was Latin, and it is unlikely that any inferior would have had the temerity to address the king in English! If a (pre-Tudor) king was addressed in English his normal form of address was "Sire". (I anticipate that the successor to Elizabeth II will be addressed "Sir").
Whilst Latin was the normal language at Court, the language for more secular purposes was Norman French, and I have read reports of legal proceedings in that language which refer to the king as "le Roy" (Pomposity please note the correct French spelling in that era) and to the king and queen together as "leurs Majesties". It therefore seems likely that your steward would address his king as "mon Sieur", or possibly as "Majesté" (no "votre" in a form of address).
However, if as I suspect you are writing the entire thing in English, why suddenly switch to French for appellations? Why can't your steward say "Yes, Sire"?
- Anonymous10 years ago
Ummmm. You don't even know what country your setting is? "Anglo-whatever"? What's an "Anglo-whatever"?????
Have you ever heard the quote by Hemingway, about writing what you KNOW?
Your steward would address an English king as Your Majesty.
If your king were French, your English steward would address him as Votre Majesté.
And "Your Grace" would be used with a duke, not a king.
- DarleneLv 44 years ago
The French are said to laugh like frogs. When they laugh, their adam's apples bulge out of their necks like frogs. Also perhaps from the French delicacy of frog-legs. Another possible derivation is the Fleur-de-Lys displayed on the French king's banner in the Middle Ages, which, to the English enemy, looked like squatting frogs. UK origins.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- Anonymous10 years ago
Prior to the renaissance English Kings were referred to as 'Your Grace" or "Your Highness" Now "Your Grace" is reserved for Dukes but prior to the reign of Henry VIII it WAS also used for kings. During and after the renaissance the title became "Your Majesty." I don't know what those titles would be in French.
- 10 years ago
I'm sorry but roi is not ROY! It is prounounced RWAH which is often difficult for Americans. The R sound is made in the back of the throat in French and it TRILLED like the sound you make when you gargle, where in English the R is formed using the front of the mouth and is not trilled. I am not a speech teacher but that's the best I can do to try to explain.
- Comrade BolshevLv 710 years ago
'Sire' was usual at that time, or 'altesse', meaning Highness.
English and Scottish monarchs were addressed as 'your Grace' down to Tudor times - I believe Elizabeth was the first to adopt the official address 'Majesty'.