|TITLES OF NOBILITY|
|Emperor / Empress|
|King / Queen|
|Prince / Princess|
|Grand Duke / Grand Duchess|
|Duke / Duchess|
|Earl / Countess|
|Baron / Baroness|
An earl or a countess is a member of the middle rank of the peerage. Manticoran counties are held as territories subsidiary to the Star Kingdom, so SKM earls and countesses, while they are the administrators of their territories, are still subjects of the sovereign rather than monarchs of their earldoms.
The Star Kingdom of Manticore adopted their peerage titles from historical British usage. "Earl" comes from the Old English or Anglo-Saxon eorl, and since there was no female equivalent in that language, "countess" was adopted for that use, since earls were held to be the equivalent to continental counts.
Forms of Address
An Earl is addressed as "My Lord" and a countess as "My Lady."
Those holding an earldom are referred to in the third person as "The Earl of Title," (for males) or "The Countess of Title" for females. Titles derived from surnames never properly include "of" (for example, "Countess Harrington"). In accepted Manticoran usage, titles derived from territorial designations or place names are alternately referred to with or without "of." For example, "The Earl of White Haven" is correct, but he can also be referred to as "Earl White Haven." In the most formal ceremonies and documents the title is prefaced "the Most Honorable."
It is also acceptable to refer to an earl as "Lord Title" (for example, "Lord White Haven") or a countess as "Lady Title" (for example, "Lady Medusa"). In this usage, "of" is never included, even if it is part of the formal title.
An Earl or Countess with military rank may be referred to by their rank and title instead of their rank and given name. Formal usage: Admiral the Earl of White Haven. Less formal usage: Admiral White Haven.
In the peerage of the Star Kingdom of Manticore and in TRMN a peerage title may be held by a male or female. Earldoms, like all other Manticoran peerages, are hereditary and typically the current holder will designate their eldest child as their heir, without regard to their gender. The spouse of the title holder is afforded the same title, without regard for the gender of the title holder.
The cadet (heir) of an earl or countess (usually their eldest child) is addressed as "My Lord" (if male) or "My Lady" (if female), or "Lord/Lady [first name]" and is referred to in the third person as "Lord Firstname Lastname" (if male) or "Lady Firstname Lastname" (if female).
Children of an earl or countess (other than the cadet) are referred to in the third person as "The Honorable Firstname Lastname." This is customarily abbreviated in written form as "Hon. Firstname Lastname." There is no special form of address for younger children of an earl or countess.
Peerage: list of TRMN peers