Buying Royal Titles Then and Now


by Ruth Sperber


It's been possible to buy a title for centuries. But in the past, it was something only some people could afford. It was usually only nobles who could afford to purchase a new title.

It meant that anyone else who wanted one would have had to earn it in some way first. Today, however, many more options are available for people who want to become a lord or lady without earning it through hard work or military prowess.

A Brief History of Title Buying


The practice where you buy a title is a relatively new phenomenon. It has been common throughout history. The first recorded case of someone purchasing a title was in 1292 in England.

The practice was especially common in the 18th and 19th centuries when social mobility was higher. It means that more people could afford to buy titles than they had previously been able to.

In 1917, Britain's Parliament passed the Titles Deprivation Act, which banned anyone who had purchased their way into a hereditary peerage from sitting in Parliament or voting for elected officials. However, this didn't stop some people from continuing to purchase their way into titles until as recently as 1999.

How the Royal Titles Were Privatized


In the early 20th century, to pay for World War I and the Great Depression, many of the royal titles were privatized. The government sold them to people who paid a lot for them. These people became known as "Dukes" or "Princesses," and they used these titles to impress others with their wealth.

Some dukes would buy the title from a dead person's estate so no one else could buy it from him. It is because he wanted everyone else to think that he was rich enough that he could afford this expensive title even though other people didn't think he was rich enough.

This practice continued until about World War II when soldiers realized how stupid it was for someone who wasn't royalty or famous enough to get paid more than them just because they had a fancy title.

Is It Possible to Buy Royal Titles Now?


Now, it's important to remember that royal titles are not the same as hereditary titles. Many countries have had monarchies, but they've been converted into republics and other governing systems over time.

In many cases, this has resulted in a change in the political system and a transfer of power from the king/queen or tsar/crown prince/prince to elected officials. You'll need to look up your country's history for more information about how their government evolved.

Royalty was passed down through family lines by strict rules determining which child was most eligible for succession. These rules were established by each country's ruling family when they first took control over their people through lineage ties, in essence making themselves royalty by marrying into existing lineages with strong bloodlines worthy enough for kingship. As of now, there are 800 lords in the House of Lords of the UK.

What Does a Buyer Get for Their Money?


You should know what it will get if you're looking to purchase a title. There are several things that people who buy titles typically receive:

  1. A certificate of authenticity confirming that they are indeed a duke/duchess/lord/lady/marquess/baroness and not just someone who thought it would be cool to call themselves 'Lord' and 'Duke.'
  2. An official coat of arms or two if the title has been passed down more than once.
  3. Access to an exclusive network of people with similar titles throughout history. It's basically like being in the Avengers without superpowers or fighting crime.
  4. The right to be addressed by your new title, no more "sir" or "madam," just "Your Grace" or whatever other royal-sounding title fits for you.


The Stigma Around Buying a Title Today

Buying a title is something people don't like to talk about, and it's one thing that gets passed down through generations as gossip or rumor. The main reason behind this is that they think that buying a title is somehow offensive to the royal family or the aristocracy. There's also an underlying belief that buying a title is another form of scamming people out of their money. In reality, these are all inaccurate.

For the Right Amount of Money, You Can Buy a Title That Lets You Claim to Be Someone Else


Many websites sell titles that are illegal and not recognized by any government. For example, buying an "emperor" or "princess" title for a few hundred dollars on eBay or Craigslist is possible. You won't be able to use your new title in any official capacity, but it will be registered with a government agency and legally binding if someone tries to sue you over your fake claims about being royalty.

You don't need to spend much money at all, even though there are plenty of official-looking documents online that claim people were made kings or dukes centuries ago. These documents can be bought with little effort nowadays as well. However, they'll cost more than homemade titles because they come with higher-quality seals, fancy lettering styles, etc.



Now that you've learned how titles are earned, you're equipped to make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue one. As a title buyer, there's no need to worry about the history of your new name. You can be confident that it will have the same value as any other title and stand up against legal challenges.