Is it illegal, or just rude, to not call a royal by their royal title in Britain? If I were in the room with Queen Elizabeth II, and just called her “Elizabeth,” what would happen?

By Sunil Kumar

I don’t think it’s illegal to not call a royal by their title, and simply by their first name. But, it would definitely be perceived as rude by some sections of the population.

In the long line of English royals, you’ve had mavericks like Henry VIII who may have beheaded you on the spot in a fit of anger, but none of us were around at the time. The British, like Americans and other Westerners have made so many movies, TV serials and jocular critiques around the royals. Some have often transgressed into coarseness or indecency.

Diana certainly was the most photogenic and tabloid-hunted royal in the Windsor family, and she was popular globally. I remember a few pretentious individuals shedding crocodile tears at some S.Mumbai event in 1997, the year of her death.

From what I’ve read, the current Queen’s parents called her ‘Lillibet’- a pet name. And in public, most royals themselves address her as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Ma’am.’ Nobody is supposed to eat after she’s finished, and it is reported that she has her meals quite fast. In private, the royals call her ‘Mum’ or ‘Granny’ etc.

Regarding your question, this is common sense. We can call her ‘Elizabeth’, Betty or anything we like here, as there is no obligation on this forum. But, if you are in Britain or visiting it, and feel the compulsive need to address or refer to the Queen by her first name, first look around you and the people who are around at the time.

I doubt that anybody will report you for referring to the queen by her first name, except an ardent madman/madwoman with spare time on his/her hands who perceives extreme disrespect on your part. If for some political/ideological reason you have some reservations, even then it’s an individual choice.

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