Widow and Former Wife of a Baronet

Widow of a Baronet

Officially the widow of a baronet immediately becomes the Dowager Lady Brown on the death of her husband, unless the widow of a senior baronet of the same creation is still alive, when she becomes Mary, Lady Brown.

Many dowager ladies prefer to use their forename rather than the word 'Dowager'. If in doubt, use of the forename is recommended.

Should the widowed lady remarry, she takes her style from her present husband.

By custom, when the present baronet is unmarried, the widow of the late baronet continues to call herself Lady ………, the same style as when her husband was living.

Should the present baronet marry, it is usual for the widow of the previous baronet to announce the style by which she wishes to be known, ie 'Dowager Lady Brown' or 'Mary, Lady Brown'.The widow of a Scottish baronet who uses his territorial designation should be so described, eg Dowager Lady Grant of Monymusk, or Mary, Lady Grant of Monymusk.

How to address the Widow of a Baronet

The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter

Dear Lady Brown

End of letter

Yours sincerely


Dowager Lady Brown (not The Dowager Lady Brown, which would imply the lady is a peeress), or Mary, Lady Brown

Verbal communication

Lady Brown (or Mary, Lady Brown, if distinction is necessary, or on introduction)


Dowager Lady Brown, or Mary, Lady Brown

Description in conversation

Dowager Lady Brown, or Mary, Lady Brown

List of Directors or Patrons

Dowager Lady Brown or Lady (Mary) Brown if required for purposes of identification

Place card

Dowager Lady Brown, or Mary, Lady Brown

Legal document

Dame Mary Joan Brown, or Mary Joan Lady Brown

Former Wife of a Baronet

She is addressed as the widow of a baronet prefixed by her forename (ie Jane, Lady White), provided that she does not remarry.





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