Wife of a Knight

The wife of a knight is known as 'Lady', followed by her surname, and she is addressed as for the wife of a baronet.  The old-fashioned style of 'Dame', followed by forename and surname, eg Dame Edith Waverton, is no longer in general use, but is retained for legal documents.

If there is possible confusion between two ladies of the same surname it is permissible in correspondence for the lady's forename to be inserted in brackets between title and surname.  This form is often used in publications and in newspaper announcements.

A knight's wife should never be addressed as 'Lady Edith Waverton' (ie with the inclusion of her forename) unless she is the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl.

If a knight's wife bears the courtesy title of 'The Hon', this style precedes 'Lady Smith', eg The Hon Lady Shepherd.

The wife of a Church of England clergyman who receives a knighthood, but is not eligible to receive the accolade, continues to be addressed as, for example, ‘Mrs John Shepherd’, but she has the precedence of a knight’s wife. The wife of an honorary knight is also addressed as ‘Mrs John Shepherd’.

How to address the Wife of a Knight

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

Beginning of letter

Dear Lady Brook

End of letter

Yours sincerely


Lady Brook

Verbal communication

Lady Brook

Invitation/Joint invitation*

Lady Brook/Sir John and Lady Brook

Description in conversation

Lady Brook

List of Directors or Patrons

Lady Brook or Lady (Mary) Brook if required for purposes of identification

Place card

Lady Brook or Lady (Mary) Brook if required for identification

Legal document

Dame Mary Joan Brook, or Mary Joan Lady Brook

*Note that, traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.

Widow and Former Wife of a Knight

She is addressed as the wife of a knight, provided that she does not remarry, when she will take her style from her present husband.




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