Widow of a Marquess

The widow of a marquess is officially known as The Dowager Marchioness of …….(unless there is already a dowager marchioness in that family still living in which case the  widow of the junior marquess is known by her forename e.g Kathleen, Marquess of Audley).

In practice, many widows prefer to use their forename in place of 'Dowager'. If in doubt, use of the forename is recommended.

How to address the Widow of a Marquess

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

Beginning of letter Dear Lady Audley
End of letter Yours sincerely
Envelope The Dowager (or Kathleen) Marchioness of Audley
Verbal communication Lady Audley
Invitation Lady Audley
Description in conversation The Marchioness of Audley
List of Directors or Patrons The Dowager (or Kathleen) Marchioness of Audley
Place card The Dowager (or Kathleen) Marchioness of Audley
Legal document The Most Honourable Kathleen Marchioness of Audley

If the present holder of the marquessate is unmarried, the widow of the previous marquess does not use the term of either The Dowager Marchioness of Audley, or Kathleen, Marchioness of Aberdeen, but continues to be known as The Marchioness of Audley.

Widow of a Marquess by Courtesy
The same rules apply to the widow, as to the wife, of a marquess by courtesy.


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