Widow of a Viscount

The widow of an viscount is officially known as The Dowager Viscountess  …….(unless there is already a dowager viscountess in that family still living in which case the  widow of the junior countess is known by her forename eg Lisa, Viscountess  …………) .

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 Viscount

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

Beginning of letter Dear LadyTilneyd
End of letter Yours sincerely
Envelope The Dowager (or Lisa) Viscountess Tilney
Verbal communication Lady Tilney
Invitation The Dowager (or Lisa) Lady Tilney
Description in conversation Lady Tilney
List of Directors or Patrons The Dowager (or Lisa) Lady Tilney
Place card The Dowager (or Lisa) Lady Tilney
Legal document The Right Honourable Lisa Viscountess Tilney

If the present holder of the viscountcy is unmarried, the widow of the previous viscount does not use the term of either The Dowager Viscountess Tilney, or Lisa, Viscountess Tilney, but continues to be known as The Viscountess Tilney.

Widow of a Viscount by Courtesy
The same rules apply to the widow as to the wife of a viscount by courtesy. 

If, after her husband's death, the title has passed to her late husband's brother (or other relation) she would prefix her title with her forename. If the title has passed to her son or stepson, she would prefix the title with her forename when he marries.


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