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|
|Envelope||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)|
|Invitation||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.