Friday, December 23, 2005

A 'Lady' dilemma for Sir John

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According to an article published by News, Elton John's new legally recognized relationship with his partner David Furnish has created a new legal dilemma. Since Elton John has been knighted and is officially known as "Sir Elton John", his spouse, if a woman, should be known as "Lady Such and Such". A dilemma has sprung up: How does one properly (and legally) refer to David Furnish? According to the article:
Under the rigid formality of princes, dukes and earls, the spouse of a knight is a lady, putting the title before the 'husband's' surname. But in the new world of civil partnerships is Furnish now Lady John? The question was put to the authority on such matters, Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Considered the bible on titles and etiquette a Debrett's official had to consult with his specialists.
Debrett's has come back with a decision: No "Lady" title for David Furnish. Instead, David Furnish should be referred to as "Mr David Furnish":
"Even though they are married, people should still address him as Mr David Furnish," the official said. The spouse of a Lord also would be just Mister Debrett's has ruled. As for a Royal, "that would be up to the monarch to decide - the person would likely be made a baronet or given some other minor title."
The issue will be addressed in the next edition of Peerage and Baronetage. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,