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Royal Highness is a style of address traditionally used to address or refer to members of the royal families. This address is usually for princes, other than monarchs, and their female consorts. This style ranks below that of Imperial Highness. Historically the term was first used by Gaston, Duke of Orléans, younger son of King Henry IV of France. He encountered this style in Brussels and used it himself. His children later used the style, considering it their right as grandchildren of France. In contradiction to other European kingdoms, the kingdom of Denmark reserves the superior style of Royal Highness only to the children of the monarch and the children of the crown prince; other grandchildren of a Danish monarch enjoy the style of Highness, e.g. Princess Elisabeth of Denmark.
Examples of modern usage
- His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Present day heir to the British throne.
- Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant First in line to the present day Belgian throne.
- Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias. The first in line to the modern day Spanish throne.
- His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Greece, Prince of Denmark, Duke of Sparta. The eldest son and heir of the pretender to the modern day Greek throne. Due to Greece being a Republic the title of HRH is not officially recognised but is used out of courtesy.
- Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers etc. (London: G. Bell [etc.], 1850), p. 217
- François Velde. "Royal Styles and the uses of "Highness"". http://www.heraldica.org/topics/royalty/highness.htm. Retrieved 6 February 2014.