When we think about the rich and famous travelling the world, it’s easy to imagine the luxury boats and planes, the chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces or Range Rovers, and the doting staff at every turn.
But even those in the highest echelons of society have to deal with the mundane logistics and tedious details of global travel – even VIPs need to do security checks.
And while those paparazzi photos of glamorous celebs being ushered through airports by their security staff may make the headlines, one aspect that many people are curious about is what names appear on VIP passports.
In particular, people often wonder about the details of royal travellers and those possessing aristocratic titles.
For example, does a Count or Baron have their title included in their travel documents? Do people with a knighthood use Sir in their official identity? And do royal titles appear on your passport?
Royal Titles on Passports
Perhaps one of the most famous royal travellers is the Queen of England. And while the precise regulations may differ in the various countries around the world, Queen Elizabeth II is the only British royal not required to present a passport as she travels the globe.
Though it’s unlikely the Queen’s presence or identity would be in any doubt as she arrived in her new destination, she is required to confirm her identity in alternative ways, but as the reigning monarch, she is not required to hold a passport.
This is because all British and Commonwealth passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, and so it makes sense that she would not issue one to herself.
All the other British royals are required to present a valid passport in their travels, however, and the precise details of their titles will vary, depending on their level of royal status.
For example, many of the highest-ranking royals will also have a legitimate claim to the HRH royal style, which stands for His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness.
While the passport details of high-ranking royals are not made public, it’s reasonable to assume that those who use their HRH style would include it in their formal identifications, such as a passport.
Other Royal Documents
On rare occasions when royal identification documents have been made visible to the public, they’ve shown that royals tend to include the full version of their formal title.
For example, on the Birth Certificate of Prince William, his father’s full formal title is His Royal Highness Prince Charles Phillip Arthur George Prince of Wales.
So, for those bearing the HRH standard, it seems to be common practice to include this additional detail in official documents and formal identification.
The above example also shows that some royals also include their royal title in both the full regional form (e.g. Prince of Wales) and their given name (e.g. Prince Charles).
It’s thought that many modern royals may simply use one of these. For example, Prince Harry famously chose to drop the HRH styling of his title in official usage, and so it’s likely that he will simply use the title of Prince in his passport, and not his previous full formal title of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales Duke of Sussex.
The official titles on royal passports can be quite a mouthful, so it’s unlikely that their passports are issued using the standard application form that the rest of the public have to use.
But for some of the middle-ranking royals and high-level aristocrats, those without a claim to the HRH standard (or a preference to not use it), there is still an opportunity to include the royal or noble title on their passports.
Adding Titles to Your Documents
In any passport application, or formal identification such as a driving license, there will be a small range of options for Title. These are usually the most common titles, such as Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms. But there is also usually an additional space to include alternative titles, this is usually marked ‘Title’ or ‘Other’.
While this option is likely designed to cater to the more common alternative titles, such as Reverend or Doctor etc, it can also be used if you have a royal or noble title.
So, if you have a legitimate claim to the title of Prince, whether you have inherited the title or purchased a genuine royal title from one of the few remaining princely estates that offer such rare privileges for sale, there’s usually an opportunity to use the title on your passport.
Bear in mind that, as official documents, passports are subject to a high level of verification and identity checks. So, if you do decide to use your royal or noble title on your passport, be prepared for additional administration and paperwork, as you’re likely to be required to provide evidence of your legitimate claim to the title.
If your title is inherited from your family, you should be able to obtain the relevant documents from your family’s lawyers or solicitors. And if you purchased your title from a reputable agency, they will undoubtedly have included in your package some kind of official deeds that qualify as legal proof.
Regardless of the origins of your title, it is usually possible to include a royal title on a passport, subject to the relevant checks in the country of origin.
However, not all countries recognise certain title styling. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge used alternative titles on legal documents during a French lawsuit as France doesn’t recognise their ‘of’ styling (ie Duke of Cambridge.).
In these instances, many royals use a variation that looks more like a modern surname, e.g. Prince William was reputed to use William Wales while at university.
So, when it comes to the styling of titles on official documents within royal and aristocratic circles, there are many variations. Some choose to use the lengthier formal versions, others opt for a shorter variation, and others may not use any royal reference at all.
When you purchase one of our royal titles it can usually be added to the passports of most countries – and we include full details in each package on how to achieve this. Many clients also add their titles in credit cards, chequebooks, driving licences, and other documents.
If you have a royal title that you would like to include in your passport details, you’ll need to check with your country of origin, but you may well be able to display it proudly on your travel documents. And you’d be in very good company if you do.