The Lords and Ladies of history have long captured the imagination of people from all walks of life, in countries all around the world.
Noble living, lavish lifestyles, social esteem, and a rich heritage – these are all the hallmarks of the aristocrats of the ages, and the noble Lords and Ladies are one of the most ancient aristocratic ranks.
It’s little wonder that many people across the globe are curious about joining the esteemed noble hierarchy known as the aristocracy. And since the titles of Lord and Lady are two of the most well-known and popular noble titles, it’s easy to see why many people are interested in becoming a Lady or a Lord.
How To Become A Lady
In some countries, those that still have an official system of nobility, there are still a few traditional routes to becoming a genuine noble Lord or Lady.
For example, in England, there are still formal titles such as Lord and Lady, and it’s possible to acquire one of these, either through marriage, inheritance, political appointment or as a title of recognition from the king or queen.
It’s also possible for a woman from anywhere in the world to become a Lady by marrying an English Lord. The tradition within the nobility is for a woman to adopt the female equivalent of her husband’s noble title. Since the email equivalent of a Lord is a Lady, marrying a genuine noble Lord would usually entitle the wife to be known as a genuine noble Lady.
This would apply regardless of the nationality of the Lord’s new wife. Even though America has no monarchy or aristocracy of its own, if an American woman were to marry a Lord in another country, she would be able to adopt the noble rank and style herself as a Lady.
The Noble Lady From New York City
Perhaps the most famous example of an American woman becoming a legitimate English Lady is that of Jennie Jerome, the mother of Sir Winston Churchill, the iconic Prime Minister of England during the Second World War.
Jennie Jerome was born in New York City, and went on to marry Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874. Lord Churchill was a prominent English statesman. As the son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, he came from a historic and highly respected noble family that could claim a wealth of historic links to the kings and queens of England.
With her marriage to this notable and influential English Lord, Jennie Jerome became Lady Randolph Churchill. (It’s customary within many systems of nobility for the female to take the name of her husband in her formal styling and address.)
Million Dollar Princesses
Lady Churchill was one of a whole host of American women who sought strategic marriages within the noble families of Europe, as a way to enhance their social standing and influence within their stateside communities.
Known as the Million Dollar Princesses, many young American brides crossed the Atlantic to begin new lives as part of the aristocratic societies they married into.
This trend peaked around the turn of the 20th century, when more modern ideals and principles began to regard strategic marriages as outdated and unfair.
While it may no longer be an established practice or an openly-conducted arrangement, it’s still possible for women born in America to become a Lady, duchess, or even a princess, by marrying a man with the relevant title.
Is It Possible To Become A Lady In America?
As history shows, it’s possible for American women to acquire the noble title of Lady by marrying abroad. But is it possible to become a Lady in America?
With the current political and social structures within the United States, it’s not possible for American-born women to acquire the American equivalent of a noble title such as Lady, simply because America has no system of nobility or aristocracy.
The modern social structure of the United States is based on democracy, i.e. the power of governance is held by the people, rather than a monarchy or group of titled aristocrats.
As such, America has no formal system of social hierarchy. There are no official American titles of aristocracy such as Lords and Ladies, or Dukes and Duchesses.
Though American citizens can, and do, acquire such titles from other countries, there are no American versions of these noble ranks.
However, it is still possible for American women to become genuine noble Ladies – even without an obliging noble Lord offering marriage – and that’s by purchasing an aristocratic title of their own.
This approach may be much more suited to the principles and sensibilities of modern American women, who can take their fate into their own hands and simply buy the title of Lady. This would allow them to officially join the ranks of the various historic systems of aristocracy around the world.
While this route is not all that well known in modern culture, it’s actually an age-old practice that the nobles of the ages would be familiar with. The more historic examples would largely be the occasions whereby rich men would purchase a noble title in a bid to elevate their political influence or their family’s social standing.
Yet in the more egalitarian times of the 21st century, it’s certainly possible for American women to take control of their social rank and buy noble titles in their own right, without needing to rely on a husband’s rank or status to determine their place in society.
In a sense, the American Way does not require the traditional heritage or family background that many social systems have valued so highly over the centuries. This modern democracy prides itself on the equality of its citizens, liberating the rise to fame and fortune for anyone, regardless of lineage or family name.
Yet the American Way is also steeped in the spirit of the go-getter, those who carve out their own path and use their resources to create a better life for themselves and their families. So, it’s perhaps fitting that a commercial option is a viable route for American women to access and acquire the enduring appeal of the noble Lords and Ladies of the ages.