Re: Durchlaucht/Serene Highness in Danish (was Re: Denmark: Marriage between Prince Joachim and Miss Marie Cavallier)
- From: "Dag T. Hoelseth" <dhoel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 20:32:18 +0200
"François R. Velde" <velde@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> skrev i melding news:6tb444hqq59mq286j2isgno37jpcpir6l3@xxxxxxxxxx
In medio alt.talk.royalty aperuit "Dag T. Hoelseth" <dhoel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> os
suum:Is there really no Danish word equivalent to "serenity"?.
Well, if you look up an older English-Norwegian dictionary (Gyldendals
Engelsk-Norsk, 1958) (and there isn't that much difference between Danish
and Norwegian concerning titles - Højhed vs. Høyhet and so on), "serene" is
translated into "klar" (clear), "ren" (pure), "skyfri" (cloudless); "stille"
(quiet), "rolig" (calm), "koldblodig" ("coldblooded"!) and as a title before
German princely names "durchlauchtig", which really isn't a good
"Serenity" then is translated into "klarhet", "stillhet", "sinnsro" or
alternatively "høyhet" (highness). So you see, if we look away from the
old-fashioned "Durchlauchtighed", there is not a good Danish equivalent
which makes a difference between "Hoheit" (Highness) and "Durchlaucht".
Durchlaucht has nothing to do with serenity. Asking how "serenity" is
translated or how Venice was styled in Danish goes from Italian to Danish, the
question is about German to Danish. The style "serenissimus/sérénissime/most
serene" developed independently in southern Europe and at some point was equated
with the native German styles, which literally have to do with degrees of
illumination (the more appropriate translation of erlauchtig/durchlauchtig could
The style S.D. is used for the prince of Liechtenstein. How is he styled in
I believe I have already answered this question. I can not recall that the Prince of Liechtenstein has paid Denmark a visit in recent years, so I don't know how he was styled, but if the Danish royal court feels that there is not an (acceptable) equivalent to Durchlaucht concerning the styles for the Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his children, then I would be surprised if the court thought differently about the Prince of Liechtenstein. "Serene" certainly seems to equal "Durchlaucht", hence the older translation and usage "Durchlaucthighed" for "Serene Highness". My copy of the dictionary "Tysk blå ordbok. Tysk/norsk / norsk/tysk", Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget, 2002 (as said, there are not much difference between Danish and Norwegian in this context), translates "Durchlaucht" with "Høyhet", which just proves my point. One ignores the fact that in older days there was a difference in rank between Highness and Serene Highness/Durchlaucht. The same dictionary translates "Erlaucht" into "Høyvelbåren", which again causes problems for styling German nobles who are styled "Hochwohlgeborene" (like Countess Marie Kálnoky was before she married Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein, cf. the information I received from Schloss Vaduz), as far as I understand a lower rank than "Erlaucht". It is not meant to be easy...
Anyway, as told earlier the Norwegian Royal Court has recently decided to use the style "Fyrstelig Høyhet" for "Serene Highness" (used for the Prince of Monaco). I gather that the same style could be used for the Prince of Liechtenstein, but we will not know until he or other members of the family actually turnes up at a court event here. Last time the Prince of Liechtenstein attended a court event was the funeral of King Olav V in 1991...
Dag T. Hoelseth
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