The main difference between royalty and nobility is that royalty refers to the royal family, whereas nobility refers to aristocrats.
Royalty and nobility are two terms that refer to the top tiers of a traditional society. Royalty refers to the king or queen and their family, whereas nobility is the social class that is just below royalty. Therefore, both these social classes are quite powerful and wealthy and have a direct impact on the governance of a monarchy.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Royalty
– Definition, Power and Privileges
2. What is Nobility
– Definition, Position, Ranks
3. What are the Similarities Between Royalty and Nobility
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Royalty and Nobility
– Comparison of Key Differences
Aristocrats, Nobility, Nobles, Royalty
What is Royalty
The word royalty refers to people of royal status or blood. Thus, this usually means the royal family – the immediate family of a king or queen, as well as their extended family. Royals have a claim to the throne.
The idea of royalty was very popular in the past as countries and regions were ruled by kings or queens. In the past, royalty was the most powerful group of people in a country. However, in the modern world, only a few countries have monarchs and royalty as various forms of governments have replaced the monarchy. The British royal family is perhaps most famous in the world.
A person can become royal, either through birth or marriage. For example, Prince William is a royalty since he was born into a royal family. His wife, on the other hand, is a royalty through marriage.
What is Nobility
Nobility refers to the highest class below royalty, generally involving people of noble birth holding hereditary titles and offices. Thus, it basically refers to aristocrats. Nobility typically enjoys more privileges and holds a higher social status than other classes in society.
Membership in the nobility is generally hereditary. Historically, membership in the nobility was granted by a monarch or government. Thus, nobles gain their titles, power and other privileges from royalty.
There are a variety of ranks and titles within the nobility. Duke, Duchess, Marquis, Marchioness, Earl, Countess, Baron and Baroness are some British hereditary titles. In traditional societies, nobles were very powerful and wealthy. Moreover, they had a direct influence on the country’s government; for example, the House of Lords.
Similarities Between Royalty and Nobility
- These two terms refer to the top tiers of a traditional society.
- Both traditionally consisted of wealthy, privileged, and powerful members.
Difference Between Royalty and Nobility
Royalty refers to the royal family, whereas nobility refers to aristocrats, the highest class below royalty.
Royalty includes the immediate family of the king or queen, and sometimes their extended family. Nobility, on the other hand, includes a variety of ranks and titles such as dukes, earls, marquis and count.
In the social hierarchy, royalty is at the top and nobility is just below royalty. In other words, royalty outranks nobility.
Heirs to the Throne
Royalty includes direct heirs to the thrones whereas nobility usually does not include direct heirs to the throne.
The main difference between royalty and nobility is that royalty refers to the royal family, whereas nobility refers to aristocrats. Moreover, in the social hierarchy, royalty is at the very top and nobility is just below royalty. Thus, royalty outranks nobility.
1. “Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand” By Photograph taken by Julian Calder for Governor-General of New Zealand – Commonwealth Day Message from Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Polish magnates 1697-1795” By Jan Matejko – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia