History of the Style “Majesty.”

European Royal History

Majesty (abbreviated HM for His Majesty or Her Majesty, oral address Your Majesty; from the Latin maiestas, meaning “greatness”) is used as a manner of address by many monarchs, usually kings or queens.

Majesty is not a title but a formal term of address.

Where used, the style outranks the style of (Imperial/Royal) Highness, but is inferior to the style of Imperial Majesty. It has cognates in many other languages, especially of Europe.

Origin

Originally, during the Roman republic, the word maiestas was the legal term for the supreme status and dignity of the state, to be respected above everything else. This was crucially defined by the existence of a specific case, called laesa maiestas (in later French and English law, lèse-majesté), consisting of the violation of this supreme status.

Various acts such as celebrating a party on a day of public mourning, contempt of the various rites of the…

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