Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The Best-Dressed (Rich) Man In The Entire World

YOUR VISCOUNT: THIS IS WHAT BEST-DRESSED LOOKS LIKE IN ENGLANDSerious business: it's the Vanity Fair Men's Best Dressed List voting time! Will it be Viscount Linley, known to you as David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, the 1st Viscount of Snowdon, not to be confused with craggy-hot Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon? Or Ogden Phipps II, known to you as horse-loving Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps? The odious Cody Franchetti? Or some other descendant of the hideous elitist blood-stained riders of the working class? We're voting Daniel Craig and also equity fund manager Ivan de la Fressange, solely because his name sounds like some fun lesbian act.

17 Comments / Post A Comment

My money's on Becks.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Sir, is that a dickey, or is your hyphen just chilly?

brad (#1,678)

"we were engaged in a most frantic fressange when the goat fell ill."

cinetrix (#47)

Fressange: Frottage with an extra frisson? Performed with sangfroid?

brad (#1,678)

when i read our posts, i do so with an english accent.

And also because Ines de la Fressange was kind of super?

"Dinny" Phipps is the father of the Ogden Phipps on this list.

jfruh (#713)

God, I hate that I know this, but: David Armstrong-Jones isn't the "1st" Viscount Snowdon (note no "of") there. His actual title is Viscount Linley, but he isn't the "first" of that either; technically, his father, the Earl of Snowdon is.

The way the bizarre titles of British peers works is this: if you are one of the higher-level nobles, with a rank like Earl, you inevitably have a collection of titles with lower ranks. Generally speaking you only use the most important rank for yourself in all but the most formal occasions on which all your titles would be read out. But if you have an heir apparent (generally an oldest son) who will inherit all of your titles when you die, he is allowed to use one of your lesser titles socially; this usage is called a "courtesy title," as opposed to the "substantitve title" that the father holds.

Historically, these titles would generally have accumulated over several generations, and your family would have started at the bottom: thus, Mr. Joe Smith might have really shown his worth to the king and been created Baron Smith; his grandson, firmly ensconsed in the aristocracy, would be the 3rd Baron Smith, and might, if he showed smashing bravery in a colonial war, have gotten created Viscount Lingleberry. He'd thus be the 1st Viscount Lingleberry and the 3rd Baron Smith, simultaneously, but his son would get to call himself "Baron Smith" socially, so he could feel like a big man.

But nowadays on the extremely rare occasion that anyone is given a peerage, they're generally given these lower, or "subsidiary" titles at the same time. Antony Armstrong-Jones was a commonor but was created the first Earl of Snowdon and the first Viscount Linley so that he would have a suitable title for marrying the Queen's sister and their children would inherit it, back in the 1950s when people cared about that sort of thing. (They no longer really do: Princess Anne's husband received no peerage, and thus her children don't have any high-falutin' titles, despite the fact that they will be a royal niece and nephew someday.)

garge (#736)



Sorry, but there's only one title worth knowing about: The Hon. Nat Rothschild.

jfruh (#713)


ejcsanfran (#489)

So, does this mean that Luke Skywalker actually became Darth Vader upon the death of this father? And would Luke have been 2nd Viscount of Hoth or something like that while his dad was alive?

garge (#736)

Is this where I can admit that I long to be a Countess?

HiredGoons (#603)

I must admit I'm turned on jfruh.

Annie K. (#3,563)

But jfruh, how do you happen to know all that? assuming that telling us wouldn't reveal your own royal blood.

I'll admit that I at first resisted reading that (tl;dr yes, yes) because I was sure it would prove imponderable. But you actually explained it really well & clearly!
And I am definitely also totally impressed.

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