Ranks and Titles of the British Peerage
As the history of the English peerage can be traced back almost a thousand years, much detail has to be studied in order to understand the present aristocracy. It is found that one can be considered a peer only if his title is either one of the following ranks : duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron. When one becomes a peer, he is probably entitled to sit in the House of Lords. Especially, all life peers can do so. In addition to life peers, the government may also ask the king or queen regnant to grant baronetcy or knighthood to honour certain people who are well-known to the public or who have made outstanding contributions to the country; therefore, some use the title 'Sir' before their names. However, such persons are not considered peers of the realm.
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