The Royal Banner of Scotland, used as a personal flag of the monarchs of Scotland since the early 12th century
The Royal Banner of Scotland, used as a personal flag of the monarchs of Scotland since the early 12th century
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The style of the Scottish sovereign refers to the styles and forms of address used by Scottish royalty, specifically the monarchs of Scotland from the earliest times until the present, including monarchs from the Pictish period to the British period.

Earliest styles

See also:

Examples of the earliest styles are primarily found in sources originating from Ireland. For the earlier medieval period, Annals of Ulster (AU) and Annals of Tigernach (AT) derive from the Iona Chronicle, a chronicle kept in Scotland. The Annals of Innisfallen are not as reliable, and the forms given in that source, when in doubt, do not need to be trusted. Other sources used here are the Annals of Connacht (AC) and the Chronicon Scotorum (CS) The style almost always King's name, followed by patronymic, followed by title. The source of each style is given in brackets, followed by the year under which it follows (s.a. = sub anno); it is usually the year in which the king died. Until the eleventh century, there is no one fixed term for Scotland in Gaelic. Before tenth century, the kings the area now comprising modern Scotland are either "of Picts", "of Fortriu" or "of Alba", standardising after 900; but the rulers of Moray, not by historiographical tradition called "King", are called king in the sources; moreover, they are sometimes called "kings of Alba".

Traditional Pictish period

Traditional Scottish period

Medieval Charter styles

The Poppleton manuscript preserves a grant supposedly made by King Nechtan to the monastery of St. Brigid at Abernethy, c. early sixth century:

In the Scottish period, the charter styles vary at first, but later become more formulaic. Here are some examples from the early charter period. The Roman numeral which follows is the number given to the charter in Archibald C. Lawrie's Early Scottish Charters: Prior to A.D. 1153, (Glasgow, 1905):

From David I onwards, the royal style is either rex Scottorum or rex Scotiae.

From the late Middle Ages to the Acts of Union

In the late Middle Ages the styles rex Scottorum ('king of the Scots') and rex Scotiae ('king of Scotland') were used interchangeably. Similarly, the monarchs of England could be referred to as the "king of the English" as indeed Edward II of England was in the Declaration of Arbroath (1320). King of the Scots was used in "The Declaration of the Clergy in favour of Robert the Bruce" (1334), as it was in the charter by which Edward Balliol ceded the southern counties of Scotland to England. However, in many other documents King of Scotland was the preferred style, including "The Letter of the Magnates of Scotland to the King of France" (1308), "The Settlement of Succession on Robert the Bruce" (1315), the Treaty of Corbeuil (1326), the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton (1328), the Papal Bull authorising the anointing of Scottish Kings (1329) and the Treaty of Berwick (1357). This remained the case until the last three monarchs of Scotland, William II, Mary II and Anne, who became Queen of Great Britain following the Acts of Union 1707.

Your Grace

Main article: Grace (style)

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Scottish monarchs were addressed as "Your Grace" before the Acts of Union of 1707, when Scotland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain. From then on, British monarchs were addressed as "Your Majesty".


  1. ^ , Anderson, Kings, (1973), p. 249