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Titles of some 19th-century divine-right monarchs

European monarchs were happy to collect titles but reluctant to give them up, so that many titles referred to territories no longer ruled by the monarch in question. Honourifics get added promptly, but shed belatedly. The Pope is the only one of the three to have kept his throne and his titles, only shedding one of them recently for strategic purposes.

Titles of the Pope

1. Bishop of Rome
2. Vicar of Christ
3. Successor of the Prince of the Apostles
4. Supreme Pontiff (pontifex maximus)* of the Universal Church
5. Primate of Italy
6. Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province
7. Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City
8. Servant of the Servants of God

According to Catholic sources “Patriarch of the West” was dropped in 2006, “evidently hoping to eliminate one possible obstacle to ecumenical progress with the Orthodox world”. Another theory, propounded by a Church of England priest,  is that he found it “too parochial, too implicitly restrictive. Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church [#4] is altogether more agreeable to him.” Whatever the reason, dropping the title of “Patriarch” meant renaming the "Patriarchal Basilicas", which have become “Papal Basilicas”. These are the four churches in Rome which are visited during Jubilee years to get an indulgence.) 

* Pontifex maximus means “Supreme Bridgemaker” and was the title of the Roman chief priest who formed the bridge between gods and men. He lived near the dormitory of the Vestal Virgins who guarded the sacred fire and was their protector. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title. 

Sources: “Benedict XVI drops a traditional papal title”, Catholic World News, 2 March 2006.
George Pitcher, “It's time for Dr Rowan Williams to square up to a rampant Rome”, Telegraph, 16 November 2009.  


Titles of Czar Alexander II (reigned 1855-1881)

The Czar's Titles — “It is perhaps the longest string of territorial appellations that was ever given to a mortal. [...] An Archdeacon read it at the coronation. The Emperor found himself styled, saluted and prayed for under 66 different titles. [...] He was hailed as the Ruler of all the countries of the North, as hereditary Lord and Sovereign of the Circassian and Mountain Princes and others and as the Heir of Norway. Every conquest of Russia was carefully enrolled. [...] He was proclaimed Czar of Poland, Czar of the Tauric Khersonese, and Czar of Georgia. He was described as Lord of the districts of Armenia, and Lord of Turkistan. This last is the newest of the imperial designations, and commemorates the completion of a conquest the final touches to which have been added in the Czar's own unambitious reign.”

[This is a report on the list read out at the coronation of his successor, Alexander III whose reign began on 13 March 1881 when his father, Alexander II, was assassinated.]

Source: “The Saturday Review”, New York Times, 24 June 1883.


Titles of Franz Joseph I (reigned 1848-1916)

By the Grace of God, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, King of Lombardy-Venetia, of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria; King of Jerusalem etc., Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and of the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz, Zator and Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Zara (Zadar); Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent (Trento) and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, etc.; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro (Kotor), and in the Windic march; Grand Voivode of the Voivodship of Serbia etc.

Source: “Franz Joseph I of Austria”, Wikipedia.

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