Dame (title)

Dame (title)
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The title of Dame is the female equivalent of the honour of knighthood in the British honours system (The word 'damehood' is not used). It is also the equivalent form address to 'Sir' for a knight. A woman appointed to the grades of Dame Commander or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Order of St Michael and St George, Royal Victorian Order or the Order of the British Empire becomes a Dame. Because there is no female equivalent of a Knight Bachelor, women are always appointed to an order of chivalry. Women who are appointed to the Order of the Garter or Order of the Thistle are not given the title of "Dame" but "Lady".

The youngest person to be appointed a dame is Ellen MacArthur.[1] at the age of 28. The oldest was Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies when aged 100.[citation needed]

A number of high profile figures such as actress Vanessa Redgrave have declined the honour; see a List of people who have declined a British honour

Formerly, the wife of a knight was given the title of Dame before her name, but this usage was replaced by "Lady" during the 17th century.


  • "It [becoming a dame] means you've got to behave very well. That's very, very boring." Judi Dench [2]
  • "My street cred is gone." Helen Mirren on becoming a dame [3]

See also


  1. ^ London Gazette: no. 57557. p. 1713. 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  2. ^ http://www.djdchronology.com/iristribune.htm%7C
  3. ^ Dame Helen Mirren gets roles fit for a queen - TV dramas - MSNBC.com

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