A royal I won’t mention by name, recently said that styles should only be used on an envelope. Searching around on the Internet it seems you can also use styles as salutation in a letter or when addressing people orally. However how often do you see these styles also used in other places, such as official guestlists or seating cards? Quite often to be honest … and as many experts will agree, these guestlists are usually filled with mistakes in styles and titles.
Now I am the first person to admit that the use of styles and titles not really easy, but why not research a bit better when you really need to use styles or titles? Some years ago I attended an engagement of the then Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. One of the speakers had clearly not done his work well, and addressed her as “Royal Highness” instead of “Majesty”. And I am sure such things happen regularly when royals are visiting an official event. Not to speak of all the mistakes on websites of official organisations.
Royal courts not always make it easy either, especially not when various members of one family have different styles. In the Netherlands and Denmark for example part of the members of the family are Royal Highness, while others are just Highness … yes, that is a difference! Princess Märtha Louise of Norway lost the style of “Her Royal Highness” in 2002, and is styled “Her Highness” since, but only abroad. She doesn’t have a style in Norwegian. The same counts for her aunt Princess Astrid, and the son of the crown princely couple, Sverre Magnus. To make it more confusing, Sverre Magnus’ sister and future heir to the throne, Ingrid Alexandra, is styled “Her Royal Highness”, as are his parents Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.