Blackstone says that Henry IV., being related or allied to
every earl in the kingdom, artfully and constantly acknowledged the
connection in all public acts. The usage has descended to his
successors, though the reason has long ago failed. (Commentaries,
All peers above the rank of baron are officially addressed by
the Crown as cousin. A viscount or earl is “Our
right trusty and well-beloved cousin.”
A marquis is “Our right trusty and entirely-beloved cousin.”
A duke is “Our right trusty and right-entirely-beloved
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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