By the Grace of God
(Latin Dei Gratia
, abbreviated D.G.
) is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch
taken to be ruling by divine right
, not a title in its own right.
For example, according to the "Royal Proclamation reciting the altered Style and Titles of the Crown" of May 29, 1953, Elizabeth II
's full title is "Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth
, Defender of the Faith
"; in the various other Commonwealth Realms
, variations are used, specifying the realm in question and varying some of the other elements of the title.
History and rationale
Originally, it had a literal meaning: the divine will was invoked—notably by Christian monarchs—as legitimation (the only one above every earthly power) for the Absolutist
authority the monarch attempted to maintain. This is also known as the divine right of kings
, that is, the endorsement of God
to the monarch's reign.
In the Behistun Inscription
high over the road connecting Babylon
, the capitals of Babylonia and Media, the Achaemenid
Persian King of Kings Darius I
the Great had inscribed, in the Old Persian
- "King Darius says: By the grace of Ahura Mazda am I king; Ahura Mazda has granted me the kingdom."
Then he had the ledge chipped away which supported the stonemasons, so passing travellers could read the... Read More