Terms of abasement

I was doing the Guardian crossword the other day in an idle moment (shameful, I know) and the answer to one of the clues was “Royal Highness”. It was only as I was writing the words that the full absurdity of it struck me. If some primitive tribe had such titles we would smile indulgently and congratulate ourselves on how enlightened we were in comparison. But if you want to appreciate the full absurdity of British sycophancy, just consider the converse of “Your Highness”: Your Lowness. Not my problem, fortunately — I’m an Irish citizen.