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I am completing a research paper on King Olaf II of Norway. How would I use this monarch's name as a possessive noun?

  • Example sentence:

Olaf II's succession to the throne...

Is it correct to say Olaf II's or is there a better way to denote this?

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Yes, that is correct, from both my experience and what I can find in encyclopaedias.

For example, from Britannica's entry for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain:

Scenes from Queen Elizabeth II’s youth, United Kingdom, 1930s and ’40s.

Or from the entry on Charles I

Charles, accompanied by the duke of Buckingham, King James I’s favourite...

Similarly, on the Wikipedia page for Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor:

Arguably the liveliest cultural innovation in the 13th century was Mediterranean, centered on Frederick II's polyglot court...

(The above is actually a quote from a 2012 book on history.)

Frederick II's troops paid with leather coins...

The only benefit from Innocent III's guardianship...

It also agrees with how would would the possessive of a regnal name in speech.

  • Thank you! That's what I thought! I would give you a +1 if I had enough reputation to do so! – Eragon20 Mar 25 '17 at 20:19
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    No problem. FYI, I believe the same applies to epithets, like "Charles the Bald's" or "Peter the Great's" — in case you were wondering... – Noldorin Mar 25 '17 at 20:21
  • Great. Good to know. – Eragon20 Mar 25 '17 at 20:22
  • What Noldorin has written is correct. However, the succession of sibilants in close proximity in “Olaf II's succession" might seem distasteful to some, in which case one could speak instead of “the succession of Olaf II." – Animadversor Mar 25 '17 at 23:18
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    Yes, the "of" form is quite acceptable in all these cases. It's a matter of taste, largely. – Noldorin Mar 26 '17 at 2:29

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