I've seen phrases like "Physician-in-ordinary to the Queen". "Oculist-in-ordinary to the Queen", what does mean? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physician_to_the_Queen

  • Presumably the opposite of Physician Extraordinary to the Queen. (I’ve never heard either title before, incidentally, and “in ordinary” sounds strange and not immediately understandable to me either.) Dec 8 '18 at 22:32
  • a quick check of the dictionary = definition!
    – lbf
    Dec 8 '18 at 22:34
  • @lbf - 2(especially of a judge or bishop) exercising authority by virtue of office and not by deputation. Dec 8 '18 at 22:39
  • 2
    Some misleading and low-quality comments here. Dec 9 '18 at 0:37
  • @SvenYargs: But better than an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.     :-)    ⁠
    – Scott
    Dec 9 '18 at 4:07

This is covered by a different Wikipedia article:

In relation particularly to the staff of the British Royal Household, and more generally to those employed by the Crown, ["in ordinary"] is used as a suffix showing that the appointment is to the regular staff, for example a priest or chaplain-in-ordinary, or a physician-in-ordinary, being a cleric or doctor in regular attendance.

In other words, this physician is just a regular employee of the monarch. The title's (literally) baroque wording is a result of the jumble of traditions and protocols surrounding the British monarchy. It's not something that would be used anywhere else, for example the ship's doctor on a cruise ship is unlikely to have "in ordinary" in his or her title.


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