In a book I helped proofread, the author capitalizes the definite article sometimes in titles of nobility. For example (slightly anonymized):

“I am The Lady Jane Doe, daughter of the The Duke of Utopia.”

A comment to this answer to the question Capitalising the definite article in names points to https://royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen, where this is used, for example:

… the example and continuity provided by The Queen is not only very rare among leaders …

For works using this writing style, is there any standard guide to when the article is capitalized?

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    Note that it's "The New York Times" newspaper and "The New Yorker" magazine (and there are likely a few British publications that have affected this style). In these cases "The" is considered a part of the formal title, and hence capitalized. – Hot Licks Feb 18 at 3:21

If you Google "the queen" and go to the results under "news" you'll see that most - including this, from the upmarket and monarchist Daily Telegraph - call her "the Queen".

Similarly, Googling "the duke of edinburgh", there are countless examples of TV stations and newspapers referring to him as "the Duke of Edinburgh".

Perhaps more importantly, the character in question wouldn't say "I am THE Lady Jane Doe". She would say, "I am Lady Jane Doe". She WOULD refer to her father as "the Duke of Utopia", because that is his title, not his name.

If the author really wants to say it I would recommend you leave "the" in lower case, despite what it says at that link.

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  • Not helpful. I know this is an unusual style, but it’s one with real use and I’m not the one choosing it. – J. C. Salomon Jan 15 at 18:11
  • She might say "I am the lady Jane Doe", meaning: I am a lady. Which one? The lady Jane Doe. But the meaning would be different. – DJClayworth Jan 19 at 3:48

Your question was about 'Capitalizing “The” in styles of nobility'. I answered by showing that in the press and on TV news sites, in the UK at least, it was normally uncapitalized. Those newspaper and TV companies publish style guides for their staff. The articles I directed you to were written by journalists complying consistently with those guides: using 'the', not 'The'.

The website you linked to, where "The Queen" is given a capital T, was no doubt written by some entitled - or even titled - young things, offspring of the gentry. Like members of the royal family these people are not expected to be very bright or highly literate.

You asked, "For works using this writing style, is there any standard guide to when the article is capitalized?" But what IS this writing style? You say it is unusual. You say it is one with real use. (I'm not sure what that bit means.) Would you characterize that style as 'inauthentic Olde Worlde English'? If so perhaps John Irving's 'Jitterbug Perfume':

"The Christians doth be everywhere.”
"If Pan be alloweth to die..."

would be useful.

Several of those style guides are accessible online. As I said, they show the correct use of capitals. Guides showing how to write badly are thin on the ground.

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