If Matthew had become Earl, what would his mother, Isobel, be? Im thinking both her and Cora cannot both be a Dowerger Countess.
She can't be a Dowager Countess because she was never a Countess to begin with. If Matthew had inherited before she married Lord Merton, she'd be Mrs. Crawley until she married him. Then she'd be Lady Merton.
Actually, he's a Marquess. Edith is the Marchioness.
Actually, Isobel COULD have become Countess. Technically. She can never have the title, but she could have petitioned the King (or Queen if Matthew succeeded when Elizabeth II was in the throne!) for the precedence of a widow of a marquess. I.e. She would have come ahead of everyone.
Dear, dear Harry, you are so wrong (as the other thread pointed out). If you are so sure can you give me a real life example of this happening? The actual woman in question and the title she gained? The closest examples I can think of were the siblings of a new holder of a title who inherited from a more distant family member being allowed to take up the courtesy titles as younger siblings/sisters of the new holder of the title. But such a tradition was never exended to the surviving mother.
Isobel would remain Mrs Crawley while her son became Earl of Grantham, just as was the case with Mrs Pelham and Bertie Hexham. As it is, she became Lady Merton upon marrying Lord Merton.
What do you think?