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Posts Tagged ‘How to Address International Officials & Nobility’

May I please ask how I should address a princess of Poland?
     — CarolineDear Caroline,
I only cover official forms of address. Since the monarchy & ranks of nobility in Poland were officially abolished, there are no longer official forms of address for those who held Polish noble titles. In contrast, a British Duke receives the courtesies of his rank (precedence and forms of address are courtesies of rank). But a duke of Poland is now, formally, a private citizen — and has no official precedence or official form of address.
But all that said, for a person whose ancestors held a noble title, the title is a issue of great personal pride and family honor. To find out the form of address he or she prefers in social situations, you need to do a bit a research. E.g., Princes of principalities are His/Her Serene Highness. So that might be her preference. Or, she might consider herself a member of a king/queen’s royal family and want to be addressed as His/Her Royal Highness.  I heard of a Polish princess who wanted to be addressed as Her Imperial Highness which didn’t make much sense to me, but who would I be to argue? Some of the Italian princes and princesses want to be socially addressed directly as Prince/Princess (Name). This is not how one would address a British Prince … but it must work for the Italians.
— Robert Hickey
 http://www.formsofaddress.info/faq.html
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How to I address an invitation to the Prime Minister of Canada and his wife Laureen Harper??
— Sarah

Dear Sarah:
    In this case since his wife uses the same last name it would be:
 The Right Honorable Stephen Harper
and Mrs. Harper
Address

The inside envelope would be
        Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper
I have a full chapter in my book on Canadian forms of address should this sort of question come up often. I have all the forms of address for the Prime Minister of Canada on page 301.
                – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I am sending A wedding invitation to the mayor of my town (I live in Canada). His name is Mark Garrett. How to I write his name on the envelope?
— Sarah

Dear Sarah:
        I have a chapter in my book just on Canadian officials which starts on page 295. Canadian mayors are addressed in the style of their British counterparts. There are two forms and now knowing which is one used in your community I will give you both:
        The Right Worshipful the Mayor of (city/town)
Mark Garrett
Address

or
        The Worshipful Mayor of (city/town)
Mark Garrett
Address

Do include his name as noted. Invitations are directed to a person, not to just an office, since presumably invitations are social (or at least have a social appearance).
Inside envelope would be:
Mayor Garrett
                 – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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As the holder of the French title “Comte”, I would disagree with your statement that, under the Fifth Republic, noble titles are no longer recognized officially by the State. Under a law dating from 1852, the Second Republic agreed to officially recognize all titles bestowed by the former Monarchy. This has not been revoked, and, contrary to what most Frenchmen believe, hereditary noble titles have not been abolished.
You are quite right to say that noblemen are no longer officially addressed by their title but it can still appear on their passport, after the names, as ” dit/e” or AKA,” Le comte de…”. I have a British passport, and though my title does not appear in front of my names, it is clearly stated in the Information Section, above the names; “Holder is Count C— V— R—-“. Just to put the record straight!
             — CVR

Dear CVR,
I don’t mean to diminish your family’s history.
My book is used by official organizations when communicating with one another. Thus everything I write about (and teach at The Protocol School of Washington®) is on formal forms of address — suitable for use with officials in official situations.
   For example: On the French government’s precedence list there are no members of nobility listed who have official precedence at official French events due to their noble title. But in Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates … members of the nobility have precedence at official events due to their personal rank.
Thus when an official issues an invitation to an official event, it is addressed to a person in a manner that reflects their role at the event. Thus the US Secretary of State would not officially address a former king as Your Majesty even though others might choose to do so.
On a passport, governments will put on them whatever you submit. So havingcount on your British Passport does not mean the government will defend your precedence based solely on your noble title.
You are referring to social use …. and in the social context I definitely agree with you.  Socially each of us can decide how we are addressed.
      — Robert Hickey

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A question from a faculty member at our institution.  He will be introducing the Sheriff of the City of London in the near future and we were wondering what was the proper form of address for this title.
   — Edward Craig @ Dot EDU

Dear EC @ Dot EDU:
In the City of London there are two sheriffs elected every year. [It’s a completely ceremonial office … unlike a High Sheriff of an English, Welsh, and Northern Irish county which is a functional office.]
 If the sheriff is simultaneously an alderman of the City of London … which is frequently the case …. both would also be included in an introduction:
  Mr./Ms./Mrs. Alderman and Sheriff (Full Name), member of … and Sheriff of …
In direct oral address he/she can be addressed as:
  Mr./Ms./Mrs. Alderman and Sheriff (Surname)
In extended conversation it could be shortened to:
  Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Surname)

    If the sheriff is not an alderman
In an introduction he/she could introduced as:
  Mr./Madame Sheriff (Full Name), Sheriff of the City of London
In direct oral address he/she can be addressed as:
   Mr./Madame Sheriff (Surname)
or:
   Mr./Madame Sheriff

A note regarding British visitors: if they hold an honor, e.g. OBE, in an introduction one would ‘say’ what the initials mean — not say the letters. In the case your distinguished guest is an OBE, you would say that he or she is an:
   Officer of the Order of the British Empire

       – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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How do I add my noble title Baron to my name when I am writing my signature in the English language?  I live in Sweden, but our family’s noble rank was presented 1638 in Hungary in the 300-year war holding back the Ottomans from Europe. Now as the head of our family I have to be able to communicate properly as the Baron.
   — Borg Lizska

Dear Borg Lizska:
The answer is: one does not include the title as a part of your signature.
Others address you in a manner that note your noble rank (I cover all those traditional forms of address in my book), but when one writes one’s name — one gives oneself neither a title nor an honorific.
E.G.: The King of Sweden signs his name Carl XVI Gustaf. The Queen of the United Kingdom signs her name Elizabeth II.  
Certainly their stationery has their full name printed on it. — or their title and full name would appear elsewhere on the document — and we hope the person seeing the signature knows whose signature it is.
So …. have stationery printed with your title and simply sign your name.
        – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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What do I do when a person has two titles? Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was a Nobel laureate in 1991 and continues to lead the National League for Democracy as General Secretary.
Is this acceptable and appropriate form of address?
Envelope:
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Nobel Laureate and General Secretary
National League for Democracy
97-B, West Shwegonedine Road
Bahan Township, Yangon
Myanmar
 Salutation:
Dear Madam General Secretary and Nobel Laureate:
 Complimentary Close:
Respectfully yours:

— Mae

Dear Mae:
One does not address a Nobel laureate as such. The prize could be included in a bio or introduction — but it is not used as an honorific. Honorees get neither a courtesy title nor post-nominal abbreviation.
Regarding the envelope: a name on an envelope is not a resume/cirriculum vitae. If you are writing in care of the National League for Democracy it’s not even necessary to list her position on the envelope, but including it is not wrong of course  When the letter gets to the league they will know how to get the letter to their general secretary. So for your question, here’s the best form:
Envelope:
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
General Secretary
National League for Democracy
97-B, West Shwegonedine Road
Bahan Township, Yangon
Myanmar
Salutation:
Dear Madam General Secretary:
  or  Dear General Secretary:
Complimentary Close:
Respectfully yours:

         – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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