Official or legally recognized title for a person or entity
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A styleof office or form/manner of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address for a person or other entity (such as a government or company), and may often be used in conjunction with a personal title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religiousfigures also have styles.
Traditional forms of address at German-speaking universities:
His/Her Magnificence – rector (president) of a university
His/Her Notability (Seine Spektabilität; Professors have the privilege to use the Latin Spectabilis) – dean of a faculty
Traditional forms of address at Dutch-speaking universities:
His/Her Great Honour (Edelgrootachtbare heer/vrouwe) – rector magnificus (president) of a university
Highly Learned Sir/Madam (Hooggeleerde heer/vrouwe) – professor or dean of a faculty
Well (Noble) Very Learned Sir/Madam (Weledelzeergeleerde heer/vrouwe) – a doctor
Well (Noble) Learned Sir/Madam (De weledelgeleerde heer/vrouwe) – a doctorandus
Well (Noble) Strictly Sir/Madam (De weledelgestrenge heer/vrouwe) – a master in laws (meester in de rechten) or a university engineer (ingenieur)
Traditional forms of address at Italian-speaking universities:
Magnificent Rector (magnifico rettore) – rector (president, chancellor) of a university
Amplified Headmaster (amplissimo preside) – dean of a faculty (now uncommon)
Illustrious/Enlightened Professor (chiarissimo professore)– a full professor
His Most Reverend Excellency (abbreviation His Most Rev. Ex., oral address Your Excellency) – apostolic nuncios, because their rank is equal to that of an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, and they are simultaneously higher prelates.
The Honourable Mr./Ms. Justice X (abbreviation X J, referential His Lordship/Her Ladyship; oral address My Lord/Lady or Your Lordship/Your Ladyship) – Judges of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
His/Her Imperial Majesty, (abbreviation HIM, oral address Your Imperial Majesty) – Emperors and empresses. Formerly, for example, HIM the Shah of Iran. In modern times, the Emperor of Japan more often uses the simpler style of "Majesty".
His/Her Apostolic Majesty (abbreviation HAM, oral address Your Apostolic Majesty) – the King of Hungary, usually styled Imperial Majesty or Imperial and Royal Majesty as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, also sometimes Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty.
His/Her Highness (abbreviation HH, oral address, Your Highness) – some monarchs, i.e., emirs, some sultans, the Aga Khan; formerly reigning dukes, some maharajahs and rajahs and the members of their dynasties; cadets of most former grand ducal houses; male-line grandchildren and remoter male-line descendants of some kingly dynasties (i.e., Denmark and formerly Brazil, Italy, Japan, UK, Yugoslavia); Belgium's House of Ligne; members of France's former Foreign Princely class, members of cadet branches of the House of Saud.
His/Her Serene Highness (abbreviation HSH, oral address Your Serene Highness) – German: Seine/Ihre Durchlaucht; Italian: Sua Altezza Serenissima; Russian: Ваша светлость. Sovereigns of a principality (i.e., Liechtenstein, Monaco); members of formerly reigning princely families (Lippe, Schaumburg-Lippe, Waldeck and Pyrmont and Schwarzburg); members of mediatized families headed by a Fürst ("prince"); members of several formerly noble, princely families of Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary and Poland; and a few formerly noble families granted the princely title in Imperial Russia (the style is more literally translated "His/Her Serenity").
Don (Spanish: [don], Italian: [dɔn], Portuguese: Dom[dõ]), from the Latin word dominus (roughly, "Lord"), is an honorific title used in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Iberoamerica and the Philippines. The female equivalent is doña (Spanish: [ˈdoɲa]), donna (Italian: [ˈdɔnna]), and dona (Portuguese: [ˈdonɐ]), abbreviated as "Dª" or simply "D." Although originally a title reserved for royalty, select nobles, and church hierarchs, it is now often used as a mark of esteem for a person of personal, social or official distinction, such as a community leader of long standing, a person of significant wealth, or a noble, but it may also be used ironically. As a style, rather than a title or rank, it is used with, and not instead of, a person's name.
In Portugal and Brazil, Dom (pronounced [ˈdõ]) is used for certain hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church and for laymen who belong to the royal and imperial families (for example, the House of Aviz in Portugal and the House of Braganza in Portugal and Brazil). It was also accorded to members of families of the titled Portuguese nobility. Unless ennobling letters patent specifically authorised its use, Dom was not attributed to members of Portugal's untitled nobility. Since hereditary titles in Portugal descended according to primogeniture, the right to the style of Dom was the only apparent distinction between cadets of titled families and members of untitled noble families.
Most High, Mighty, and Illustrious Prince – for royal dukes, oral address Your Royal Highness.
Amīr al-Mu'minīn (Arabic: أمير المؤمنين), usually translated Commander of the Faithful or Leader of the Faithful, is the Arabic style of some Caliphs and other independent sovereign Muslim rulers that claim legitimacy from a community of Muslims. It has been claimed as the title of rulers in Muslim countries and empires and is still used for some Muslim leaders. The use of the title does not necessarily signify a claim to caliphate as it is usually taken to be, but described a certain form of activist leadership which may have been attached to a caliph but also could signify a level of authority beneath that. The Ottoman sultans, in particular, made scant use of it. Moreover, the term was used by men who made no claim to be caliphs. Currently used by the Caliph of ISISAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the King of Morocco, the Sultan of Sokoto, and the supreme leaders of the Afghan Taliban.
Kabiyesi (variously translated as His or Her Royal Majesty, His or Her Royal Highness or His or Her Highness, lit. The One whose words are beyond question) – Used by the Obas of Yorubaland, other aboriginal Yoruba high chiefs of royal background, and their counterparts in the tribe's diaspora communities.
Styles and titles of deposed monarchs
General tradition indicates that monarchs who have ceased to reign but not renounced their hereditary titles, retain the use of their style and title for the duration of their lifetimes, but both die with them. Hence Greece's deposed king is often still styled His Majesty King Constantine II, as a personal title, not as occupant of a constitutional office, since the abolition of the monarchy by the Hellenic Republic in 1974. Similarly, until his death, the last King of Italy, Umberto II, was widely referred to as King Umberto II and sometimes addressed as Your Majesty. In contrast, Simeon of Bulgaria who, subsequent to the loss of his throne in 1947, was elected to and held the premiership of his former realm as "Simeon Sakskoburggotski", and therefore is as often referred to by the latter name as by his former royal title and style.
While this rule is generally observed, and indeed some exiled monarchs are allowed diplomatic passports by their former realm, other republics officially object to the use of such titles which are, nonetheless, generally accorded by extant monarchical regimes. In 1981, the then Greek President Konstantinos Karamanlis declined to attend the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales when it was revealed that Greece's deposed monarch, a cousin of the Prince, had been referred to as "King" in his invitation. The Hellenic Republic has challenged King Constantine's right to use his title and his passport was revoked in 1994 because he did not use a surname, as his passport at the time stated "Constantine, former King of the Hellenes.". However, Constantine II now travels in and out of Greece on a Danish diplomatic passport as a descendant of Christian IX of Denmark, by the name Constantino de Grecia (Spanish for "Constantine of Greece").
His/Her Excellency (abbreviation HE, oral address Your Excellency) – Presidents of republics (historically, this was first used to refer to George Washington during his tenure as Commander-in-Chief of the Army during the American War of Independence; its use for presidents of republics was established as he was the first president of the first modern republic). In some countries also the prime minister, ministers, governors, ambassadors and high commissioners also use this style.
The President of the United States is properly directly addressed as "Mr./Madam President" and introduced as "The President of the United States"; however, His/Her/Your Excellency may properly be used in written communications and is sometimes used in official documents.
The custom in France is to call office holders acting within their official capacity M. (Monsieur) or Mme. (Madame) followed by the name of their offices. Thus, the President of the Republic is called M. le président or M. le président de la République if a male, and Mme... if a female. Styles such as "excellency" or similar are not used, except for talking about foreign dignitaries. Traditionally after "Madame", the name of the office is not put into the feminine form, but this is becoming less common (hence, "Madame le président" is being replaced by "Madame la présidente").
In Italy, members of the lower house (Chamber of Deputies) of the Parliament of Italy are styled Honourable (Italian: Onorevole, abbreviation On.). The correct form to address a member of the upper house (Senate) is Senator (Italian: Senatore, abbreviation Sen.; even though, for gravitas, they may also be addressed Honourable Senator).
The incumbent president of Finland is addressed Herra/Rouva Tasavallan Presidentti (Mr./Ms. President of the Republic), while a former president is addressed as just Herra/Rouva Presidentti.
The style used for the President of Ireland is normally His Excellency/Her Excellency (Irish: A Shoilse/A Soilse); sometimes people may orally address the President as 'Your Excellency' (Irish: A Shoilse [ə ˈhəʎʃə]), or simply 'President' (Irish: A Uachtaráin [ə ˈuəxt̪ˠəɾˠaːnˠ] (vocative case)).
The Honourable – Presidents, prime ministers, ministers, governors, members of parliament, senate and congress in some countries. (Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka.)
Doctor – In the United Kingdom, university degrees supporting medical and dental licensure are all bachelor's degrees (MB, MBBS, BDS, MB BS BAO, BMed, etc.). These graduates are addressed as 'doctor' by courtesy and convention.
Mr/Miss/Mrs – Surgeons in the UK revert to the title 'Mr', 'Miss' or 'Mrs' after obtaining the postgraduate qualification MRCS. Other doctors, on the other hand, retain the title 'Doctor' after obtaining other postgraduate qualifications, such as MRCP.
Nautical and aeronautical
Captain – a person who commands and is responsible for the lives of crew and passengers on a naval or civil vessel or aircraft. In the US military, captain is used regardless of the actual rank of the person being addressed. For example, on a US naval vessel commanded by someone holding a rank of lieutenant commander or lower is addressed as "Captain", in reference to his position in command of the ship, not his military rank. This would apply even to an enlisted man in charge of a small boat.
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His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em.") – The Sultan of Sokoto, spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims, as well as those of his fellow Fula high chiefs that choose not to style themselves as HRHs.
His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em.") - The Grand Master of the Murjite Order.
His Excellency orThe Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Excellency – Roman Catholicarchbishops and bishops in the United States and Canada (the oral address is not recognized by Canadian civil authorities, who prescribe Archbishop/Bishop instead); or,
Kabiyesi (variously translated as His or Her Royal Majesty, His or Her Royal Highness or His or Her Highness, lit. The One whose words are beyond question) – The Obas of Yorubaland, other aboriginal Yoruba high chiefs of royal background, and their counterparts in the tribe's diaspora communities.
His Lordship or The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.), oral address My Lord – Anglican and Roman Catholicbishops in Commonwealth countries other than Canada.
The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Monsignor (abbreviation The Rt Rev. and Rt Hon. Mgr), oral address Monsignor, or according to personal preference – Prelate of Honour who is also a privy counsellor (The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Monsignor Graham Leonard KCVO).
Bishop, oral address Bishop – an area bishop in the United Methodist Church. The Right Reverend has never been pervasive in the United Methodist Church.
His Divine Worship, or (His) Divine Worship: The Bishop (abbreviation DW:TB), oral address Your Divine Worship, afterwards My Lord, My Lord Bishop, or Bishop – a bishop in one of the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans, especially the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. If the ordinary is merely a priest and not a bishop, then he is styled His Divine Worship, or (His) Divine Worship: The Ordinary (abbreviation DW:TO). The first oral address remains Your Divine Worship, but afterwards reverts simply to Father.
The Very Reverend (abbreviation The Very Rev.), oral address Osofo Panin – Superintendent minister in the Methodist Church Ghana
The Very Reverend (abbreviation The Very Rev.), oral address Reverend – former moderators of the United Church of Canada and of the Presbyterian Church in Canada; the Canadian government prescribes the oral address Mr./Mrs./Ms. (surname)
The Reverend Monsignor (abbreviation The Rev. Msgr.), oral address Monsignor – Catholic Church protonotaries apostolic, honorary prelates, chaplains of his holiness
The Venerable, oral address Venerable Sir/Madam or Mr/Madam Archdeacon – Anglican archdeacons; in Canada, they are orally addressed as Archdeacon only
Venerable (abbreviation "Ven."), oral address "Venerable" or "Venerable <name or title>" – fully ordained Buddhist monks and nuns, the title of Venerable Master or Most Venerable is sometimes appended for senior monks and nuns or monks/nuns acting in their capacity as an abbot/abbess of a monastery
The Reverend the Honourable (abbreviation The Rev. the Hon.), oral address according to ecclesiastical or other status – ordained son of an earl, viscount, or baron, or ordained daughter of a viscount or baron (unless also a privy counsellor or peer)
The Very Reverend (abbreviation "The Very Rev."), oral address: "Overseer" – in the Anglican-Apostolic Communion (Pentecostal) tradition, the overseer is the lowest level of prelate (only non–consecrated bishop prelate), with oversight to a specific work or department, directly responsible to the primate/presiding bishop or an ordinary/diocesan bishop.
The Reverend (abbreviation The Rev. or The Revd) – Protestant ordained ministers (common variants include Pastor, Parson, Vicar, or simply Reverend (Rev.), as used in American English; see: The Reverend) ); some Jewish cantors also use this style, almost all Buddhist ministers in Japan use this style
The Reverend Canon (abbreviation The Rev. Canon), oral address Canon – Catholic and Anglican canons
The Reverend Doctor (abbreviation The Rev. Dr.), oral address Father or Doctor – Priests and other ordained clergy with a doctorate
The Reverend Mister (abbreviation The Rev. Mr.), oral address Deacon – Catholic transitional deacons, i.e. those preparing for priesthood. Transitional deacons belonging to religious orders (monastic and non-monastic) are titled Reverend Brother, (similar situations and modifications apply to Anglican deacons as in The Rev. Fr./Mthr, above; since women can be deacons, these may be The Revd Ms)
Mother, oral address Mother – heads of some female Catholic religious convents and other communities who are not abbesses
Mister (abbreviation Mr.), oral address often Mister – Catholic seminarians and scholastics (members preparing for priesthood) of some religious orders (notably, Jesuits).
Brother (abbreviation Bro.), oral address Brother – Catholic members of religious orders under vows (both monastic and non-monastic) who are not priests.
Sister (abbreviation Sr.), oral address Sister – Catholic members of religious orders under vows (both monastic and non-monastic) who are not abbesses.
Elder: used generally for male missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and for members of the adult leadership known as the general authorities. Although most all male adults of the LDS church are elders, the title is reserved for the prior mentioned groups.
Grand Rabbi, oral address Rabbi – Hasidicrabbis, who are scions of a Hasidic Dynasty.
Don (Spanish: [don], Italian: [dɔn], Portuguese: Dom[dõ]) from Latin dominus, (roughly, "Lord") is an honorific title used in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Iberoamerica and the Philippines. The female equivalent is doña (Spanish: [ˈdoɲa]), donna (Italian: [ˈdɔnna]), and dona (Portuguese: [ˈdonɐ]), abbreviated "Dª" or simply "D." Although originally a title reserved for royalty, select nobles, and church hierarchs, it is now often used as a mark of esteem for a person of personal, social or official distinction, such as a community leader of long standing, a person of significant wealth, or a noble, but may also be used ironically. As a style, rather than a title or rank, it is used with, and not instead of, a person's name.
Dom has historically been used on occasions in French, as an honorific for Benedictine monks, such as the famous Dom Pérignon.
Rabbi, oral address Rabbi (or, if holder of the appropriate degree, Doctor both in oral and written communication) – rabbis
Grand Ayatullah, oral address Ayatullah or Ayatullah al-Uzma – ShiaAyatullahs, who have accomplished the highest religious jurisprudent knowledge degree called as marja' and some people officially follow them.
Ayatullah, oral address Ayatullah – Shia religious degree who has accomplished a religious high course of lessons and is capable of individually issuing religious verdicts.
Amīr al-Mu'minīn (Arabic: أمير المؤمنين), usually translated Commander of the Faithful or Leader of the Faithful, is the Arabic style of some Caliphs and other independent sovereign Muslim rulers that claim legitimacy from a community of Muslims. It has been claimed as the title of rulers in Muslim countries and empires and is still used for some Muslim leaders. The use of the title does not necessarily signify a claim to caliphate as it is usually taken to be, but described a certain form of activist leadership which may have been attached to a caliph but also could signify a level of authority beneath that. The Ottoman sultans, in particular, made scant use of it. Moreover, the term was used by men who made no claim to be caliphs. Currently used by the Caliph of ISISAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the King of Morocco, The Sultan of Sokoto, The supreme leaders of the Afghan Taliban.
Cantor, oral address Cantor (some cantors use The Reverend as style, as above) – Jewish cantors
Reverend, oral address Reverend, Mister or Brother – ordained ministers/pastors
Pastor (abbreviation "Pr"), oral address 'Pastor" – minister responsible for caring for the "flock" in Lutheran churches
The Honourable – all current and former members of the Federal Executive Council and all current members of state executive councils and certain former members of state executive councils and long-serving members of state Legislative Councils (upper houses of state parliaments) that have been given the right to keep the title by permission of the governor of that state.
His/Her Lordship (My Lord/My Lady) – Australians who are members of the nobility (but not ducal) or are otherwise entitled to be addressed in this manner, for example the daughter of the Earl of Dunmore
Known as terasul in the Malay language.
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia (Kebawah DYMM), equivalent to His or Her Majesty (HM) – for Sultan and his first royal consort. The style is added more depends on the situation:
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan, for Sultan before coronation.
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan, for Sultan after coronation.
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Isteri for the queen consort before coronation
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Raja Isteri for the queen consort after coronation
Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Raja — for the second wife of the Sultan during coronation
Kebawah Duli, for a Sultan that has not gone through puberty.
Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Isteri, for the second wife of the Sultan after coronation
Duli Yang Teramat Mulia (DYTM), equivalent to His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) – for the Crown Prince and his consort and for the abdicated Sultan and his consort.
Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan — for Sultan that abdicated from the throne
Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Suri Seri Begawan Raja — for the Sultan's consort when the Sultan abdicated from the throne
Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota — for the Crown Prince
Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri — for the Crown Prince's consort
Yang Teramat Mulia (YTM), to His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) – for the children of the Sultan that were born by their royal mother (both parents of the royal mother are royalties and not a commoner)
Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda — for the Sultan's son that has full royal blood
Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri— for the Sultan's daughter by a royal mother (non-commoner)
Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Babu Raja — for the Queen Consort's mother
Yang Amat Mulia (YAM), for the consort of a royal prince and their children, and for the Sultan's children by their commoner mother
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri — for the consort of the Sultan's son (full royal blood)
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda — for the son (full royal blood) of the Sultan's son (full royal blood)
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak — for the children of the Sultan that were born by a commoner mother; daughter (full royal blood) of the Sultan's son (full royal blood); children (full royal blood) of the Sultan's daughter (full royal blood); children (full royal blood) of the Sultan's children (half royal blood)
Yang Mulia (YM)
Yang Mulia Pengiran Anak — for the children that both parents hold the title Pengiran Anak
Yang Mulia Pengiran — for the children of a Pengiran Anak and his wife that is not also a Pengiran Anak; non-royal Pengiran (a commoner Pengiran)
His/Her Excellency – the current Governor-General (and the Governor-General's spouse).
The Right Honourable – the current and former prime ministers, the current and former Speakers of the Parliament of New Zealand, the current and former chief justices, the current and former governors general, and those who were appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom prior to New Zealand ceasing appeals to it in 2003.
The Honourable – the current and former ministers of the Crown, the current and former judges of the Supreme, High and Appeal courts
His/Her Honour – judges of district courts
His/Her Worship – mayors of territorial authorities and justices of the peace.
His Excellency/Her Excellency is used before the name of President of India as well as before of governors of the states. However, it is not mandatory for an Indian citizen to use this style to address the president or the governors after a notification from the President House. But it is mandatory for foreigners to address the president and governors.
Your Honour/My Lord – It is used before the names of judges but now it is also not mandatory. The Supreme Court in a hearing said that people need to respect the judges and "Sir" is sufficient for it.
Royal styles in India
With a long history of rulers, there are many styles which vary from territory to territory and languages for royal families in India, commonly Maharaja (for king), Maharani (queen) whereas for their successors Raja, Rani (Maha meaning "Great" removed). Rajkumar (for prince) and Rajkumari (for princess).
Generally the vast majority of the members of these royal families use the titles Prince and Princess, while the higher ranked amongst them also use either Highness or Royal Highness to describe secondary appellations in their native languages that they hold in their realms, appellations that are intended to highlight their relative proximity to their thrones, either literally in the sense of the extant kingships of the continent or symbolically in the sense of its varied chiefships of the name, and which therefore serve a function similar to the said styles of Highness and Royal Highness.
For example, the Yoruba people of West Africa usually make use of the word Kabiyesi when speaking either to or about their sovereigns and other royals. As such, it is variously translated as Majesty, Royal Highness or Highness depending on the actual rank of the person in question, though a literal translation of the word would read more like this: He (or She) whose words are beyond questioning, Great Lawgiver of the Nation.
Within the Zulu Kingdom of Southern Africa, meanwhile, the monarch and other senior royals are often addressed as uNdabezitha meaning He (or She) Who Concerns the Enemy, but rendered in English as Majesty in address or reference to the king and his consorts, or Royal Highness in the case of other senior members of the royal family.
His/Her Royal Highness – Prince and princess of Morocco (used for children, grandchildren and siblings of the king as well as for the Princess Consort).
His/Her Highness – Prince and princess of Morocco (used for cousins, uncles and aunts of the king).
His/Her Excellency – The President of the Philippines. The title in Tagalog is "Ang Mahal na Pangulo" (The Well-Esteemed President). The honorific for the President of the Philippines adopted from the title of the Governor-General of the Philippines during Spanish and American colonial periods. The President may be addressed as "Your Excellency" or more informally as "Mr. President" or "Madam(e) President".
The Honorable – The Vice President of the Philippines, Members of the Congress of the Philippines, Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Governors and Vice Governors of Provinces, Mayors and Vice Mayors of Cities or Municipalities, and other elected or appointed officials in the government.The title is also conferred to elected and appointed officials of student or other people's organizations that has great participation in creating, implementing, and interpreting policies of the organization. The title in Tagalog is "Ang Kagalanggalang" (The Honorable). In Senate and congressional inquiries and impeachment procedures, senators and representatives are mostly addressed as Your Honor, because their functions have the powers of judges in asking questions.
His/Her Excellency (su excelencia) – spouses and children of the Infantes, Grandees of Spain, ministers, either from the central government ("ministros") or from autonomous government ("consejeros"), as well as regional presidents. Mayors and town councils.
His/Her Illustriousness (su ilustrísima) – marquesses, counts, viscounts, junior ministers either from the central government ("secretarios de estado") or from autonomous government ("vice-consejeros"), justices ("magistrados"), certain prosecutors, members of the royal academies and the holders of certain Spanish decorations.
His/Her Most Excellent and Magnificent Lord – Rector of a university.
His Lordship/Her Ladyship (su señoría) – barons, seigneurs, members of parliament, judges, court clerks.
His/Her Royal Highness – Prince and princess of Thailand (used for children and grandchildren of the king)from "Chao-Fa" (เจ้าฟ้า) (the most senior rank of prince/princess) to "Phra Chao Worawongse Ther Phra Ong Chao" (พระเจ้าวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า) (a mid-level, lesser class of prince and princess than Chao Fa). This style is also used for princess consort (now obsolete).
His/Her Highness – Prince and princess of Thailand of the rank "Phra Worawong Ther Phra Ong Chao" (พระวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า) which are born in the title as Mom Chao to whom the king later granted this higher title, either as recognition of merit, or as a special favour.
His/Her Serene Highness – Prince and princess of title Mom Chao (m)/Mom Chao Ying (f) (หม่อมเจ้า/หม่อมเจ้าหญิง, abbreviated in Thai as ม.จ. or in English as M.C.) is the most junior class still considered royalty. This is normally when surnames first appear among royal lineages. They are either: Children of a male Chao Fa and a commoner.Children of a male Phra Ong Chao. Informally, they are styled "Than Chai" (m)... /"Than Ying" (f)... (ท่านชาย.../ท่านหญิง...).
The Honourable – Mom Rajawongse (หม่อมราชวงศ์, RTGS: Mom Ratchawong; abbreviated in Thai as ม.ร.ว. or in English as M.R. and also translated into English as The Honourable) is the title assumed by children of male Mom Chao. The title is pronounced "Mom Rachawong". Informally, they may be styled as "Khun Chai" (m).../ "Khunying" (f)... (คุณชาย.../คุณหญิง...).
His Worship is an honorific prefix for mayors, justices of the peace and magistrates in present or former Commonwealth realms. In spoken address, these officials are addressed as Your Worship or referred to as His Worship. In Australia all states now use Your Honour as the form of address for magistrates (the same as has always been used for judges in higher courts).
Styles existing through marriage in the United Kingdom
Styles can be acquired through marriage, although traditionally this applies more to wives of office-holders than to husbands. Thus, in the United Kingdom, Anne, Princess Royal, is styled Her Royal Highness (HRH), her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, bears no courtesy style by virtue of being her husband (although his mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, has since knighted him), nor do her children bear any title or style, by right or tradition, despite being in the line of succession to the Crown, until 2015 subject to the Royal Marriages Act 1772. In contrast, when Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward, she became HRH the Countess of Wessex (&c.) and their children are entitled (although they do not use them) to the princely prefix and the style of HRH, and do bear courtesy titles derived from their father.
Styles and titles can change when a marriage is dissolved. The Lady Diana Frances Spencer held the style Her Royal Highness during her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales and the title Princess of Wales. When the couple divorced she lost her style: she became instead Diana, Princess of Wales. (although she fit the criteria which customarily accords the prefix of "Lady" to the daughter of an earl, and she had been known as such prior to marriage, she did not revert to that title following divorce).
When applied to the current Princess of Wales, inclusion of a definite article ("The Princess of Wales"), is, like HRH, part of the style which accompanies the title. When Charles was remarried to Camilla Parker-Bowles in compliance with the Royal Marriages Act, she lawfully became HRH The Princess of Wales but, as was the announced intention prior to the couple's wedding, she continues to use the lesser title derived from her husband's Duchy of Cornwall and is known as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall because the strong association to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
From the divorce until her death in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales ceased to hold any royal style, although the monarch declared that she remained a Princess of the United Kingdom and in occasions when members of the Royal Family appeared in public, she continued to be accorded the same royal precedence.
In 1936, Wallis Simpson was denied the HRH style by George VI when she married his older brother, the former Edward VIII, who became HRH the Duke of Windsor following his abdication and receipt of a peerage.
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The names of most current and former elected federal and state officials and judges in the United States are styled "The Honorable" in writing, (e.g., "The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of the City of Dallas"). Many are addressed by their title in conversation as "Mister" or "Madam" ("Mr. President", "Madam Mayor") or simply by their name with their appropriate title e.g., "Senator Jones" or "Commissioner Smith".
Continued use of a title after leaving office depends on the office: those of which there is only one at a time (e.g., president, speaker, governor, or mayor) are only officially used by the current office holder. However, titles for offices of which there are many concurrent office holders (e.g., ambassador, senator, judge, professor or military ranks, especially colonel and above) are retained for life: A retired US Army general is addressed as "General (Name)" officially and socially for the rest of their life. Military retirees are entitled to receive pay and are still counted as members of the United States Armed Forces. Accordingly, all retired military ranks are retained for life pursuant to Title 10 of the United States Code. In the case of the President, while the title is officially dropped after leaving office – e.g., Dwight Eisenhower reverted to his prior style "General Eisenhower" in retirement – it is still widely used as an informal practice; e.g., Jimmy Carter is still often called President Carter. The Vice President is typically referred to as "former Vice President", such as "former Vice President Mike Pence." Similarly, governors are typically addressed in later life as "Governor (Name)", particularly if running for further political office. Mitt Romney, for example, was frequently referred to as "Governor Romney" during his 2012 presidential campaign and was addressed as such formally in the debates, having been Governor of Massachusetts until 2007.
The names of judges are styled "The Honorable" in writing, and orally in court as "Your Honor", or by name after "Judge". Chief justices of supreme courts are addressed orally as "Mr. or Madam Chief Justice" or "Chief Justice"; associate justices by name with "Justice" (or, simply "Justice").
The names of mayors are styled "The Honorable" in writing. In municipalities (e.g., New York City and Chicago), mayors are addressed in conversation as "Your Honor". This may be a vestige of the fact that the mayors (and some others) were also magistrates of the court system.
The names of members of the House of Representatives are similarly styled in writing as "The Honorable". Orally they are traditionally addressed by name as "Mr." or "Ms.", but as a practice are sometimes addressed as "Representative" or "Congressman" or "Congresswoman" when it is necessary or desirable to specify the member's status. It is advisable to follow the preference of the individual official. Following precedence in Westminster style of parliament, when writing their own names, especially on stationery and franks, Representatives have upon occasion followed their names with "M.C." (Member of Congress). The names of senators similarly are addressed in writing as "The Honorable" and orally as "Senator". Where Representatives may have used "M.C.", Senators have used "U.S.S." (United States Senator). However, neither form is currently used by members in Washington, DC. On the actual floor of the houses during debate, members commonly refer to one another as the gentleman or gentlewoman from their appropriate state (e.g., "As my friend, the distinguished gentleman from Ohio, just said..." or "I yield three minutes to the gentleman from New York, Mr. Smith"). In debate, senators sometimes refer to colleagues as the junior or senior senator from a state, (e.g., "I disagree with my dear friend, the junior senator from Ohio..."). Senators also commonly use this form of address.
While the term "Esquire", abbreviated "Esq." after the name (John Jones, Esq.), has no legal meaning in the U.S. and may be used by anyone (or at least, customarily, by any male), it is correctly used when addressing lawyers in correspondence as an indication of their profession. At least one American jurisdiction, the District of Columbia, limits the use of "Esquire" (and similar terms) to licensed attorneys. Although some authorities previously urged that use of "Esq." should be restricted to male lawyers, today the term is used for both male and female attorneys. The academic post-nominal J.D. (Juris Doctor) may be used by graduates of law schools who are not members of the bar of any state or who are working outside the legal profession.
In academic fields, it is customary in the U.S. to refer to those holding any level of professorship (professor, assistant professor, associate professor, adjunct professor, etc.) as "Professor" – as in "Professor Jones" – orally or in writing. In writing, "professor" is often abbreviated as "Prof.", as in "Prof. Jones". Those holding academic doctorates are frequently referred to as "Dr. Jones."
Military personnel of any functionality (doctors, lawyers, engineers, cooks, fighter pilots, motor pool drivers, commanding officers, security guards ... officers and enlisted ... leaders and followers) are always addressed by rank + name; with the exception of chaplains, who are addressed as "Chaplain" and are addressed in writing with their rank in parentheses, e.g.: "Chaplain (Major) Jones". An exception to this is in the Navy, where in writing the rank is either not used, or is used before the person's name with the corps designator "CHC" indicating the officer is a chaplain put behind their name. e.g.: "LT George Burdell, CHC, USN". In the United States Navy, there is an internal practice aboard ships that junior officers who are not in command may be addressed by their rank or as "Mister/Miss X" as in "Lieutenant Junior Grade Smith" or "Miss Smith". This practice is also followed within the United States Coast Guard, both aboard ship and ashore. Junior officers in both services are understood to be those of lieutenant commander and below. Senior officers (commander and above) are addressed by their rank as in "Commander Smith" or "Admiral Smith". While officially this manner of address is supposed to be from a senior rank to a junior rank, i.e. captain to lieutenant, in practice it is not unknown for enlisted personnel to refer to junior officers as Mister as well. While commonly referred to by their rank, i.e. Seaman/Airman/Fireman/Petty Officer X or (Senior/Master) Chief X, on formal occasions, e.g. weddings, an enlisted man's full title is sometimes used, starting with their rating, then their rank, and their name, e.g. Electronics Technician Second Class X or Chief Gunner's Mate Y. When written, e.g. in formal invitations, the enlisted man's name is written as "Serviceman's name, USN/USMC/USA/USAF/USCG", without one's rank preceding their name, unlike commissioned officers.
Retired military personnel may continue to be addressed by their rank at the time of their retirement. Those who held 'brevet' ranks higher than their permanent rank (permanent Army officers who held temporary rank in volunteer regiments during the American Civil War) also held this honor; though all such individuals have now perished, this usage is often seen in historical or fictional sources placed in the 1865–1900 period.
All former monarchies had styles, some, as in the Bourbon monarchy of France, extremely complicated depending on the status of the office or office-holder. Otto von Habsburg, who was Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary (1916–1918), had the style 'His Imperial and Royal Highness'. He was last addressed as such by church figures during the funeral of his late mother, Empress-Queen Zita of Austria-Hungary in 1989, although the use of these styles has been prohibited in Austria since 1920.
The names of some offices are also titles, which are retained by the office holder for life. For example, holders of titles of which there are many at the same time, such as ambassadors, senators, judges, and military officers who retire retain use of their hierarchical honorific for life. Holders of titles of which there is only one office holder at a time such as president, chief justice or speaker revert to their previous honorific when they leave office out of deference to the current office holder.
Other parallel symbols
Styles were often among the range of symbols that surrounded figures of high office. Everything from the manner of address to the behaviour of a person on meeting that personage was surrounded by traditional symbols. Monarchs were to be bowed to by men and curtsied to by women. Senior clergy, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, were to have their rings (the symbol of their authority) kissed by lay persons while they were on bended knee, while cardinals in an act of homage at the papal coronation were meant to kiss the feet of the Supreme Pontiff, the Pope.
Many of these traditions have lapsed or been partially abandoned. At his inauguration as pope in 1978 (itself the abandonment of the traditional millennium-old papal coronation), Pope John Paul II himself kissed cardinals on the cheeks, rather than follow the traditional method of homage of having his feet kissed.
Similarly, styles, though still used, are used less often. The former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, was usually referred to as President Mary McAleese, not President McAleese, as had been the form used for the first six presidents, from President Hyde to President Hillery. Tony Blair asked initially to be called Tony. First names, or even nicknames, are often widely used among politicians in the US, even in formal situations (as an extreme example, President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter chose to take the Oath of Office using his nickname). One notable exception involves judges: a judge of any court is almost invariably addressed as "Your Honor" while presiding over his or her court, and often at other times as well. This style has been removed in the Republic of Ireland, where judges are addressed only as "Judge".
However, styles are still widely used in formal documents and correspondence between heads of state, such as in a letter of credence accrediting an ambassador from one head of state to another.
The term self-styled, or soi-disant, roughly means awarding a style to oneself, often without adequate justification or authority, but the expression often refers to descriptions or titles (such as "aunt", "expert", "Doctor", or "King"), rather than true styles in the sense of this article.
1 Though the Republic of Ireland does not possess a Privy Council, the style is still used. The Lord Mayor of Dublin is still styled the Right Honourable, as previous lord mayors of Dublin were ex-officio members of the former Irish Privy Council until its abolition in 1922.