A style of office or honorific is an official or legally recognized 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 religious figures also have styles.
Examples of 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 Most Rev. Ex., oral address Your Excellency) – The Apostolic Nuncio, because his rank is equal to that of an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, and he is simultaneously a higher prelate.
- His/Her Excellency (abbreviation HE, oral address Your Excellency) – most Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Permanent Representatives to International Organizations; sometimes also the Presidents of the Republics, Governors-General, Governors of provinces and the Prime Minister.
- The Honorable (oral address Mr./Madam Ambassador) – U.S. Ambassadors. Typically U.S. Ambassadors are addressed as "Your Excellency" by non-US citizens outside the United States.
- Sire - Sire is a form of address for reigning kings in the United Kingdom and in Belgium. It has also been used in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Spain.(oral address first Your Majesty and then Sire and for Queen first Your Majesty and then Ma'am)
- 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 Imperial and Royal Majesty (abbreviation HI&RM, oral address Your Imperial and Royal Majesty) – Until 1918, the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who were Emperors/Empresses of Austria while also Kings/Queens of Hungary, and the German Emperors/Empresses, who were simultaneously Kings/Queens of Prussia.
- 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 Britannic Majesty – the British monarch (not usual); used as a formal and official term in diplomacy, the law of nations, and international relations, e.g. in British passports.
- His/Her Most Gracious Majesty - is a form of address in the United Kingdom. It is an elaborate version of Your Majesty and is only used in the most formal of occasions.
- His/Her Most Excellent Majesty - mainly used in Acts of Parliament.
- His/Her Catholic Majesty (abbreviation HCM, oral address Your Catholic Majesty) – the King of Spain (not usual).
- His/Her Most Christian Majesty – the King of France until 1790 and from 1815 to 1830.
- His/Her Most Faithful Majesty (abbreviation HFM, oral address Your Most Faithful Majesty) – the King of Portugal until deposed in 1910.
- His/Her Majesty (abbreviation HM, oral address Your Majesty) – kings, queens and some sultans. For example, HM Queen Elizabeth II, HM King Goodwill Zwelithini or HM Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands.
- His/Her Imperial Highness (abbreviation HIH, oral address Your Imperial Highness) – members of an imperial house. Currently used by the Imperial House of Japan.
- His/Her Imperial and Royal Highness (abbreviation HI&RH, oral address Your Imperial and Royal Highness) – formerly, Archdukes of the House of Habsburg, the German Crown Prince/Princess and (post-monarchy) members of the deposed Brazilian Imperial Family; also some women entitled to Imperial style by birth and to Royal style by marriage (e.g., Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, Duchess of Edinburgh.
- His/Her Royal Highness (abbreviation HRH, oral address Your Royal Highness) – some monarchs, members of a royal family (other than monarchs, queens consort and former queens); Grand Dukes/Duchesses who have reigned (but not those grand dukes who were merely cadet (genealogy)s of the former Russian Imperial Family), consorts of grand dukes, grand ducal heirs apparent and, in Luxembourg, all dynastic male-line cadets; British princes, their dynastic wives (including the princes consort of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II), sons, daughters, patrilinear granddaughters and grandsons of Ibn Saud of the House of Saud.
- Her/His Grace (oral address Your Grace) is a style used for various high-ranking personages. It was the style used to address Kings of England until Henry VIII and the King or Queen of Scots up to the Act of Union of 1707, which united the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. Today, the style is used when referring to non-royal dukes and duchesses, and archbishops, in the United Kingdom. For example, His Grace The Duke of Devonshire in the United Kingdom, or His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury; or Your Grace in spoken or written address. Royal dukes, for example The Duke of York, are addressed with their higher royal style, Royal Highness.
- His/Her Grand Ducal Highness (abbreviation HGDH, oral address Your Grand Ducal Highness) – cadets of some former ruling grand ducal dynasties (Hesse and by Rhine, Baden)
- His/Her Highness (abbreviation HH, oral address, Your Highness) – some monarchs, i.e., Emirs, some Sultans, the Aga Khan; formerly reigning dukes, some 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 Frances's former Foreign Princely class, members of cadet branches of the House of Saud.
- His/Her Ducal Serene Highness (abbreviation HDSH, oral address, Your Ducal Serene Highness) – members of the formerly reigning ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
- His/Her Serene Highness (abbreviation HSH, oral address Your Serene Highness) – German: Seine/Ihre Durchlaucht; Italian: Sua Altezza Serenissima; Russian: Ваша светлость.sovereign of a principality (i.e., Liechtenstein, Monaco); members of formerly reigning princely families (Lippe, Schaumburg-Lippe, Waldeck and Pyrmont, 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").
- His/Her Illustrious Highness (abbreviation HIllH, oral address Your Illustrious Highness) – *His/Her Illustrious Highness – German: Seine/Ihre Erlaucht; Italian: Sua Altezza Illustrissima; Spanish: Su Ilustrísima; Russian: Ваше сиятельство. Mediatized Count and, sometimes, members of his family.
- His/Her Grace – Dukes/Duchesses of the United Kingdom; formerly, in the form of "Princely Grace" (Fürstiche Gnaden) style for members of a few noble families of monarchical Germany.
- The High-born – (Hochgeboren) counts in some Scandinavian and Benelux monarchies and, formerly, Germany and Austria.
- The High Well-born – (Hochwelgeboren) Dutch barons; knights and untitled members of the lower nobility in German-speaking monarchies.
- His/Her Excellency (abbreviation HE, oral address Your Excellency) – Governors-General, British Colonial Governors, state officials, and generals of Imperial Russia. Occasionally, Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers. For example, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands; in Denmark, a few high-ranked nobles (e.g., Counts af Danneskiold-Samsø, Counts of Rosenborg, Lensgrever, knights of the Order of the Elephant).
- 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.
- 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.
- Son of Heaven - Used by Chinese and some Japanese Emperors.
- King of Kings - Used by especially Semitic, Persian and some Indian rulers.
- Lord of the Isles
- High Steward of Scotland
- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Arabic: خادم الحرمين الشريفين Khādim al-Ḥaramayn aš-Šarīfayn), sometimes translated as Servant of the Two Noble Sanctuaries or Protector of the Two Holy Cities, is a royal style that has been used by many Islamic rulers including the Ayyubids, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, the Ottoman Sultans, and the modern Saudi kings. The title refers to the ruler taking the responsibility of guarding and maintaining the two holiest mosques in Islam, Al-Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) in Medina. In Saudi Arabia it's the official title of a king replacing "His Majesty".
- 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 ISIS Abu 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.
- 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.
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 prime minister, ministers, governors, ambassadors and high commissioners.
- The President of the United States is properly directly addressed as "Mr. 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, Madame... 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 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, may also be addressed Honourable Senator).
- Incumbent president of Finland is addressed Herra/Rouva Tasavallan Presidentti (Mr/Ms. President of Republic), while the former president is addressed as 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 ˈhəʎʃ̪ʲə]), or simply 'President' (Irish: A Uachtaráin [ə ˈuːəxt̪ˠəɾaːn̥] (vocative case)).
- During the Republic of the United Netherlands, the States-General were collectively addressed as "Their High and Mighty Lords" (Dutch: Hoogmogende Heren).
- 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.
- His Holiness (abbreviation HH), oral address Your Holiness, or Holy Father – the Pope and the Pope Emeritus.
- His All Holiness (abbreviation HAH), oral address Your All Holiness – the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
- His Holiness (abbreviation HH), oral address Your Holiness – the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch of Peć and the Serbs, Catholicos of All Armenians, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Malankara Orthodox Catholicos and some other patriarchs of the Christian Church.
- His Holiness (abbreviation HH), oral address Your Holiness – the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama, the Karmapa, the Sakya Trizin, and other holders of certain other Tibetan Buddhist lineages.
- His Highness the Aga Khan (abbreviation HH the Aga Khan.), oral address Your Highness and then Sir – The Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.
- His Beatitude or The Most Blessed, oral address Your Beatitude – Eastern Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox Catholicos of India, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic patriarchs, Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych. If they have been elevated to the cardinalate by the Pope, they use the traditional "His Eminence" like other cardinals (more properly and formally, "His Beatitude and Eminence").
- His Most Eminent Highness (abbreviation HMEH), Oral address Your Most Eminent Highness - The Prince and Grand Master of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em."), oral address Your Eminence or Most Reverend Eminence – Roman Catholic cardinals
- His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em.") or The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Eminence – Eastern Orthodox metropolitans and archbishops who are not the First Hierarch of an autocephalous church;
- His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em.") - Certain high lamas or rinpoches in Tibetan Buddhism as well as presiding head bishops or priests of Japanese Buddhist schools.
- 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 Excellency or The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Excellency – Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops in the U.S.A.; or,
- His Grace or The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Grace – Roman Catholic archbishops in Commonwealth countries; and Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland, Marthoma Metropolitans
- His Grace or The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt. Rev.), oral address Your Grace – Eastern Orthodox bishops.
- 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 Catholic bishops in Commonwealth countries.
- The Most Reverend and Right Honourable (abbreviation The Most Rev. and Rt Hon.), oral address Your Grace – Church of England (Anglican) archbishops who are Privy Councillors, usually the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
- The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Grace – Anglican archbishops, primates, metropolitans and presiding bishops. Also moderators.
- The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address My Lord – Church of Ireland (Anglican) Bishop of Meath and Kildare (due to being, historically, the most senior bishop in Ireland)
- The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Presiding Bishop – the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana
- The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Bishop – the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (United States)
- 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).
- The Right Reverend and Right Honourable (abbreviation The Rt Rev. and Rt Hon.), oral address My Lord or Bishop – Church of England (Anglican) bishops who are members of the Privy Council, usually the Bishop of London.
- The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.), oral address My Lord or Bishop – other Church of England bishops
- The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.), oral address Bishop – bishops Episcopal Church (United States)
- The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.) – Moderator of the United Church of Canada
- The Right Reverend Father (abbreviation The Rt. Rev. Fr.), oral address Father – Eastern Orthodox archimandrites.
- The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt. Rev.), oral address Father or Father Abbot – Roman Catholic abbots.
- The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.), oral address Bishop – diocesan bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana
- Bishop, oral address Bishop – an area bishop in The United Methodist Church. The Right Reverend has never been pervasive in The United Methodist Church.
- The Very Reverend (abbreviation The Very Rev. ), oral address Father – Catholic vicars general, judicial vicars, judges, rectors of seminaries, vicars forane, episcopal vicars, general superiors of religious orders of priests, provincial superiors, priors of monasteries or friaries
- The Very Reverend Father (abbreviation The Very Rev. Fr.), oral address Father – Eastern Orthodox archpriests
- The Very Reverend (abbreviation The Very Rev. ), oral address Mr Dean or Mr Provost, as appropriate, or Very Reverend Sir – Anglican Deans and Provosts of Cathedrals, the Deans of Westminster Abbey and St George's Chapel, Windsor, and, for historical reasons, a few parish priests, such as the Dean of Bocking. Sometimes an Anglican Cathedral Dean has previously been a bishop, in which case he is styled as a bishop, except that on formal occasions he may be addressed, Mr Dean.
- The Very Reverend (abbreviation The Very Rev. ), oral address Very Reverend Sir or Mr Dean – Deans of some Anglican Seminaries, especially those in the USA
- 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
- 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 or Mr. Archdeacon – Anglican Archdeacons
- 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 and Right Honourable (abbreviation The Revd and Rt Hon.) – Protestant ordained ministers who are members of the Privy Council (Dr Ian Paisley)
- 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 a Bishop (Ordinary/Diocesan).
- 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 Father (abbreviation The Rev. Fr.), oral address Father – Catholic (and many Anglican) priests
- The Reverend Mother (abbreviation The Rev. Mo.), oral address Mother – Abbesses (also, some female Anglican priests)
- The Reverend Deacon (abbreviation Rev. Deacon), oral address Deacon Catholic permanent Deacons.
- 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., above)
- Mother, oral address Mother – heads of some female Catholic religious convents and other communities who are not abbesses
- Mister (abbreviation Mr.), oral address Mister – Catholic Sulpician priests
- 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: (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 – Hasidic rabbis, 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 is an honorific prefixed to the given name. It derives from the Latin Dominus. It is used in English for certain Benedictine (including some communities which follow the Rule of St. Benedict) and Carthusian monks, and for members of certain communities of Canons Regular. Examples include Benedictine monks of the English Benedictine Congregation (e.g. Dom John Chapman, late Abbot of Downside). The equivalent female usage for such a cleric is "Dame" (e.g. Dame Laurentia McLachlan, late Abbess of Stanbrook, or Dame Felicitas Corrigan, author).
- 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 – Shia Ayatullahs, 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 ISIS Abu 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 "Ps."), oral address 'Pastor" – minister responsible for caring for the "flock" in most Christian churches
- Pandit (sometimes spelled Pundit) – Hindu priests
- Swami - in Hinduism an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into a religious monastic order. Informally, "Swamiji".
- Officers of The Salvation Army are addressed by their rank, e.g. "Captain" (Capt.), "Major" (Maj.), etc.
- In some but not all Wiccan or Pagan Groups, the High Priest or Priestess receives the title of Lord or Lady followed by either their birth name or their Magical name, an example would be Lady Jenny, or Lady Morningstarr but only in official or formal standings. During written communications it's not uncommon for a High Priest/ess to sign their birth name followed by their formal religious title and name. When writing to a High Priest or Priestess in a formal manner it is acceptable, but not required, to address the title holder as Lord or Lady, such as "Dear Lady Autumn Rose." In a familiar setting birth name or Mr. Mrs, or other honorable title can be used.
Styles in different countries
Commonwealth prime ministers are usually addressed just as Prime Minister, but the form of address Mr. Prime Minister is also often used in certain countries. "Mr. Prime Minister" remains a common form of address in international diplomacy, "Prime Minister" alone remains more common within domestic politics.
- The Right Honourable Member for... – British and some Commonwealth countries' MPs who are Privy Councillors, some Commonwealth realm prime ministers
- The Honourable Member for:
- Senator... – in some Commonwealth countries whose upper House is called the Senate.
- His/Her Majesty – The King or Queen of Australia
- His/Her Excellency The Honourable – Governor-General and his or her spouse, and The Honourable or His/Her Excellency for the rest of state Governors (but not their spouse)
- The Honourable – all current and former Governors-General and Administrators of the Northern Territory, Justices of the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and state Supreme Courts
- 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.
- The Right Honourable (Viscounts)
- His/Her Honour (oral address Your Honour) – magistrates and judges in appellate, district and county courts.
- The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor (Lord Mayors of Australian cities)
- His/Her Worship (administrators of territories)
- His/Her Grace (Australian dukes)
- His Eminence (Australian Cardinals)
- 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
- Partial source:
- His/Her Majesty – King/ Queen of New Zealand
- 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 prior to its abolition in 2003.
- The Honourable – Ministers of the Crown
- His/Her Honour – judges of district courts
- His/Her Worship – mayors of territorial authorities and Justices of the Peace.
- Sir: for men, formally if they have a British knighthood or if they are a baronet.
- Dame: for women who have been honoured with a British knighthood in their own right or are baronetesses and the official title of the wife of a knight or baronet. Women married to knighted individuals, but not knighted in their own right, are commonly referred to as "Lady."
- Lord: for male barons, viscounts, earls, and marquesses, as well as some of their children. In some countries judges especially those of higher rank are referred to as lords, ladies or lordship/ladyship. (Style: Your Lordship, My Lord or Lord London)
- Lady: for female peers with the rank of baroness, viscountess, countess, and marchioness, or the wives of men who hold the equivalent titles.(Although by courtesy the title is often also used for wives of Knights and Baronets) (Style: Your Ladyship, My Lady or Lady London)
- Most High, Potent, and Noble Prince usually shortened to The Most Noble and His/Her Grace (oral address Your Grace or Duke/Duchess) – Dukes. Occasionally the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and other Archbishops are also styled His Grace.
- Most High, Mighty, and Illustrious Prince - for Royal Dukes, oral address Your Royal Highness.
- Most Noble, Most Honourable and Potent Prince, The Most Honourable and Lordship (abbreviation The Most Hon., oral address My Lord/Lady, Your Lordship/Ladyship or Lord/Lady London) – Marquesses
- The Right Honourable and Lordship (abbreviation The Rt Hon., oral address My Lord/Lady, Your Lordship/Ladyship or Lord/Lady London) – Earl, Viscounts, Barons/Lords of Parliament and members of the Privy Council
- The Right Honourable and Reverend – as the previous explanation, but if the holder is also an ordained clergyman (obsolescent parliamentary usage)
- The Right Honourable and Learned – as the previous explanation, but if the holder is also a barrister.
- The Right Honourable and Gallant – as the previous explanation, but if the holder is also a serving military officer (obsolescent parliamentary usage)
- The Honourable (abbreviation The Hon.) – younger sons of Earls, all children of Viscounts and Barons/Lords of Parliament
- The Much Honoured (abbreviation The Much Hon., oral address Edinburgh or Baron, Madam or Baroness or Lady Edinburgh) – Scottish Lairds and feudal Barons
"The Right Honourable" is added as a prefix to the name of various collective entities such as:
- The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal (of the United Kingdom, etc.) in Parliament Assembled (the House of Lords)
- The Right Honourable the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses (of the House of Commons/Commons House) in Parliament Assembled (the House of Commons) (archaic, now simply The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom, etc.)
- The Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty (the former Board of Admiralty)
- The Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations (the Board of Trade)
- The Much Honourable - "The Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council" (the Privy Council).
- Queen's Counsel (QC): for respected judges and barristers (King's Counsel (KC) during the reign of a king).
- His/Her 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 or Her 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).
The Most Honourable - In Jamaica, Governors-General of Jamaica, as well as their spouses, are entitled to be styled "The Most Honourable" upon receipt of the Jamaican Order of the Nation. Prime Ministers of Jamaica, and their spouses, are also styled this way upon receipt of the Order of the Nation, which is only given to Jamaican Governors-General and Prime Ministers.
His Excellency It 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 President and Governors after a notification from the President House. But it is mandatory for foreigners to address the President and Governors.
Your Honor/My Lord - It is used before the names of judges but now it is also not mandatory. Supreme court in a hearing said that people need to respect the judges and "Sir" is sufficient for it.
Styles existing through marriage
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. 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 terminate when a marriage is dissolved. Diana, Princess of Wales 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, properly a name rather than a title (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.
From the divorce until her death in 1997, Diana ceased to hold any royal style, although the monarch declared that on occasions when members of the Royal Family appeared in public, she continued to be accorded royal precedence. When the former Sarah Ferguson was divorced from her husband, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, she too lost her HRH style, rank as a royal duchess and as a peeress, and is known by the appellation "Sarah, Duchess of York"
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.
Examples of non-royal styles
- Lady Edward Smith – wife of the son (Edward Smith) of a duke or marquess
- Lady Elizabeth Smith – daughter of a duke, marquess or an earl
- Lady Smith – wife of Baron Smith (could also be referred to as Baroness Smith)
- Lady Smith – wife of Sir Edward Smith; or unmarried widow/divorced wife of Sir Edward Smith
- Dowager Lady Smith – deceased Baron's widow
- Elizabeth, Lady Smith – deceased Baron's ex-wife
- The Viscountess Smith – wife of Viscount Smith
- The Dowager Lady Smith – Viscount's widow.
The Chief Executive is styled as The Honourable.
Certain senior government officials (such as the Chief Secretary for Administration), President of the Legislative Council, members of the Executive Council, and members of the judiciary (such as the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal) are also styled as The Honourable.
In Ireland, holders of offices with Irish names are usually addressed in English by its nominative form (so, 'Taoiseach' and 'Tánaiste'), though the Irish vocative forms differ (a Thaoisigh and a Thánaiste). The President may be styled 'His/Her Excellency' (Irish: A Shoilse, IPA: [ə ˈhəʎʃ̪ʲə] / A Soilse [ə ˈsəʎʃ̪ʲə]) and addressed 'Your Excellency' (Irish: A Shoilse), or simply 'President' (Irish: A Uachtaráin [ə uːəxt̪ˠəɾaːn̥]). The titles 'Minister' and 'Senator' are used as forms of address; only the latter as a style. A TD (Teachta Dála) is formally addressed and styled as 'Deputy', though often simply Mr, Mrs, etc. Similarly, county and city councillors can be addressed as 'Councillor', abbreviated Cllr. which is used as a written style, but are just as frequently addressed as Mr, Mrs etc.
- Seri Paduka Baginda (SPB), equivalent to His or Her Majesty (HM) – for the King and the Queen.
- Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia (KDYMM), equivalent to His or Her Royal Highness – for –
- Duli Yang Maha Mulia (DYMM), equivalent to His or Her Royal Highness – for –
- Kebawah Duli Yang Teramat Mulia (KDYTM), equivalent to His or Her Highness – for the Regent of Pahang and Terengganu and their consorts.
- Duli Yang Teramat Mulia (DYTM), equivalent to His or Her Highness – for all Regents, Perak and their consorts excluding Pahang, Terengganu and Johor.
- Yang Teramat Mulia (YTM), quivalent to His or Her Highness – for senior royal family members and royal representatives in Negeri Sembilan.
- Duli Yang Amat Mulia (DYAM), equivalent to His or Her Highness – for the Crown Prince of Johor.
- Yang Amat Mulia (YAM), equivalent to His or Her Highness – for royal family members.
- Yang Mulia (YM), equivalent to His or Her Highness – for extended royal family members.
- Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT), equivalent to His or Her Excellency – for governors, high commissioners and ambassadors.
- Yang Amat Berhormat (Mulia) (YABM/YAB), equivalent to the Right Honourable – for the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief Minister.
- Yang Berhormat (Mulia) (YBM/YB), equivalent to the Honourable – for ministers, deputy ministers, members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
- Yang Amat Arif (YAA), equivalent to the Right Honourable – for chief judges.
- Yang Arif (YA), equivalent to His or Her Honour – for judges and judicial commissioners.
- Yang Amat Dihormati (YAD), equivalent to the Right Honourable – for royal representatives in districts of Selangor.
- Yang Dihormati (YDh.), equivalent to the Honourable – for high and senior police officers.
- Yang Amat Berbahagia (YABhg.) – for spouses of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and persons with the title of "Tun".
- Yang Berbahagia (YBhg.) – for persons with the title of "Tan Sri" and "Datuk", or equivalent, and their spouses.
- Yang Amat Berusaha (YABrs.) – for higher public officers without any title.
- Yang Berusaha (YBrs.) – for high public officers without any title.
- Yang Amat Setia (YAS) – for high military officers without any title.
- Yang Setia (YS) – for senior military officers without any title.
- Sahibus Samahah (SS), equivalent to His Eminence – for State Muftis.
- Sahibul Fadhilah (SF), equivalent to His Grace – for State Deputy Muftis, Qadhis and senior Ulamas.
- Sahibus Saadah, equivalent to Yang Berbahagia – for the Director of Islamic Affairs of Selangor.
- His Majesty – The King of Morocco.
- His Imperial Majesty – The Sultan of Morocco (before 1957, now obsolete).
- 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 Beloved 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 "Madame 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 officials in the government.The title is also conferred to Elected and appointed officials of student or other peoples organizations that has great participation in creating, implementing, and interpreting policies of the organization. The title in Tagalog is "Ang Kagalanggalang" (The Honorable). In senatorial and congressional inquiries and impeachment procedures, senators and representatives are addressed Your Honor, because their functions have the powers of judges in asking questions.
- Sir/Madame - Common informal manner of address
- Illustrious Knight, Sir/Lady- Titles for members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, the Philippines' only order of knighthood created by law.
- In the Sultanate of Sulu, the Sultan is addressed as Paduka Mahasari Maulana al Sultan.
- His/Her Majesty - the monarch of Spain, when referred to as monarch. When referred to as Head of State, he is usually styled His Excellency the Head of State.
- His/Her Royal Highness – the Prince of Asturias and the Infantes (non-heir apparent royal princes).
- 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").
- His/Her Most Excellent and Magnificent Lord – Rector of a university.
- His Lordship/Her Ladyship (su señoría) – barons, seigneurs, members of parliament, judges.
- His/Her Majesty - The King and Queen of Thailand.
- 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...).
Most current and former elected federal and state officials and judges in the U.S. are styled "The Honorable [full name]" in writing, (e.g., "The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of the City of Dallas"). Many are addressed in conversation as "Mister [title]" or "Madam [title]" ("Mr. President," "Madam Mayor") or simply by (title)+(name) 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 US 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. Similarly, Governors may be 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 (he was addressed as such formally in the debates), despite leaving the office of Governor of Massachusetts in 2007.
- Judges are styled "The Honorable [full name]" in writing, and orally in court as "Your Honor", or as "Judge Smith." Chief Justices of Supreme Courts are addressed orally as "Mr. or Madame Chief Justice" or "Chief Justice"; Associate justices as "Justice Jones," or "Justice."
- Mayors are styled "The Honorable [full name]" 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.
- His/Her Excellency (oral address Excellency, Your Excellency) was once customarily used of governors of states, though this has given way to "The Honorable", the form used to address all elected officials in the United States. "His/Her Excellency" has continued in the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Virginia and the states of South Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
- Members of the House of Representatives are similarly styled in writing as "The Honorable [full name]." Orally they are traditionally addressed as "Mr./Ms. [name]," but as a practice are sometimes addressed as "Representative [name]" or "Congressman/Congresswoman [name]" 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). Senators similarly are addressed in writing as "The Honorable [full name]" and orally as "Senator Smith." 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/gentlewoman "from such-and-such a state" – "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, as in "I disagree with my dear friend, the junior senator from Ohio...". Senators also commonly use "my friend from X" and "the distinguished senator from X".
- 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.
For the styles of address to government officials in Imperial Russia, see Table of Ranks.
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. Curtsies have for many years been no longer obligatory when meeting members of the British Royal Family; indeed some royal highnesses positively hate being curtsied to. One described the experience of a row of curtsying women, bobbing up and down, as leaving her 'sea-sick'.
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. The United States has become one of the most informal countries in the world , with styles such as Excellency now largely abandoned or ignored, even by those who legally have them. 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 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.
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- ^ See Substantive title
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- ^ See, e.g., File:Congressional Frank 1921 T.S. Butler.jpg (scan of a Representative's frank).
- ^ See, e.g., File:Franked.jpg (scan of franked envelope from a U.S. Senator).
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