How to Use "The Honorable"



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HONOR & RESPECT

Abbess,
    Christian Orthodox       
Abbot,
    Christian Orthodox        
Accountant        
Acting Official       
Adjutant General     
Admiral
        

Admiral, Texas Navy   
Adventist Minister       
Alderman
        

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Archpriest        
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   from a foreign country      
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   by a U.S. Citizen       
American Indian Chief        
Assemblyman
   U.S., State / or           

   Assemblywoman            
Associate Justice,
   U.S. Supreme Court          
Associate Justice of a
   State Supreme Court
Astronaut      
Attorney
         
Attorney General           
Attorney General,
       Assistant   
Attorney, U.S.         
Australian Officials    

Baron, Baroness           
British Officials,
   Royalty, Nobility     
Brother, Catholic
         
Brother,
   Christian Orthodox          
Bishop, Catholic            
Bishop,
   Christian Orthodox         
Bishop, Episcopal        
Board Member     
Boy        
Brigadier General       
Business Cards      

Canadian Officials    
Candidate    
Captain,
   USA, USAF, USMC     
Cardinal
             
Chairman
    Federal Reserve      
Chairwoman      
Chancellor      
Chaplain in the
    Armed Services        
Chaplain of Congress          

Chargé d’Affaires         
Chief Executive Officer 
Chief Judge          
Chief Justice,
      U.S. Supreme Court 
Chief Justice, of a State
      Supreme Court             

Chief of Police          
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Chief Operating
   Officer          
Child
           
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City Manager
   
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    or USMC     
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   Consul General   
 
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County Officials       
Couples     
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    U.S. Officials
    Private Citizens  
Curator        

Dalai Lama          
Deacon         
Dean, academic            
Dean, clergy            
Deceased Persons        
Degree, honorary      
Delegate, U.S., State
            

Dentist             
Deputy Chief of Mission      
Deputy Marshal          
Designate,
Elect,
    Pro Tempore      
Diplomats      

District Attorney           
Doctor, Chiropractor     
Doctor of Dentistry
          
Doctor of Medicine              
Doctor, Military           
Doctor of
   Veterinary Medicine          
Doctor, Optometrist   
Doctor of Osteopathy            
Doctor, Other Disciplines     
Doctorate        
Doctorate, honorary      

Earl            
Elect, Designate
  
Pro Tempore      
Emeritus/emerita
     
Eminence     
Emperor    
Engineer    
Etiquette    
Excellency           

Family     
Fiancee      
Firefighter    
First, Second,
   Third, etc.        
First Lady, Spouse
   of the President of
   the United States 
First Lady, Member
    of Her   
    White House Staff      
First Lady, Spouse
   of a Governor
   or Lt. Gov.    
First Lieutenant
   
Flag Protocol     
Former Officials    
Freeholder       

Gay Couple      
Geshe

General
    USA, USAF, USMC
Girl       

Goodwill Ambassador      
Governor General         
Governor, Lieuten
ant
 
Governor, Lt., Spouse   

Governor, Tribal Council          
Governor, U.S. State       
Governor, Former    
Governor
    Spouse of     
Governor's Staff,
    Member of
     
Governors, Board of 

High Commissioner    
Honorable, The
          
Honorary Ambassador       
Honorary degrees
Honorary doctorate
   
Honourable, The
   
 
   

Indian Chief         
Inspector General    
Interim Official   
Introductions       
Invitations
  
   Writing &  
   Addressing  
Invitations
   
Military:
    Writing &
    Addressing

Judge, former     
Judge of US City or

        US Count     
Judge, US Federal            
Junior, Senior,
    I, II, III, etc.       

Justice, Associate

     Federal
     Supreme Court

Justice, Associate

     State
     Supreme Court

King     
Knight      

Late, The
   (deceased persons)
       
Lawyer      
Lesbian Couple    
Lieutenant      
Lieutenant Colonel,     
   USA, USAF, USMC      
    
Lieutenant General,
   USA, USAF, USMC      

Lieutenant Governor    
     

Major
   USA, USAF, USMC  
Major General,
   USA, USAF, USMC   
Man, business
          
Man, social
         
Marquess / Marchioness
 
 
Married Women       
Marshal for a
   Judicial District, U.S. 
Mayor, U.S. City   
Mayor, Canadian City    
Mayor Pro Tempore
     
Mayor, Vice    
Medic      
Minister,
   Protestant Clergy       
Miss      
Monk,
   Christian Orthodox     
Monsignor       
Most Reverend, The        
Mother Superior
    
Mr. (Social)      
Mr. (Business)      
Mrs., Ms. (Use, Social Forms)      
Mrs. vs. Ms.     
Mr. & Mrs. / Couples   
   

Name Badges or Tags     
Nobility, British
       
Nobility, Other     
Nun, Catholic
  
Nun, Orthodox
Nurse           

Officer, Police     
Optometrist     

Pastor, Christian Clergy  
Patriarch,
   Christian Orthodox  
Patriarch,
   Ecumenical Patriarch
   of Constantinople  
People with Two Titles      
Permanent
     Representative        
Petty Officer
      
Pharmacist     
Physician
        
PhD     
Place Cards            
Police Chief
Police Officer                     
Pope, Catholic
  
Pope, Coptic
      
Postmaster General         
Post-Nominal
    Abbreviations    
Presbyter, Orthodox
   
President, corporate
President of
    College or
    University   
President of a
    Secondary
    School      
President of a
    US State Assembly 
President (current)
   of the U.S.A.          
President (former)
   of the U.S.A.     
     
President of the
    U.S.A., spouse of  
President-elect
    of the U.S.   
Priest, Catholic          
Priest,
    Christian Orthodox 
Priest, Episcopal        
Prime Minister
       
Principal      
Professionals
   & Academics         
Professor
     
Pro Tempore,
   Elect, Designate    
Psychologist      

Queen

Rabbi               
Ranger, Texas        
Representative,
   U.S., Federal           
Representative,
   U.S., State            
Reservist, Military      
Resident
    Commissioner 
Retired Military
   1. Formula For
       How to Address     
   2. Q&A / Blog On
       Use of Rank by
       Retired Military    
 

   3. Q&A / Blog on
       How to Address
       Retired Military   
Reverend, The
      
Right Reverend, The         

Same Sex Couple      
Salvation Army    
School Board Member
     
Second
Lieutenant        
Secretary,
   U.S. Department,
   Member of the Cabinet
Secretary
   of Defense, U.S.       
Secretary, Assistant       
Secretary General
   of the U.N.            
Senator, U.S., Federal       
Senator, U.S., State         
Senator, Canadian       
Senior, Junior,
     I, II, III, etc.         
Senior Judge 
      
Sergeant       
Sergeant at Arms
          
Seventh Day
     Adventist Minister       
Sheriff       
Sister, Catholic       
Solicitor General      
Speaker of the U.S.
   House of
   Representatives.           
Specialist       
Spouse of the
    President of the U.S.       
Spouse of the
    Vice President
    of the U.S.           
Spouse of an
    Elected Official            
State Attorney     
Surgeon General          

Texas Ranger        
Town Justice      
Town Manager       
The Honorable     
Tribal Officials     
Two Titles,
    Person With

Under Secretary    
US Attorney
       
US Federal Officials
     
US State Officials     
US Municipal Officials

Venerable, The        
Veteran (not Retired)         
Veterinarian
           
Very Reverend, The         
VFW Officer/Official    
Vice Mayor       
Vice President
    of the U.S.
Spouse of the
    Vice President
   
of the U.S.
Vice President-elect
    of the U.S.      
 
Viscount and/or
   Viscountess        

Warrant Officer       
Widow
     
White House Staff    
Woman, business        
Woman, social        

Yacht Club Officer      


 

How to Address U.S. Officials,
Both Current and Former,
As The Honorable

Questions & Answers, Frequently Asked Questions, and Blog


Site updated by Robert Hickey on August 31, 2014

When Do I Use My Own "The Honorable"?    
Can I Choose Not Address an Official as
"The Honorable (Full Name)"
       If I Do Not Think he/she is Honorable?     
 
Do you capitalized the "t"  in "The Honorable"? 
May I Abbreviate "Honorable"?      
Can I use simply "Hon."?  Do I have to include "The"?                


Does One Use "The Honorable" In his/her Return Address?  
Does A Host Issue an Invitation as "The Honorable (Full Name)"?    
Is it Proper to Call Yourself "The Honorable" In Conversation?     
Do You Use "The Honorable (Full Name)"
         When Signing Your Own Name?     
Do I Use "The Honorable (Full Name)" on my Business Card?     
Do I Use "Dear The Honorable (Name)" in a Salutation?              

Is an Acting Official "The Honorable"?        

Is The First Lady "The Honorable"?     

Is a Former Appointed Official Still "The Honorable"?     
Is a Former Elected Official still "The Honorable"?      
Is a Former President of the United States an "Honorable"?     

How to Address a couple who are both The Honorable?     
How to Address an "Honorable" & his/her Spouse?     

How to List a "The Honorable" in a Program?       

Are Deceased Persons still referred to as "The Honorable"?    

Does a Host/Hostess Use The Honorable on an Invitation?
    I am writing with regard the use of the Honorable on invitations. Our president, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is the Honorable.
      How should we write the name of Dr. Jackson on invitations? What is correct for listing titles and degrees (both earned and honorary) with Honorables? 
     Is it proper to say:
          The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
          invites you to join her and
          the 2013 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
          Honorary Degree Recipients
          on Saturday, etc. ....
Please advise.
 
         -- DP

Dear DP:
    I've driven by Renssalaer many times ... so I am happy to see your note. What a fantastic institution.

GENERAL USE OF THE HONORABLE WITH ACADEMIC DEGREES
    "The Honorable" is a courtesy title and courtesy titles are not used with post-nominals abbreviations.  
     So NO to:
        The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
    and YES to:
        The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson

USE OF THE HONORABLE ON AN INVITATION
    On invitations the host/hostess is actually writing his/her own name, and one does not identify oneself as "The Honorable": Others address you as "The Honorable."  
    So
YES to:
        Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Or more likely:
        Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
          -- Robert Hickey

Is an Acting Deputy Secretary or
Deputy Attorney General Addressed as The Honorable

     How does one address a letter to an Acting Deputy Attorney General?  Does one refer to him as
The Honorable (Full Name)?  If he were the Deputy Attorney General he would be the Honorable (Full Name).  I believe that the Honorable is used for all presidential appointees; but this current Deputy Attorney General is just Acting (in office until he is confirmed by the Senate).
          -- Anup Sanjay

Dear Mr. Sanjay:
    Unconfirmed cabinet-level officials ... acting secretary, secretary ad-interim, and secretary designates (and corresponding attorneys general, too) ... are addressed as The Honorable. I base that on Mary Jane McCaffree & Pauline Innis's Protocol. But for office holders below cabinet level I know of no source that says the courtesy title is use with any office holder.
    So, an acting official below cabinet level would not be The Honorable until appointment and confirmation are complete.  Until then he or she is simply:
              Mr./Ms./etc. Name + Name of Office Held

    If an appointee had been elected to office in a general election or in some way was entitled to be addressed as The Honorable already ... he or she would not have to wait.
       -- Robert Hickey

How to Use the Honorable in a Salutation?
        I have to send a letter addressed to two state legislators, one a woman, the other a man. They are co-chairs of a joint committee.
        I assume the letter should be addressed to each separately using The Honorable, as in
    
            The Honorable (insert full name), Co-Chair
   
             Joint Committee Name
  
              Room Number
  
       
      State Capitol
        What would the salutation be? Would it be:
 
               The Honorable (insert full name)
 
               and The Honorable (insert full name)
        Or should I begin the salutation with Dear as opposed to The?
        Since they both have the same status as co-chairs, and each has held the position the same amount of time, should their order, both in the address and salutation be determined by how long each has been a legislator?
       Thank you in advance for your reply.

           -- Bob E. in Wisconsin

Dear Bob:
    Your outside envelope looks fine.
    You can use this form on the letter's "TO" spot, also.
    In a salutation you use the "conversational form"   So it would be:
        Dear Senator (Surname):       .... if a member of a senate
        Dear Delegate (Surname):     .... if a member of a house of delegates
        Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):        .... if a member of legislature that doesn't have it's own honorific
                ... etc.
    The Honorable is a courtesy title that always precedes a full name and is not used in salutations.
    As to the order of the names .... even when legislators were sworn in on the same day one was first and one was second .... so they have precedence.  Maybe you can see them listed on their committee website and see who is listed first there?
    But if this is impossible, to use their precedence as legislators would be reasonable.

           -- Robert Hickey

Can I Use Just Hon. rather than The Honorable? 
 
       Is it proper to abbreviate the Honorable in the address of a letter? For example:
                       Hon. Peter Davis

                       1234 Main Street
                       Anytown, USA

 
       -- Janice Sidwell

        Is there a rule about using the with the abbreviated form of Honorable
        I remember some rule that tied using
the with Honorable in the Honorable.
        So, should the the
be used with Honorable? Just if I want to? Is there such a rule?
 
       -- TS in DC

Dear Ms. Sidwell & T.S. in DC:

         Never Honorable (Full Name) and never Hon. (Full Name).
 
       When there is room to spell it out, it is always:
                The Honorable Peter Davis
        If space is an issue, and you need to abbreviate (e.g., on a place card at an event where for some reason it has been decided that the style is to include courtesy titles) it could be:
 
                The Hon. (Full Name)
        -- Robert Hickey

Can I Not Address Someone As The Honorable
If I Think They Are Not Honorable?

I have a hard time writing The Honorable when I don’t find the official honorable (living with a woman not his wife, lying, corrupt etc.). Is it completely ignorant, to just use their official title such as Senator (Name), Governor (Name), etc?  I am respectful when writing to government officials, but that title galls me in some cases.  However, I don’t want my letters to be ignored just because of a lack of political etiquette.  So how crucial is it?
          -- G.C.

Dear G.C.,
The Honorable is a courtesy title which we in the U.S. have addressed elected officials since the late 1700's. If you want someone to pay attention to you, starting the conversation in a way they think is respectful -- is key to getting their attention. I know how I feel when I get a misaddressed letter, or get a letter with my name misspelled: I know for sure they don't actually know me, and the letter is going to be a waste of time.
          You write "I have a hard time writing The Honorable when I don’t find the official honorable."  I get variations on that question often:
          * Should I call the rabbi, Rabbi (Name), which means master or great one, if I am not Jewish?
          * Can I not address the mayor as Mayor (Name) if I voted against him?
          Of course, you can do whatever you want to do, but, it's standard practice to address an official in a hierarchy with their traditional forms of address. To push one's opinion into a conversation -- not on that specific topic -- may make the conversation a waste of time.
        So I say if you are taking the time to write a letter, address it in the way it's most likely to get the greatest attention.
        -- Robert Hickey

When Do I Use My Own "The Honorable"?
     In 1970  I was nominated by then President Nixon and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Transportation. I was thereafter written to and addressed as "the Honorable".
     In 1984 I was nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate as Under Secretary of Health and Human Services. Same "the Honorable" form of address.
     In between the two and after the second -- in my civilian life -- I used my business title, Chairman, President etc. with but two exceptions. My London office insisted upon using "the Hon.", which seemed to please the British, and our Frankfort office, in typical German fashion, used all the titles they could think of.
     My question; is it permissible and a matter of my personal choice when to use "the Hon." title somewhat similar to a "General" using his military tittle after retirement?
     I doubt that there would be many times when I would choose to do so, but upon occasion it might be useful (or amusing).
 
     - The Honorable in DC

Dear The Honorable in DC:
    The Honorable is not used by the person him or herself. It's a courtesy title, used by others as a courtesy when addressing another person. Thus, others address you as The Honorable (Full Name).
    You, actually, never use it with your own name.
                   -- Robert Hickey

Does One Use "The Honorable" In the Return Address?
Dear Mr. Hickey:
In the return address on an envelope for
an elected official, should his name appear as Joseph Schmo / (name of office) / (address) or The Honorable Joseph Schmo / (name of office) / (address) or something else?
         --- Adam Halsey

Dear Mr. Halsley:
      An individual never refers to him or herself as
The Honorable (name). So in the return address the name should be (Full name) / (name of office) / (address).
      I've seen on an envelope The Office of  / The Honorable (full name) / Delegate for the Seventh District / House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia / (address)   That's O.K. since it's stationery for all to use and it is not the official referring to the himself.
     Similarly, I wouldn't say "Hello, I am
Mr. Robert Hickey" ... one does not give oneself an honorific or courtesy title.  Sometimes I get free stickers in the mail with my name as Mr. Robert Hickey / (address) -- but not wanting to throw them out, I do use them -- on envelopes for paying bills.
          -- Robert Hickey

Is it Proper to Call Yourself "The Honorable" In Conversation?
Dear Mr. Hickey:
Is it proper to use the term the Honorable to refer to yourself in conversation
?
         --- Carla Harkness, Austin, Texas

Dear Ms. Harkness:
    If you are an
Honorable others would address you as The Honorable Carla Harkness, but you would never use it reflexively (referring to yourself that way).
    So you would never introduce yourself as
The Honorable Carla Harkness  If you were the mayor, you would introduce yourself saying  "Hello, I am Carla Harkness, I am the Mayor of Austin, Texas."
          -- Robert Hickey

Do You Use "The Honorable" When Signing Your Name?
A friend has been elected at the county level to sit as the state's attorney.  He signed a registry "The Honorable (name)" - Was that appropriate?
             --- ABH in Montana

Dear ABH:
One never describes oneself as "The Honorable" ... others address you as such, but you never use it 'reflexively'
    So, your friend should have signed the registry with just his name. If he issues an invitation, he wouldn't use "The Honorable (full name)" either ....
    But you and I would write his name on an envelope -- or introduce him/her -- as  "The Honorable (full name), State's Attorney for the Sixth Circuit Court"

           -- Robert Hickey

Can I Use "The Honorable" on My Card?
Dear Mr. Hickey:
Is it proper to use the term the Honorable to on my business card

         --- Keith Reinhardt, Cleveland

Dear Mr. Reinhardt:
   Y
ou would not use The Honorable Keith Reinhardt on your own card. on your stationery, in a letter you write, in your own signature, or an invitation you would issue. In every case you would write Keith Reinhardt, (office), so if you were a Senator, it would be Keith Reinhardt, United States Senator from Ohio.
          -- Robert Hickey

Are Officials The Honorable for Life?
I am a the mayor of a municipality - and the question arose, "Are mayors honorable for life?"
             --- Cate Wilson in Florida

Dear Mayor Wilson:
The rule for U.S. officials elected to office in a general election is "Once an Honorable, always an Honorable"  So if you are currently the elected mayor of a municipality you are most formally: The Honorable Cate Wilson, Mayor of (town) ... and I would call you in conversation "Madame Mayor" -or- "Mayor Wilson" -or perhaps "Your Honor"
    When you leave office you will be"  The Honorable Cate Wilson, former Mayor of (town)-.  ... and I would call you "Ms. Wilson" -- since jobs of which there is only one at a time, don't continue to use the "title" when they are out of office.

           -- Robert Hickey

Is a Former Appointed Official
Still Addressed as The Honorable?

Dear Robert,
     I have a question regarding a former judge (judges in our jurisdiction are appointed, not elected) who by his own choice returned to private practice. When he was a judge he was the Honorable. Would he still be addressed "The Honorable," and as "Judge (Name)", or would that be inappropriate because of his new role as a lawyer in private practice?
             --- Mark

Hi Mark,
    Two part answer:
    1) The general rule is "once The Honorable, always The Honorable."  So addressing a social envelope to a retired judge would be as follows:
        The Honorable (full name)
            Address

        Retired judges are socially addressed in conversation as Judge (surname). 
In a social salutation you would address a retired judge as Dear Judge (surname). 
    2) However if a retired or former official who has assumed another form of employment (for pay) is not accorded the courtesies of a current or retired official in a subsequent professional context.  A judge who has assumed another position -- e.g., returned to private practice  --- is addressed as "Mr./Ms. (surname)".
     He or she might be addressed as
Judge (Name) in a purely social context and might identify himself as
Judge when he issues a wedding invitation for his daughter: Judge and Mrs. (Full Name) request the pleasure ... but he would not be addressed as Judge (surname) when acting as legal counsel in another judge's courtroom.
           -- Robert Hickey

Dear Mr. Hickey
     You state that a retired judge who returns to private practice is no longer entitled to the courtesies of being called "Judge" when he or she is in court.  It could be argued that the title of "Judge" has supplanted the title of "Mister" and that it would be a discourtesy (both to the retired judge and to the court that he or she served) to strip the retired judge of the title he or she earned.  In court the judge is referred to as "Your Honor," or "The Court," so the parties involved in the proceeding will not be confused.
    I should add to my earlier email that it is the practice in the legal community to continue to refer to a retired judge who has returned to private practice as "Judge (surname)," at least outside of the courtroom.
             --- JAL & GW

Hi JAL & GW,
         The pattern in forms of address is when one leaves an office which has a special form of address -- use of the courtesies of the forms of address related to the office extend to social use only.
        E.g., when USAF General who retires but subsequently works for a defense contractor -- he is addressed as Mr. (Name) while working in his new professional role.  But, he could still send out wedding invitations for his daughter's wedding (a social use) as General (Name).
        Through interviews with attorney's and jurists I have observed the same pattern. 
        Thus addressing a retired judge as Judge (Name) socially makes sense. But addressing a practicing attorney as Judge (Name) is misleading in his role in the current circumstance.
        When you see formers being addressed as currents ... it has more to do with the person addressing the former office holder wanting to flatter the former office holder, or the former office holder wishing to receive a courtesy accorded a current office holder.
           -- Robert Hickey

Is The Honorable used with the Names of the Deceased?
In a picture caption, should former president be listed as The Honorable (Full Name) as The Honorable George Washington or The Honorable John F. Kennedy?
             --- CH in Watkinsville, GA

Dear CH:
     The courtesy title the Honorable is used when addressing or listing the name of a living person. When the name of a deceased person is listed it's just (Full Name) + Office Held that is pertinent to the story being told for which the photo is included.
     So a photo of John F. Kennedy might list his name followed by
John F. Kennedy, Lieutenant aboard PT109, John F. Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts, or John F. Kennedy, president of the United States.  But it would never be The Honorable John F. Kennedy.
           -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Former President of the United States?
Is He Addressed as "The Honorable"?

I have an example referring to a former president as "The Honorable (Name)"  Is that incorrect?  Yet I also find that one should call a former president as "Mr. (Last Name), and identify him as a former president. So what should I say to formally introduce a former president?
            --- MJH

Dear MJH:
Former U.S. elected officials are The Honorable (Full Name).
     All of these would be correct for a formal introduction:
          The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton,
                   President of the United States. 1993-2001

          The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton,
                   Former president of the United States
          The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
                   42nd president of the United States
     If you just first & last name –
William Clinton – that would constitute a (Full Name) too. I would not suggest using his nickname – Bill Clinton – with The Honorable.
     This is correct for direct address, in a one-on-one introduction, or in conversation:
          Mr. Clinton
                  -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Two Honorables?
     I need to send a letter to two people (husband and wife) who are married and both need to be addressed as The Honorable in an address.  How do I address them?!  Thanks.
     -- Rick Eckis on Capital Hill


Dear Mr. Eckis:
      I include how to cover how to address two 'honorables' in Chapter 9: Joint Forms of Address.
    
(1) First determine which person has higher precedence so you can know whose name is listed first.
     (2) Then list each person's name on a line by itself. Anyone's who is The Honorable gets his or her name written in full on a line by itself.
     (3) the "t" in "the" is not capitalized on the second line. Only on the first.
    
Neither age nor gender are considerations. So if you determine he has higher precedence, his name is on the first line and hers in on the second. If she has higher precedence she is listed first.
           The Honorable (full name)
 
     
         and the Honorable (full name)
   
 
               Address
    -- Robert Hickey

Is the First Lady "The Honorable"?
     Is it appropriate to address the first lady Mrs. Michelle Obama as The Honorable?
     -- Anne Howe


Dear Ms. Howe:
    No.
    Officials elected to office are recognized by the use of the courtesy title the Honorable.
    Actually, First Lady
is not traditionally used as a title or honorific for the wife of the President of the United States as it is in some church congregations. She is addressed directly as Mrs. Obama and identified (as if you need to identify her to anyone) as First Lady of the United States.
 
   If you were to introduce her to another person you would say:
        Mrs. Obama may I present ....

   If you were asked to introduce her from a podium prior to her speech you would say:
        May I present First Lady of the United States of America
, Mrs. Obama.
   See my book for every form used when addressing or communicating with the First Lady, or the page on this site where I give the forms for addressing a letter and salutation to a Spouse of the President of the United States.
                  -- Robert Hickey

Is the "t" capitalized in "the Honorable"?    
   Is the "t" capitalized when referring to the Honorable?
        -- Carl Hanson

Dear Mr. Hanson:   
    It's not capitalized unless it's the first word in a line ... or in a sentence.
    In my book I followed the style recommendations of the Chicago Manual of Style and New York Times Manual of Style ... and neither would cap the "t" in "the Honorable" in the middle of sentence.
         -- Robert Hickey

How to List an Elected Official in a Program?    
   How does one list the governor or the mayor in a program for an event at which they will be speaking. I found the forms of address in you book, but just not sure if that's what I should use on a program?
           -- Susan in Honolulu

Dear Susan:
    Use this formula:
         1) list by name
         2) identify by office

(Program)
Welcome Remarks
The Honorable Linda Lingle, Governor of the State of Hawaii
The Honorable Mufi Hannemann, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu

         -- Robert Hickey
 
Robert,
     I don't think it's necessary to list their offices. Everyone will know who they are. O.K?
           -- Susan in Honolulu

Dear Susan:
   You are right, sometimes offices are not included because those present may know who Linda Lingle and Mufi Hanneman are. But programs also serve as keepsakes and as a record of the event. Often to include / not to include offices, date, year, and location are made with posterity in mind.

How to Address an "Honorable" and His Wife?
     When addressing an "Honorable" male and his spouse on a formal invitation, I have always addressed them as The Honorable and Mrs. John Q. Citizen.   Someone in my office now is suggesting the correct form is The Honorable John Q. Citizen and Mrs. Citizen.
     Please help!!  Thank you so very much.

                   -- LCP

Dear LCP:
      The person in your office is correct. I think the "The Honorable and Mrs." form comes from just changing the "Mr. and Mrs." form.  
      The formal form is "rank + name" all kept as a unit. 
      These forms are not used:
 
          Admiral and Mrs. John Q. Citizen
  
         Rabbi and Mrs. John Q. Citizen
   
       
The Honorable and Mrs. John Q. Citizen
    Correct on a formal invitation would be:
   
        Admiral John Q. Citizen and Mrs. Citizen
  
         Rabbi John Q. Citizen and Mrs. Citizen
  
         The Honorable John Q. Citizen and Mrs. Citizen

             -- Robert Hickey


Not Finding Your Question Answered?
Below are other topics covered in my blog and at right is a list of officials, Between the two I probably have what you are looking for.
     After hunting around a bit, if you don't see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day (unless I am traveling.)
      If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – with your name and any personal specifics changed.
      -- Robert Hickey

USE OF NAMES & HONORIFICS   
Mr., Miss, Jr., III, & Names        
Married Women       
Deceased Persons         
People with Two Titles
Post-Nominal Abbreviations and Initials         
 
Couples: Private Citizens / Joint Forms of Address 
Couples: U.S. Military / Joint Forms of Address     
Couples: U.S. Officials / Joint Forms of Address      

USE OF SPECIFIC OFFICIAL TITLES        
Former Officials            
Professionals and Academics        

United States Federal Officials, Currently In Office             
United States State Officials, Currently In Office              
United States Municipal Officials, Currently In Office             
       All About The Honorable with U.S. Officials         
       Former United States Officials of all types             
United States Armed Services, Active Duty             
       Addressing Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Veterans      

Tribal Officials 
           
Clergy and Religious Officials           
Canadian Officials         
Australian Officials          
British Officials, Royalty, and Nobility        
Diplomats and International Representatives
           
Foreign National Officials and Nobility        

SPECIFIC SITUATIONS
Business Cards       
Couples        
Etiquette
            
Flags and Anthem Protocol             
Introductions
            
Invitations: Writing & Addressing
        
Invitations: Just Armed Service Personnel        
Name Badges & Tags            
Names on Programs, Signs, & Lists            
Naming a Building or Road            
Place Cards            

Plaques, Awards, Diplomas, Certificates    
Precedence: Ordering Officials 
         
Thank You Notes             


Site updated by Robert Hickey on August 31, 2014


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Robert Hickey is the author of Honor & Respect:
The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address
Published by The Protocol School of Washington®
Foreword by Pamela Eyring

Copyright © 2013 Robert Hickey.     All Rights Reserved.
Book Photo: Marc Goodman.