Consul General, Consul, Honorary Consul

How to Address a Consul General
How to Address a Consul
How to Address a Honorary Consul
Diplomats at a Consulate or Consulate General

Consuls general, consuls and honorary consuls receive no special form of address based on their diplomatic service. An ambassador is the only diplomat to recieve a special form of address.

—-Consul General, envelope or address block on letter or email:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)
—-—-Consul General of (full name of country)
—-—-(Address)

—-Consul, envelope or address block on letter or email:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)
—-—-Consul of (full name of country)
—-—-(Address)

—-Honorary Consul, envelope or address block on letter or email:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)
—-—-Honorary Consul of (full name of country)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation for all:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):   How to Address a Consul or Consul General

How to Address an Invitation to a Consul General

I believe the correct way to address an envelope to the Consul General of Japan in Denver is:

—-Envelope:
—-—-Consul General Ikuhiko Ono
—-—-Consul General
—-—-Consulate General of Japan in Denver, USA
—-—-(Street Address)
—-—-Denver, CO ZIP

The invitation to the Consul General in his official capacity and not a social invitation, so I think I need to reference his title on the envelope, take-in card, and place card. There are 12+ Consulates General of Japan in various cities in the US, so I think I should specify the city. Right?
—————-– Jane

Dear Jane,

This is the formal way to address an envelope to a consul general:

—-Envelope:
——–Mr. Ikuhiko Ono
——–Consulate General of Japan
——–(Address)
——–Denver, CO ZIP

‘Consul General’ is not used as an honorific in conversation or in writing. Address a consul general as ‘Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)’ – using the honorific to which he or she is personally entitled. Among diplomats, only ambassadors have a special form of address.

Regarding including the city … in Denver, USA … you only need to specify that he is the ‘Consul General of Japan in Denver’ if there are two consuls general at that location.  The ‘to Denver’ would clarify for whom the invitation is intended. But I doubt that is the situation here.

Write his name as ‘Mr. Ono’Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname) –  on his take-in card and place card.

If you want to be very formal and list only his office – not include his name – write on a take-in card or place card ‘Consul General of Japan’.  Again, adding to Denver would clarify things if you are having more than one consul general of Japan attending.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Consul or Consul General

Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address an Honorary Consul in Conversation?

How do I address in a phone conversation an Honorary Consul of Denmark?
—————-– Suzanne H.

Dear Suzanne H.:

All consuls … full time or honorary … are addressed orally on in writing as ‘Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. (Name)’ …. whichever honorific to which they are normally entitled.  An ambassador is the only diplomat that gets a special honorific or courtesy title.

– Robert Hickey

How to Address a Consul or Consul General

How to Address a Former Foreign Ambassador Who Is a Now a Consul General?

We have the Consul General of Brazil coming for a visit next month. He once served as a Brazilian ambassador earlier in his career. Does he retain that title?  How should he be addressed?

—-—-His Excellency (Name)
—-—-Ambassador (Name)
—-—-—-or
—-—-The Honorable (Name)
—————–– Fuller Wilson

Dear Mr. Wilson,
   How to Address a Consul or Consul General

Summary: When he is present as a consul general, address him as a consul general. Forms of address are courtesies of the office: address him as he comes to you. This is especially true if other currently accredited ambassadors and other consuls general are present.

—-#1) Only the singular, currently accredited ambassador from one country to another country at a time is addressed as His/Her/Your Excellency. So, no to ‘excellency’.

—-#2) It is true that former ambassadors continue to be addressed as Ambassador (Name). He is likely to prefer ‘Ambassador (Name)’ socially and in unofficial situations. It’s a higher office. But here he is attending in another role, so he should be addressed in the style appropriate for how he is attending. So, no to ‘Ambassador (Name)’.

—-#3) The Honorable’ is used when addressing U.S. officials. He’s not a U.S. official. So, no to ‘the Honorable’.

—-#4) I would be sensitive to his preferred form of address – not wanting to hurt his feelings. But I would also consider that how you officially address him defines who he is at that moment. If he is present as a consul general, what will it say to the consuls generals of other countries if you call him ‘Ambassador (Name)’? Maybe they won’t care. Maybe they will.

—-#5) Use the full, official name of the country, nor the short form. Identify him as the Consul General of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Consul or Consul General

Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”