How to Address a Knight or Dame

How Do I Address a Knight or Dame?

We are having as a guest who is a British subject and was recently knighted in Great Britain. What do I call him when I am speaking to him? Is it correct to address him as a knight in the US where there are no knights?
—————-— ATC, Summit, New Jersey

Dear ATC:
Men and women are knighted.  Wives of knights are addressed as Lady (surname). Husbands of knights receive none of the courtesies of the wife’s honour. Peers who are knighted continue to use their hereditary title, and add the post-nominal initials of the order.

——If you are sending an invitation, write his name as:

————Sir (Full Name), (initials of the order, honors, decorations)

————Dame (full name), (initials of the order)

—-—-Which looks like:
—-—-—-Sir Elton Hercules John CH CBE

—-—-—-Dame Julie Andrews DBE

—-If you are speaking to the knight, call him in conversation:
——–Sir (first name)
——–Dame (first name)

You should be able to get the correct post-nominals (the initials of the order) when you get his name from your contact. If you are uncertain of what the initials mean, today it is very easy to do an internet search. You will find exactly what they mean in a matter of seconds.

—-— Robert Hickey  How to address a Dame

How to Address an American ‘British Knight’?

On the rare occasion that one receives a foreign honor (as in the case with Rudy Giuliani who was knighted by Her Majesty) can he put the OBE after his name as a post nominal?
———————-– Sebastian V.

Dear SV:
Knighthoods granted to non-subjects are honorary and are not used as part of their name.

Hence Mr. Giuliani would not include his knighthood’s post nominals with his name …. and is not addressed as Sir Rudy.  He would of course include the honor in his bio, and it could be included in a complete introduction. After all, it’s a great honor!

However Elton John and Julie Andrews …. who are subjects …. are correctly addressed in conversation as Sir Elton and Dame Julie and would use their post nominals in complete forms of their name.

– Robert Hickey      How to Address British Royalty Nobility

—-See these Related Posts:

—-—-Noble Titles: Social Use Only

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#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)  After checking the list and reading the posts, 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 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, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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