Use of The Honourable

When to Use ‘the Honourable’ British Spelling

The Honourable is used in direct address with e.g., a son of a viscount or baron; wife of the son of a viscount or baron; a younger son of an earl or viscount; wife of a younger son of an earl; daughter of an earl, viscount, or baron.

The Right Honourable is a courtesy title used with certain current and former British Commonwealth officials such as members of the Queen’s Privy Council.  It is typically abbreviated the Right Hon.

—–#1) The Honourable and the Right Honourable (both with a U like colour, flavour and armour) are British courtesy titles. The are not merely words to be translated – they are parts of a person’s name. Because it is considerate to write a person’s name exactly as he or she writes their name, use the British spelling with Commonwealth citizens and officials of former Commonwealth countries using British spellings.

—–#2) It is correct for an American to use the American spelling –– the Honorable –– with U.S. officials and officials of non-English speaking countries that use the Honorable as a courtesy title.

— Robert Hickey

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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Protocol and Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association promotes the protocol profession and raises awareness of its central role in business and diplomacy through education and networking. PDI-POA’s mission is to share the highest level of collective expertise, training, information and advice regarding accepted rules of protocol. PDI-POA is committed to facilitating communication, understanding and cooperation among individuals, governments and cultures around the globe.