How to Address a Prime Minister
How do I address a current prime minister (head of government)? Specifically, the Prime Minister of Lithuania.
————– KB in Washington
A prime minister – a head of government – from a non-English speaking country has a traditional form of address in their local language. But when traveling internationally, and the common language is English, address in writing as:
—-—-His/Her Excellency (Full Name)
—-—-Prime Minister of the (official country name)
—-Salutation and conversation:
—-#1) If you have several ‘excellencies’ and are concerned if you use ‘Your Excellency’ it will be confusing, use ‘Prime Minister (Surname)’. Using the person’s name is less formal than just their ‘title’ – but clarity is always the priority.
—-#2) Note that the formula specifies ‘official country name’. In your case the short form is ‘Lithuania’. The official country name is the ‘Republic of Lithuania’. Using the ‘official country name’ is formal. Look it up.
Why are Prime Ministers addressed as Your Excellency when traveling outside their country? The logic is they are traveling as ‘ambassadors of their government‘ and as such, they are addressed as accredited diplomats while on international missions.
– Robert Hickey