How to Address the First Lady of a State

—-Envelope or address block of an email:
—-—-Mrs. (Surname)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation:
—-—-Dear Mrs. (Surname):

—-Conversation:
—-—-Mrs. (Surname)

______
How to Address the First Lady of a State
How to Address the Spouse of a Governor
 How to Address the First Lady of a State

The wife of the governor of my state is addressed in a salutation as
—-—-Dear Mrs. (Surname):

Don’t use either Mrs. (Her First Name)(Surname) or Mrs. (Husband’s Full Name). Simply Mrs. (Surname) is the traditional form.
—-—-Mrs. (Surname)
—-—-(Governor’s Mansion)
—-—-(Address)

She is addressed orally as Mrs. (Surname).

In an introduction, phrase it like this:
—-—-May I present (Her First Name)+(Her Surname), wife of the Governor of the (official name of your state). Today Mrs. (Surname) will ….
—-—-—-or
—-—-May I present (Her First Name)+(Her Surname), First Lady of (official name of state).  We are honored to welcome Mrs. (Surname) today ….

– Robert Hickey How to Address the First Lady of a State

Related "Spouse of" Posts: ------Governor------Lieutenant Governor------Pastor------President------Spouse of an Official------Vice President, Husband------Vice President, Wife

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

Is the Wife of a Lieutenant Governor a Second Lady?

Is there an official guideline in print somewhere that in states we are to address the wife of a Lt. Governor as ‘second lady’? I have not found anything that refers to this or gives that title to a Lt. Governor’s spouse. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
——————–– Diane How to Address the First Lady of a State

Dear Diane:
Second Lady is not a form I’ve ever seen used.

The wife of a lieutenant governor is formally ‘(Name)’, wife of the Lieutenant Governor of (Name of State). There is no title.

As a general rule, spouses recieve no special form of address.  The only spouses of government officials I know of having official forms of address are:
——#1) the spouse of the Queen’s representative to a Commonwealth realm … addressed as Her Excellency Mrs. (Husband’s full name) in writing and as Your Excellency conversation … and
——#2) the spouse of the Queen’s representative to a province … addressed as Her Honor (Full Name) in writing and Your Honor in conversation.

Even ‘First Lady of the United States’ is not an office. When the wife of the President attends events as the President’s representative she is granted his precedence as a courtesy to the POTUS. She has no precedence of her own based on being married to the POTUS.
——‘First Lady’ is used as an honorific at some African-American churches where they address the spouse of their pastor as ‘First Lady (Surname)’.
——
But using First Lady or Second Lady as an official title or an honorific is not the tradition with other political spouses. A political spouse is correctly addressed as Mrs. (Surname).

– Robert Hickey How to Address the First Lady of a State

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

Is a Girlfriend of an Office Holder Addressed as First Lady?

I have a question about the title of the Governor of our state’s girlfriend. Is she addressed as the First Lady if they aren’t married? Hope you can help. If she isn’t called First Lady, how would she be addressed?
——————– PR in Florida

Dear PR,
Spouses, partners, girlfriends (cousins, children, and neighbors, etc.) of officials do not receive any forms of address based on their spouse’s/partner’s/boyfriend’s office.

Spouses (or special guests) might get preferential seating as a courtesy to the official … e.g., when they are with the official -or- when they are representing their spouse, they get the seat the official would get.

And while the wife of a President is described as the First Lady … there is no official form of address for this un-elected role. Traditionally she is addressed as Mrs. (Surname).

Yes, you hear newscasters saying First Lady (Name) … but that’s not a form of address: its’ a newscaster using a shorthand to refer to her in the third person.

So back to the girlfriend – If you were to address an invitation’s envelope to them, here’s how it should look. You don’t need to mention his office on a social envelope.  [I’ve put an ‘and’ between their names which not everyone would agree with since ‘and’ is said by many to imply they are married.  I am going to include it because they present themselves as a couple]:
—-—-The Governor of (Name of State)
—-—-and Ms. (Her Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

Or for any official addressed as the Honorable:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Ms. (Her Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

– Robert Hickey How to Address the First Lady of a State

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"