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A style of office, honorific or manner/form of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address, and may often be used in conjunction with a title.A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.
Traditional forms of address at German-speaking universities:
Traditional forms of address at Dutch-speaking universities:
Traditional forms of address at Italian-speaking universities:
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General tradition indicates that monarchs who have ceased to reign but not renounced their hereditary titles, retain the use of their style and title for the duration of their lifetimes, but both die with them. Hence Greece's deposed king is often still styled His Majesty King Constantine II , as a personal title, not as occupant of a constitutional office, since the abolition of the monarchy by the Hellenic Republic in 1974. Similarly, until his death, the last King of Italy, Umberto II, was widely referred to as King Umberto II and sometimes addressed as Your Majesty. In contrast, Simeon of Bulgaria who, subsequent to the loss of his throne in 1947, was elected to and held the premiership of his former realm as "Simeon Sakskoburggotski", and therefore is as often referred to by the latter name as by his former royal title and style.
While this rule is generally observed, and indeed some exiled monarchs are allowed diplomatic passports by their former realm, other republics officially object to the use of such titles which are, nonetheless, generally accorded by extant monarchical regimes. In 1981, the then Greek President Konstantinos Karamanlis declined to attend the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales when it was revealed that Greece's deposed monarch, a cousin of the Prince, had been referred to as "King" in his invitation. The Hellenic Republic has challenged King Constantine's right to use his title and his passport was revoked in 1994 because he did not use a surname, as his passport at the time stated "Constantine, former King of the Hellenes.". However, Constantine II now travels in and out of Greece on a Danish diplomatic passport as a descendant of Christian IX of Denmark, by the name Constantino de Grecia (Spanish for "Constantine of Greece").
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Known as terasul in the Malay language.
The Most Honourable – In Jamaica, governors-general, as well as their spouses, are entitled to be styled "The Most Honourable" upon receipt of the Jamaican Order of the Nation.Prime ministers and their spouses are also styled this way upon receipt of the Order of the Nation, which is only given to Jamaican governors-general and prime ministers.
His Excellency/Her Excellency is used before the name of President of India as well as before of governors of the states. However, it is not mandatory for an Indian citizen to use this style to address the president or the governors after a notification from the President House. But it is mandatory for foreigners to address the president and governors.[ citation needed ]
Your Honour/My Lord – It is used before the names of judges but now it is also not mandatory. The Supreme Court in a hearing said that people need to respect the judges and "Sir" is sufficient for it.[ citation needed ]
With a long history of rulers, there are many styles which vary from territory to territory and languages for royal families in India, commonly Maharaja (for king), Maharani (queen) whereas for their successors Raja, Rani (Maha meaning "Great" removed). Rajkumar (for prince) and Rajkumari (for princess).
Others include Hukam (commonly in Rajasthan), Sardar (kings in territories of Punjab within Sikh Empire), Badshah (Mughal Empire), Vajeer-e-Aala (in Mughal Empire) etc.
In most of Africa, many styles are used by traditional royalty.
Generally the vast majority of the members of these royal families use the titles Prince and Princess, while the higher ranked amongst them also use either Highness or Royal Highness to describe secondary appellations in their native languages that they hold in their realms, appellations that are intended to highlight their relative proximity to their thrones, either literally in the sense of the extant kingships of the continent or symbolically in the sense of its varied chiefships of the name, and which therefore serve a function similar to the said styles of Highness and Royal Highness.
For example, the Yoruba people of West Africa usually make use of the word Kabiyesi when speaking either to or about their sovereigns and other royals. As such, it is variously translated as Majesty, Royal Highness or Highness depending on the actual rank of the person in question, though a literal translation of the word would read more like this: He (or She) whose words are beyond questioning, Great Lawgiver of the Nation.
Within the Zulu Kingdom of Southern Africa, meanwhile, the monarch and other senior royals are often addressed as uNdabezitha meaning He (or She) Who Concerns the Enemy, but rendered in English as Majesty in address or reference to the king and his consorts, or Royal Highness in the case of other senior members of the royal family.
The Chief Executive is styled as The Honourable.
Certain senior government officials (such as the Chief Secretary for Administration), President of the Legislative Council, members of the Executive Council, and members of the judiciary (such as the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal) are also styled as The Honourable.
In Ireland, holders of offices with Irish names are usually addressed in English by its nominative form (so, 'Taoiseach' and 'Tánaiste'), though the Irish vocative forms differ (a Thaoisigh and a Thánaiste). The President may be styled 'His/Her Excellency' (Irish : A Shoilse, IPA: [ə ˈhəʎʃ̪ʲə] / A Soilse[ə ˈsəʎʃ̪ʲə]) and addressed 'Your Excellency' (Irish: A Shoilse), or simply 'President' (Irish: A Uachtaráin[ə uːəxt̪ˠəɾaːn̥]). The titles 'Minister' and 'Senator' are used as forms of address; only the latter as a style. A TD (Teachta Dála) is formally addressed and styled as 'Deputy', though often simply Mr, Mrs, etc. Similarly, county and city councillors can be addressed as 'Councillor', abbreviated Cllr. which is used as a written style, but are just as frequently addressed as Mr, Mrs etc.
"The Right Honourable" is added as a prefix to the name of various collective entities such as:
Styles can be acquired through marriage, although traditionally this applies more to wives of office-holders than to husbands. Thus, in the United Kingdom, Anne, Princess Royal, is styled Her Royal Highness (HRH), her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, bears no courtesy style by virtue of being her husband (although his mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, has since knighted him), nor do her children bear any title or style, by right or tradition, despite being in the line of succession to the Crown, until 2015 subject to the Royal Marriages Act 1772. In contrast, when Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward, she became HRH the Countess of Wessex (&c.) and their children are entitled (although they do not use them) to the princely prefix and the style of HRH, and do bear courtesy titles derived from their father.
Styles and titles can terminate when a marriage is dissolved. Diana, Princess of Wales held the style Her Royal Highness during her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales and the title Princess of Wales. When the couple divorced she lost her style: she became instead Diana, Princess of Wales, properly a name rather than a title (although she fit the criteria which customarily accords the prefix of "Lady" to the daughter of an earl, and she had been known as such prior to marriage, she did not revert to that title following divorce).
When applied to the current Princess of Wales, inclusion of a definite article ("The Princess of Wales"), is, like HRH, part of the style which accompanies the title. When Charles was remarried to Camilla Parker-Bowles in compliance with the Royal Marriages Act, she lawfully became HRH The Princess of Wales but, as was the announced intention prior to the couple's wedding, she continues to use the lesser title derived from her husband's Duchy of Cornwall and is known as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
From the divorce until her death in 1997, Diana ceased to hold any royal style, although the monarch declared that on occasions when members of the Royal Family appeared in public, she continued to be accorded royal precedence. When Sarah Ferguson was divorced from her husband, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, she too lost her HRH style, rank as a royal duchess and as a peeress, and is known by the appellation "Sarah, Duchess of York"
In 1936, Wallis Simpson was denied the HRH style by George VI when she married his older brother, the former Edward VIII, who became HRH the Duke of Windsor following his abdication and receipt of a peerage.
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Most current and former elected federal and state officials and judges in the U.S. are styled "The Honorable [full name]" in writing, (e.g., "The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of the City of Dallas"). Many are addressed in conversation as "Mister [title]" or "Madam [title]" ("Mr. President", "Madam Mayor") or simply by (title)+(name) e.g., "Senator Jones" or "Commissioner Smith".
Continued use of a title after leaving office depends on the office: those of which there is only one at a time (e.g., president, speaker, governor, or mayor) are only officially used by the current office holder. However, titles for offices of which there are many concurrent office holders (e.g., ambassador, senator, judge, professor or military ranks, especially colonel and above) are retained for life: A retired US Army general is addressed as "General (Name)" officially and socially for the rest of their life. Military retirees are entitled to receive pay and are still counted as members of the United States Armed Forces. Accordingly, all retired military ranks are retained for life pursuant to Title 10 of the United States Code. In the case of the US President, while the title is officially dropped after leaving office – e.g., Dwight Eisenhower reverted to his prior style "General Eisenhower" in retirement – it is still widely used as an informal practice; e.g., Jimmy Carter is still often called President Carter. Similarly, governors may be addressed in later life as "Governor (Name)", particularly if running for further political office. Mitt Romney, for example, was frequently referred to as "Governor Romney" during his 2012 presidential campaign (he was addressed as such formally in the debates), despite leaving the office of Governor of Massachusetts in 2007.
All former monarchies had styles, some, as in the Bourbon monarchy of France, extremely complicated depending on the status of the office or office-holder. Otto von Habsburg, who was Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary (1916–1918), had the style 'His Imperial and Royal Highness'. He was last addressed as such by church figures during the funeral of his late mother, Empress-Queen Zita of Austria-Hungary in 1989, although the use of these styles has been prohibited in Austria since 1920.
For the styles of address to government officials in Imperial Russia, see Table of Ranks.
The names of some offices are also titles, which are retained by the office holder for life. For example, holders of titles of which there are many at the same time, such as ambassadors, senators, judges, and military officers who retire retain use of their hierarchical honorific for life. Holders of titles of which there is only one office holder at a time such as president, chief justice or speaker revert to their previous honorific when they leave office out of deference to the current office holder.
Styles were often among the range of symbols that surrounded figures of high office. Everything from the manner of address to the behaviour of a person on meeting that personage was surrounded by traditional symbols. Monarchs were to be bowed to by men and curtsied to by women. Senior clergy, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, were to have their rings (the symbol of their authority) kissed by lay persons while they were on bended knee, while cardinals in an act of homage at the papal coronation were meant to kiss the feet of the Supreme Pontiff, the Pope.
Many of these traditions have lapsed or been partially abandoned. At his inauguration as pope in 1978 (itself the abandonment of the traditional millennium-old papal coronation), Pope John Paul II himself kissed cardinals on the cheeks, rather than follow the traditional method of homage of having his feet kissed.
Similarly, styles, though still used, are used less often. The former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, was usually referred to as President Mary McAleese, not President McAleese, as had been the form used for the first six presidents, from President Hyde to President Hillery. Tony Blair asked initially to be called Tony. First names, or even nicknames, are often widely used among politicians in the US, even in formal situations (as an extreme example, President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter chose to take the Oath of Office using his nickname). One notable exception involves judges: a judge of any court is almost invariably addressed as "Your Honor" while presiding over his or her court, and often at other times as well. This style has been removed in the Republic of Ireland, where judges are addressed only as "Judge".
However, styles are still widely used in formal documents and correspondence between heads of state, such as in a letter of credence accrediting an ambassador from one head of state to another.
The term self-styled, or soi-disant , roughly means awarding a style to oneself, often without adequate justification or authority, but the expression often refers to descriptions or titles (such as "aunt", "expert", "Doctor", or "King"), rather than true styles in the sense of this article.
1 Though the Republic of Ireland does not possess a Privy Council, the style is still used. The Lord Mayor of Dublin is still styled the Right Honourable, as previous lord mayors of Dublin were ex-officio members of the former Irish Privy Council until its abolition in 1922.
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder usually retains the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime, although in some cases the title is attached to a particular office, and is held only for the duration of that office.
The Malay language has a complex system of styles, titles and honorifics, which are used extensively in Brunei and Malaysia.
Permaisuri Siti Aishah was the consort of the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. She is the youngest ever Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen) of Malaysia, ascending the throne at the age of 28 on 26 April 1999. During her reign as Raja Permaisuri Agong, she was known as Tuanku Siti Aishah.
Raja Permaisuri Bainun is the former Raja Permaisuri of Perak the (Queen) Malaysian state of Perak. She was also the ninth Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen) of Malaysia, the first commoner to be installed as Queen. She is the widow of Sultan Azlan Shah and the mother of the incumbent Sultan Nazrin Shah. She is now styled as Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Bainun.
Mohamed Bolkiah is a member of the royal family of Brunei. He is the second son of Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei, and Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit. He is the Head of the Brunei’s Viziers. After Brunei’s independence in 1984, he became the country’s first foreign minister, serving from 1984 until 22 October 2015. He served in the cabinet as the Minister of the Brunei's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade alongside the second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Lim Jock Seng.
Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah is the eldest son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife Princess Saleha binti Mohammad Alam. He is the Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and is first in the line of succession to the Bruneian throne.
In the English language, an English honorific is a form of address indicating respect. These can be titles prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Mx,Sir, Dr, Lady or Lord, or titles or positions that can appear as a form of address without the person's name, as in Mr President, General, Captain, Father, Doctor or Earl.
Majesty is an English word derived ultimately from the Latin maiestas, meaning greatness, and used as a style by many monarchs, usually Kings or Queens where used, the style outranks the style of (Imperial/Royal) Highness, but is inferior to the style of Imperial Majesty. It has cognates in many other languages, especially Indo-European languages of Europe.
Duli Yang Maha Mulia (DYMM) is the title of the state anthem of Selangor, Malaysia, adopted in 1967. The lyricist is unknown but the music was written by Saiful Bahri.
Highness is a formal style used to address or refer to certain members of a reigning or formerly reigning dynasty. It is typically used with a possessive adjective: "His Highness", "Her Highness" (HH), "Their Highnesses", etc. Although often combined with other adjectives of honour indicating rank, such as "Imperial", "Royal" or "Serene", it may be used alone.
Saleha is the Queen consort of Brunei as the wife of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei. She was the daughter of Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohammad Alam and Pengiran Anak Hajah Besar. After her husband was crowned as the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei, she succeeded her mother-in-law, Pengiran Anak Damit, as Raja Isteri. She is the mother of Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah.
Pengiran Muda Abdul Muntaqim ibni Al-Muhtadee Billah is the oldest child and first son of Al-Muhtadee Billah, heir to the Sultan of Brunei, and his wife, Sarah, Crown Princess of Brunei. He has a younger sister, Princess Muneerah Madhul, who was born in 2011. The Prince is second-in-line to become Sultan of Brunei after his father Al-Muhtadee Billah. His father is heir to Abdul Muntaqim's grandfather Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei.
Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim of Brunei is the second born prince of Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei and fourth in line to succeed the throne of Brunei.
Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah is the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and the sixth Sultan of Pahang. He was proclaimed as Sultan on 15 January 2019, succeeding his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah, whose abdication was decided at a Royal Council meeting on 11 January.
The House of Bolkiah is the ruling royal family of Brunei Darussalam. It is composed of the descendants of the 1st sultan Sultan Muhammad Shah and his family. The Sultan of Brunei is the head of state and absolute monarch of Brunei. He is also head of government in his capacity as Prime Minister.
'Abdul Mateen is the tenth child and fourth son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei by his former second wife, Puan Mariam binti Abdul Aziz, who is half Bruneian, a quarter Japanese and a quarter English.
Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah is the 35th Sultan of Perak. He became the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, elected on 14 October 2016, before Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on 6 January 2019. He is currently the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Abdul Malik, is a prince of Brunei. He is the third son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah by his first wife, Queen Saleha.
Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj is the Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia and the Tengku Ampuan of Pahang.
Pengiran Muda Muhammad Aiman ibni Al-Muhtadee Billah is the second son and third child of Al-Muhtadee Billah, heir to the Sultan of Brunei, and his wife, Sarah, Crown Princess of Brunei.