The Most Excellent

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The Most Excellent (Spanish: Excelentísimo Señor (male) or Excelentísima Señora (female), literally "Excellent Sir/Mister") is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in Spain and certain Spanish-speaking countries. Following Spanish tradition, it is an ex officio style (the holder has it as long as they remain in office, in the most important positions of state) and is used in written documents and very formal occasions.


The prefix is similar (but not equal) to that of "His/Her Excellency", but in the 19th century "The Most Excellent" began to replace the former.

The proper use of the prefix Excellency was re-introduced in Francoist Spain by Generalísimo Francisco Franco himself, who was formally styled as Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado ("His Excellency The Head of State"), while his ministers and senior government officials continued using the prefix "The Most Excellent".

The prefix "The Most Illustrious" (Ilustrísimo/a Señor/a) is the lower version, and is mostly used for non-Grandee titled nobles in Spain and some other officeholders.

In the Kingdom of Spain

The following State and Government officials receive the style "The Most Excellent":

Household of His Majesty The King

Executive power

Central government
Autonomous communities

Legislative power

Constitutional Court and judiciary

Local authorities

Other institutions



Recipients of civilian decorations, awards and orders



The Style of "His Excellency" in Spain

The style "His Excellency", which has a higher connotation than "The Most Excellent", is instead reserved for the children of an Infante or Infanta, who have the have the rank (but not the title) of Grandees. [2]

During Francoist Spain, General Francisco Franco was the de facto Dictator of Spain and properly adopted the style His Excellency, since he was both Chief of State and Government, without being a "royal".

Other Countries

Hispanic Countries

Following the tradition from Spain, Hispanic countries adopted the styles "His Excellency" and "The Most Excellent" although they are informally used most of the time without following rules of style.

Properly used, the style "His Excellency" (or simply "Excellency") is reserved for Chiefs of State and/or Government in Republics, i.e. the President and Vice-President of the Republic. Also, though informally, this style applies for the "President of Congress" (or equivalent) and the "President of the Supreme Courts" (or equivalent). Former Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Republics usually retain the style "His/Her Excellency" after finishing their terms, as an honorific.

The style "The Most Excellent" (Excelentísimo Señor/a) applies to high-ranking officials of Republican countries that are not Chiefs of State or Government, i.e. a Minister, a Governor, an elected official.

Ambassadors of Foreign Countries also receive the style "The Most Excellent", although informally they are addressed as "Excellency".

Other Countries

In other countries, "His Excellency" and "The Most Excellent" are rarely used.

In the United States, albeit rarely, the President of the Nation is styled "Excellency". The more British-style "The Honourable" is preferred for Senators, Representatives and other elected officials.

In European monarchies or former monarchies, the style "His Excellency" is rarely used. "The Most Excellent" is sometimes given to members of the minor nobility, i.e. Counts, Viscounts and/or Barons.

See also


  1. With the exception of the Catalan-speaking communities which use Molt Honorable Senyor(a) (Spanish : Muy Honorable Señor(a)).
  2. Royal Decree 1368/1987, dated 6 November, regulating titles, forms of address and honours pertaining to the Royal Family and to the Regents Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)

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The following is the Australian Table of Precedence.

  1. The Queen of Australia: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  2. The Governor-General of Australia: His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley
  3. Governors of states in order of appointment:
    1. Governor of Queensland His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey
    2. Governor of South Australia His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le
    3. Governor of Tasmania Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner
    4. Governor of Victoria Her Excellency The Honourable Linda Dessau
    5. Governor of Western Australia His Excellency The Honourable Kim Beazley
    6. Governor of New South Wales Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley
  4. The Prime Minister The Honourable Scott Morrison MP
  5. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in order of election:
    1. Speaker of the House of Representatives The Honourable Tony Smith
    2. President of the Senate Senator The Honourable Scott Ryan
  6. The Chief Justice of Australia The Honourable Susan Kiefel
  7. Senior diplomatic posts:
    1. Ambassadors and High Commissioners in order of date of presentation of the Letters of Credence or Commission
    2. Chargés d'affaires en pied or en titre in order of date of presentation of the Letters of Credence or Commission
    3. Chargés d'affaires and Acting High Commissioners in order of date of assumption of duties
  8. Members of the Federal Executive Council:
    1. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
    2. Treasurer
    3. Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation
    4. Minister for Finance and the Public Sector and Vice President of the Executive Council
    5. Minister for Indigenous Affairs
    6. Minister for Defence
    7. Minister for Defence Industry
    8. Minister for Foreign Affairs
    9. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
    10. Attorney-General
    11. Minister for Home Affairs
    12. Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts
    13. Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women
    14. Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education
    15. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
    16. Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
    17. Minister for Education
    18. Minister for Health
    19. Minister for Families and Social Services
    20. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
    21. Minister for the Environment
    22. Minister for Energy
    23. Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population
    24. Assistant Treasurer
    25. Special Minister of State
    26. Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
    27. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
    28. Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health
    29. Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation
    30. Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
    31. Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories
    32. Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister
    33. Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport
    34. Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance
    35. Assistant Minister for Defence
    36. Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific
    37. Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
    38. Assistant Minister for Home Affairs
    39. Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services
    40. Assistant Minister for Children and Families
    41. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
  9. Administrators of Territories in order of appointment:
    1. Administrator of Norfolk Island
    2. Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories
    3. Administrator of the Northern Territory
  10. The Leader of the Opposition The Honourable Anthony Albanese MP
  11. Former holders of high offices:
    1. Former Governors-General in order of leaving office:
      1. Bill Hayden (1989–1996)
      2. Sir William Deane (1996–2001)
      3. Dr Peter Hollingworth (2001–2003)
      4. Major General Michael Jeffery (2003–2008)
      5. Dame Quentin Bryce (2008–2014)
      6. General Sir Peter Cosgrove (2014-2019)
    2. Former Prime Ministers in order of leaving office:
      1. Paul Keating (1991–1996)
      2. John Howard (1996–2007)
      3. Kevin Rudd
      4. Julia Gillard (2010–2013)
      5. Tony Abbott (2013–2015)
      6. Malcolm Turnbull (2015–2018)
    3. Former Chief Justices in order of leaving office:
      1. Sir Anthony Mason (1987–1995)
      2. Sir Gerard Brennan (1995–1998)
      3. Murray Gleeson (1998–2008)
      4. Robert French (2008–2017)
  12. Premiers of states in order of state populations, then the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory:
    1. Premier of New South Wales
    2. Premier of Victoria
    3. Premier of Queensland
    4. Premier of Western Australia
    5. Premier of South Australia
    6. Premier of Tasmania
    7. Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
  13. Justices of the High Court in order of appointment:
    1. Virginia Bell
    2. Stephen Gageler
    3. Patrick Keane
    4. Geoffrey Nettle
    5. Michelle Gordon
    6. James Edelman
  14. Senior judges:
    1. Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia
    2. President of the Fair Work Commission
  15. Chief Justices of States in order of appointment:
    1. Chief Justice of New South Wales
    2. Chief Justice of South Australia
    3. Chief Justice of Tasmania
    4. Chief Justice of Queensland
    5. Chief Justice of Victoria
    6. Chief Justice of Western Australia
  16. Australian members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in order of appointment:
    1. Doug Anthony
    2. Ian Sinclair
    3. Sir William Heseltine
  17. The Chief of the Defence Force
  18. Chief Judges of Federal and Territory Courts in order of appointment
    1. Chief Justice of the Australian Capital Territory
    2. Chief Justice of the Northern Territory
    3. Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
  19. Members of Parliament
  20. Judges of the Federal Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia, and Deputy presidents of the Fair Work Commission in order of appointment
  21. Lord Mayors of capital cities in order of city populations:
    1. Lord Mayor of Sydney
    2. Lord Mayor of Melbourne
    3. Lord Mayor of Brisbane
    4. Lord Mayor of Perth
    5. Lord Mayor of Adelaide
    6. Lord Mayor of Hobart
    7. Lord Mayor of Darwin
  22. Heads of religious communities according to the date of assuming office in Australia
  23. Presiding officers of State Legislatures in order of appointment, then Presiding Officer of the Northern Territory legislature:
    1. Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
    2. President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
    3. Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
    4. Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly
    5. President of the Western Australian Legislative Council
    6. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
    7. Speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly
    8. President of the South Australian Legislative Council
    9. Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly
    10. President of the Victorian Legislative Council
    11. President of the Tasmanian Legislative Council
    12. Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
  24. Members of State Executive Councils in order of state populations, and then members of the Northern Territory Executive Council:
    1. Executive Council of New South Wales
    2. Executive Council of Victoria
    3. Executive Council of Queensland
    4. Executive Council of Western Australia
    5. Executive Council of South Australia
    6. Executive Council of Tasmania
    7. Executive Council of the Northern Territory
  25. Leaders of the Opposition of State Legislatures in order of state populations, then in the Northern Territory:
    1. Leader of the Opposition of New South Wales (acting)
    2. Leader of the Opposition of Victoria
    3. Leader of the Opposition of Queensland
    4. Leader of the Opposition of Western Australia
    5. Leader of the Opposition of South Australia
    6. Leader of the Opposition of Tasmania
    7. Leader of the Opposition of the Northern Territory
  26. Judges of State and Territory Supreme Courts in order of appointment:
    1. Supreme Court of New South Wales
    2. Supreme Court of Victoria
    3. Supreme Court of Queensland
    4. Supreme Court of Western Australia
    5. Supreme Court of South Australia
    6. Supreme Court of Tasmania
    7. Supreme Court of the Northern Territory
  27. Members of State Legislatures in order of state populations:
    1. New South Wales Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
    2. Victorian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
    3. Queensland Legislative Assembly
    4. Western Australian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
    5. South Australian House of Assembly and Legislative Council
    6. Tasmanian House of Assembly and Legislative Council
    7. Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
  28. The Secretaries of Departments of the Australian Public Service and their peers and the Chiefs of the Air Force, Army, and Navy and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in order of first appointment to this group:
    1. Vice Chief of the Defence Force
    2. Chief of Navy
    3. Chief of Army
    4. Chief of Air Force
  29. Consuls-General, Consuls and Vice-Consuls according to the date on which recognition was granted
  30. Members of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
  31. Recipients of Decorations or Honours from the Sovereign
  32. Citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia

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