Questions on Letters After the Name

When an American is bestowed an Honorary title, (i.e. Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), does this bestow any title on his wife? AMcC
Thank you for your enquiry. No, an honorary title does not confer any title upon the spouse.

I have to write to clients, and it is the husband who has an MBE. Could you please advise the correct form of address one should use on the letter and the envelope? ie. is it Mr A.B. Black MBE and Mrs Black? 

Joint forms of address are best avoided - for the simple reason that the inclusion of post-nominal letters sometimes looks cumbersome.

However, in some circumstances a joint form of address is required. In the example you cite, your proposed form of address is exactly right (Mr A. B. Black, MBE, and Mrs Black) (punctuation optional). Your salutation would be 'Dear Mr and Mrs Black'. See Crown Honours

I have bought a title that makes me a feudal lord of Chelmswood. When I was in the army was awarded the UN-GSM-silver jubilee medal and long service and good conduct medals. Can I put any of these medals after my name and title? And how would I be addressed? 

It is probably wisest not to use your manorial title in any social context, and only to wear your medals on Remembrance Sunday or at a Regimental Reunion. Your medals are not Crown Honours, and therefore cannot be added as letters after your name. See Crown Honours

When a person is notified that they are being awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, when can they use MBE in their title?  Do they have to wait until after the investiture? JS
The MBE may be used immediately upon announcement. There is no need to wait until the investiture of the honour. See Crown Honours

Having been honoured by Her Majesty by being made a Member of the British Empire when should I and when should I not use the MBE suffix? 

It would be quite in order for you to have correspondence cards printed with your name, followed by your post-nominal letters, at the top of the card.  It would also be helpful if on all formal or business correspondence you were to type your name under your signature with your post-nominal letters, so that your correspondents will know how you should be correctly addressed.

It is a question of personal taste whether or not your post-nominal letters should appear on a list of names, etc, say at a golf club, but on balance I should recommend against using it with too much frequency. See Crown Honours

Our charity is doing some work with Sir Clive Woodward and we are sure how to use his name on invitations - is it Sir Clive Woodward or Sir Clive Woodward OBE? I thought the OBE was overtaken by the knighthood?  (The knighthood is newer than the OBE.) 

The correct way to address Sir Clive Woodward on an envelope for example, or in any formal document, is Sir Clive Woodward, OBE. The knighthood is quite separate from his OBE.

A social invitation from Sir Clive (ie 'Sir Clive Woodward requests the pleasure of your company etc etc') would not, however, include his post-nominal letters, as this would be considered too formal for a purely social event. See Crown Honours

The actress Dame Joan Plowright, the widow of Lord Olivier, is the Patron of the Mander & Mitchenson Theatre Collection. In putting her name on our notepaper, what is the correct form? Joan Plowright, DBE, The Lady Olivier; Dame Joan Plowright DBE, The Lady Olivier. Or something else? 

Thank you for your enquiry. I should have thought that 'Dame Joan Plowright, DBE' would have been quite adequate for your writing paper, but if you know that Dame Joan is anxious to have her married name as well, I think the only way would be to add it in a bracket, ie 'Dame Joan Plowright, DBE (The Lady Olivier)'. The use of the definite article is optional, although I note that it is almost always used by Buckingham Palace in the Court Circular, so perhaps it should be included - as above. See Crown Honours

Could you please advise the correct form of address and post-nominal order for a gentleman who is a JP and Lord-Lieutenant and has just become a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. 

There are no post-nominal letters that signify the rank of Lord-Lieutenant. So, for example, if the gentleman in question is Sir Henry Elwes, you should address your letter to Sir Henry Elwes, KCVO.

A Justice of the Peace is not a Crown Honour, but you may certainly add these letters after KCVO, if you wish. If you are writing to a Lord-Lieutenant on a matter which concerns his county appointment you may add HM Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire as the second line of the address. See Crown Honours


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