Questions on Precedence
If a person has many titles from diverse escapades, what is the correct order of precedence. If someone has become, in a varied life; a Captain in the Army; a doctor; a vicar; a member of parliament; and was subsequently knighted for these achievements, how would we address such a person. Would 'The Honourable and Reverend Captain Sir John Smith, MD' be appropriate? Is there a general rule that should be applied?
Generally speaking when there are three or more styles of address it is considered too cumbersome to include more than the two senior ones. As a rule of thumb, ecclesiastical titles take precedence over temporal, and this includes peerage and academic titles.
However, you should note that when a clergyman receives an order of knighthood, he does not receive the accolade, nor does he use the title of 'Sir', although he may use the customary post-nominal letters.
A retired officer of the armed forces who enters holy orders is not addressed by his service rank, either in the body of the letter or on an envelope. (This is not the case in Australia or Canada.)
A baronet who takes holy orders may retain his title, thus The Reverend Sir Thomas Smith, Bt, would be correct; the ecclesiastical title taking precedence over the temporal.
These variations and others too numerous to mention may be found on our website.
I am putting together a function for next week to launch the opening of a new exhibition. It is being hosted by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and they will open the exhibition alongside the Egyptian Ambassador. We also have quite a few VIPs coming including the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Chairman of Hampshire County Council, the High Sheriffs of Hampshire and Berkshire, several Mayors and the MP for North-West Hampshire! When referring to the above in a speech in which order should they be mentioned and how should they be introduced? NT
I suggest that a preamble to a speech, with reference to your question, would start with Lord and Lady Carnarvon, followed by Lord Lieutenant, Your Worships, Mr Chairman, High Sheriffs, Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen.
This is only a suggestion. If Lord Carnarvon feels the Ambassador should be given greater precedence, I see no reason why this should not be implemented. See Preamble Precedence