Invitations to Official Functions

Invitations to official functions name the host by his/her office and/or name. This is engraved, or printed, with his full title, rank, etc, and followed by his/her decorations, etc.

Prefixes such as His Grace, His Excellency, The Right Worshipful are, however omitted, with the exception of 'The Rt Hon', which is included for a Privy Counsellor. The courtesy title The Hon, and the suffix Esq. are never used.

The younger sons of a duke or a marquess are shown as Lord John Russell, for example, and the daughters of dukes, marquesses and earls are shown as Lady Jane Gilbert, for example.

An invitation to a clergyman with the rank of The Reverend, and his wife, should be in the form of The Reverend John and Mrs Henderson.

Invitation to non-married pairs of guests take these forms:
Brother and sister: Mr John Debrett and Miss Emma Debrett
Mother and son: Mrs George Chesterfield and Mr William Chesterfield (note that invitations to adult offspring are usually sent separately from those to their parents)
Unmarried couple: Mr Richard Maddox and Miss Ilsa Curzon

Note: on invitations to private functions all peers (except dukes and duchesses, who are referred to by these titles) are given in the form of 'Lord and Lady Blank'. This is the established custom for all functions except the very important.

Examples of forms of address for official functions

- The Rt Hon the Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron
- The Duke and Duchess of Loamshire
- The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Blanktown
- The President of the Royal Academy, Sir John Brown, KBE, and Lady Brown
- The President of the Royal Society and Lady Smith
- The French Ambassador and Madame Pompadour
- Mr Christopher Miller and the Lord-Lieutenant of Wessex
- Rear Admiral the Earl of Nonsuch, CB, DSO, and the Countess of Nonsuch
- Colonel Sir John Bayonet, Bt, MVO, and Lady Bayonet
- The Master of the Worshipful Company of Holeborers, and Mrs. White
- The Right Honourable William Blank, LLD, QC, MP
- The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Church
- The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
- The Earl of Ludlow, OBE, MC, and the Countess of Ludlow
- Mr Edward Bowden and the Countess of Kew
- The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend James Brown, KCVO, MA, DD, and Mrs Brown
- Professor Albert Blossom, FRS, MA, and Mrs Blossom
- Lord and Lady John Russell
- Mr Thomas and Dame Elizabeth Richardson, DBE
- Captain and Mrs George Rifle
- Captain George Foremast, RN, and Mrs Foremast
- Mr Justice Wig and Mrs Wig
- Judge Mace and Mrs Mace
- Mr Peter Jones and the Chairman of Board of Governors Mrs Mary Jones, CBE
- Mr and Mrs Paul Neville
- Dr and Mrs Henry James
- The Reverend John and Mrs Henderson
- Mr John and the Venerable Mary Eyre

See Forms of Address: Titles

See Precedence: Postnominal Letters


the debrett's 500

the debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

Celebrating Britons that are inspiring, achieving and making a difference.

Search now


Royal Portraits

Royal Portraits