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 Downing
- The Duke and Duchess of Mayfair
- The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of London
- The President of the Royal Academy, Sir John Burlington, KBE, and Lady Burlington
- The Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, and Mrs Green
- The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Lambeth
- The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
- The Earl of Aldford, OBE, MC, and the Countess of Aldford
- Mr Thomas and Dame Helen Wood, DBE
- Brigadier and Mrs Donald Hertford
- Dr and Mrs John Debrett
- The Reverend John and Mrs Bolton

See Forms of Address: Titles

See Precedence: Postnominal Letters


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