Speeches at Official Functions

A speaker is announced by name, followed by office where applicable. For example, 'The Right Honourable John Jones, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for ......'.

For the first speaker the announcement should have a preamble, as for the speech, followed by, 'Pray silence for .....'.

For subsequent speakers the preamble should be omitted.

It is impossible to give a list of those who should be mentioned in the preamble of a speech, since this depends so much on those present at a particular function. In general, however, the list should be kept as short as possible, avoiding any omission that would cause justifiable offence. The speaker does not, of course, include himself in this preamble.

Should The Queen be present, a preamble begins 'May it please Your Majesty'.

The Host

With the above exception, a preamble begins with the host, who is referred to by office, for example, Madam Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Provost, etc. A non-royal duke or duchess is addressed as 'Your Grace and President'.

A peer other than a duke, who is hosting a function in an official capacity, is addressed as 'My Lord and President'. It is incorrect to use the form 'My Lord President', except for the Lord President of the Council. A woman, either titled or untitled, with the exception of a member of the royal family or a duchess, is referred to as 'Madam President'. An untitled man is referred to as 'Mr President'.

Vice-President

When a vice-president takes the chair, he or she may be referred to as 'Mr. Vice-President' or 'Madam Vice-President' as appropriate, with the relevant prefix mentioned above, but he or she is more usually referred to as 'Mr Chairman' or 'Madam Chairman'.

Chairman

A chairman is called 'Mr. Chairman', or 'Madam Chairman', irrespective of his or her rank, with the exception of a member of the royal family, who is referred to as 'Your Royal Highness'. A peer should not be called 'My Lord Chairman', simply 'Mr Chairman'.

If a vice-Chairman, managing director of other officer of the organisation takes the chair, he or she is still referred as 'Mr Chairman' or 'Madam Chairman'. The use of these styles is not restricted to the actual chairman of the organisation.

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