Foreign Ambassador Accredited to the United Kingdom

An Ambassador accredited to the Court of St James's is accorded the style of His/Her Excellency within the United Kingdom and Colonies.

It is always correct to describe an Ambassador by name, adding the country after the name.

For example, 'His Excellency M Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the French Ambassador'.

It is also correct, and often preferable, to use the adjectival form if of long established use, for example 'His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador', but there is a growing use of the name of the country in place of its adjectival equivalent, as for example 'The Jordan Ambassador' rather than 'The Jordanian Ambassador'.

'Netherlands' is used in diplomatic circles in preference to 'Dutch'.

If in doubt, check with the Secretary of the Ambassador in question.

Precedence within the Diplomatic Corps is accorded to an Ambassador in a common roll from the time they take up their duties in London. The London Diplomatic List is published by The Stationery Office, and is also available in an on-line version on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at

In a letter to an Ambassador, it is usual to mention 'Your Excellency' in the opening and closing paragraphs. In a long letter, further references may be made to 'you' or 'your'.

How to Address an Ambassador

The recommended social form of address to an Ambassador is as follows:

Beginning of letter Dear Ambassador
End of letter

Believe me, My dear Ambassador
Yours sincerely

Envelope His Excellency M Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, CMG, LVO
The French Ambassador
Verbal communication  (social) Ambassador (or by name)
Name on invitation (social) The German Ambassador
Joint invitation (social) The German Ambassador and Frau Ischinger

Other Styles, Ranks and Titles

His/Her Excellency always precedes all other styles, ranks or titles (including foreign equivalents of 'Mr', and Don and Doctor). An Armed Forces rank immediately follows His/Her Excellency, eg:

His Excellency General ...
His Excellency Doctor ...
His Excellency M, Mr, Herr, Sr ... etc

'Esq' cannot be used in conjunction with 'His Excellency'.

If an Ambassador is His/Her Royal Highness, or His/Her Serene Highness, 'His/Her Excellency' is not used.

The Wife of an Ambassador

The wife of an Ambassador is not entitled to the style of 'Her Excellency' and is referred to and addressed by her name in official documents, but she is sometimes called 'Her Excellency' by courtesy if coupled with her husband's name or in a list of Ambassadors' wives.

The husband of a female Ambassador receives no style or title as such.





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