The classic guide to forms of address for more than a quarter of a centuryMore information...
This section covers a wide range of subjects, from Honours and Appointments to Toasts and Place Cards.
Often there are no rigid rules dictating how things should be done, but simply a set of conventions that have become established over the course of time as a means of addressing people politely, and running social events in an efficient and practical way.
Certainly in a preamble to a speech, for example, at a function where a number of illustrious guests are present, it is not inevitable that the usual sequence of precedence is followed. Adjustment may need to be made in order to give due respect to a patron, president or guest of honour, and courtesy and common sense will overrule conventional good form.
If in doubt, there is no reason why the host or planner of any given event should not contact the dignitaries concerned before coming to any hard and fast decisions regarding matters of precedence and protocol.
Refer to the Address Expert for all questions relating to correct forms of address.