-- Inside Information On The Capital For The Businessman And Tourist

London Serviced ApartmentsLondon Apartments with hotel services for both business trips and for your holidays

free newsletter

Stay ahead with our free business events alerts! More info...


privacy policy

Addressing Titled People

Below are details of the correct way to address a letter to a titled person, and how to start and end the letter. For a more detailed list consult "Who's Who" by A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd. or "Debrett's People of Today" by Debrett's Peerage Ltd. Alternatively, you could contact the individuals secretary for advice, not only on how to address the titled person in writing, but also how to address and introduce the titled individual when meeting them in person.

Unless you know the Queen and other members of the Royal Family personally, letters should not be sent directly to the individual, but rather to their respective Personal Secretary.

In order to use the correct mode of address, you will need to know the individuals correct title. For example a Peer, (ie. a Lord) is a person who holds any one of the five grades of the British nobility, ie Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron.

The title of a Peer's Wife, Son and Daughter (and their spouses) sometimes vary dependent on whether they are married or not, and whether their spouse is a Peer or not. In such cases, referring to "Who's Who" or "Debrett's People of Today" will help.

The title "Sir" is not only used by a Knight Bachelor and Knights of an Order of Chivalry, but also by Baronets. Again, referring to "Who's Who" or "Debrett's People of Today" will help.

When sending a joint invitation to married couples at their home address, the envelope should always be addressed to the Wife.

In this chapter :-

"ENVELOPE" is what goes on the Envelope;

"OPEN" is how you start the letter; and

"CLOSE" is how you close the letter.

The Queen
ENVELOPE: "The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty," for formal and state papers, otherwise "Her Majesty The Queen,". Less formally "Your Majesty"
OPEN: "Madam" or "May it please your Majesty"
CLOSE: "I have the honour to remain Madam, Your Majesty's most humble and obedient servant"

The Royal Family now have their own web site

The Prime Minister
ENVELOPE: "The Rt Hon Tony Blair.MP".
OPEN: "Sir" or "Dear Prime Minister,"
CLOSE: "Yours faithfully"

ENVELOPE: "Sir [Edward Smith]" followed by letter of the relevant Order, eg "GCB". If Knights Bachelor do not add the letters "KB".
OPEN: "Sir" or socially "Dear Sir [Edward],"
CLOSE: "Yours faithfully"


Ambassador - Bishop

Clergy - High Commissioner

Judge - Justice of the Peace

Lady Mayoress - Lord Mayor's Wife

Marchioness - Princess

Queen Mother - Viscountess

Precedence of Titled People

Business In London® is a tradename & trademark and division of Straker-McKenzie Ltd. Brookscroft House 26 Second Avenue London, E17 9QH. TEL +44 (0)208 923 0918 / FAX +44 (0)208-521 9548. Registered in England No. 3057751 VAT Reg No. 676 2872 91 email: © 1997 – 2004 Straker-McKenzie Ltd

 whole site