Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder usually retains the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime, although in some cases the title is attached to a particular office, and is held only for the duration of that office.
Generally people addressed as Excellency are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, and others holding equivalent rank (e.g., heads of international organizations).
It is sometimes misinterpreted as a title of office in itself, but in fact is an honorific that precedes various titles (such as Mr. President, and so on), both in speech and in writing. In reference to such an official, it takes the form His or Her Excellency; in direct address, Your Excellency, or, less formally, simply Excellency.
The abbreviation HE is often used instead of His/Her Excellency; alternatively it may stand for His/Her Eminence.
If a republic has a separate head of government, that official is almost always addressed as Excellency as well. If the nation is a monarchy, however, the customs may vary. For example, in the case of Australia, all ambassadors, high commissioners, state governors and the governor-general and their spouses are entitled to the use of Excellency.
In various international organizations, notably the UN and its agencies, Excellency is used as a generic form of address for all republican heads of state and heads of government. It is often granted to the organization's head as well, and to those chiefs of UN diplomatic missions, such as Resident Coordinators (who are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General), who are accredited at the Head of State level (like an Ambassador), or at the lower Head of Government level.
In recent years, some international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or the European Union, have designated their Permanent Representatives in third countries as Ambassadors, although they do not represent sovereign entities. This is now largely accepted, and because these Ambassadors rank after the UN representative in the orders of precedence of representatives of international organizations, the UN coming naturally first as pre-eminent, the UN Resident Coordinators are now also commonly but informally referred to in diplomatic circles as ambassadors, although the UN itself does not refer to them in this way.
Judges of the International Court of Justice are also called Your Excellency.
In some monarchies the husbands, wives, or children, of a royal prince or princess, who do not possess a princely title themselves, may be entitled to the style. For example, in Spain spouses or children of a born infante or infanta are addressed as Excellency, if not accorded a higher style.
Also, former members of a royal house or family, who did have a royal title but forfeited it, may be awarded the style afterwards. Examples are former husbands or wives of a royal prince or princess, including Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, following her divorce from Prince Joachim of Denmark. Likewise, Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg, who lost his succession rights to the Swedish throne and discontinued use of his royal titles in 1946 when he married the commoner Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark, was accorded the style.
In some emirates (e.g., Kuwait or Qatar), only the Emir, heir apparent and prime minister are called His Highness. Their children are styled with the lower treatment of His/Her Excellency (unless they possess a higher honorific).
In Spain members of the high nobility, holding the dignity of grandee, are addressed as The Most Excellent Lord/Lady.
In Denmark, some counts (lensgrever), historically those related by blood or marriage to the monarch, who have entered a morganatic marriage or otherwise left the Royal Family have the right to be styled as Your Excellency, e.g., the Counts of Danneskiold-Samsøe, some of the counts of Rosenborg and the Countess of Frederiksborg (ad personam).
Excellency can also attach to a prestigious quality, notably in an order of knighthood. For example, in the Empire of Brazil, it was attached to the highest classes, each time called Grand Cross, of all three imperial orders: Imperial Order of Pedro I, Imperial Order of the Southern Cross (in this case, also enjoying the military honours of a Lieutenant general) and Order of the Rose.
In modern days, Knights Collar and Knights Grand Cross of the Spanish Orders of Chivalry, like the Order of Charles III, Order of Isabella the Catholic, Order of Civil Merit, Order of Alfonso X the Wise, Royal Order of Sports Merit, Civil Order of Health, as well as recipients of the Grand Cross of Military, Naval, and Aeronautical Merit are addressed as such. Furthermore, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great and the Order of St. Sylvester of the Holy See, Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Knights Grand Cross of several other orders of high prestige, are often addressed as Excellency.
By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Ceremonial of 31 December 1930 the Holy See granted bishops of the Roman Catholic Church the title of Most Reverend Excellency (Latin, Excellentia Reverendissima). In the years following the First World War, the ambassadorial title of Excellency, previously given to nuncios, had already begun to be used by other Catholic bishops. The adjective Most Reverend was intended to distinguish the religious title from that of Excellency given to civil officials.
The instruction Ut sive sollicite of the Holy See's Secretariat of State, dated 28 March 1969, made the addition of Most Reverend optional, sanctioning what had been (except possibly for the beginnings of letters and the like) always the practice.
According to the letter of the decree of 31 December 1930, titular patriarchs too were to be addressed with the title of (Most Reverend) Excellency, but in practice the Holy See continued to address them with the title of Beatitude, which was formally sanctioned for them with the motu proprio Cleri sanctitati of 2 June 1957.
Cardinals, even those who were bishops, continued to use the title of Eminence.
In some English-speaking countries, the honorific of Excellency does not apply to bishops other than the nuncio. In English law, Anglican archbishops are granted the title of Grace (Your Grace, His Grace, as for a duke), and bishops are granted the title of Lordship. The same titles are extended by courtesy to their Catholic counterparts, and continue in use in most countries that are or have been members of the Commonwealth. An exception is former British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania).
In 1991, the Brazilian Presidential Office issued a composition manual to establish the appropriate usage of the Portuguese language for all government agencies. The manual states that the title of Excelência (Excellency) is the proper form used to address the President and Vice President, all members of Parliament and judges, among other officials.
Within the Commonwealth of Nations, the following officials usually use the style His or Her Excellency:
While reference may be made to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, the style Excellency is not used with reference to the Queen.
The President of India and governors of Indian states are addressed as His/Her Excellency, a custom dating from the British Raj wherein the Viceroy and the Governors of Provinces were addressed as such.
However newer protocol rules approved will discontinue "colonial era" styles of His (or Her) Excellency. The same release states that in Hindi (which is the other language in which official communications are released in the Central Government of India in its capacity of Rājabhāśhā: Officiating language) the style Rāshtrapati Mahoday (राष्ट्रपति महोदय, Sir/Honourable President) shall replace the erstwhile Mahāmahim(महामहिम). The newer style will be Honourable.
The corresponding changes in releases from the President's Secretariat shall be from Mahāmahim to Rāshtrapatiji. The release also talks about the styles of other dignitaries, like Governors. "Hon'ble" will be used before the titles "President" and "Governor", while the traditional honorifics Shri or Smt. (Shrimati) should precede the name.
However, "Excellency" will continue to be used, only for interaction of leaders with foreign dignitaries and foreign dignitaries with our leaders as is customary international practice.
The President of Ireland is addressed as Your Excellency or in the Irish language, a Shoilse. Alternatively, one may address the president simply as President or in the Irish language a Uachtaráin.
The President of Kenya is addressed as "His/Her Excellency".
The Governors of the counties and diplomats are also addressed as "His/Her Excellency".
The President of Myanmar, State Counsellor of Myanmar, Vice-Presidents of Myanmar, Speaker of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Speaker of the House of Nationalities, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Myanmar, Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, members of the Cabinet of Myanmar, Chief Ministers of States and Regions of Myanmar, mayors and ambassadors are addressed as "His/Her Excellency" while judges of the Supreme Court of Myanmar are addressed as "The Honourable".
The President (Filipino: Ang Pangulo; Spanish and colloquially: Presidente) is addressed in English as "Your Excellency" and "Sir" or "Ma'am" thereafter, and is referred to "His/Her Excellency", along with the Vice President of the Philippines. The President can also less formally be addressed as "Mister/Madame President", and "Mister/Madame Vice President" for the Vice President In Filipino, the President may be referred to with the more formal title of "Ang Mahál na Pangulo", with "mahál" connoting greatness and high social importance.[nb 1] However, unlike the English honorific, the Vice President is simply addressed "Ang Pangalawang Pangulo" without the honorific "mahal".
The incumbent President, Rodrigo Duterte, has expressed dislike for the traditional title. After assuming office in June 2016, he ordered that the title, along with all honorifics, be dropped from official communications, events, and materials but instead, he be addressed only as "Mayor" since people are already used to calling him as such due to Duterte being the longest-serving Mayor of Davao City and that his cabinet officials only be addressed as "Secretary". Other government officials followed suit by abandoning use of "The Honorable". However, despite the prior unofficial abandonment, the President continues to be addressed as "Excellency" in formal correspondences and petitions, either verbally or written.
All other local and national government officials are styled "The Honorable"; both titles, however, may be glossed in Filipino as Ang Kagalang-galang.
The President of Somalia is addressed as "His/Her Excellency” or “Jaale".
The President of South Africa is addressed as "His/Her Excellency" if in a formal context.
The President of Sri Lanka is addressed as His/Her Excellency. Alternatively, one may address the president simply as Mr. President.
The Swedish language title and forms of address are Hans/Hennes Excellens (His/Her Excellency) and Ers Excellens (Your Excellency).
During most of the 20th century in Sweden, only three officials (other than foreign ambassadors accredited in Sweden and Swedish ambassadors at their post) were granted to the style of Excellency: the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Marshal of the Realm (the highest ranking courtier). They were indeed collectively referred to as "the three excellencies" (Swedish: de tre excellenserna) In the 1970s it fell out of custom in Sweden to address the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs as such, although they continue to be addressed as such in United Nations protocol and in other diplomatic writing.
The Prime Minister of Thailand, Deputy Prime Ministers, other cabinet members, governors and ambassadors are addressed as "His/Her Excellency". Meaning in Thai language of His/Her Excellency is phanahūajaothan (พณหัวเจ้าท่าน หรือ ฯพณฯ).
The President of Turkey is addressed as "His/Her Excellency".
In the United States, the form Excellency was commonly used for George Washington during his service as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and later when President of the United States, but it began to fall out of use with his successor, and today has been replaced in direct address with the simple Mr. President or the Honorable. Diplomatic correspondence to President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, as during the Trent Affair, for instance, frequently referred to him as His Excellency. In many foreign countries and in United Nations protocol, the President and the secretary of state are usually referred to as His Excellency.
In several of the former Thirteen Colonies, the form Excellency was used for the governor. These include Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. West Virginia likewise adopted the title His/Her Excellency from its parent state. The term was formerly used in Georgia on the state governor's letterhead, the text of executive orders, any document that requires the governor's signature, and informal settings. However, it is no longer in use. The Governor of Michigan is traditionally afforded the courtesy title, though it has fallen out of use in recent years.
Other governors are sometimes addressed as Excellency at public events. This is a traditional practice that, though it is less common, is the product of custom and courtesy rather than of legislation.
Though U.S. ambassadors are traditionally accorded the style elsewhere, the U.S. government does not use Excellency for its own chiefs of missions, preferring Honorable instead.
Duce (Italian pronunciation: [ˈduːtʃe], "leader") is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and a cognate of duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce ("The Leader") of the movement. In 1925 it became a reference to the dictatorial position of Sua Eccellenza Benito Mussolini, Capo del Governo, Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell'Impero ("His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Leader of Fascism and Founder of the Empire"). Mussolini held this title together with that of President of the Council of Ministers: this was the constitutional position which entitled him to rule Italy on behalf of the King of Italy. Founder of the Empire was added for the exclusive use by Mussolini in recognition of his founding of an official legal entity of the Italian Empire on behalf of the King in 1936 following Italy's victory in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The position was held by Mussolini until 1943, when he was removed from office by the King and the position of "Duce" was dismantled, while Marshal The 1st Duke of Addis Abeba was appointed Presidente del Consiglio.
This position was the model which other fascist leaders adopted, such as the position of Führer by Adolf Hitler. In September 1943, Mussolini styled himself as the "Duce of the Italian Social Republic" (Italian: Duce della Repubblica Sociale Italiana), and held the position until the collapse of the Italian Social Republic and his death in April 1945.Embassy of Cuba, London
The Embassy of Cuba in London is the diplomatic mission of Cuba in the United Kingdom. The Ambassador is Her Excellency Teresita Vicente Sotolongo.Golden Globes (Portugal)
The Golden Globes (Portuguese: Globos de Ouro) are awards given each year in Portugal since 1996 by SIC TV and Caras magazine which award several areas of art and entertainment in the country, with theatre, sports, cinema, fashion and music.Governor of North-Carolina (1712–1776)
The Governor of North-Carolina was the representative of the British monarch in North-Carolina. From 1729 to 1776, he was appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Board of Trade. The role of the governor was to act as the de facto head of state, and he was responsible for appointing members of the provincial government after a general election. The governor served as the commander in chief of the provincial militia and had sole responsibility for defence and security.His Excellency, The Shop Assistant
His Excellency, The Shop Assistant (Polish: Jego ekscelencja subiekt) is a 1933 Polish romantic comedy film directed by Michał Waszyński.His Excellency (1952 film)
His Excellency is a 1952 British comedy film directed by Robert Hamer and starring Eric Portman, Cecil Parker, Helen Cherry. It follows a blunt Yorkshireman and former trade union leader, who is sent to take over as Governor of a British-ruled island in the Mediterranean. It was based on a play by Dorothy Christie and Campbell Christie.
The play was also filmed for Australian television in 1958.His Excellency (1958 film)
His Excellency is a 1958 Australian television film. It was one of the earliest films made for Australian television.
It was based on a play which had been previously adapted into a 1952 film, His Excellency.
The play was performed in Australia in 1953.His Excellency from Madagascar
His Excellency from Madagascar (German: Seine Exzellenz von Madagaskar) is a 1922 German silent thriller film directed by Georg Jacoby and starring Paul Otto, Eva May and Georg Alexander. It was released in two parts Das Mädchen aus der Fremde and Stubbs, der Detektiv.
The film's sets were designed by the art director Robert Neppach.His Late Excellency (1927 film)
His Late Excellency (German: Die selige Exzellenz) is a 1927 German silent film directed by Adolf E. Licho and Wilhelm Thiele and starring Willy Fritsch, Olga Tschechowa and Ernst Gronau.The film's sets were designed by the art director Erich Czerwonski and Günther Hentschel.Midna
Midna (Japanese: ミドナ, Hepburn: Midona) is one of the main protagonists in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a 2006 video game in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. She is a member of the magic-wielding Twili who joins forces with Link to prevent the kingdom of Hyrule from being enveloped by a corrupted parallel dimension known as the Twilight Realm. While Midna appears as an imp-like creature in the majority of Twilight Princess, her actual form is humanoid. She was designed by Yusuke Nakano and voiced by Akiko Kōmoto. Midna's first appearance was in a trailer for Twilight Princess shown at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); at the time, her gender was unknown, leaving some journalists confused about it.
Midna was generally well received by critics and gamers alike. Her role in Twilight Princess has been compared to that of Navi, who accompanies Link in the 1998 game Ocarina of Time. Midna makes minor appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and is a playable character in Hyrule Warriors.Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 128
Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 128 (P. Oxy. 128 or P. Oxy. I 128) is a letter containing the resignation of a secretary, written in Greek and discovered in Oxyrhynchus. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. The document was written in the 6th or 7th century. Currently it is housed in the Egyptian Museum (10121) in Cairo.Situ (office)
Situ was one of the highest ranking government offices in ancient China. Established in the Western Zhou dynasty, it was originally written as 司土 (pinyin: sītǔ), meaning Administrator of Land.During the Han dynasty, the title became written with the different characters 司徒 (pinyin: sītú), which is translated variously as Minister over the Masses or Excellency over the Masses. It was one of the three most important official posts during the Han dynasty, called the Three Excellencies. The nominal salary for the post was 20,000 dàn (石) of grain.The title is the origin of the surname Situ.Spanish Formosa
Spanish Formosa (Spanish: Formosa Española) was a small colony of the Spanish Empire established in the northern tip of the island known to Europeans at the time as Formosa (now Taiwan) from 1626 to 1642. It was conquered by the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the island off the southern coast of China in 1544, and named it Formosa (Portuguese for "beautiful") due to the beautiful landscape as seen from the sea. The Spanish colony was meant to protect the regional trade with the Philippines from interference by the Dutch base in the south of the island. The colony was short-lived due to the unwillingness of Spanish colonial authorities in Manila to commit more men and materiel to its defense.
After seventeen years, the last fortress of the Spanish was besieged by Dutch forces and eventually fell, giving the Dutch control over much of the island.Style (manner of address)
A style of office, honorific or manner/form of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address, and may often be used in conjunction with a title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.The Honourable
The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable (abbreviated to The Hon., Hon. or formerly The Hon'ble—the last term is still used in South Asia) is an honorific style that is used before the names of certain classes of people.The Most Excellent
The Most Excellent (Spanish: Excelentísimo Señor (male) or Excelentísima Señora (female), literally "Excellent Sir/Mister") is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in Spain and certain Spanish-speaking countries. Following Spanish tradition, it is an ex officio style (the holder has it as long as it remains in office, in the most important positions of state) and is used in written documents and very formal ocasions.
The prefix is similar (but not equal) to that of "His/Her Excellency", but in the 19th century "The Most Excellent" began to replace the former.
The proper use of the prefix Excellency was re-introduced in Francoist Spain by Generalísimo Francisco Franco himself, who was formally styled as Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado ("His Excellency The Head of State"), while his ministers and senior government officials continued using the prefix "The Most Excellent".Vice President of Nepal
The position of Vice President of Nepal (Nepali: नेपालका उपराष्ट्रपतिहरू, Nēpālakā uparāṣṭrapatiharū) constitutes the deputy head of state of Nepal and was created when the Nepalese monarchy was abolished in May 2008. The current vice-president of Nepal is Nanda Kishor Pun. The vice president is to be formally addressed as 'His Excellency'.Washington Before Boston Medal
The Washington Before Boston Medal was the first medal commissioned by the Continental Congress and, being struck in gold, is the first Congressional Gold Medal.On March 25, 1776, Congress passed a resolution which read:
Resolved, That the thanks of this Congress, in their own name, and in the name of the thirteen United Colonies, whom they represent, be presented to His Excellency General Washington, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their wise and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston; and that a medal of gold be struck in commemoration of this great event, and presented to His Excellency; and that a committee of three be appointed to prepare a letter of thanks and a proper device for the medal.
Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier was commissioned to design and engrave the medal. Creating a medal during the American Revolutionary War was not a priority, and the medal was eventually struck in Paris and presented to Washington on March 21, 1790. The medal is currently possessed by the Boston Public Library.Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak is the ceremonial head of state of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The Yang di-Pertua Negeri is styled Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) (English: His Excellency).
The official residence of the Governor is The Astana, located on the north bank of the Sarawak River in Kuching.The current office bearer, Abdul Taib Mahmud, was sworn in on 1 March 2014 and re-appointed as Governor on 28 February 2018 for the 2nd term.
Manners of address for popes, royalty, and nobility