How to Address the Head of Government

The Head of Government

The Prime Minister

In many Commonwealth countries, the Prime Minister is formally styled ‘The Honourable’. If he/she becomes a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom (an office held for life), then he/she is styled ‘The Right Honourable’.

If the Prime Minister of Jamaica is a member of the Privy Council he/she is formally styled: ‘the Right Honourable ………………………, PC, MP’. Although  it has become a tradition in Jamaica to use the postnominal letters ‘PC’, the British and other Commonwealth Countries generally do not use these letters, as it is considered implicit in the title ‘Right Honourable’. It is therefore optional. However, if a Prime Minister becomes a member of the Order of the Nation, he/she is styled the Most Honourable and if he/she becomes a member of the British Privy Council, the letters PC must be placed after the name as the prefix ‘Most Honourable’ subsumes the prefix ‘Right Honourable’ eg. The Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, ON, OCC*, PC, QC.

* Mr Patterson was also awarded the Order of Caribbean Community, CARICOM’s highest honour.

At formal official functions if the Governor-General is not present and where the Prime Minister is present, the National Anthem should be played to announce the arrival of the Prime Minister. All persons present should stand silently with heels together and preferably with hands at sides.

The Mode of Address in:

Writing:

                        The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

1 Devon Road

Kingston 10

 

Opening Salutation:

                        ‘Madam/Dear Madam/Dear Madam Prime Minister/Dear Prime Minister

 

Closing:

            ……………………………………………………………………………..
Yours faithfully (formal usage)

 

Yours sincerely (semi-formal usage)

 

Signature’

 

Verbal Address/Subsequent Referrals:

 

            ‘Madam Prime Minister’ (formal) /‘Prime Minister’ (semi-formal)

 

Introduction:

 

Prime Minister, may I introduce ……..

Informally:

 

Only if you are a personal friend, the first name may be used in a private setting

 

Place Card:

 

            The Prime Minister

Note

Normally place cards are not used for the Governor-General nor the Prime Minister as, at this level, their seats would have been designated and carefully noted by those doing the seating.

Invitation Card:

 

Placing the title before the name of the host is correct when addressing an invitation card, eg.

The Prime Minister

The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP and

The Most Honourable Errald Miller

request the pleasure of the company of

……………………….