How to Address a Governor General

How to Address the Governor General of Canada?

Here is the formula Canadian government style guides suggest:

—-—-His/Her Excellency
—-—-The Right Honourable
—-—-(Full Name), (post nominals for decorations and honors)
—-—-Governor General of Canada

————Which looks like:
—————-Her Excellency
—————-The Right Honourable
—————-Julie Payette, CC CMM COM OQ CD
—————-Governor General of Canada

—-—-Your Excellency

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Governor General of Australia?

How do I address the Governor General of Australia? Is he an ‘Excellency’ or a ‘Right Honorable’?
—-—-—-—-—-—-– MEH

Dear MEH:
The Governor-General of Australia is addressed as ‘His/Her Excellency’ denoting his/her rank the vice-royal representative of the monarch to a Commonwealth nation (chief-of-state when the monarch is not in Australia), in this case:

—-—-His/Her Excellency
—-—-(Full Name)
—-—-Governor General of Australia

—-In conversation:
—-—-Your Excellency

That part is straight forward.

To me (as an American), the most interesting part of the form of address is on the second line of the written address where the individual’s name appears. In the United States the office holder’s name would just be their (Full Name) … which generally is … (Given name)+(Surname) – with no honorifics or personal ranks included.

But in the tradition of the Commonwealth a name includes personal ranks, other courtesy titles, honorifics and post-nominal abbreviations for honors and decorations. In the past governor generals have had (Full Names) such as:
—-—-The Right Reverend Dr. (Full Name), AC, OBE
—-—-Brigadier General (Full Name), VC, GCMG, DC, DSO
—-—-Sir (Full Name), AC, KBE

E.g., recent Governor Generals include Dame Quentin Bryce, AD, CVO and General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retired).

In my book there’s more detail, but the above should get you through the basic envelope and conversations you will encounter.

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”