How to Address a Knight
How to Address a Dame

How Do I Address a Knight or Dame?

Both men and women are knighted: Men are adddressed as Sir (Name); Women are Dame (Name). How Do I Address a Dame?
Wives of knights are addressed as Lady (surname). Husbands of knights receive none of the courtesies of the wife’s honour. Peers who are knighted continue to use their hereditary title, and add the post-nominal initials of the order.

If you are sending an invitation, write his name as:

Sir (Full Name), (initials of the order, honors, decorations)
(Address) How Do I Address a Dame?

Dame (full name), (initials of the order)

Which looks like:
Sir Elton Hercules John CH CBE

Dame Julie Andrews DBE

—-If you are speaking to the knight, call him in conversation:
——–Sir (first name)
——–Dame (first name)

Confirm the correct post-nominals (the initials of the order) when you get his or her name. In a formal introduction you will need to say the name of the order, so you will need to know that the intials mean.  If you are uncertain of what the initials mean – ask your someone on their staff, or – as a last resort – do an internet search.

—-— Robert Hickey  How to address a Dame


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address an American Citizen Who Is a ‘British Knight’?

When one receives a foreign honor (as in the case with Rudy Giuliani who was knighted by Her Majesty) can he put the OBE after his name as a post nominal?  Is he addressed as “Sir Rudy”—–– Sebastian V.

Dear SV:
Knighthoods granted to non-subjects are honorary and are not used as part of their name.

Hence Mr. Giuliani would not include his knighthood’s post nominals with his name …. and is not addressed as Sir Rudy.  He would of course include this honor in his bio, and it could be included in a complete introduction. After all, it’s a great honor!

However Elton John and Julie Andrews …. who are subjects (British citizens) …. are correctly addressed in conversation as Sir Elton and Dame Julie and would use their post nominals in complete forms of their name.

– Robert Hickey      How to Address British Royalty Nobility

See these Related Posts:
—-Knight/Dame—-Noble Titles: Social Use Only


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”