How to Address a Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of a U.S. State

—-Envelope or address block of an email:
—-—-The Honorable
—-—-(Full Name)
—-—-Lieutenant Governor of (state)

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-Lieutenant Governor of (state)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):

—-—-Mr./Ms. (Surname)

See social joint form of address for a couple.


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Former U.S. Lt. Governor?

How do I address an envelope and letter to a former lieutenant governor?
—————-– ELC, in California

Dear ELC:
A former lieutenant governor continues to be addressed in writing as:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)

—-——–The Honorable Stephen Wilson

And in a salutation or conversation goes back to whatever form of address to which he or she was entitled to before assuming the office of lieutenant governor. Being a lieutenant governor is not a rank one attains, holds and keeps. It is an office one assumes, occupies and leaves for the next official. So, the correct form would be:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):

—-—-Which looks like:
————Dear Mr. Wilson:

When jointly addressing a former lieutenant governor and his or her spouse list the spouse on a second line. Formally the former lieutenant governor gets his/her name on a line of his own, not combined with hers:
—-—-The Honorable Stephen Wilson
—-—-and Mrs. Wilson

—-—-The Honorable Sarah Wilson
—-—-and Mr. James K. Wilson

Note: While a current lieutenant governor might be identified (especially by the media) or addressed as Lieutenant Governor (Name) orally by others while in office …. a current lieutenant governor is formally, directly addressed in a salutation or conversation as Mr./Ms. (Surname).

– Robert Hickey

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

Why Isn’t a Lt. Governor not Addressed as ‘Governor (Name)’

Why isn’t a Lieutenant Governor of a US state addressed as ‘Governor’ just as a ‘Lt. Colonel’ is addressed as ‘Colonel’?  Addressing the Lt. Gov. with the whole title of ‘Lieutenant Governor (Name)’ is cumbersome.
——————–– Wondering in Nebraska

Dear Wondering:
Addressing a lieutenant governor as ‘Governor (name)’ is not respectful to the Governor of your state. There is only one Governor in Nebraska, not two.

Lieutenant governors don’t have a special honorific for their office. Simply address him or her as ‘Mr./Ms./etc. (Name)’ … and identify as ‘the Lieutenant Governor of (state)’ as necessary.

You might hear the Lieutenant Governor referred to as ‘Let me show you to your seat Lieutenant Governor Herbert’ or referred to as ‘Lieutenant Governor Bell’ in the media, but these are phrases used to informally identify these officials is some situation, not a formal direct form of address.

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

Is the Wife of a Lieutenant Governor a ‘Second Lady’?

Is there an official guideline in print somewhere that states we are to address the wife of a Lt. Governor as ‘Second Lady’? I have not found anything that refers to this or gives that title to a Lt. Governor’s spouse. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
—————–– Diane

Dear Diane:
—-#1) The spouses of many officials are informally described as a First Lady to define who they are. It’s not a form of address. The wife of a lieutenant governor is most formally Mrs. (Surname), wife of the Lieutenant Governor of (Name of State). There is no title.

—-#2) The only spouses of government officials I know of having official special forms of address are in Commonwealth countries: the spouse of the Queen’s representative to a Commonwealth realm … is addressed as:

Official envelope:
—-—-His/Her Excellency Mrs. (Husband’s full name)
—-—-His/Her Excellency Mr. (Full name)

—-—-Your Excellency
—-—-Mrs. (Surname)

And the spouse of the Queen’s representative to a province … is addressed as:

Official envelope:
—-—-His/Her Honor (Full Name)

—-—-Your Honor
—-—-Mr./Ms./etc. (Surname)

—-#3) Even ‘First Lady of the United States’ is not an office. When the wife of the President attends events as The President’s representative she is granted his precedence, but she has no official precedence of her own based on being the spouse of the POTUS.

—-#4) ‘First Lady’ is used as an honorific at some African-American congregations where they address the spouse of their pastor as ‘First Lady (Surname)’. But using ‘First Lady’ as an honorific is not the tradition at the White House or with other U.S. political spouses. A spouse of a current President of the United States is correctly addressed as ‘Mrs. (Surname)’.

– Robert Hickey

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address a Lieutenant Governor and Spouse

How does one address an invitation’s envelope to the mayor and his wife?
——————–– Maria Caffi

Dear Ms. Caffi:
A lieutenant governor is addressed on an envelope as the Honorable (Full Name). Invitations to events, even official events, are assumed to be social. Job titles do not appear on social correspondence: so, no reference to the job he/she holds.

—-#1) If the lieutenant governor is a man and his spouse uses (Mrs.) + (same family name), then traditionally her given name does not appear:
—-—-The Honorable William Stanton
—-—-and Mrs. Stanton

—-#2) If the lieutenant governor is a man and she a different surname … then her full name appears:
—-—-The Honorable William Smith
—-—-and Ms. Linda Blake

—-#3) If the lieutenant governor is a woman, his full name appears whether he uses the same or different surname:
—-—-Using the Same Surname:
—-—-—-The Honorable Linda Stanton
—-—-—-and Mr. William Stanton

—-—-Using Different Surnames:
—-—-—-The Honorable Linda Blake
—-—-—-and Mr. William Smith

—-When person is ‘the Honorable’ – they get their name as unit – not combined with anyone else’s name. You see this style used but, use it only when space is an issue. Officials love their names spelled out fully. The longer the better.:
—-—-The Honorable and Mrs. William Stanton

—-#4) If the spouse has her own rank, courtesy title, or some special honorific, and does not have higher precedence, then both get their full name:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and the Honorable (Full Name)

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and Dr. Linda Stanton

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-and the Reverend (full name)

—-Probably more answer than you wanted … but I hope it is useful.

– Robert Hickey

Related Posts:
Couples: Private Citizens
Couples: Christian Clergy
Couples: Rabbis
Couples: Military
Couples: U.S. Officials
Couples: Same Sex


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”