Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Right Honourable

If a person's name has the prefix Right Honourable (Rt Hon) this tells us that they belong to the Privy Council. Cabinet Ministers, for instance, automatically become Privy Counsellors when appointed to Office; as do our most senior politicians, front-benchers in Parliament, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York; the Bishop of London; our most senior judges; and many other distinguished figures.

The style Right Honourable is also used, as of right, by peers and peeresses below the rank of duke and marquess. That is to say, earls and countesses; viscounts and viscountesses; barons and baronesses. Courtesy lords borrow their titles from their fathers and are, therefore, excluded.

Dukes and duchesses are entitled to the prefix Most Noble; while marquesses and marchionesses are entitled to the style Most Honourable.

Should a peer also be a Privy Counsellor, the letters "PC" come after their name to indicate this.

The lord mayors of several cities have also been accorded this prefix; in particular, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Belfast boasts this prefix because he, or she, is accorded ex officio the rank of a baron - not a Privy Counsellor. This rank was conferred upon the Lord Mayor of Belfast by His late Majesty King George V in March, 1923.


Anonymous said...

Sir Declan Morgan was invested a week or two ago, as is customary.

Timothy Belmont said...

Think he'll let the Bank know in order to add it to his cheque-book and documents? :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's the sort really. There would, however, be a much higher chance of Brian Kerr updating his bank book to include the peerage! He's good fun!

Timothy Belmont said...

The Rt Hon the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, PC.

Just enough space on the counterfoil before it goes off the page. :-)

Gavin Bamford said...

Good detail here. Thanks, Gavin.

Irishlad said...

Tim, what about esquire after a name when and why is it used?