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The Right Honourable

The Right Honourable (abbreviated "Rt. Hon." or "Right Hon.") is an honorific prefix which belongs to certain classes of people in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Realms.

Table of contents
1 Entitlement
2 Use of the Honorific
3 Outside the United Kingdom
4 External links


People entitled to the prefix in a personal capacity are:

In order to differentiate peers who are Privy Counsellors from those who are not, sometimes the suffix P.C. is added to the title.

In addition some people are entitled to the prefix in an official capacity, i.e. the prefix is added to the name of the office, but not the name of the person:

All other Lord Mayors and Lord Provosts are Right Worshipful

The prefix is also added to the name of various corporate entities, e.g.:

Use of the Honorific

The honorific is normally only used on the front of envelopes and other written documents: e.g. the Right Honourable Tony Blair MP is otherwise referred to simply as "Mr Blair".

However, in the House of Commons, members refer to each other as "the honourable member for ..." or "the right honourable member for ..." depending or not upon whether they are Privy Counsellors.

Outside the United Kingdom

Generally within the Commonwealth, ministers and judges are Honourable unless they are appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, in which case they are Right Honourable. Such persons invariably include Prime Ministers and judges of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, and several other Commonwealth prime ministers.


Outside the United Kingdom, the role of the those possessing the honorific has changed. The Irish Privy Council was de facto abolished with the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922; nevertheless the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who was ex-officio a member of the Irish Privy Council, retains the usage of the honorific.


In Canada, membership of the Canadian Privy Council receive the honorific Honourable (Honorable), with only the occupants of the most senior public offices being made a Right Honourable (Très honorable). Among the senior Canadian politicians traditionally appointed to the British Privy Council and thus entitled to the honorific were the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Thus though appointments to the British Privy Council have ceased, they are still are awarded the style Right Honourable, as are a very small number of Canadian notables who did not hold one of these offices. The title may also be granted for life by the Governor General to eminent Canadians, whether they've held political office or not.

See also:

External links