Special rules of protocol relate to the performance of the duties of the Governor-General as the representative Head of State. These privileges and courtesies include holding the right of precedence in Jamaica on all occasions except when Her Majesty The Queen, or a Member of the Royal Family designated as Her Majesty’s Representative to specific State events, is present.
ADDRESSING THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL
The Governor-General and spouse should be styled as "Your Excellency" or "Your Excellencies" when being spoken to directly. When either person is being spoken about outside of their presence they should be styled "His Excellency" or "Her Excellency" respectively, or as "Their Excellencies" when reference is to both.
The style of address for the present Governor-General is:
- His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Linton Allen, Member of the Order of the Nation, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Member of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander, Knight of Grace of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, Governor-General of Jamaica
The abbreviated form of addressing the Governor-General in correspondence is:
- His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J
The address in your correspondence would appear like this:
His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J
You would begin the letter: Your Excellency
The style of address for the wife of the Governor-General is:
· Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Allen
Should you wish to address both the Governor-General and his spouse in writing, the correct format is:
- Their Excellencies the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J Governor-General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen
- Their Excellencies The Governor-General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen
On request, the Governor-General will send congratulatory messages or letters to Jamaican organisations for special anniversaries and also for events, such as major national or international conferences which are being held in Jamaica; cultural festivals and sporting championships.
Requests for messages are to be submitted in writing and should be addressed to the Governor-General. It is important that the requests include the following information:
- History, goals, achievements, etc of the organisation
- Anniversary/Celebration date, time, theme, venue and schedule of activities
- Contact details, that is, name, postal address, telephone number, email and/or fax, of person to whom the message is to be sent
- How the Congratulatory Message will be used - newspaper supplement, magazine, newsletter, or other media, or to be read at a function,
- State the proposed name and date of publication in magazines, newspapers, or other media
- The audiences to whom the message will be delivered or circulated
- The final date by which you would wish to receive the Congratulatory Message
In order to ensure that messages reach the organisations in time for the celebratory activities, a minimum notice of two-months is required. Requests received with less than two months' notice will be accepted, but there is no guarantee that the messages will be processed in time for the celebration. Requests received within one week of, or after the date of the celebration, will not be processed.
BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY CONGRATULATORY LETTERS
Her Majesty The Queen is pleased to send messages to Jamaicans for their 100th birthday, as well as to couples on their 60th wedding anniversary. In order to receive such messages, requests should be sent to the Governor-General and must include the following:
- Full name(s) of the person(s) to whom the message is to be sent
- Full address at which the message is to be delivered, whether home or otherwise
- Date and place of birth or marriage, accompanied by a copy of the birth certificate in the case of centenarians to verify name and age
- For the 60th wedding anniversaries, both the birth certificate and marriage certificate are to be submitted
- The first four pages of the passport may be used as proof of age in cases where the birth certificate is not available
Requests are to be addressed to the Governor-General whose office will forward them to Her Majesty The Queen. It is recommended that these requests be submitted by post or email at least six week in advance of the date of the celebration.
ATTENDANCE AT PUBLIC FUNCTIONS
In fulfilling his social and traditional roles, the Governor-General and his wife attend many public functions during each calendar year on the invitation of individuals, community and civic groups or organisations.
Invitations to Their Excellencies for such events must be submitted in writing and must include the following information:
- Background information on the event and/or individual, group or organisation.
- Date and time of the event and whether these are flexible
- The role you would wish the Governor-General to play, if any, such as, speech delivery, presentation of awards or special guest
- Expected number of participants/attendees
- Name, postal address, email address and telephone number of the contact person(s)
The letter of invitation, together with printed invitation card, should be sent by post to King's House, Kingston 10 or by email to
Invitations are to be addressed to "Their Excellencies" in cases where the Governor-General and spouse are being invited to attend the function.
It is recommended that invitations be submitted at least three months in advance. The Personal Secretary to the Governor-General will respond in writing indicating whether or not the invitation is accepted. Should the response be positive, the Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General will discuss all matters relating to the courtesies that are expected to be extended to the Governor-General at the event.
Invitations submitted on a printed card only will not be considered, except for those sent to Their Excellencies by their families and close friends.
The Governor-General and his wife should not be invited to adjudicate competitions or to assist in selling tickets for charity or raffles.
The Governor-General always arrives at functions on time. Protocol requires that all guests at any function to be attended by the Governor-General should be in place before the arrival of Their Excellencies. Failure to do so without a reasonably good excuse is regarded as a sign of disrespect.
Greeting on Arrival
The Governor-General and his wife are to be met at the main entrance of the venue by the Host or other senior official of the organisation who is appointed to receive Their Excellencies.
The Aide-de-Camp will introduce the Host or other senior official and his/her spouse to the Governor-General and then to the wife of the Governor-General.
At least one week in advance of the date of the event, the Governor-General should receive a copy of the programme as well as a list of high officials who will attend the function.
Whenever the Governor-General and/or his spouse visit exhibitions or similar events, a senior official must always be in attendance on them until they depart.
The National Anthem
On State and other formal occasions, the National Anthem is played when the Governor-General (and his spouse if she accompanies him) stands in the designated place. All persons are expected to rise when Their Excellencies enter the room and remain standing for the National Anthem.
The speakers may first thank the Chairman/Master of Ceremonies, and then address "Your Excellency" or "Your Excellencies" if the Governor-General is accompanied by his wife. Placement on the programme of any remarks to be made by the Governor-General should be discussed with His Excellency’s Personal Secretary as soon as the draft programme is available.
The Governor-General's Team
The Governor-General is usually accompanied by an Aide-de-Camp as well as security personnel. Other members of his team may include the Governor-General's Secretary and the Deputy Secretary (Personal Staff). The number of persons in the party may increase depending on the nature of the event.
Her Excellency is usually accompanied by her Lady-in-Waiting and security personnel.
When Their Excellencies attend functions together the number of persons in the team may increase. Information regarding the composition of the Governor-General's team will be communicated to the organisers in advance by the Governor-General's Personal Secretary or Aide-de-Camp.
Use of the Governor-General's Flag
The Governor-General's Flag is his personal standard consisting of the Tudor Crown, surmounted by a lion in gold, with Jamaica written beneath in scarlet. The background of the flag is dark blue in colour.
It is used by the Governor-General in the same way that the Royal Standard is used by The Queen. It is to be flown by day and night at the residence of the Governor-General, but lowered when the Governor-General demits office. The Flag should be flown at any military ceremony at which he is present. The Flag should also be flown in miniature on any car or boat in which he is travelling.
The wife of the Governor-General has a personal standard which is used on designated occasions.
Tours of King's House
Groups may contact King's House to arrange special tours. Requests for groups numbering more than six are to be submitted in writing to the Governor-General at least eight weeks before the desired tour date. Smaller groups of one to six persons may make appointments by telephone or email. Tours will be not be facilitated on public holidays, weekends, or on days when functions are scheduled to take place on the property.
Tours are offered between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on weekdays. Shorts, tank tops and other similar casual wear are not acceptable dress for tours of King’s House. Non-tertiary Student groups should be uniformed.
Appropriate Dress for King's House
This depends on the occasion. During the day time, business suits would be most appropriate for meetings and courtesy calls. Invitations to functions at King’s House will state the mode of dress. Medals and national decorations are to be worn for ceremonial occasions.