Special rules of protocol relate to the performance of the duties of The Governor-General as the representative Head of State. These attendant privileges and courtesies include holding the right of precedence in Jamaica on all occasions except when His Majesty The King, or a Member of the Royal Family designated as His Majesty’s Representative to specific State events, is present.
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 referring to both.
The formal style of address for The 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 Allen,
ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J
The address in your correspondence would appear like this:
His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J
The salutation in your letter would be:
The style of address for the Spouse of The Governor-General is:
Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Allen
(Note that the first name is never used in the title)
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
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, Hope Road, Kingston 6 or by email to email@example.com
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 Governor-General’s 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 or Private Secretary 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.
The Viceregal Lion:
The Governor-General’s Distinguishing Flag comprises the St Edward’s Crown, surmounted by a lion statant guardant with ‘Jamaica’ shown on a gold scroll. The field of the flag is Dark Royal Blue.
Since Independence, August 6, 1962, the Flag is flown by day and night at King’s House, except when The Governor-General is not in residence and is travelling overseas. The Flag is used in the same way that the Royal Standard is used by His Majesty The King. It should be flown at any military ceremony at which The Governor-General is present, and a miniature version is flown on any vehicle in which he is travelling. The Flag is usually never lowered. However, on specific occasions, it may be lowered at The Governor-General’s discretion.
The design, which was approved in July 1962 by then Monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second, was prepared by the College of Arms and is registered in the College.
Flag of the Governor-General’s Spouse:
The spouse of The Governor-General also has a personal flag, which is used on designated occasions. It comprises the St Edwards’ Crown on a red field. A miniature of the flag is flown on the vehicle in while traveling on official business.
Individuals or groups may contact King’s House to arrange special tours. Requests for tours must be submitted in writing via postal mail or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 are to be submitted in writing to The Governor-General at least two weeks before the desired tour date. Tours will not be facilitated on public holidays, weekends, or on days when events are scheduled to take place at King’s House.
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.