OFFICIAL PROTOCOL RELATING TO THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL Print E-mail

Special rules of protocol have been established in connection with 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 all circumstances, which the incumbent may choose to waive in certain situations.

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 both are being referred to.

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, 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

The address in your correspondence would appear like this:

His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD
Governor-General

King's House
Kingston 10
Jamaica

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, Governor-General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen

or

  • Their Excellencies The Governor-General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES

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; sporting championships, etc.

The 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, venue, etc
  • Contact details, that is, name, postal address, telephone number, email, fax, etc to which the message is to be sent
  • How the Congratulatory Message will be used - newspaper supplement, magazine, newsletter, to be read at a function, etc
  • State the proposed name and date of publication in magazines, newspapers, etc
  • The audiences among which the message will be circulated
  • The final date by which you would wish to have the Congratulatory Message returned

In order to ensure that messages are returned to 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. Please note also that requests received within one week of or after the date of the celebration will not be processed.

BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY CONGRATULATORY LETTERS

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is pleased to send messages to Jamaicans on reaching 100 years, as well as to couples on their 60 th 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 60 the 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

Invitations

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, organisation, etc.
  • Date and time of the event and whether these are flexible
  • Venue
  • The role you would wish the Governor-General to play, if any, such as, speech delivery, presentation of awards, special guest, etc
  • Expected number of participants
  • Name, postal address, email address and telephone number of the contact person(s)

The invitation should be sent by post to King's House, Kingston 10 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Invitations are to be addressed to "Their Excellencies" in cases where the Governor-General and his wife are being invited to attend the function.

It is recommended that invitations be submitted at least three months in advance. Should the invitation be accepted, the Personal Secretary to the Governor-General will respond in writing, and the Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General will discuss all matters relating to the courtesies that are expected will be extended to the Governor-General at the event.

Invitations submitted on a printed card only will not be considered, except for private ones sent to Their Excellencies by their families and close friends.

The Governor-General and his wife should not be invited to adjudicate competitions nor to assist in selling tickets for charity or raffles.

Greeting on Arrival

On arrival at public functions, the Governor-General and his wife are to be met at the main entrance of the venue by the senior official of the organisation, or another senior official who is appointed to receive Their Excellencies.

The Aide-de-Camp will introduce the 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, a copy of the programme as well as a list of the other officials who will attend the function are to be submitted to the Governor-General. 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

The National Anthem is played when the Governor-General (and his wife if she accompanies him) reaches the designated seat(s), just before sitting. All persons are expected to rise when Their Excellencies enter the room.

Speeches

The speakers will address the Chairman first, followed by "Your Excellency" or "Your Excellencies" if the Governor-General is accompanied by his wife. It is recommended that any remarks to be made by the Governor-General be made early in the programme.

Time of Arrival and Departure

The Governor-General always arrives at functions on time. The established protocol is that all guests at any function at which the Governor-General is in attendance, are expected to 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 to the Office of Governor-General, and ultimately to the people of Jamaica whom he represents.

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, and lowered when the Governor-General demits office. The Flag should be flown on any ship in which the Governor-General takes passage, and 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. The 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.

Tours will be not be facilitated on public holidays or on days when functions are scheduled to take place on the property.

Tours are scheduled between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on weekdays.

Appropriate Dress for King's House

This depends on the occasion. During the day time, business suits would be most appropriate for meetings, courtesy calls, etc. Medals and national decorations are to be worn for ceremonial occasions.

Dinner invitations will usually specify the appropriate dress, such as, formal, lounge suit, etc.