Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to Address Middleeastern Royalty & Important Personages

LOL, I I remember one of our former OPNOs [American] asking Princess [Commonewealth somewhere] what fork to use first and how to address the Prime Minister of _______ country. Gone are the day's of a Huston Debutante's flawless courtsies;) [as pictured below]... ...Or the perfect balance and the artful dance of eating soup and stirring tea to perfection, white gloves for lunch and elbow length ones for evening...

But there were some Americans over at one of the OPNO's workplaces, and they kept addressing His Majesty as Your Highness, which made this particular OPNO think, well, in Oman, part of the out-dated world the OPNO girls in-majority once knew, in is still very much relevant. So here is a guide for those whose parents and grandparents did not force them to learn how to address the ruling classes (all OPNO girls rebel at this concept though they respect the responsibilities and traditions) and walk with books on their heads:
The Sultan of Oman is addressed as "Your Majesty". Like the Queen of England who'd be "Her Majesty the Queen" [don't say "of England" since she's coming and you might meet her-I have;) & her late mother too). To introduce him, you would say, "His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said" as he carries a long list of ranks not limited to his role as Sultan of Oman, for example he is the following: Feild Marshal, Royal Army of Oman; Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy of Oman; Marshal of the Royal Air Force of Oman; Supreme Commander, Royal Oman Police; & General (honorary), British Army ect... After any formal introduction it is appropriate to use "Sir" to His Majesty, likewise "ma'am" to the Queen of England. But his formal title should be used at the end of all conversation. Not very hard to do.

It is considered impolite to engage in conversation before the head of heirarchical royalty speaks to you, or to offer to shake their hand before they offer to shake yours. If you are wearing gloves as part of a uniform of evening dress, you do not remove them to shake hands. For men, if you are going to bow (not necessary these days for most Royals, and not exactly Islamic to do), for men, you bow from the neck (not the waist). For ladies, culturally there are many variations of the curtsey, and the length and height (how far to the floor) denote the status of the personage before you traditionally. None of this really matters anymore unless you are a Deb so the most well known curtsey is to place the left foot behind your right one, bending your knees slightly. Bowing is usually not required unless you are a citizen of country ruled by the member of aristocracy you are paying homage and respect to. A prince is addressed as "Your Royal Highness" followed by his [position in government if he has one] followed by his name. Same for a Princess. Any child or male line grandchild of a monarch is considered a prince or princess. The spouse of a prince is also a Princess, although she is not always "Princess" addressed as that, followed by HerFirstName. The spouse of a princess is not always a prince.

A Crown Prince (for which one is not determined in Oman) is "Your Royal Highness".
There are exceptions, but in general you can distinguish between those who are royal and those who are not in Middleeastern Royalty simply by the letter preceding their name: H.H.: His Highness - i.e. he is royal. H.E.: His excellency - i.e. he is or has been a senior government appointee (like an ambassador or government minister, though often they can also be royals).
Senior Government Minister: "Your Excellency".

An Ambassador: "Your Excellancy"

All other Embassy staff of import: "Counsellor" followed by their name and office for formal written address [just not in the post address!], but usually Ms., Mrs., Mr... in person. Oman seems more formal so I have heard people say "Counsellor" and it makes me giggle.
Sheikh (if not a government minister, ambassador, or prince): "Sheikh" followed by name. Is H.H or H.E than that would precede "Sheikh" than name.Sheikha (if not a government minister, ambassador, or princesss): "Sheikha" followed by name. If her husband is H.H than she would be addressed as "Her Highness, Sheikha..." followed by name. If her husband is H.E it doesn't carry to her.

Royal titles include King, Queen, Sheik (or Shaik), Sultan, Crown Prince, & Kahn (in certain circumstances .

Also, a Morrocan royal term of import of respect for a lady of respected family is "Lalla" which follows their titles. For example, "Princess Lalla ...[name: Salma] of Morroco".

For any visiting Brits of import (go commonewealth) Dukes and Duchesses are called "Your Grace" or "Duke/Duchess." Introduce the duke to someone else as "His Grace the Duke of Norfolk," the duchess as "Her Grace the Duchess of Norfolk". Baronets and knights, if male, are addressed as "Sir Ralph" (if his name is Ralph Sweet) and his wife is "Lady Sweet". You would introduce him using his full name, "Sir Ralph Sweet," and his wife as "Lady Sweet." Dames (the equivalent of knighthood for women - there is no female equivalent of baronetcy) are "Dame Gertrude" in conversation, and you would introduce her as "Dame Gertrude Mellon."
Other forms of nobility (including Marquess/Marchioness, Earl/Countess, Viscount/Viscountess, Baron/Baroness) are generally addressed as, "Lord or Lady Towlebridge" (for the Earl of Towlebridge), and introduced with their appropriate title, such as "Viscount Sweet" or "Baroness Rivendell" .
For former OPNOnoa, the Prime Minister is "Your Excellecy" in most cases, while a former Prime Minister is "Mr. [name] , the former President of [country]." Some countries, Prime Ministers are awared additional status, ie the UK, so the UK president, for life, will be "Your Honorable". And there is a special exception for the King of Saudi Arabia who has (self-bestowed) religious title instead of the usual Kingly greeting. He is called "The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques".

Regardless of your stance on this caste system, respect and proper use of terms is good for business and social dealings. One need not bow ect, should they not be a member of the country or a country under allegiance to country ect...
Anyways, I am bored now of this post sooooo see ya'll for the day;)
Happy weekend.
And if I did a typo let me know. Don't want to be resposible for any offenses, I am a bit rusty afterall, since any Prince that I know I treat him the same way I treat the Omani guys at the coffee shop so that H2B won't be stupid;p
He he he :D
H2B: "He talked to you?"
OPNO: "Yes. He asked my opinion, and I was supposed to say nothing?"
H2B: "You probably talked to much, and laughed." [He was pouting and looked so sad].
OPNO: "I promise, I swear to GOD I was not flirting with [you will never know who fits into this post]! Wallahi, you are an idiot. Even if his Majesty Himself asked to marry me, I'd say no."
H2B: [tone suspicious] "His Majesty is in his 70s."
OPNO: "Yeah, but he still looks super cute!" [winks because she is being a brat and lols and H2B for being such an Arab male.]

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

salaam aleikum;
I'm sure it's just a mistake because you mentioned the uk Prime Minister, but we don't have a President as well because we are a constitutional monarchy rather than a republic like the USA.Also I think the PM would be introduced as 'the Right Honourable Mr.David Cameron but I've not heard of anyone actually saying 'Your honourable'm Usually we hear interviewers just saying 'Prime Minister...etc. etc.
Any other Brits here,please correct me if I'm wrong..
Also after leaving office PM's often get given a title eg Margaret Thatcher was made Baroness Thatcher...not sure what's happening with Mr.T.Blair..

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Anon: Thank you: Any UK prime minister is promoted to the Privy council so provided they aren't knighted or honored in another way they remain "Your Honorable" for life. I believe;D

Umm Qahtan said...

As salam alaikum.

wow nice length post about adressing people..thanks for sharing. I have yet to meet any so called offical..my mum did meet the late Amir of Bahrain and thats all he liked to be adressed as.
now if i was any position to be given a title it wouldnt be much different than my name now Mrs M or Umm Q..easy lol.

May Allah bless you this weekend with a beautifull marriage and give you the best of this dunya and akhira ameen.

hiyyach Allah.