Organizations hosting the Lieutenant Governor are encouraged to refer to the Protocol and Ceremony Guide below. It is also available as a downloadable PDF here.
The guide is intended to familiarize hosts, guests, and organizers with the general procedures, customs and protocol appropriate for occasions when the Lieutenant Governor is in attendance. Any questions that arise should be referred to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Aide-de-Camp. Please note each event is different so some portions of this guide will not be applicable to all events.
For all events which the Lieutenant Governor will attend, the Lieutenant Governor’s staff will liaise with the event organizers to assist them in preparing to host the Lieutenant Governor. Organizers will also be sent a set of function sheets to prepare in order to familiarize the Lieutenant Governor with the background and program for the event. Please ensure that you complete the function sheets at least two weeks prior to your event, even if in draft form. Additional updates can be provided as plans progress for your event. Please give special attention to providing details such as timing, seating arrangements, location of facilities, guests of honour, order of speeches and presentations, and any other essential items of information.
At official occasions and engagements the Lieutenant Governor is accompanied by an Aide-de-Camp. It is the duty of the Aide-de-Camp to remain near the Lieutenant Governor at all times in order to assist in any way and to help ensure a smooth event. The Aide will normally verify arrangements with the organizer, meet with the hosts, and visit the site beforehand. Last minute changes to the itinerary or program should be approved by the Aide-de-Camp and the Lieutenant Governor’s office. The Aide-de-Camp will assist in seating the Lieutenant Governor but should not be seated at the head table. The Aide should be seated near the Lieutenant Governor in a position that allows for easy visual contact and a prompt response to any signals or situations.
Forms of Address
The full title of the Lieutenant Governor is “Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, AOE, BSc, LLD (hon)”
- The full title should be used in printed materials such as event programs, formal invitation cards and printed items listing the Lieutenant Governor as Honourary Patron. The post-nominals (AOE, B.Sc. LLD (hon)) can be omitted when introducing the Lieutenant Governor.
- The title of the Lieutenant Governor’s spouse is: His Honour, Dr. Zaheer Lakhani CM MBChB FRCPC FACP FACC FRCP (London). When attending an event with the Lieutenant Governor, His Honour should always be introduced at the same time as Her Honour. When introducing His Honour, his post-nominals can be omitted as well.
- The Lieutenant Governor is addressed in the second person as “Your Honour.” In the third person, the Lieutenant Governor is referred to as “Her Honour” or “the Lieutenant Governor.”
- The spouse of the Lieutenant Governor is referred to as "Your Honour" in the second person and “His Honour” in the third person.
- The Vice-Regal couple is referred to as "Their Honours" (third person) or "Your Honours" (second person)
Pronunciation of “Lieutenant”
In Canadian English, one pronounces the first syllable of lieutenant as /lɛf’tɛnənt/,“left.” This pronunciation is regarded as standard and is typical throughout the Commonwealth.
Courtesy and Protocol
The Lieutenant Governor is accorded the honour and respect due to The King's representative. At a dinner, ceremony or other meeting, the Lieutenant Governor and those accompanying are known as the "Vice-Regal Party." The Vice-Regal Party should be the last to enter and the first to leave. Guests should rise when the Lieutenant Governor enters a room or arrives at a function. For example, the emcee will announce “Please rise for the entrance of the Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and His Honour, Dr. Zaheer Lakhani.”
Arrival and Departure
It is customary for the senior member of the hosting organization and his/her spouse to meet the Lieutenant Governor upon arrival, preferably when the Lieutenant Governor’s vehicle arrives at the venue. After the Aide-de-Camp makes initial introductions, he/she will lead the party into the building. The Lieutenant Governor walks and sits on the host’s right, and is always first through a doorway or into an elevator; immediately following the Aide-de-Camp who always precedes the Lieutenant Governor. The host’s spouse and remainder of the head table or official party enter prior to the Lieutenant Governor.
Please discuss the exit of the Lieutenant Governor with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and the Aide-de-Camp. Their Honours will often choose to do a “soft exit” in which they will depart at their leisure without an announcement. Otherwise, the “Vice-Regal Exit” takes place at the conclusion of an event. Their Honours' departure will be announced, guests will be asked to stand and remain in place while the Vice-Regal Party withdraws. It may be helpful to arrange for ushers in order to prevent the exit route for the Vice-Regal party from being blocked. The host and his/her spouse should also accompany the Lieutenant Governor to the car to say farewell.
Normally the host will make introductions to the Lieutenant Governor. However, the Aide-de-Camp may assist if requested to do so beforehand. To avoid confusion with introductions, use the phrase “Your Honour, may I present….” The normal etiquette during introductions is to shake hands. Bowing or curtseying is not required. Their Honours' attendance at an event should always be acknowledged. i.e. “We are honoured to have The Lieutenant Governor in attendance this evening, welcome to Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani and His Honour, Dr. Zaheer Lakhani.”
Notice to Facilities
If the event if being held in a hotel, convention centre, arena, or theatre, the Manager should be given advance notice of the Lieutenant Governor’s attendance as it is customary for the Manager to be on hand for the arrival of the Lieutenant Governor. In addition to greeting Their Honours on arrival, the Manager can arrange for other courtesies such as parking and for doors and elevators to be held.
While it is not required for the Lieutenant Governor to address a function, when a speech is requested the very strong preference is for the Lieutenant Governor to speak first, and as close to the beginning of the program as possible. Any proposed variations in speaking order should be discussed with the Aide-de-Camp and the Lieutenant Governor’s office staff. The Lieutenant Governor should always speak before food is served.
Luncheons and Dinners
The Lieutenant Governor is served first and in the case of a buffet should be the first in line immediately followed by the host. Please note that both Their Honours do not eat pork.
Organizations may request the Lieutenant Governor to propose The Loyal Toast, or Toast to the King, at events when a meal is served. The Lieutenant Governor will, in most cases, be honoured to propose the Toast to the King and this can be arranged through the Aide-de-Camp. It is generally proposed at the end of the main course and before dessert. A suggested format for the Loyal Toast is as follows:
- The Host or Master of Ceremonies says “Ladies and Gentlemen, please charge your glasses for the Loyal Toast.” and then invites the proposer to offer the Toast.
- The proposer says simply, “Ladies and Gentlemen, The King.” No other words need be added.
- The guests present would respond with “The King.”
- Guests should not “clink” their glasses.
- The Loyal Toast is not usually proposed if the meal is a buffet.
- While the Lieutenant Governor is generally asked to propose the Loyal Toast, it is acceptable protocol for organizers to ask another guest to propose it in the Lieutenant Governor’s presence. In the event that the Lieutenant Governor is present, but is not proposing the Loyal Toast, the proposer could say: “Your Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen, The King.”
The Vice-Regal Salute
At formal or official occasions and ceremonies, it is customary to have a musician(s) play the Vice-Regal Salute upon the entrance of the Lieutenant Governor. The Vice-Regal Salute is a musical greeting performed in the presence of The King’s representative as a mark of respect. It consists of the first six bars of “God Save the King,” followed by the first four and last four bars of “O Canada.” Pipers customarily play the song “Mallorca” instead. The Vice-Regal Salute is not played while the Lieutenant Governor and party are walking but, rather, once they have arrived at their table or seats and while still standing. The Vice-Regal Salute is not sung. It is customary for the MC to remind guests of this protocol prior to the entrance of the head table.
The Vice-Regal Salute can be omitted if it cannot be rendered well or if it places an inconvenience on the host through the cost of hiring musicians, renting a piano, etc. Please discuss with the Lieutenant Governor’s office and Aide-de-Camp and they can advise the best way to arrange the Vice-Regal Salute, if chosen to be played. They will provide sheet music or an electronic file of the Vice-Regal Salute.
The Lieutenant Governor’s office is responsible for arranging and approving any requests for interviews by the media. All press materials related to your event that mention the Lieutenant Governor must be approved by the office prior to distribution.