Excellence (from the Latin excellere "to stand out " or excellentia "excellence", metonymically "higher position") is the honorary title used to address personalities in an excellent official position.
The Langobard kings, the Franconian kings and the German emperors
The title was held first by the Lombard , then the Frankish kings and the German emperors up to the 14th century. This was then accepted by the Italian princes in the 15th century . They replaced the title with Altezza ( Highness ) because the French ambassador to Rome , Duke of Nevers , had accepted the title in 1593 and other emissaries of the first rank had followed his example. With Golo Mann in January 1630, Wallenstein grieved that the nuncio addressed him as Excellenza and not as Altezza .
The right to bestow the title of excellence
The electors were given the right to appoint ambassadors with the title of Excellency in the Peace of Westphalia , the other princes only later. Thereupon the imperial counts , who had also held this title for a while, accepted the predicate exalted or high count's grace .
The custom in France and 18th century Germany
In 1654 the French began to attribute the title of Excellence to their highest civil or military officials . This example was soon followed in Germany, where in the 18th century even academic lecturers and professors (school excellence ) took advantage of this award. Thus excellence in Germany to an official or service titles, while in France the Ducs was reserved and in Italy from every nobleman was performed.
The title of Excellence in the German Empire
In the German Empire the title of Excellence was only ministers , ambassadors , the real secret councils , Provincial President , the first court and military Would (from Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral ) and ambassadors to. In Prussia , the archbishops also held the title of excellence.
The custom in the Russian Empire
The Excellency title in the United States
In the United States , the President of the United States and the Governor of Massachusetts held the title Excellency , the President not officially under the Constitution of the United States , but the Governor officially under the Constitution of the State of Massachusetts.
Use in Germany
- the heads of state of foreign states (if no monarchs)
- the heads of government of foreign states, but not of the sub-states
- the members of foreign governments with the rank of minister
- the foreign ambassadors with the rank of minister in the recipient country
- the apostolic nuncio
- Protestant bishops (unusual in Germany)
- Catholic bishops , archbishops , as well as ecclesiastical dignitaries of the same rank (except those who have cardinal dignity ) (e.g. His Excellency the Most Revered Lord (Arch) Bishop ... )
- Orthodox titular and vicariate bishops
- Personalities with the rank of Grand Cross / Grand Commander of an order of knights .
According to this convention, speakers of parliament are not addressed as excellence. When the title was given, these played no role in diplomatic relations. The abbreviation SE can also stand for “His Enlightenment”.