Guide to Ceremonial Protocols

Order of Precedence

Precedence dictates the order in which men and women arrive, leave, march, are seated, announced or greeted in official functions, ceremonies, receptions dinners, documents. Certain categories of people are assigned precedence, either by reason of their person (who they are: members of the royal family, peers, knights) or what office they hold (officer of the Premier, Chief Justice). Most people are not ranked in any way. There is a “general” order of precedence, and three are special orders for particular occasions.

  • Governor
  • Premier
     (Visiting Dignitaries) *
  • Speaker of the House of Assembly
  • Chief Justice
  • Deputy Governor
  • Deputy Premier
  • Members of Cabinet
    • Name and Position of Ministers
    • Seniority in Cabinet
      (Washington Misick)
      (Amanda Missick)
  • Seniority in Parliament
    (Don Hue Gardiner)
  • Alphabetical Order
    (George Lightbourne)
    (Portia Stubbs-Smith)
  • Attorney General
  • Leader of the Opposition
  • Deputy Speaker
  • Member of the House of Assembly
    • Seniority
    • Alphabetical Order
  • Spouse of deceased Chief Minister/Premier/ National Hero
  • Justice of the Court of Appeal
  • Judges of the Supreme Court
  • Bishop of State Church (Anglican)
  • Former Chief Ministers/ Premier
  • Former Deputy Governor
  • Senior Government Officials
    • Permanent Secretaries
    • Deputy AG
    • Commissioner of Police
    • Magistrates
    • Deputy Commissioner of Police
    • Deputy Permanent Secretaries
    • Justices of the Peace
    • Notary Public
    • District Commissioners
  • Former Ministers
  • Constitutional Officers
    • CFO
    • Auditor General
    • Integrity Commissioner
    • Ombudsman
    • Director of Public Prosecution
    • Human Rights Commissioner
    • Chairman of Public Service Commission
  • Head Bishops of Religious Denominations Presidents of Ministerial Fraternities (Religious Bodies) Decorative
  • Services
    • Knighthood
    • CMG
    • OBE
    • MBE
    • BEM
  • Representatives of Foreign Governments
  • Chairman/ Directors of Statutory Bodies
  • Heads of Departments
  • President of Community College
*Visiting dignitaries (Head of States, Ambassadors to Foreign Governments) as special guests of the Government are elevated in the order of precedence.
Guidelines for the Flying and Use of the TCI National Flag
The TCI National Flag may be flown on every day of the year. It is important to observe correct flag protocol when flying the Flag. The following policy guidelines shall apply to all Government Offices and promoted throughout the TCI in the use of the TCI national Flag.

The TCI National Flag should be flown as a symbol of National Pride and love for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Who can fly the Turks and Caicos Islands National Flag?
  • All Government Office Buildings, Statutory Bodies, Schools, Medical Facilities shall have erected in front of the Building or in the entrance of the Property a flag pole for the purpose to Fly the TCI National Flag.
  • All Offices of Ministers and Senior Government Officials shall have internal Flag Poles with TCI National Flag mounted to be used and properly displayed during Official Ceremonies and Meetings.
  • Any person may fly the TCI National Flag. However, the flag should be treated with the respect and dignity it deserves as the nation’s most important national symbol.
Flag protocol is based on longstanding international and national practice.
Dignity of the Flag

The flag should not be allowed to fall or lie on the ground. The flag should not be used to cover a statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling ceremony; to cover a table or seat; or to mask boxes, barriers or the space between the floor and the ground level on a dais or platform.

The flag should never be flown when in damaged, faded or dilapidated condition when the material of the flag deteriorates to a point where it is no longer suitable for use, it should be destroyed privately, in a dignified way.

Flying and Handling

The flag should not be flown in a position inferior to that of any other flag or ensign. The superior position is based on the formation of the flagpoles in the set, not the height of the flag on the flagpole. The flag should not be smaller than any other flag or ensign.

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered with dignity. The flag should always be flown aloft and free as close as possible to the top of the flag mast, with the rope tightly secured. Unless all the flags can be raised and lowered simultaneously, the TCI flag should be raised no earlier than first light and should be lowered no later than dusk. The flag may only be flown at night when illuminated.

Disposal of the Flag

When a flag becomes dilapidated and no longer suitable for use, it should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way. For example, it may be cut into small unrecognizable pieces then disposed of with the normal rubbish collection.

Flying the Turks and Caicos Islands National Flag alone

When the TCI National Flag is flown alone on top of or in front of a building with two flagpoles, it should be flown on the flagpole to the left of a person facing the building. (in the event the union Jack is flown, the United Kingdom Flag (the Union Jack) flown on the Left.

When flown alone on top of or in front of a building with more than two flagpoles, the TCI National Flag should be flown in the centre or as near as possible to it.

Flying the Turks and Caicos Islands National Flag with other National Flags

When the TCI National Flag is flown with the flags of other nations, all the flags should, if possible, be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height. According to international practice, no national flag no national flag should fly above another in peacetime.

The TCI National Flag must, however, take the position of honour when flying with only one other national flag, the TCI National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the building.
Funerals
Introduction
 
The Protocol Committee has developed this guidance to reflect the types of funeral service the Government will organize or participate in. To assist in the development of this guidance, consultation took place with the Protocol Officer, the Department of Government Information Services, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.
 
Underpinning this guidance is the premise that the prior wishes of the deceased or next of kin will take precedence over the policies expressed within this document for all funerals other than State Funerals.
 
The following categories of funeral have been identified for organization or participation by the Government, and have been established to clearly delineate the most senior positions within the community and to afford due respect to the level of office held.
 
State
Ministerial
Official
Recognition
 
Ceremonials Committee
 
The Ceremonials Committee is charged to oversee all Official Funeral Ceremonies that occur in TCI and comprises the following:
 
  1. The Clerk to the House of Assembly
  2. The Support Aide of the House of Assembly
  3. The Government Protocol Officer
  4. The Commissioner of Police
  5. The Bishop of State Church (Anglican)
  6. A Representative from the Government Information Service
  7. Head from the Church of Deceased
  8. Permanent Secretary of Finance – Ex-officio
1. STATE FUNERALS

State funerals are reserved for persons who hold the highest offices in the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
  • The Governor and The Premier
Notwithstanding the Religious belief of the decease, State Funerals shall only be held at the State Church; The Anglican Church.
 
Upon official notification of death:
 
  • The Clerk to the House of Assembly, or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will ensure the release of an official public announcement of the death.
  • A meeting of the Ceremonials Committee will be called.
  • The Ceremonials Committee, in consultation with the next of kin and Funeral Director, will make the funeral arrangements.
  • Heads of State will be immediately informed of the death of the Governor or the Premier, followed by a formal notice and invitation to the funeral.
Procedures
 
Following the official announcement of the death: The Ceremonials Committee will meet to address the following:
 
  • The date and time of the funeral
  • Public viewing/lying in state (order for viewing by precedence)
  • Who will conduct the service
  • Which clergy will be invited to participate
  • Who will deliver the eulogy/sermon, tributes or special music
  • Special words from the family
  • The guest list of persons not on the Precedence List who should also receive invitations
  • The involvement of RTCI Police Force Pall Bearers, Guard of Honour; and the Gun Carriage, the
  • Police Band and Bugler
  • The pace and route to be followed when transporting the casket/coffin to or from the viewing, to the church and to the cemetery or final resting place
  • Any issues related to traffic control
  • Printing of the programmes
  • Transportation arrangements for the Governor /Premier and Government Ministers, and Overseas
  • Dignitaries
The Permanent Secretary of Finance or designate will attend the Ceremonial Committee meetings in an ex officio capacity.
 
The Protocol Officer will keep a formal note of discussions and decisions.
 
An official period of mourning will be established by the Premier or designate, which will be inclusive of the time of the official notification of death until sundown on the day of the funeral.
The flags on all Government buildings will fly at half-mast from the time of the official announcement of death until sundown on the day of the funeral.
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly, or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will contact the Opposition Leader, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly to arrange for a Sitting of the House of Assembly to allow Members of the Legislature to pay tribute to the deceased.
 
The Speaker of the House, or designate, will communicate the time, format and duration of the Sitting. Ideally, the Sitting will be held on the day prior to the day of the funeral service.
The Clerk to the House of Assembly will communicate the date and time of an official minute of silence to be observed by all Ministries and Departments.
 
State Funerals must be held on a Wednesday and may be televised or broadcast over the radio after consultation with the local station operators to determine whether this can be accommodated.
The Government Information Service will be responsible for the following:
 
  • Coordinating the printing of the Programme
  • The Official Book of Condolences
  • A Biography of the Deceased (in consultation with next of kin)
  • An appropriate picture for use by the Media
  • A Press Release
  • Consultation with the relevant Permanent Secretary Publishing a draft statement from the Premier
Note: The Official Book of Condolences will be kept at the State Church during the funeral service and presented to the family at the conclusion of the service.
 
The Cost of the Funeral
 
All expenses associated with the funeral will be borne by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.
 
1.3. Lying in State
 
The body shall be laid in the House of Assembly to be viewed by the General Public from 2:00 pm to  12:00 am, the day before the funeral.
 
1.4. The use of Flags
 
 The Union Jack will drape the casket if the deceased is the Governor.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Flag will drape the casket if the deceased is the Premier.
 
1.5. Closing of Government Offices
 
All government offices, including the Cabinet Office, will close at 12 Noon on the day of the funeral.
 
Note: If the death of an individual covered under the State Funeral guidance occurs overseas, the Government will liaise with the family to assist with transporting the deceased back to Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
2. MINISTERIAL FUNERAL POLICY
 
Ministerial Funerals are reserved for serving Cabinet Ministers upon official notice of death, unless previously requested by the deceased or next of kin, the following will occur:
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will ensure the release of an official public announcement of the death.
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, will contact the next of kin and offer the Government’s assistance to arrange the Funeral.
 
Note: If the next of kin, or representative, decline the offer, this will end all assistance on the part of the Government (financial or otherwise).
 
A meeting of the Ceremonials Committee will be called.
 
The next of kin or a representative of the family will be invited to attend the Ceremonials
Committee meeting to give input into the organization of the funeral.
 
The funeral will be held at a location of the family’s choosing.
 
An Official Book of Condolences will be prepared and presented to the family at the conclusion of the service.
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will contact the Opposition Leader, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly to arrange for a Sitting of the House of Assembly to allow members to pay tribute to the deceased.
 
2.1 Procedures
 
Upon the official announcement of the death of any serving Cabinet Minister, the following will occur:
 
Persons with whom the deceased shared a close working relationship will be immediately notified of the death.
 
The Ceremonials Committee will meet to address the following:
 
  • The date and time of the funeral
  • Who will deliver special tributes
  • Seating arrangements
  • A list of persons who would be invited from the Precedence List.
  • The guest list of persons not on the Precedence List to receive an invitation
  • Issues related to traffic control
The Government Information Services will be responsible for the following:
  • Coordinating the development of the Programs
  • Coordinating the drafting of the Biography of the Deceased
  • Drafting A Press Release
  • Coordinate along with the family in the selection of an appropriate picture for use in the Media
  • In consultation with the relevant Permanent Secretary publish a draft statement from the Premier
  • The preparation and presentation of an Official Book of Condolences at the conclusion of the service.
2.2. Flags
 
On the day of the funeral, flags on all Government buildings will fly at half-mast from sun up until sundown.
 
If the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force is involved in the funeral, the Turks and Caicos
Islands Flag will drape the casket.
 
2.3. Lying in State
 
The body shall be laid in the House of Assembly to be viewed by the General Public from 2:00 pm to 12:00 am, the day before the funeral.

The Ceremonials Committee may request that the RTCPF Guard of Honour be provided and that the RTCPF Police Band be involved in the Funeral.
 
Closing of Government Offices
 
In the event of the death of a Cabinet Minister, the Ministry in which the Minister served may close two hours prior to the funeral to allow staff to attend.

The Cost of the Funeral
 
If involved in the organization of the funeral, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government will pay the full cost of the funeral.
 
Note. If the death of a Cabinet Minister occurs overseas, the Government will liaise with the family to assist with transporting the deceased back to Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
3. OFFICIAL FUNERAL POLICY
 
Official funerals are reserved for the following positions:
 
  • Speaker of the House of Assembly or the Opposition Leader
  • All Members of The Legislature
  • Former Premiers or Former Governors (that were resident in Turks and Caicos Islands at the time of death)
(Specific procedures for Members of The Legislature and Former Premiers and Governors are captioned below).
 
Upon official notice of the death of the Speaker of the House of Assembly or the Opposition Leader, unless previously requested otherwise by the deceased or next of kin, the following will occur:
 
  • The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will ensure the release of an official public announcement of the death.
  • The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, will contact the next of kin and offer the Government’s assistance to arrange the funeral.
Note: If the next of kin, or representative, decline the offer, this will end all assistance on the part of the Government.
 
  • A meeting of the Ceremonials Committee will be called.
  • The next of kin or a representative of the family will be invited to attend the Ceremonials Committee meeting to give input into the organization of the funeral.
  • The funeral will be held at a location of the family’s choosing.
  • An Official Book of Condolences will be prepared and presented to the family at the conclusion of the service. The cost of the book will be borne by the Government.
  • The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate will contact the Opposition Leader, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly to arrange for a Sitting of the House of Assembly to allow members to pay tribute to the deceased.
3.1. PROCEDURE
 
Upon the official announcement of the death of the Speaker of the House of Assembly or Opposition Leader, the following will occur:
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly, or designate, will ensure the release of an official public announcement of the death.
 
The Ceremonials Committee will meet to address the following:
 
  • The date and time of the funeral
  • Who will deliver special tributes
  • Seating arrangements and a list of persons who could be invited from the Precedence List
  • The guest list of persons not on the Precedence List to receive an invitation
  • Issues related to traffic control
The Government Information Service will be responsible for the following:
 
  • Programs
  • Biography of the Deceased
  • A Press Release
  • Appropriate pictures for use in the Media
  • Preparation of a statement for the Premier
  • The preparation and presentation of an Official Book of Condolences at the conclusion of the service
The Cost of the Funeral
 
If involved in the organization of the funeral, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government will pay half of the costs of the funeral.
 
Flags
 
On the day of the funeral, flags on all Government buildings will fly at half-mast from sun up until sundown.
 
If the Turks and Caicos Islands RTCPF is involved in the funeral, the Turks and Caicos Islands Flag will drape the casket.
 
The Ceremonials Committee may request that the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Guard of Honour be provided and that the Police Band be involved in the funeral.
 
4. SERVING MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE
 
Upon the official announcement of the death of any serving Member of The Legislature, the following will occur:
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, will contact the next of kin and offer Government assistance.
 
Note: If the next of kin, or representative, decline the offer, this will end all assistance on the part of the Government.
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate will outline the terms of that assistance which may include;
 
Assistance with seating arrangements and a list of persons who could be invited from the
Precedence List
 
Assistance from the Police Service with traffic control
 
The date and time of the funeral so that the Government’s input can be determined in a timely manner
 
The assistance of the Department of Government Information Service who will be responsible for the following:
 
  • Biography of the Deceased
  • Press Release
  • Preparation of a statement for the Premier
  • The preparation and presentation of an Official Book of condolences at the conclusion of the service
  • The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, after consultation with the Premier or designate, will contact the Opposition Leader, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly to arrange for a Sitting of the House of Assembly to allow members to pay tribute to the deceased.
  • The Cost of the Funeral
If involved in the organization of the funeral, the Government will pay half of the funeral cost.
 
5. FORMER STATE OFFICIALS
 
Upon the official notice of death of any former Premier or former Governor that was resident on the island, the following will occur:
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate, will contact the next of kin and offer Government assistance. Note: If the next of kin, or representative, decline the offer, this will end all assistance on the part of the Government.
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly or designate will outline the terms of that assistance which may include:
Assistance with seating arrangements and a list of persons who could be invited from the Precedence List
 
Assistance from the Police Service with traffic control
 
The date and time of the funeral so that the Government’s input can be determined in a timely manner
 
The assistance of the Department of Government Information Service who will be responsible for the following:
 
  • Biography of the Deceased
  • Press Release
  • Preparation of a statement for the Premier
  • The preparation and presentation of an Official Book of condolences at the conclusion of the service
5.1. The Cost of the Funeral
 
If the Government is involved in the organization of the funeral, the Government will pay half of the funeral home costs.
 
Recognition Funeral Policy
 
Recognition funerals will be at the discretion of the Premier after consultation with the Opposition Leader.
 
The intent of a Recognition Funeral is to honour the contribution of individuals deemed to have made a significant contribution to, or having given outstanding service to the community of Turks and Caicos Islands; locally or internationally.
 
Procedures
 
At the official notice of death the following will occur:
 
The Clerk to the House of Assembly will contact the family to officially offer condolences. This will be followed by a written condolence on behalf of the Government.
The services of the Protocol Officer and a Representative of the Department of Government Information Service will be offered to assist the family with seating arrangements and the preparation of a Book of Condolences.
 
A formal contingent of the House of Assembly will be formed to attend the funeral.
A member of the Government and Opposition will offer tribute at the funeral on behalf of the
Government, Opposition and people of Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
All other arrangements will be left to the family.
 
Note: An Official Book of Condolences will be prepared and offered to the family at the conclusion of the service.
Guidelines for State, Official and Recognition
PUBLIC AND OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS – GENERAL GUIDELINES
 
Invitations
 
Official invitations are issued, usually by Protocol, on behalf of the Official to solicit attendance at important functions (Ceremonies and Receptions) being held at the Official Residence or elsewhere hosted by the Official.
 
Official invitations to ceremonies and receptions are normally engraved on white or cream card stock, with either the Turks & Caicos Islands Crest or the Crest of the Official’s Office centered on the top. In the circumstance that an event is hosted by two Officials, both crests may appear at the top with the crest of the higher command assuming the position of precedence on the left side of the invitation. The invitation must give specific details concerning the event and should be formatted as follows:
 
The Body:
 
The Host
 
The Type/Name and purpose of the event
 
The Invitee(s)
 
When the event is being held
 
Times are shown using the 24-hour clock. The day of the week should be spelled out.
 
Event location
 
Bottom left side:
 
The address of the event
 
RSVP information. A phone number and/or email address for the RSVP’s with a clear RSVP by date indicated
 
Bottom right side:

Seating
 
The seating of guests is arranged at the preference of the Host. However, the Guest of Honour is always seated either directly across from or to the right of the Host. All other guests are seated either by interests or man-woman-man-woman. Where available seating cards should be used to direct guests to their designated places.
 
Order of Speakers
 
Traditionally, the Highest Rank spoke first, however due to the transformation of the political climate and the advancement of the Offices, it is now the custom that the Highest Rank will give the final remarks.
 
GENERAL
 
Invitations to the Official or spouse should always be sent in the form of a letter written to the Official’s Secretary. It is not correct to send only a printed invitation card. This of course does not apply to private invitations sent by their families or close personal friends.
 
The Governor, Premier, Deputy Premier or Deputy Governor, nor any member of Cabinet, and their spouses should not be invited to adjudicate in competitions, nor should their spouses be asked to assist in selling tickets for charity or raffles. It is embarrassing for persons who either do not desire to purchase a ticket, or perhaps cannot afford one, to have to refuse an Official’s spouse.
 
When citizens are nearing their 100th Birthday or the Celebration of their Diamond Wedding anniversary, early notification of the fact should be sent to the Office of the Premier if official recognition of the event is desired. Supporting evidence in the form of a birth, baptismal and/or marriage certificate must be made available.
 
On occasions when the Official or spouse is asked to present Certificates, Diplomas, Awards, Prizes etc. arrangements must be made for a suitable person (preferably of senior rank), to escort them from their seats to the area where the presentations are to be made, and to escort them back to their seats afterwards.
 
Attendance at Church Services
 
The Official and spouse should arrive at the door of the church five (5) minutes before the commencement of the service. It is customary that he/she be greeted either by a member to the Clergy or by some other suitable church official. The party proceeds to the front right-hand pew in the following order:

  1. Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff and Church official
  2. The Official and Spouse
  3. The VIP Security Officer
The Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff stands at attention beside the entrance to the pew. The Official’s spouse enters first, then the Official, the VIP Security Officer sits directly behind the Official with the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff directly on the Security Officer’s right.
 
The congregation rises when the Official enters, and remains standing after the service, until the party has withdrawn in the same order as when entering. The Clergy and church officials should be at the door to say goodbye.
 
When the Official is at a service attended by any group such as the Police Service, Scouts and Guides etc., he/she will probably be invited to take the salute at the March Pass after the service, but an invitation to be present at the service is also extended by the Minister of the church.
 
Attendance at Funeral Services
 
Arrangements are made with a member of the family or an official representing the group in charge, as well as undertaker. The Official occupies the front left-hand pew and is attended by his Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff.
 
The immediate family would normally be placed in the front pew on the right.
 
The Official should arrive five minutes before the casket in order to be met by the officiating clergy. The Official will not normally go to the cemetery.
 
If the casket is carried out at the end of the service, the members of the family of the deceased should follow immediately after the casket. The Official party should precede them.
 
The Officials do not act as Honorary pall bearers at a funeral.
 
Attendance at funerals of relations or friends of great intimacy is of course a personal matter and it is at the discretion of the Official for the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff to attend him/her, but proper arrangements for seating of Officials should nevertheless be made with a member of the family and the undertaker. Seating for the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff and the VIP Security Officer are always reserved directly behind the Officials they are detailing.
 
Attendance at Weddings
 
The Officials and spouse attended by the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff and VIP Security Officer, are met at the church door 5 minutes before the hour of the ceremony (and just before the entrance of the bride’s mother, who enters last) by the Chief Usher, and are escorted to the first right-hand pew.
Procession down the Aisle:

  1. Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff
  2. The Official and Usher
  3. The Spouse and VIP Security Officer
Guests should rise when the Official enters the Church and of course will be standing as his/her party withdraw, as they follow immediately after the bridal party and before the other guests.
 
If they attend the reception, the President and Official and spouse are received first. On arrival at the place of the reception the Official and spouse are met by a member of the family or close friend and looked after during their stay. They customarily leave after the toast to the bride. The Official does not propose such a toast, except under very unusual circumstances.
 
Entertaining the Governor, Premier, Deputy Governor and Deputy Premier
 
The Official should be met at the door of a building (outside, weather permitting) by the President or Chairman of the Organization, or a senior officer.
 
In being presented to the Official and spouse by the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff, or President, Chairman, etc. gentlemen precede their wives. This applies to both public and private functions.
 
If the Official is in a receiving line other than at his/her own reception, the line-up should be host, Official, Official’s spouse, host lady. The Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff will gladly assist with the announcing of names if this is required by the host.
 
The Official always goes first down a corridor, through a door or entering an elevator or car. The one exception is the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff, who precedes him/her to make sure all is in readiness.
 
When entering a private home, the Official and spouse are greeted by the host and hostess at the door. The host greets the Official, presents his/her spouse to the Official, and then greet the Official’s wife.
 
A speaker at dinner or other function addresses the Official first and then spouse when establishing protocol, “Your Excellency and Mrs. [Surname]. The Table of Precedence should be used as a guide.
 
The National Anthem followed by the National Song is played when the Official reaches his /her place the room. All should rise during the Official’s entrance. This may be followed by a prayer or grace. The Official may then be seated.
 
At a dinner or reception of any size, the Official is served first, spouse second.
If there is a large head table the Official and spouse, and the host and hostess, should enter the dining area last. Order in entering the dining room is the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff preceding the Official and the host. At a large formal dinner Official should sit on the right of the Chairman of that dinner, and the Official’s spouse on the left of the Chairman.
 
It is preferable that any remarks by the Official should be made early in the programme.
 
When the Official, who is preceded by the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff, leaves a dinner or other function, the guests stand until the Official and his party have withdrawn.
 
When the Official arrives to attend a public function, he/she is met at the door of the building by the senior official of the organization concerned, or his deputy, should the senior official be engaged in other necessary duties – for instance, receiving guests if it is a large function or awaiting the Official’s arrival in a special room with certain distinguished guests.
 
While the Official should have been informed of the name of the person meeting him, it is the duty of the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff to introduce the Organizer and spouse to the Official and then the Official’s spouse. On official occasions, the Protocol officer or assigned Aide Staff must always be in attendance until he leaves.
 
At a dinner or luncheon the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff should sit at a table immediately facing the Official in order to be available if required.
 
Forms of Address
 
In Protocol, the art of decorum and propriety, forms of address are vital. Protocol courtesy demands that persons holding Official Public Office be addressed appropriately using the names and titles reflective of their offices.
 
It is expected that the correct and current Order of Precedence of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as laid out in this Guide will be strictly adhered to and the idea of simply stating that “Protocol has been established,” should be discouraged.
 
Following is a comprehensive guide to the forms of address for Public Officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands and it should be noted that under no circumstances should protocol be minimized or abandoned.
Airport & VIP Transportation Protocol
VIP facilities at International Airports are not guaranteed. Each and every country has its own policies and procedures.
 
VIP facilities at some International Airports may be available on payment, or officials can utilize VIP facilities of the Airlines, which are normally for first and business class passengers. VIP facilities are not automatically put at the disposal of Officials. Prior arrangements should be made before departure from the Turks and Caicos Islands through the Protocol Officer at the Office of the Premier.
 
Governors, Premiers, Ministers of Government, Deputy Governor, Chief Justice, Speaker and members of the House of Assembly are entitled to local VIP Protocol when traveling.
 
The Governor as Head of State, the Premier as Head of elected Government, the Deputy Governor, Deputy Premier and Ministers of Government are entitled to international VIP Protocol when travelling overseas.
 
Arrivals
 
Check with flight line personnel to see where the incoming aircraft will be parked. Position the VIP Vehicle where directed by the flight line operations personnel. The vehicle should not move into position until the aircraft engine has been shut off, and the wheels chocked. When the vehicle is in position, the driver should shut off the engine, open the trunk to  accommodate any hand-carried luggage, and stand in his position, next to the open door where the Official will be seated. The Official should be seated on the passenger side of the vehicle, behind the VIP Security Officer. When the aircraft is in position, the engine has been turned off and the wheels are chocked, the Aide de Camp and VIP Security may approach the aircraft, and stand about 15 feet beyond the accommodation ladder.
 
Departures
 
Check with the Air Operations Department as to where the departing aircraft will be parked waiting to be loaded. Coordinate departures with the responsible airport officials and request that gates are open and a clear path to the aircraft are plainly marked or understandable for the drivers. An air terminal vehicle may escort the vehicle onto the flight line. Ensure all safety precautions are followed. Do not leave the air terminal until the Official’s aircraft is actually in the air.
 
Security
 
The VIP Unit is responsible for the physical protection it provides to the nation's highest elected leaders and other government officials. To safeguard VIPs, the agency does not generally discuss the specific types and methods of its security operations.
In general, permanent VIPs, such as the Governor, Premier, First Lady, Deputy Governor and
Deputy Premier must have details of special agents permanently assigned to them. Temporary VIPs, such as regional and foreign dignitaries, are staffed with special agents on temporary assignment from Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police field officers. No other Officials are entitled to VIP Protection.
 
The protection of an individual is comprehensive and goes well beyond surrounding the individual with well-armed agents. As part of the VIP Unit’s mission of preventing an incident before it occurs, the agency relies on meticulous advance work and site inspections for threat assessments developed by its Intelligence Division to identify potential risks to VIPs.
 
In Vehicles
 
The Governor, Premier, Deputy Governor and Deputy Premier will ride in the right-hand rear seat. Next to the Official, is the spouse and then the Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff on the left-rear side.
 
The ADC will drive while the VIP Security Officer sits in the right front seat. There are no exceptions to this rule.
 
The vehicles demarcation will be licence plates depicting symbols of the Monarchy for the Governor and Deputy Governor and the Turks and Caicos Islands National Crest for the Premier and Deputy Premier. In the case of the Governor, the licence plate will be black gloss with a single large crown and two smaller crowns for the Deputy Governor and for the Premier the licence plate will be black gloss with a single large National Crest and the two smaller crests for the Deputy Premier. The Ministerial Government will carry black gloss licence plates with the word Minister imprinted on it. These licence plates should be on both the rear and fore-end of the vehicles.
 
The doors of the vehicle should be held open by the ADC and VIP Security Officer. The
Protocol Officer or assigned Aide Staff enters the car by the left-rear door. The VIP Official must always get out of the right-hand side of the car. Immediately after the Official leaves the car his ensign (flag) should be furled.
 
When entering the car the Official’s spouse should enter first, NOT go around the car to enter on the left-hand side.
 
Time Keeping
 
The VIP Official always arranges to arrive at a function in time. The established protocol is that all persons attending a function, at which the Official is in attendance, are expected to arrive before and to be in their place before his/her arrival. Failure to do so without a reasonably good excuse, is regarded as a sign of disrespect to the Office of the Premier and ultimately to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, whom he represents.
United Kingdom
List of those eligible to use the Royal Suite:
  • Members of Foreign and Royal Families
  • Presidents and other Heads of States*
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Prime Ministers
  • Governors General*
  • Governors of Australian State and Lieutenant Governors of Canadian Provinces
  • Ambassadors and Charges d'Affaires, High Commissioners and Acting High Commissioners of Foreign and Commonwealth Diplomatic Missions in London*
  • Permanent Representatives to the International Maritime Organisation
  • Senior Ministers of Foreign and Commonwealth countries (i.e. Ministers who are in the Cabinet or are of equivalent status and who are  Head of any Government Department with which they are associated)
  • Premier of Dependent Territories, Australian States and Canadian Provinces
  • Agents-General of Australian States and Canadian Provinces**
  • Heads of Foreign and Commonwealth Services
  • Speakers (or the person exercising the role of Chairman in a national parliamentary body)
  • Chief Justice (or occupant of the highest judicial office in the country)
  • Governors of Foreign and Commonwealth Banks
  • President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development*
  • Commonwealth Secretary-General and Deputy Secretaries-General
  • Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation and the Secretary-General of the Wester European Union*
  • Secretaries-General of:
    • NATO
    • the United Nations
    • the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
    • the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
    • the Council of Europe
    • the European Communities Commission
    • the Arab League
    • the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of the Lome Convention
  • Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
  • President, Vice President and Commissioners of the European Communities Commission
  • President of the European Parliament
  • President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
  • President of EC Economic and Social Committee
  • President and Judges of the International and European Courts of Justice
  • Important Guests of HM Government
Notes:
* Spouses when travelling alone will have VIP status
** First arrival and last departure from the UK only
United States
The Office of Protocol at MIA extends the highest level of courtesy of port to the following personalities arriving, transiting, and/or departing from the airport:
  • Heads of State (including Reigning Kings, Emperors, Queens, Empress, and
  • heads of Dukedom and Principalities)
  • Presidents
  • Chief of Staff of Heads of State (under special circumstances)
  • Chief of Staff of Presidents (under special circumstances)
  • Vice Presidents
  • Prime Ministers
  • Members of Cabinet at Ministerial level
  • U.S. Cabinet Members
  • Foreign Ambassadors accredited to the United States (under special
  • circumstances)
  • American Ambassadors assigned to foreign countries (under special
  • circumstances)
  • Members of reigning royal families (restricted to immediate family members,
  • such as children and heirs of monarchs)