Order of precedence

A place in protocol order ( also precedence or precedence ) is a list that several people - mainly the support of high offices of state - their nominal significance after assigns.

In every state and even in diplomatic protocol there is an official or unofficial place in protocol order. Today it is mainly used for ceremonial purposes - for example, who is to speak at first speeches or who sits at state banquets at which point.

The place in protocol order does not necessarily correspond to the actual political significance of the offices or individuals listed on it. It has no independent political importance in the rule.

In monarchies, the precedence is usually controlled very precisely by the court and published each office in a Hofrangliste in the court calendar; Treat the republics of protocol priority, however, much more flexible.

Protocol rank in diplomatic protocol

The diplomacy knows, for example, the following precedence rules:

  • A head of state comes before a head of government who ranks his hand in front of a minister. Furthermore: a foreign guest ranks above its domestic counterpart, with the exception of this is the head of state of the host country.
  • Peer the seniority may be used - that is, the official Oldest has priority. If several people have the same office age, their order according to the natural age ( seniority ).

The ranking among diplomats is defined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961.

Protocol hierarchy in individual countries


In Germany there is no binding specified in protocol order. Recognized is that the President is on record as head of state of the highest ranking representative of the state. However, according to State practice an unofficial ranking: After the Federal President of the Bundestag President is in second place, followed by the Chancellor and President of the Bundesrat. In the fifth place, the President of the Federal Constitutional Court stands.


→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in Austria

The President as head of state leads to the Austrian place in protocol order. According to him, the President of the National Council and the Federal rank.


→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in Switzerland

While in Switzerland, the National President is often referred to as " the highest Swiss ", he goes to the official rank to the President and the other members of the Swiss Government College in rank.


→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in France

At the peak of protocol of France, the President of the Republic, followed by the Prime Minister and the President of the Senate is.


→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in Italy

In Italy, the President of the Republic (Presidente della Republica ) leads to the place in protocol order. It is followed by the Senate president (Presidente del Senato ), President of the Chamber of Deputies (Presidente della Camera), the prime minister (Presidente del Consiglio ), and finally the President of the Constitutional Court ( Presidente della Corte Costituzionale ).


→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in Canada

As in all the Commonwealth realms is at the forefront of the Canadian hierarchy Elizabeth II, here in her role as Queen of Canada. According to her rank of Governor General and the Prime Minister of Canada.


In Poland, the ranking is derived from the Constitution. Accordingly, the President of the Republic of Poland, which is defined in the Constitution as head of state takes the first place, one, followed by his representative in preventing Parliament Chamber President Marshal of the Sejm and Senate Marshal. The fourth place is occupied by the Church President of the Council of Ministers.

United Kingdom

→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in the United Kingdom

The individual parts of the United Kingdom - England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland - each have their own place in protocol order. The upper ranks are Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family everywhere reserved.

United States

→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in the United States

The President of the United States as head of state and head of government leads in the U.S. together with the First Lady, the place in protocol order, followed by the Vice President with his wife and the Speaker of the House.

People's Republic of China

→ Main article: Protocol hierarchy in the People's Republic of China

At the top of the protocol-related ranking of the People's Republic of China are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, in turn, led by Xi Jinping.