Sunday, 24 March 2013


The office of Lord-Lieutenant is of military origin and dates back to the time of HENRY VIII when they were appointed for the maintenance of law and order and for the raising of the militia.

The military role has largely disappeared, but links are maintained by association with Volunteer Reserve Forces and with the Army Cadet Force, the Air Training Corps and the Sea Cadet Corps together with other uniformed organisations such as the Fire, Police and Ambulance services and various volunteer bodies.

The Lord-Lieutenant is appointed by The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, and is Her Majesty's personal representative in the county or city.

Their prime duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown. Within that remit, the Lord-Lieutenant will exercise the following functions:

  • Arranging visits of members of the Royal Family and escorting Royal visitors as appropriate.
  • Presentation of honours, medals and awards on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
  • Liaison with local units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force, their Volunteer Reserves and Cadet Forces.
  • Attendance at civic and social events.
  • Support to charities and other voluntary organisations.

As the sovereign's representative in his or her county, the lord-lieutenant remains non-political and does not hold office in any political party.

They are appointed for life, although the customary age of retirement is 75 and the sovereign may remove them.

The lord-lieutenant is supported by a vice lord-lieutenant and deputy lieutenants that he or she appoints.

The vice lord-lieutenant deputizes when the lord-lieutenant is abroad, ill, or otherwise incapacitated. 

The lord-lieutenant appoints a number of deputy lieutenants depending on the county's population size. 

They are unpaid, but receive minimal allowances for secretarial help, mileage allowance and a driver.

Male lord-lieutenants receive an allowance for the ceremonial uniform, worn when receiving members of the royal family and on other formal occasions. 

There is no uniform for a female lord-lieutenant, but there is a badge which can be worn on ceremonial occasions.

Male lord-lieutenants wear a dark blue uniform in the style of an Army No. 1 dress along with a cap and sword with a steel scabbard. 

First published in September, 2011.

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