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Civic and Social

The Lord-Lieutenant has precedence of a Chairman over a District Council but will wish to extend him every courtesy and to impinge as little as possible on his civic functions.

If the presence of the Lord-Lieutenant is required at a civic ceremony at which the Chairman of a District Council is to arrive in procession, the Chairman’s procession should precede the arrival of the Lord-Lieutenant.

A formal Lieutenancy procession is nowadays rare, but on such occasions the most junior appointed Deputy Lieutenants (irrespective of military or civil qualifications) lead the procession; the Clerk of the Lieutenancy, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and the Lord-Lieutenant following at the rear, the Lord-Lieutenant coming last.

On leaving the ceremony, the order is reversed. The Lord-Lieutenant, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and the Clerk of the Lieutenancy lead the procession. The Deputy Lieutenants follow in order of seniority, with the most junior at the rear. The Chairman’s procession follows that of the Lord-Lieutenant. Uniform, or morning dress with top hat, should be worn whenever the Chairman wears robes of office, or when badges and chains are worn.

For further details of precedence please refer to Appendix 2 (Home Office Memorandum as to Precedence 1928) and Appendix 3 (Home Office Memorandum as to Precedence July 1988).

The Lord-Lieutenant and the High Sheriff

On most occasions, the Lord-Lieutenant has precedence over the High Sheriff. The one exception is when in attendance upon Her Majesty’s Judges at the Crown Court and then the High Sheriff has precedence.

Addressing the Lord-Lieutenant

The role of the Lord-Lieutenant is to act as the representative of Her Majesty the Queen in the county. As a result, when the Lord-Lieutenant is attending a function in his official capacity, he should be received in the same manner as that of a member of the Royal Family. This protocol extends to the Vice-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants if they are representing the Lord-Lieutenant at an event.

Below is the correct form of address for the Lord-Lieutenant:

  • In a letter: Dear Lord-Lieutenant
  • In a speech: Lord-Lieutenant
  • In a conversation: Lord-Lieutenant initially and then Mr Laing thereafter

The Lord-Lieutenant’s wife should be addressed as Mrs Laing. If the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by a Vice Lord-Lieutenant or Deputy Lieutenant at an event, they should be called ‘Vice Lord-Lieutenant’ or ‘Deputy Lieutenant’ initially.

Seating at events

As the Lord-Lieutenant is Her Majesty The Queen’s representative, when acting in an official capacity at a seated event, the Lord-Lieutenant should be placed in the position of principal guest. This same protocol occurs if attending a church service, with the Lord-Lieutenant the last person to enter the church at the start of the service and the first to leave at the end of the service.

Lieutenancy Engagement Forms

For all events that the Lord-Lieutenant (or Deputy Lieutenant representing him) has agreed to attend, the event organisers are asked to complete a Lieutenancy Engagement Form at least two weeks ahead of the event and return it to the Lord-Lieutenant’s Personal Secretary at: sarah@david-laing.co.uk . This will ensure that the Lord-Lieutenant is given relevant timing and location details and the name of the host who will meet the Lord-Lieutenant on his arrival.

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