As a personal representative of The Queen, the prime duty of a lord-lieutentant is to maintain the dignity of The Queen and fulfill key functions such as arranging visits by members of the Royal Family, presenting medals and honours, taking part in civic activities, liaising with local units of the armed forces and leading the local magistracy. It is a non-political, unpaid post, held until retirement at the age of 75. Although assigned no place in the table of precedence for England and Wales, by Royal Warrant in 1904 a lord-lieutenant (or lieutenant) has precedence within their own county immediately after the Sovereign (except sometimes on civic premises).

See Offices of Lord-Lieutenant

See Local Order of Precedence

The full title is Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant and this may be abbreviated to H.M. Lord-Lieutenant or Lord-Lieutenant of (County). Note that the title Lord-Lieutenant always includes the hyphen. The title applies to both male and female appointees.

How to Address a Lord-Lieutenant

The recommended style of address is as follows (although it is advisable to check the appropriate Lord-Lieutenant's office for preferred styles of address in each case, especially for formal printed items**):

Beginning of letter Dear Lord-Lieutenant or usual style of address in private capacity
End of letter Yours sincerely
Invitation The Lord-Lieutenant of (County)
Joint Invitation The Lord-Lieutenant of (County) and Lady Pilkington
Envelope Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant (this may be abbreviated to HM Lord-Lieutenant or Lord-Lieutanant of (County)
Verbal communication By name, or Lord-Lieutenant
Reference in a speech My Lord-Lieutenant

If the Lord-Lieutenant is also a peer he would be addressed as follows:

The Earl of Cirencester
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire

** Details of Lord-Lieutenant's offices may be found here or via the website of the relevant County or City Council



Forms Of Address

the debrett's 500

the debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

Celebrating Britons that are inspiring, achieving and making a difference.

Search now


Royal Portraits

Royal Portraits