Guidance for host organisations when receiving the Lord-Lieutenant or his representative

The following guidance is provided for the assistance of host organisations, but if there are any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Lieutenancy Office.

Precedence, etiquette and protocol

The purpose of protocol is not to add unnecessary formality but to reduce confusion and ensure that people feel comfortable. The Lord-Lieutenant represents Her Majesty The Queen. When the Lord-Lieutenant is attending an event in his official capacity in his own county, he should be received with the same degree of etiquette and protocol as any member of the Royal Family. Where the Lord-Lieutenant is unable to attend and he is represented by a Deputy Lieutenant, the same etiquette and protocol should be followed. The Lord-Lieutenant or his deputy should be met on arrival by the host.

The correct form of address for the Lord-Lieutenant is as follows:

  • Written:  Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire
  • Salutation: Dear Lord-Lieutenant
  • In a speech: In the preamble the Lord-Lieutenant should be referred to as "Lord-Lieutenant". A speech might begin "Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen.."
  • Conversation: Col Holcroft should be initially addressed as "Lord-Lieutenant" and thereafter as "Col Holcroft/ Sir" 

If the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by his Deputy Lieutenant, the above etiquette should be adapted accordingly i.e. "Dear Deputy Lieutenant". A speech might begin "Deputy Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen".

Church services and seating

For church services, the Lord-Lieutenant or his representative enters last and leaves first.  The usual arrangement is for the Lord-Lieutenant to be seated at the front of the nave on the south side.  

At Funerals, the Lord-Lieutenant or his representative (unless attending in a personal rather than an official capacity) always enters the church last (two minutes before the start of the service and before the coffin), and always leaves straight after the family. If the family is on the south side, the Lord-Lieutenant sits on the north side at the front on the aisle edge.

Seating in general

At other functions, the Lord-Lieutenant should be seated in the same place as you would seat a member of the Royal Family: simply as the principal guest.

Other issues relating to protocol and precedence can be clarified in consultation with the Lieutenancy Office.