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Lord Lieutenancy

The Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham [external link] is His Majesty The King's personal representative in the County.

The Lord-Lieutenant is appointed by His Majesty, and the post is non-political, unpaid and held until retirement at the age of 75.

The Lord-Lieutenant is responsible for the present County Durham, plus those areas within the Boundaries of Darlington Borough, Hartlepool Borough and the part of Stockton-on-Tees which is to the north of the River Tees.

The Lord Lieutenant of County Durham is Mrs. Sue Snowdon. The Vice Lord Lieutenant is Mr. Michael Poole, who will be in post until March 2024.

The Lord-Lieutenant’s duties include:

  • receiving royal visitors to the County
  • representing His Majesty The King in presenting medals, attending special church services, parades and events such as Remembrance Day Services
  • representing The King's Awards for Enterprise, The King's Awards for Voluntary Service and Medal Presentations for Honours when the recipient has elected to have his or hers presentation within the County, instead of attending Buckingham Palace
  • promoting awareness of the Honours system, The King's Awards to Industry, The King's Awards for Voluntary Service, and messages of congratulation from His Majesty The King

Origins of the Lord-Lieutenant

The office of Lord-Lieutenant dates from the first appointment by King Henry VIII and has its origins in the military when the holder became responsible for local military defence and the maintenance of order.

In modern times the traditional link with the military is preserved through the Lord-Lieutenant’s association with the Territorial Army, the cadet forces and other uniformed and voluntary organisations.

Honours Nominations

One of the functions of the Lord-Lieutenant is to promote the Honours system. Anyone in the UK can make a recommendation for a British National to receive an honour.

The UK honours system recognises merit, exceptional achievement and service to the community at every level of society, locally, regionally or nationally.

Nominating someone for an honour needn't be complicated. The aim is to ensure that the large numbers of people not in the public eye who give valuable service are recognised.

They could be charity volunteers, members of the emergency services or Armed Forces, industrial pioneers or specialists in various professions. Honours nominations are not handled by Buckingham Palace but by the Ceremonial Secretariat, part of the Cabinet Office.

Forms can be downloaded from the Honours website [external link].

You can also get a form by writing, telephoning or emailing the Cabinet Office.

The completed forms should be sent to:

Ceremonial Secretariat
Cabinet Office
35 Great Smith Street

Tel: 0207 276 2777.

Lieutenancy Office contacts

The Clerk to the Lieutenancy and the Assistant Clerk provide information, support, advice and help to organisations, companies and individuals on such issues as:

  • nominations for honours
  • requests for Royal visits to the county
  • medal presentations
  • The King's awards to Industry and for voluntary service
  • messages of congratulations from His Majesty The King in respect of wedding anniversaries and birthdays


The Lieutenancy Office is operated part-time, but telephone messages will be answered as quickly as possible.

Emails are normally checked daily.

The Lieutenancy Office
The Rivergreen Centre
Aykley Heads
DH1 5TS. 

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