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Lord Lieutenancy

The Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham [external link] is Her Majesty The Queen’s personal representative in the County. The Lord-Lieutenant is appointed by Her 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 Her Majesty The Queen in presenting medals, attending special church services, parades and events such as Remembrance Day Services
  • representing The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service and Medal Presentations for Honours when the recipient has elected to have his or her presentation within the County, instead of attending Buckingham Palace
  • promoting awareness of the Honours system, The Queen’s Awards to Industry, The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, and messages of congratulation from Her Majesty The Queen

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. Further information is available on the The British Monarchy website [external link]  

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 , London, SW1P 3BQ. Telephone: 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 Queens awards to Industry and for voluntary service
  • messages of congratulations from Her Majesty The Queen 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, Durham, DH1 5TS. 
0191 383 7387
[email protected]

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