Etiquette and Protocol
The Lord-Lieutenant is The Queen’s personal representative within Somerset and should be accorded the same etiquette and protocol, as any member of the Royal Family, when she is attending any event in the county in her official capacity.
Correct forms of address for the Lord-Lieutenant
Written: Mrs Annie Maw, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset
Salutation: Dear Lord-Lieutenant or Dear Mrs Maw
In a speech: In the preamble the Lord-Lieutenant should be referred to as “My Lord-Lieutenant”. A speech might begin “Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen”
Conversation: On formal occasions – Lord-Lieutenant, or Mrs Maw
If the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by her Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, the above etiquette should be adapted accordingly, i.e., ‘Dear Vice Lord-Lieutenant’, ‘Dear Deputy Lieutenant’.
A speech might begin “Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen…” or “Deputy Lieutenant”.
A space should be reserved for the Lord Lieutenant’s car (or the nominated Deputy if representing the LL) as close as possible to the entrance
The Lord Lieutenant should be met on arrival by the host and escorted from the entrance door to her seat
Church Services and Seating
At Funerals, the Lord-Lieutenant or their 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. For other church services, the Lord-Lieutenant or their 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. For funerals if the family is on the south side, the Lord-Lieutenant sits on the north side at the front and 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 Clerk to The Lieutenancy whose details are on the contacts page of this website.
Lieutenancy officers are usually in plain clothes, but on some formal occasions you can recognise The Lord-Lieutenant, Vice Lord-Lieutenant and some male Deputy Lieutenants by their uniform which is based on a General Officer in the Army’s No 1 Dress which serves as a symbol of the role’s military origins. Former Armed Forces officers in the Lieutenancy may wear the uniform of their service on formal occasions. You can find out who the Deputies are here.
They may also wear the following badges:
In plain clothes, a male Deputy Lieutenant may wear a neck badge, when representing The Lord-Lieutenant.
Women Deputy Lieutenants do not have an official uniform, when representing The Lord-Lieutenant they will wear a badge on a Court Bow.