Your Lieutenancy

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants are the representatives of the Crown for each county in the United Kingdom. Men or women of all backgrounds, they are appointed by The King on the advice of the Prime Minister. The role is non-political and unpaid.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants are collectively referred to as the Lieutenancy.

The Office of Lord-Lieutenant

The office of Lord-Lieutenant is military in origin and can be said to date from the reign of Henry VIII when its holder was made responsible for the maintenance of order, and for all military measures necessary locally for defence.

By 1569 provision was made for the appointment of deputies. Although by the Regulation of Forces Act 1871 the Militia was removed from the Lord-Lieutenant’s direct control, it was not until 1921 that the Lord-Lieutenant finally lost the power to call on all able-bodied men of the county to fight in case of need.

These days, Lord-Lieutenants have an important role representing the Monarch in many formal and ceremonial ways.

Thomas William Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk 28 July 1846 – 3 September 1906, by George Richmond – Unknown source, Public Domain
Lady Dannatt meets students while being shown around Open Road West Norfolk by David Lennard Jones. Picture: Paul Tibbs/Your Local Paper

The Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk

Lady Dannatt’s foremost duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown and, in so doing, she seeks to promote a spirit of cooperation and goodwill amongst people and communities within the county she serves.

She would be the first to say that this prominent role in the community should be earned, not merely bestowed. She aims above all to serve you by means of the time and energy she gives to voluntary and benevolent organisations, and by the interest she takes in the business and social life of Norfolk.

Previous Lord-Lieutenants of Norfolk

Sir Richard Jewson KCVO, JP 19 September 2004 – 5 August 2019
Sir Timothy Colman, KG 30 March 1978 – 19 September 2004
Sir Edmund Bacon, 13th Baronet 30 September 1949 – 1978
Thomas Coke, 4th Earl of Leicester 14 March 1944 – 21 August 1949
Russell James Colman 1 May 1929 – 14 March 1944
Thomas Coke, 3rd Earl of Leicester 3 September 1906 – 1 May 1929
Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester 28 July 1846 – 3 September 1906

Duties of the Lord-Lieutenant

  • Arranging visits of Members of the Royal Family, and escorting Royal Visitors as appropriate
  • Presentation of medals and awards on behalf of His Majesty
  • Participation in civic, voluntary and social activity within Norfolk
  • Liaison with local units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force and their associated Cadet Forces
  • Leadership of the Local Magistracy as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace (Magistrates)
Michael Gurney DL visiting Smithdon High School, Hunstanton


Deputy Lieutenants

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints Deputy Lieutenants (DLs) to assist her to undertake duties as the Lord-Lieutenant determines, and to represent her when she is absent or otherwise unable to act. Norfolk has 50 such DLs across the county.

Vice Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints one of these Deputy Lieutenants as the Vice Lord-Lieutenant.

Magistrates and Justices of the Peace

The Lord-Lieutenant is the Chairman of the County Advisory Committee, which is responsible, among other things, for recruiting and recommending to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice candidates with the necessary qualities for appointment as Magistrates in Norfolk.

Magistrates or Justices of the Peace (JPs) are volunteers from all walks of life who deal with around 95% of criminal cases in England and Wales, including many of the crimes that most affect the public, such as anti-social behaviour.

To be a Magistrate or JP, you need to be able to commit at least 26 half-days per year to sit in court (employers are required by law to grant reasonable time off work for magistrates).

Magistrates are not paid for their services. However, many employers allow time off with pay for magistrates.  If you do suffer loss of earnings, you may claim a loss allowance at a set rate.  You can also claim allowances for travel and subsistence. Magistrates can be appointed from the age of 18 and they must retire at 70. However, the Lord Chancellor will not generally appoint anyone aged 65 or over. 

Selection is based entirely on merit and applications are welcome from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

You don’t need formal qualifications or legal training to become a magistrate. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate six key personal qualities:

  • Good character
  • Understanding and communication
  • Social awareness
  • Maturity and sound temperament
  • Sound judgement
  • Commitment and reliability

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets

The Lord-Lieutenant selects cadets each year nominated by the Sea Cadets Corps, the Army Cadet Force, and the Air Training Corps.

Cadets are nominated for their outstanding contribution to their respective cadets units.

Royal Norfolk Regiment Association Act of Remembrance wreath laying with Langley School Combined Cadet Force (2022)