About the current Lord Lieutenant - The Countess of Darnley
Lady Darnley has lived and farmed in Herefordshire with her husband, The Earl of Darnley, since1984. She served as a Magistrate for 28 years, becoming Chairman of the Family Panel, Chairman of the Hereford and Worcester Probation Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Worcestershire Ethics and Standards Committee. She is now involved in her local church, is a member of Hereford Diocesan Synod and serves on The Bishop's Council and the Hereford Cathedral Council.
History of Lord-Lieutenants
The office of the Lord-Lieutenant is military in origin and can be said to date from the reign of Henry VIII, when they were made responsible for the maintenance of order and for all military measures necessary locally for defence.
Although the military role has largely disappeared, traditional links with the armed forces have been preserved by association with the Volunteer Reserve Forces. Connections with uniformed organisations have led to links with other uniformed groups such as the police, fire and ambulance services and many voluntary bodies such as the Red Cross and the Cadet Forces.
Roles and functions
The Queen appoints the Lord-Lieutenant for each county in England and Wales on the advice of the Prime Minister, who consults widely in the county concerned.
Generally Lord-Lieutenants will be following the example of the Queen and other members of the royal family. They seek to promote a good atmosphere and a spirit of co-operation by the encouragement they give to voluntary service and to benevolent organisations and by the interest they take in the business, industrial and social life of their county and the voluntary activity that goes on in it.
The Lord-Lieutenant is the Queen's representative and it is his or her primary duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown. Further duties of the Lord-Lieutenant include:
- Arranging visits by members of the royal family and escorting royal visitors
- Presenting medals and awards on behalf of the Queen
- Assessing nominations for honours and for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and encouraging good nominations for both
- Liaising with local units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force and their associated cadet forces