Visit Protocol

This page offers guidance on matters of protocol, precedence and ceremonial issues where the Lord-Lieutenant is invited in an official capacity and where a member of The Royal Family will NOT be in attendance. Please be aware there is a separate protocol covering Royal Visits. Where advice is necessary, it should be sought from the Lieutenancy Office.


When a formal speech is made by the person presiding over the event, he/she begins, ‘My Lord-Lieutenant’ followed by ‘distinguished guests’ (by name or appointment if appropriate) ‘ladies and gentlemen …’


The Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants

Please note: When the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, he/she should be accorded the same protocol as the Lord-Lieutenant. Please note that Deputy Lieutenants should not be referred to as Deputy Lord-Lieutenants but simply as Deputy Lieutenants.


Citizenship Ceremonies

Some Deputy Lieutenants attend Citizenship Ceremonies and, on such occasions, will represent the Lieutenancy rather than the Lord-Lieutenant. They will be accorded the status of a VIP Guest and be seated at the front with the Lord-Lieutenant/Vice Lord-Lieutenant or Mayor (whoever officiates).


The arrival of the Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant will always aim to arrive at the time scheduled, which should be slightly later than for other invited guests. It is usual for him to be received at the entrance of the venue by the host (the senior person present) and escorted by the host or another designated person until such time as he leaves the venue.


Lord-Lieutenant’s Car

Parking space should be reserved for the Lord-Lieutenant’s car as near as possible to the point where he will be received.


Press Releases

Please feel free to notify the local Press that the Lord-Lieutenant will be attending your function. However, there is no guarantee that the event will receive press coverage.


Visits To Schools

Where appropriate, the pupils should rise upon the Lord-Lieutenant’s entrance and again on his departure.


The Clerk and Deputy Clerk

The Clerk and Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy will, on occasion, accompany the Lord-Lieutenant to give assistance to him, give direction to the host and participate in presentations.


Award Ceremonies

Where the Lord-Lieutenant is invited to present an Award in a formal capacity, he does so on behalf of His Majesty, and the Royal Prerogative applies; thereby, the Lord-Lieutenant (or his/her Representative) takes precedence over all other guests. If people are seated, it is usual for the host to arrange for the Lord-Lieutenant to be announced upon entering the venue so that those present may stand to acknowledge his status. The person making the announcement should do so by saying: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please stand to receive the Lord-Lieutenant’.


At the End of an Event

Though no guest should leave a function before the Lord-Lieutenant, Peter is very relaxed and fully understands that busy people may have other commitments which necessitate their early departure. It is usual for the Lord-Lieutenant to be escorted from the function room, with guests again invited to rise to acknowledge the Lord-Lieutenant’s status.


Formal Functions

The Lord-Lieutenant or his/her representative (as the principal guest) is placed on the host’s right. The principal guest’s spouse is usually placed on the host’s left, the host’s spouse being placed on the right of the principal guest. If spouses are not present, the second most important guest is placed on the host’s left.


Toasts And Speeches

If you wish the Lord-Lieutenant to propose or respond to a Toast or make a speech, prior notice should be given. Please provide, in writing, relevant details of any points you would wish him to make, with other requested information.


Church Services

The Lord-Lieutenant should normally be met at the entrance to the Church and escorted to the front pew on the North side of the Church. Provision should also be made for the Lord-Lieutenant’s spouse.


The congregation should be invited to rise at the Lord-Lieutenant’s entry and upon his departure. The Lord-Lieutenant should enter the church immediately before the clergy and withdraw immediately after, with arrangements being made for the Lord-Lieutenant to be escorted to and from his seat.


At funeral services, the Lord-Lieutenant will be received and seated according to the wishes of the next of kin.


Order of Service

Where the Lord-Lieutenant attends a Civic Service, consideration should be given to including his presence in the Order of Service. This will assist the congregation in identifying him, as well as ensuring that he is permitted to leave before the other Dignitaries.


Taking the Salute

There will be occasions when the Lord-Lieutenant is invited to take the salute at a march past, either following a Service or at another formal event. It is customary for the host to join the Lord-Lieutenant on the dais, although normally one pace behind him. The host should also salute or remove the headdress as appropriate.



When the Lord-Lieutenant is attending an event, the Lieutenancy Office welcomes a short brief which may include some of the following:


  • Date and timings
  • Venue
  • Car Parking arrangements
  • Meeting Point and name of the person to greet the Lord-Lieutenant
  • Guest List
  • Speech Bullet Points
  • Background brief to the organisation and any other relevant information
  • Dress code
  • Emergency contact number (in case of a problem before arrival)