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His Majesty The King appoints a Lord-Lieutenant as his representative in each county.

The Norfolk Lieutenancy represents the Crown's lifelong commitment to the wellbeing of the entire community.

It offers active support to the voluntary, commercial, social and spiritual lives of its citizens, also aiming to:

  • Respond when approached
  • Assist when invited
  • Improve where possible
  • Sustain where necessary
  • Encourage where practicable

and in all its actions to maintain the dignity of the Crown and to consider the interests of the whole of Norfolk.

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk is The Lady Dannatt, MBE, who was appointed on 5 August 2019 and will remain in office until age 75.

The role is non-political and unpaid.

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints Deputy Lieutenants to assist her, and appoints one of these as the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, to undertake duties as the Lord-Lieutenant determines, and to represent her when she is absent or otherwise unable to act.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant is Michael Gurney, DL

Deputy Lieutenants are widely representative of the county in many respects including location, gender, social range and service, particularly voluntary service within the community.

There are currently 51 Deputy Lieutenants who assist the Lord-Lieutenant.

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

Invitations to the Lord-Lieutenant should be sent to:

Lieutenancy Office
Norfolk County Council
Martineau Lane


Learn more on the official website of the Norfolk Lieutenancy.

The duties of the Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant's first and foremost duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown.

She seeks to promote a spirit of cooperation by encouragement of the voluntary services and benevolent organisations, and by taking an interest in the business, industrial and social life of Norfolk and various voluntary activities within it.

The main duties of the Lord-Lieutenant are:

  • 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)


Correct form of address

  • Written: The Lady Dannatt, MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk
  • Salutation: "Dear Lord-Lieutenant"
  • In a Speech: "Lord-Lieutenant"
  • Conversation: "Lady Dannatt or Lord-Lieutenant"

Note: Lieutenant is pronounced "'LEF-tenant'", not "LEW-tenant".

Should the Lord-Lieutenant (or a Deputy) accept an invitation to an event, it is useful to complete a protocol sheet, a copy of which will be available from the Lieutenancy office upon acceptance of an invitation.


Royal Garden Parties

Every year Royal Garden Parties are held at Buckingham Palace.

If you feel that someone in Norfolk has made a major contribution to life in the community, or has provided exceptional service in any other way, you could recommend that they be invited to one.

Note it is not possible to self-nominate for a garden party. Nominees and their guests should not have previously attended a Garden Party.

Email to nominate someone for an invitation. Please put 'Nominate someone for a Royal garden party invite' in the email subject line.


Royal visits

Visits by members of the Royal Family originate in many ways, examples of which include:

  • Invitations from individuals, organisations and companies to open buildings, launch projects, commemorate anniversaries etc
  • Invitations  from national bodies eg headquarters of charities or organisations of which a member of the Royal Family is a Patron or President
  • Invitations received by the Lord-Lieutenant and submitted to a specific Royal Household, or the Buckingham Palace Co-ordination and Research Unit
  • Requests from Royal Households to Lord-Lieutenants for additional items to add to a planned visit programme

In all cases of locally originated requests the Lord-Lieutenant should be consulted.  She will need to be given a brief outline of the event and likely duration, the period during which the visit is desired (the longer period the better), and whether a visit by a particular member of the Royal Family is desired, and if so the reason or justification for this.

Such are the demands made on the Royal Family there can never be any certainty that a particular invitation will be able to be accepted.


Lord-Lieutenant 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.

The Lord-Lieutenant's Cadets support the Lord-Lieutenant on special occasions such as Royal visits and Remembrance Sunday.


History of the Lord-Lieutenant

The office of the 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.

Previous Lord-Lieutenants of Norfolk

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


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

Enquiries for Magistrates can be made to



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