Lieutenancy of South Yorkshire

There are certain rules and procedures that are followed when the Lord-Lieutenant is invited in an official capacity. This applies where a member of the royal family will not be in attendance.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants

When the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, he/she should be given the same treatment as the Lord-Lieutenant.

Please note that Deputy Lieutenants shouldn't be referred to as Deputy Lord-Lieutenants. They should just be referred to as Deputy Lieutenants.

Arrival of the Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant will always aim to arrive at the planned time. It should be slightly later than for other invited guests. It's normal for the Lord-Lieutenant to be met at the entrance of the venue by the host and guided by the host or another designated person. This would be until such time as Dame Hilary leaves the venue.

Method of address

  • Verbal - "Lord-Lieutenant" thereafter "Ma’am" (pronounced to rhyme with tram)
  • Verbal - "Vice Lord-Lieutenant" or "Deputy Lieutenant" afterwards "Sir or Ma’am"
  • Written - "Dear Lord-Lieutenant", "Dear Vice Lord Lieutenant" or "Dear Deputy Lieutenant"
  • Speeches - Lord-Lieutenant, Vice Lord-Lieutenant or Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen

If a female DL is titled eg "Lady Smith" then the correct form of address is Lady Smith. It wouldn't be Lady Anne Smith. This is just as you would say Mrs Smith, you say Lady Smith.

Lord-Lieutenant’s car

A parking space should be reserved for the Lord-Lieutenant’s car as near as possible to the point where she'll be met.

Award ceremonies

Where the Lord-Lieutenant is invited to present an Award in a formal capacity, she does so on behalf of His Majesty and the Royal Prerogative applies. This means the Lord-Lieutenant (or her representative) takes precedence over all other guests. If people are seated, it's normal for the host to arrange for the Lord-Lieutenant to be announced upon entering the venue. This is so those present may stand to acknowledge her 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

No guest should leave a function before the Lord-Lieutenant. However, Dame Hilary is very relaxed and understands that busy people may have other commitments which means they need to leave early. It's normal for the Lord-Lieutenant to be escorted from the function room. Guests may once again be invited to rise to acknowledge the Lord Lieutenant’s status.

Formal functions

The Lord-Lieutenant or 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 aren't present the second most important guest is placed on the host’s left.

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.

Speeches and toasts

When a formal speech is made by the person presiding over the event he/she begins, 'My Lord-Lieutenant'. It should be followed by 'distinguished guests', (by name or appointment) 'ladies and gentlemen…'

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 Dame Hilary to make, with other requested details.

Church services, funerals and seating

The Lord-Lieutenant should normally be met at the entrance to the Church. She should be seated on the front row and on the aisle edge. Provision should also be made for the Lord-Lieutenant’s spouse. The Lord-Lieutenant is always the last person to enter the church.

The congregation should be invited to rise at the Lord-Lieutenant’s entry and departure. The Lord-Lieutenant should enter the church just before the clergy and withdraw straight after. Arrangements should be made for the Lord-Lieutenant to be escorted to and from her seat.

If possible, the service lead should discreetly indicate to the Lord-Lieutenant when she should take her seat during services. Services are different around the county and this will help to avoid any confusion.

If the Lord-Lieutenant is required to do a reading, this should be indicated in advance to the Lieutenancy office. Reading details should be given when available.

When attending a funeral the Lord-Lieutenant (or representative) should be seated on the front row of the church on the opposite side to the family. She'll leave the church straight after the family. This arrangement will always be in accordance with the wishes of the next of kin.

Where the Lord-Lieutenant is representing a member of the Royal Family at a funeral, Dame Hilary may decide it's appropriate to be seated and not to process. This will be dictated by local circumstances.

Order of service

Where the Lord-Lieutenant attends a civic service then thought should be given to including Dame Hilary’s presence in the order of service. This will help the congregation to identify the Lord-Lieutenant. It'll also make sure that she's permitted to leave before any 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's customary for the host to join the Lord-Lieutenant on the dais, although normally one pace behind. The host should also salute or remove headdress as appropriate.

Visits To schools

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

The Lieutenancy officer

The Lieutenancy Officer will, on occasions, accompany the Lord-Lieutenant, to give assistance to her. They'll also give direction to the host and to help in presentations.

Press releases

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


When the Lord-Lieutenant is attending an event, the Lieutenancy Office will send the event organiser an engagement form. It will ask for the following details to be given:

  • Date and timings
  • Venue
  • Car parking arrangements
  • Meeting point and name of person to greet the Lord
  • Lieutenant
  • Requirements of the Lord-Lieutenant (such as a speech/presentations etc)
  • Dress code
  • Emergency contact number (in case of a problem prior to arrival)
  • Ideally a background brief about the organisation and any other relevant information will also be included

If you need more advice you can contact the Lieutenancy Office.