Hosting the Lord-Lieutenant

Inviting and Hosting the Lord-Lieutenant


The Lord-Lieutenant is always pleased to be invited to visit organisations and events that are of benefit to our society and are based in or otherwise  involve Rutland – whether voluntary, statutory, or business.

Invitations should be sent to her via the Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy. Contact details are below.

The Lord-Lieutenant may on some occasions be accompanied by her husband, Professor Peter Furness. Bearing in mind the different nature of each event, please feel free to express a preference as to whether the Lord-Lieutenant should be accompanied by her husband or not.

Sadly the Lord-Lieutenant is not able to accept all invitations because of volume and time constraints.  If an invitation is declined you may wish to ask the Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy if it is possible to arrange for the Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) to attend on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant or DL should then be accorded the same precedence due to the Lord-Lieutenant, as follows:

Precedence, etiquette and protocol

Protocol is not intended to add unnecessary formality to an event or engagement but rather eliminate any confusion and ensure that people feel comfortable.

The Lord-Lieutenant represents The King and, when attending an event in her official capacity in Rutland, should be received with the same degree of etiquette and protocol as any member of the Royal Family.

Consequently it is not appropriate to ask the Lord-Lieutenant to pay for a ticket or entrance fee when invited to attend an event in her official capacity. She may choose to make a small donation to charitable events, at her discretion.

Where the Lord-Lieutenant is unable to attend and is represented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, the same etiquette and protocol should apply.

Arrival and greetings

The Lord-Lieutenant will often arrive at events and engagements by car, meaning that parking will be required nearby. Please give due consideration to arrival and parking arrangements.

The correct form of address for the Lord-Lieutenant is as follows:

  • Written: Dr Sarah Furness, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland
  • Salutation: Dear Lord-Lieutenant
  • In a speech (opening remarks): “My Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen”.  Please note that as a direct representative of the Crown, the Lord-Lieutenant should be mentioned before any other civic dignitaries, military officers etc. who may also be present.
  • Conversation: Dr Furness should initially be addressed as ‘Lord-Lieutenant’ and thereafter as ‘Dr Furness’ or ‘Madam’

If the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by her Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, the above etiquette is adopted accordingly i.e. ‘Dear Vice Lord-Lieutenant’, ‘Dear Deputy Lieutenant’.

If the arrival is to a formal gathering or service, particularly if there is to be a procession involving other civic dignitaries, the Lord-Lieutenant takes precedence as a direct representative of the Crown and would be the last to enter.

If the audience or congregation is seated, it is customary to stand until the Lord-Lieutenant is seated. At the conclusion, the Lord-Lieutenant would be the first to exit. Again, the same protocol should be extended to the Lord-Lieutenant’s representative.

Seating arrangements

For seating in church, the Lord-Lieutenant is usually seated at the front of the nave on the south side. In the case of funerals, if the family is on the south side, the Lord-Lieutenant sits on the north side at the front and on the aisle edge. The Lord-Lieutenant would exit the church immediately after the family.

At other functions, the Lord-Lieutenant should be seated in the same place as you would seat a member of the Royal Family: quite simply as the principal guest.

During the course of a visit

The host will often accompany the Lord-Lieutenant for the duration of a visit or event, perhaps handing over at various stages to individuals with special roles.

At the end of the visit or event it would be usual for the host to escort the Lord-Lieutenant to the departure point before any final farewells.

Description of Lord-Lieutenant in printing and inscriptions

It may be the case that printing or inscriptions are required as part of an event.

Although ‘Dr Sarah Furness’ should not be abbreviated, the title of the Lord-Lieutenant’s office can vary depending on the circumstances in which it is being used. In full, this is: ‘His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland’ but this could become ‘H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland’, or simply ‘Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland’.

We recommend you consult the Lieutenancy Office prior to an event if any printing or engraving is required.

The Lieutenancy Office

For further information or advice regarding the Lieutenancy, please contact:

Kate Haworth, Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy
Rutland County Council
Rutland, LE15 6HP

Tel: 01572 758 203

Invitations to the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland may be sent via this office.