Lord Lieutenant

The Derbyshire Lieutenancy Office is operated by Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Mrs. Elizabeth Fothergill, CBE was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant in July 2020 and may be contacted through the Derbyshire Lieutenancy Office.

Lord Lieutenancy coat of arms
Statement by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire,
Mrs. Elizabeth Fothergill, CBE
The Death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

I am enormously saddened to hear of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with HM The Queen and all the members of the Royal family.

HRH Prince Philip was a truly remarkable man who was endlessly loyal and supportive to HM The Queen. Together they made a wonderful team, upholding and enriching the values of the British Monarchy and Commonwealth over many decades, always putting duty and service before personal interests.

A charismatic man who was ahead of his time in many ways, he was endlessly talented with a huge range of skills, knowledge and sporting expertise. He leaves a fantastic legacy in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Scheme which he founded, ensuring vast numbers of young people have life enhancing experiences and opportunities to reach their potential. His Royal Highness will be sadly missed, we shall not see his like again.

Office of the lieutenancy

Mr. Paul Wilson, MCD, Dip TP, Dip Mgmt, MRTPI is Clerk to the Lieutenancy and Mrs Debra Heaton, MVO is Secretary to the Lieutenancy and all enquiries should be addressed to:-

The Office of the Lieutenancy,

Town Hall,


Derbyshire  DE4 3NN.

Telephone: 01629 761126

Email:  debra.heaton@derbyshiredales.gov.uk


The office has its origins in the Tudor period. Late in his reign King Henry VIII (1509 – 1547) gave a commission of lieutenancy to a number of noblemen to raise and lead the local militia in the event of a Scottish or French invasion. 

On the accession of the Boy-King, Edward VI, in 1547 the unsettled conditions of a minority government led Protector Somerset to experiment with a more formal system of lieutenancies.  In 1550 Parliament approved the principle that Lieutenants should be appointed 'for the suppressing of any commotion, rebellions or unlawful assemblies'. Appointments were fitful until England was threatened by the Spanish Armada (1588), when Queen Elizabeth's government issued commissions of lieutenancy for all the English and Welsh counties.  These tended to be for life. King James I (1603 – 1625) reaffirmed the importance of the office. 

During the 17th century the functions of the Lieutenancy tended to be predominantly military.  The counties were required to hold regular musters of able-bodied men and to select from them a band who would be properly trained and armed and kept in a state of readiness.  This imposed a considerable responsibility on the Lieutenants and led to the rapid emergence of the office of Deputy Lieutenant, selected from among the gentry of the shires, acting often also as magistrates and deemed to have a particular talent for military training and organisation.  Since the office of Lieutenant was the preserve of the titled aristocracy, any holder came to be known as Lord-Lieutenant. 

In the later-17th century the military functions of the Lieutenant declined and he and his Deputies took an increasing role in policing the counties.  The outbreak of war in America and against France in the later eighteenth century necessitated a major overhaul of the militia, which resulted in the reassertion of the traditional military role of the Lord-Lieutenant.  Until the Army Regulation Act of 1871, the Lieutenant was the commander of the county militia, with authority to appoint and remove its officers. 

It was only in 1921 that the Militia Act finally removed from the Lord-Lieutenants their responsibility for enforcing order in the shires.  Other customary civilian roles are on the wain.  The Lord-Lieutenant was until recently the Custos Rostulorum (Keeper of the Rolls) and as such was chief magistrate in the county, principally responsible for the appointment of new JPs.  This is no longer automatic. 

In the early 21st century, the Lord-Lieutenant is an honorary office appointed by the Crown under letters patent, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and holds the office until retirement at not later than the age of seventy-five. 

There are no formal qualifications though the holder must live within seven miles of the county boundary.  The office is normally bestowed on a prominent person active in the public life of the region. As the Sovereign's representative in the county, the Lord-Lieutenant is required to meet and attend the Monarch and Members of The Royal Family on visits to the county. 

The fundamental principle concerning the office is that he/she is Her Majesty's representative and consequently it is his/her first and foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown and also seek to promote a spirit of co-operation by the encouragement of the voluntary services and benevolent organisations, and by taking an active interest in the business, industrial and social life of the County. The Lord-Lieutenant's role is, like the Monarch's, essentially non-political.  Since the mid-1990s women have increasingly been appointed to the office.


How the Lord-Lieutenant is appointed

In England and Wales, Her Majesty the Queen appoints the Lord-Lieutenant for a County on the advice of the Prime Minister who consults widely in the County. The Lord-Lieutenant will remain in post until he/she reaches the age of 75 years, at which point a new Lord-Lieutenant will be appointed.

The role of the Lord-Lieutenant

Lord Lieutenant and Queen 249px

The main duties of the Lord-Lieutenant may be summarised as follows:

  • Arranging visits by Members of the Royal Family to the County, and receiving and escorting Royal Visitors as appropriate.
  • The presentation of medals and awards on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen to individuals, voluntary groups and business organisations.
  • Participation in civic, voluntary and social events within the County.
  • Liaison with local units of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and their associated Cadet Forces. 

Vice Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant, with Her Majesty The Queen's approval, may appoint a Deputy Lieutenant to be the Vice Lord-Lieutenant to assist the Lord-Lieutenant by standing in when he/she is absent, sick or otherwise unable to act.  The current Vice Lord-Lieutenant is Colonel John Samuel Wilson OBE DL. 

Deputy Lieutenants

Lord-Lieutenants are required to appoint Deputy Lieutenants within an establishment which varies according to the population of the county.  In Derbyshire a maximum of 47 Deputy Lieutenants may be appointed to the Active List.  They are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant subject only to Her Majesty the Queen not disapproving the Commission.  The letters DL appear after their names. 

When required, active Deputy Lieutenants in the County (listed below) assist the Lord-Lieutenant or deputise for him/her. 

At the age of 75 Deputy Lieutenants are transferred from the Active List onto the Supplemental List.   

Current (Active) Deputy Lieutenants are:

  • Elizabeth Fothergill, CBE  :  HM Lord-Lieutenant
  • Colonel John Wilson, OBE, DL  :  Vice Lord-Lieutenant
  • Kate Alcock, DL
  • Andrew Allsop, DL
  • Jacqueline Bird, MBE, DL
  • Balwant Bubber, JP, DL
  • The Earl of Burlington  :  William Cavendish, DL
  • Andrew Cochrane, DL
  • David Coleman, QPM, DL
  • Marvin Cooke, DL
  • Lieutenant Colonel David Dawber, TD, DL
  • Peter Ellse, DL
  • Brell Ewart, DL
  • Dr. John Forkin, MBE, DL
  • Alan Goodwin, QPM, DL
  • Nick Hodgson, DL
  • Griselda Kerr, DL
  • Lord Ralph Kerr, DL
  • Scott Knowles, DL
  • The Hon. David Legh, DL
  • Terry McDermott, QFSM, DL
  • Derek Mapp, DL
  • Professor Kathryn Mitchell, CBE, DL
  • Christopher Nieper, OBE, DL
  • Louise Potter, DL
  • Ruchita Shaikh, DL
  • Robert Shields, DL
  • James Shuttleworth, DL
  • Colin Smith, CBE, DL
  • James Stafford, DL
  • Tony Walker, CBE, DL
  • Sir Andrew Walker-Okeover, Bt, DL
  • Susan Welch, MVO, DL
  • David Wheatcroft, MVO, DL
  • John White, DL
  • David Williams, DL


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

  • Written – Mrs. Elizabeth Fothergill, CBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire
  • Salutation - Dear Lord-Lieutenant
  • In a speech – In the preamble the Lord-Lieutenant is referred to as My Lord-Lieutenant
  • Conversation – Mrs. Fothergill or Lord-Lieutenant

Mrs. Fothergill is married and her husband, Richard, is addressed as Mr. Fothergill.