The Berkshire Lieutenancy

The role of the Lieutenancy

The Lord-Lieutenant undertakes many duties on behalf of The King.

Royal visits and events

The Lieutenancy arranges Royal visits to organisations in Berkshire. This role includes submitting invitations, and suggesting day programmes of visits.

Heads of State

The Lord-Lieutenant receives Heads of State visiting the County. He is presented to visiting Heads of State at the beginning of those state visits based in Windsor.

Presenting medals and awards

The Lord-Lieutenant presents medals and awards on behalf of The King. These include the Elizabeth Cross, the British Empire Medal, The King’s Award for Enterprise and The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

UK National honours

The Lord-Lieutenant gives discreet assistance to the Cabinet Office’s Honours and Appointments Secretariat in supporting the assessment of nominations for honours and in encouraging good nominations and increasing public awareness of the honours system.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Lord-Lieutenant promotes the King’s Award for Voluntary Service and encourages nominations. The initial part of the County assessment process for this Award is organised by the Lord-Lieutenant.

Royal Garden Parties

The Lord-Lieutenant nominates guests from all parts of the County to attend Royal Garden Parties.


In 2011 Justices of the Peace celebrated the 650th·anniversary of their creation in 1361. This ancient office continues to provide local justice for citizens. Justices of the Peace – more often known as magistrates – continue to be drawn from people of good character in all walks of life who are required to sit in judgement on their peers.

The Thames Valley Recruitment Advisory Committee is chaired by the Lord-Lieutenants of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and is responsible for the recruitment and selection of magistrates in Thames Valley to the Adult Benches and Family Panels. Additionally, the Committee engages in, and supports, recruitment and attraction activities within our local communities to raise aware of the vital role of the magistracy.

Citizenship ceremonies

In January 2004 the Government introduced a requirement that all persons aged 18 years or over, who are accepted for naturalisation or registration as British citizens, must take a citizenship oath and pledge at a Citizenship Ceremony. A Citizenship Ceremony is a memorable and enjoyable event that celebrates the important occasion of becoming a British Citizen.

A Citizenship Ceremony involves prospective citizens making an affirmation or oath of allegiance to His Majesty The King and a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.

All six unitary authorities in Berkshire hold Citizenship Ceremonies.

The Home Office encourages Lord-Lieutenants take part in Citizenship Ceremonies and the Lord-Lieutenant, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant is present at most ceremonies in Berkshire. They play an active role in the formal ceremony and enjoy the informal role of meeting the new citizens and welcoming them to the County.

Armed Forces

The Lord-Lieutenant may be called upon to carry out a variety of duties connected with the Armed Forces. For example he may be commanded by The King to present colours. He may be invited by the Commander concerned to inspect troops on parade including taking the salute on arrival or during a march past; to inspect guards of honour; to attend funerals of servicemen killed abroad; to receive units on their return from overseas; to present campaign medals; and to take part in other ceremonial functions.

The Lord-Lieutenant has a close working relationship with the South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association and is President of the County Association.

Each year the Lord-Lieutenant appoints four senior cadets as Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets – one each from the Army Cadet Force, the Sea Cadet Corps and the Air Training Corps and one from the Combined Cadet Force. These cadets support the Lord-Lieutenant in his work during their year of office, accompanying him to royal visits, awards ceremonies, and similar official events.

Each year Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates are presented to members of the Reserve Forces for meritorious service.

There is a special annual County presentation ceremony at which the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets are invested and the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates are presented.

Local communities

The Lord-Lieutenant’s links with community, industrial and social life in the county provide one of the best opportunities for the encouragement of a sense of community in the county or area and for the promotion of voluntary activity for the benefit of the community. It is in these areas that Lord-Lieutenants often have the biggest impact on the community.

One of the most significant roles of a Lord-Lieutenant is to support and encourage charities and organisations working on a voluntary basis for the benefit of the community. The voluntary sector plays a significant role in all aspects of life within Berkshire, making life better for many of its residents.

The Lord-Lieutenant is acutely conscious of this role and takes a particular interest in supporting and promoting many of the groups who work tirelessly throughout Berkshire. He holds positions in a range of charities and voluntary groups based in Berkshire, supporting them with his advice, attendance at meetings and participation in their activities.

He is particularly supportive of the Berkshire Community Foundation that raises funds and makes grants available to many local charities and community groups across Berkshire.

The Lord-Lieutenant is a Trustee of the Prince Philip Trust Fund for Windsor and Maidenhead.

The Lord-Lieutenant’s work is underpinned by the considerable work undertaken by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants in the voluntary field through support, mentoring and promotion and in many cases long term involvement with specific charities.

The Lord-Lieutenant often acts as a catalyst and bridge builder and a focus for key parts of the life of the County.

County Services of Thanksgiving

From time to time, County Services of Thanksgiving are held to commemorate special events and occasions.

Such services may be held to celebrate an event of national importance or special anniversaries relating to the Royal Family. Services may also be held to mark personal milestones such as wedding anniversaries or to commemorate the life of a prominent person.

County Services are often hosted at the Minster Church in Reading – the county town of Berkshire – although from time to time services have been held in other towns. The services seek to be inclusive of many parts of the community from across the county and importantly are multi faith services involving diverse faith groups from across Berkshire.

The Lieutenancy usually works with churches and volunteers to plan and organise these services.