Who is the Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry?

Alison Millar

Mrs Alison Millar was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry by Her Majesty the Queen on the 17th May 2018 succeeding Sir Denis Desmond KCVO CBE when he retired in early May 2018 after 18 years of service in the role.  Alison had been one of his Deputy Lieutenants since 2009.

Alison has lived and worked in the Coleraine area for over 40 years.  She was born in Banbridge and as her father worked in the Post Office administration it meant moving towns four times throughout the Province before she was 10 years old.  During that time she attended 5 different schools – the final one being Omagh Academy where she spent her most formative years.  This early history gave her an independent approach to life.


She studied Law at Queens in Belfast, graduating in 1974.  She gained a reputation in local Government and Commercial Law with the family firm of Solicitors Macaulay Wray in Coleraine (formerly Wray & Baxter).  She retired out of practice in 2017. She carried out part time judicial work for over 39 years and retired from that work in 2020.


Over the years she has worked with and supported organisations in education and local Government, not least as a special legal advisor in the governance of the now University of Ulster during the 1980’s and early 1990’s and the former Coleraine Borough Council from 1978 to 2015.  She was much involved in charity fundraising in the areas of education, health and sport. Her knowledge of the County is considerable.


Her Majesty the Queen approved the appointment and Honorary Commission of Mrs Millar as Honorary Colonel 152 (North Irish) Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps from 1st July 2021 to 1st July 2024.

Who is the Vice Lord-Lieutenant?

The position of Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry is currently vacant following the death of  Mrs Stella Burnside OBE on 16th of July 2021.

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints a Deputy Lieutenant to be his or her Vice Lord-Lieutenant. They remain in office following the demise or retirement of the Lord-Lieutenant and until a new Lord-Lieutenant is appointed.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant stands in the place of the Lord-Lieutenant as Her Majesty’s representative when the Lord-Lieutenant is absent, sick or otherwise unable to act.

Who is the Clerk to the Lieutenancy ?

The Clerk to the Lieutenancy of The County of Londonderry is Mr. Desmond Hill, D.L. 

The Clerk provides administrative support to the Lord-Lieutenant and offers assistance with the organisation of and protocol for Royal visits, the nomination procedures for National Honours, Royal Garden Parties, anniversary messages from Her Majesty, ceremonial and special events.

For enquiries concerning the Lieutenancy, please contact:


What is the Role of a Deputy Lieutenant?

The Lord-Lieutenant is required to appoint a number of Deputy Lieutenants from across the County to assist her in the exercise of her duties. Their appointment is made at the discretion of the Lord-Lieutenant subject only to Her Majesty not disapproving the granting of the Commission. Deputy Lieutenants are chosen for the contribution they make to the County through their work, charitable or voluntary activities.

There are presently fourteen Deputy Lieutenants for Co. Londonderry in addition to the Vice Lord-Lieutenant:

  • Mr Richard Archibald DL
  • Mr David Cunningham DL
  • Dr Gerard Daly OBE DL
  • Mr Alastair M L Davidson DL
  • Lady Girvan (Karen Elizabeth) MBE DL
  • Mr J Desmond Hill DL
  • Mrs Helen Mark DL
  • Dr William McGinnis CBE DL MSc HonDUniv
  • Professor P Gerry McKenna DL MRIA BSc PhD DSc CBiol FRSB FIBMS CSci FRSA Hon LLD
  • Reverend Canon Sam McVeigh MBE TD DL
  • Mr W Robert L Moore DL
  • Mr William Oliver DL
  • Mr Peter Sheridan OBE DL BSc MS
  • Mrs Lorraine Young DL JP

The normal retirement age is seventy-five.

What etiquette is involved when meeting and addressing the Lord-Lieutenant or her Deputies?

Mrs Millar has chosen not to wear a Uniform. She wears a Badge, which is shown on the Home page and her Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants wear the Deputy Badge.

There is a degree of protocol when the Lord-Lieutenant attends an Event or Service. The purpose of the protocol is not to add unnecessary formality but to reduce confusion and ensure that people feel comfortable. The Lord-Lieutenant represents her Majesty The Queen. When the Lord-Lieutenant is attending an event in her official capacity in her own County, she should be received with the same degree of etiquette and protocol as any member of the Royal Family. Where the Lord-Lieutenant is unable to attend and she is represented by her Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, the same etiquette and protocol should be followed. The Lord-Lieutenant or her deputy should be met on arrival by the host.

The correct form of address is as follows:

Written: [Name], Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of [Lieutenancy]

Salutation: Dear Lord-Lieutenant,

In a Speech: In the preamble the Lord-Lieutenant should be referred to as “Lord-Lieutenant”. A speech might begin “Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen…”

Conversation: [Name] should be initially addressed as “Lord-Lieutenant” and thereafter as “[Name]/[Maam]”

If the Lord-Lieutenant is represented by her Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, the above etiquette should be adapted accordingly i.e. ‘Dear Vice Lord-Lieutenant’, ‘Dear Deputy Lieutenant’. A speech might begin “Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Ladies and Gentlemen…” or “Deputy Lieutenant…”

Church Services and Seating

At funerals, the Lord-Lieutenant or her representative (unless attending in personal rather than official capacity) always enters the church last (two minutes before the start of the service and before the coffin), and always leaves straight after the family. For other church services, the Lord-Lieutenant or her representative enters last and leaves first. The usual arrangement is for the Lord-Lieutenant to be seated at the front of the nave on the south side. For funerals the family is on the south side, the Lord-Lieutenant sits on the north side at the front and on the aisle edge.

Seating in general

At other functions, the Lord-Lieutenant should be seated in the same place you would seat a member of the Royal Family: simply as the principal guest. Other issues relating to protocol and precedence can be clarified in consultation with the Lord-Lieutenant.

There is also an Order of Precedence as follows:

1. The Lord-Lieutenant of the County Mrs Millar and her husband Mr Alan Millar

2. The High Sheriff of the County

3. The elected Mayor

4. The Deputy Mayor

5. Aldermen

6. Councillors

7. Justices of the Peace (where appropriate)

8. Chief Executive of the Council

9. The Chief Constable


For many people, receiving a congratulatory card from Her Majesty The Queen to mark a significant birthday or wedding anniversary is a very special part of their celebrations.

Her Majesty will send a message of congratulations to an individual to celebrate their 100th and 105th birthdays and every year thereafter.

An application form for a birthday or anniversary message is available to download from the Royal website.   Please note that the date of a wedding anniversary must be notified to Her Majesty The Queen to ensure a message is sent.  If assistance is required, please contact the Clerk to the Lieutenancy to ensure a message is received

What is a Citizenship Ceremony?

In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Home Office is responsible for granting British Citizenship and it does so only after the applicant satisfies a rigorous procedure. The last step in that procedure is the making of the Oath to the Sovereign and its Pledge of Citizenship. That Oath and Pledge is taken by the successful applicant at Lagan Valley Island, The Head Offices of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, County Down. The ceremony will be conducted either by a Lord-Lieutenant or a nominated Deputy under authority from the Secretary of State for the Home Office.

Before receiving the Certificate of Citizenship the Applicant will be invited to swear the Oath (or an Affirmation) and make the Pledge and only then are presented with their Certificate of Citizenship. Until the Oath and Pledge are made Citizenship cannot be awarded.

New citizens are encouraged to bring their family or a close friend to witness the ceremony.

While the granting of citizenship is the responsibility of the Home Office, the presence of a Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, as Her Majesty’s representative, demonstrates the importance of the role of the Monarchy in welcoming the new British Citizens to our community.

What are Honours and How Do I Nominate Someone?

The Order of the British Empire was instituted by King George V on 4 June 1917 and is conferred for important services rendered to the Crown. It is awarded to both men and women. The Order consists of the Sovereign, the Grand Master (presently HRH The Duke of Edinburgh) and six classes as listed below. In 1918 the Order was divided into military and civil divisions.

  • GBE (Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire)
  • KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
  • DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
  • CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
  • OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)
  • MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)
  • BEM (Medallist of the Order of the British Empire)

The BEM medal was founded in 1917 and was awarded for “meritorious” actions by civilians or military personnel, although the recipients did not attend a Royal Investiture.
It was scrapped in 1993 but in 2012, to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced its revival and about 300 will be awarded annually to community volunteers.

The Lieutenancy will assist any member of the public in any meritorious nomination process.


For further information and guidance, go to:

The Royal Website

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). How do I nominate?

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises exceptional work carried out by any voluntary organisation working in the community.  Any such organisation is eligible to be nominated but must demonstrate a very meaningful degree of success.

Recipients of the QAVS in County Londonderry over the last few years:

International North West 200, Coleraine

Assistant Dogs NI, Limavady

Vineyard Compassion, Coleraine

Learmount Development Group at Park, near Claudy

Building Ballysally Together at Ballysally, Coleraine

Burnfoot Community Group, Dungiven

Riding for the Disabled at Castleroe, Coleraine


Nominating an organisation

The Lieutenancy will assist any member of the public in any meritorious nomination process.

The procedure is similar to that for a personal nomination for National Honours. For further information and guidance, go to:


Queen’s Award for Enterprise. How does a business nominate?

There are four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for organisations.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:

  • innovation – for commercial success as a result of innovation
  • international trade – for growth and commercial success in international trade
  • sustainable development – for commercially successful products, services and management that benefit the environment, society and the economy
  • promoting opportunity through social mobility

These awards are valid for 5 years.

Organisations may nominate themselves.


For further information, click on the links above or contact:

Queen’s Awards Helpline

E-mail: info@queensawards.org.uk
Tel: 020 7215 6880

The Awards Office has also produced a useful guide at:


Each year the closing date for entries in both categories is the end of September.  The winners are announced on 21st April the following year.

Her Majesty The Queen makes the awards annually and they reflect the highest levels of excellence.  The awards are recognised worldwide and the winners receive a number of associated benefits internationally as a result.


Recent recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in County Londonderry:

ATG Services (Ireland) Ltd

Armstrong Medical, Ltd. at Coleraine

Nicobrand, Ltd. at Castleroe, Coleraine

Cunningham Covers Ltd. at Maghera

The Workspace Group at Draperstown

Mrs Jayne Taggart for Enterprise Promotion, Causeway Enterprise Agency

What is the Elizabeth Cross?

The Elizabeth Cross is a posthumous award granted by the Crown, together with a Memorial Scroll, to the next of kin of service personnel who die on operations or as a result of terrorism.  It is the Queen’s wish that the Cross be presented to the next of kin by either the Lord-Lieutenant or a senior member of the Armed Forces, as the family desires.


This new award was first created in 2009 and is not just granted to families who have lost loved ones in recent conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq but is available to the families of those who died in conflicts dating back to 1948 including the Korean War, the Falklands and Northern Ireland.  232 Cross and Memorial Scrolls have been issued to families of UDR CGC personnel whose deaths were officially attributed to their military service.

Why has the Queen two Birthdays?

Her Majesty The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

On the death of her father George VI in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25.   The Queen is married to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and has four children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.


Her Majesty The Queen celebrates two birthdays every year: Her actual birthday on 21st April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June, when there is a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

Trooping the Colour is carried out by troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.


During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops. For many years The Queen rode on horseback, most memorably on her favoured horse Burmese. However, in recent years the Queen has ridden in a carriage.

What is the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Northern Ireland (RFCA NI)?

RFCA NI has close links with the 8 Lord-Lieutenants in Northern Ireland and one of their members serves as President, currently Mr David Lindsay CVO, Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, and the other 7 act as Vice-Presidents.

RFCA NI is required to draw its governing membership from local individuals who are qualified to act e.g., serving and retired Officers from the 3 Services (Army, Navy and Air Force), Councillors, local employees and employers, members of the Education Authority, civilians with an interest in the Reserves and Cadets etc. The common denominator is that they are all stakeholders within the reserve, cadet and veterans communities. In other words RFCA NI is an independent organisation rooted in the community charged with providing support to NI’s Reserves, Cadets and veterans as well as advising to the Defence Council and the MOD in relation to Defence interfaces in Northern Ireland. There are some 2000 Reservists and 5000 Cadets in NI. The RFCA also oversees the application of the Armed Forces covenant in NI and, in particular, co-ordinates support to Reservists.

RFCA NI is hugely effective in its role. For example, with a population of 3% of the UK whole, NI provides 7% of the national reserve and, at times, has provided over 20% of the UK’s reserve that has been deployed at any one time. These figures are remarkable.

THE Lord-Lieutenants have at least one Cadet appointed each year in March to attend the Lord-Lieutenant at Royal Visits, Garden Parties, local events, Citizenship Ceremonies, ceremonies and Remembrance Services etc. The Lord-Lieutenants also present Certificates in March each year to exceptional Reservists.

The Lord-Lieutenants, as Her Majesty The Queen’s representatives in their Counties and County Boroughs, act as a link between the Monarch, the Services and their local communities and the RFCA NI is a crucial facilitator to the Lord-Lieutenants in that role.

The link to the website for RFCA NI is http://www.reservesandcadetsni.org.uk

What is The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust?


Her Majesty The Queen is deeply committed to The Commonweath and is patron of QCT. At the age of 21 she pledged her life of service. She is an example of leadership and huge encouragement to young leaders in The Commonwealth through her patronage of the Trust.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust helps young people lead transformational change in their communities, all around the world – in education, healthcare, employment, the environment and more. It does this through three key elements of flexible funding, practical tools and guidance, and a network of other like-minded young leaders: https://www.queenscommonwealthtrust.org. QCT’s Resources Hub is free to all young people and has some learning tools on leadership and social entrepreneurship: https://www.queenscommonwealthtrust.org/resources. Young leaders wanting to seek support and inspiration from others, can visit their website or follow them on social media:

Facebook: @queenscommonwealthtrust

Instagram: @queens_commonwealth_trust

Twitter: @queenscomtrust

Linkedln: The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust