The Lord-Lieutenant


The Lord-Lieutenant is HM The King’s personal representative in the county, and is appointed by The King on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day.

Personal Profile of the Lord Lieutenant

The Lady Colgrain

The Lady Colgrain took up her role as Lord-Lieutenant of Kent on April 22, 2020.

She is the county’s official representative of His Majesty The King.

Lady Colgrain has lived in Kent for more than 40 years and is an active partner in the family farm near Sevenoaks. Having started her career in publishing, she has worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years, primarily with Citizens Advice.

She is a Trustee of the Henry Smith Charity having been the charity’s Kent Visitor for 13 years; a Trustee and then Chair of the Kent Community Foundation, retiring in 2017 after 11 years. She chaired the panel to appoint the current Dean of Rochester Cathedral and remains an active supporter of the Cathedral. She is a Patron and supporter of many Kent charities. She has served as a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent since 2012.

She is married to Alastair, a previous High Sheriff of Kent, and has two adult sons and two grandsons.

Lieutenancy History

History Of The Kent Lieutenancy

In England, the office of Lord-Lieutenant is military in origin and dates from the reign of Henry VIII when its holder was made responsible for maintaining order in the County, and all military measures necessary for local defence.

In Kent, the office of the Lord-Lieutenant, the permanent representative of the Crown in the County, dates from Tudor times.

Documents held at The Centre for Kentish Studies show that the first permanent holder of the office of Lord-Lieutenant in our County was Lord Cobham (the 10th Baron Cobham). He was in office in 1558 and was also Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle.

From the outset the Lieutenancy played a vitally-important role in organising the defence of the County. When invasion threatened our shores in 1588 it was Lord Cobham’s deputies who reported crucial intelligence to the Government on the progress of the Armada in the Channel.

And the Naval Records Society notes that “Sir Thomas Scott of Scot’s Hall, one of the Deputy Lieutenants of Kent, played a prominent role in the mustering of the Kentish militia against the Armada”.

Later documents in Folkestone and other archives contain detailed plans drawn up by the Lieutenancy to counter a Napoleonic invasion. Every able bodied man was assigned a role, and those considered unable to fight were instructed to turn up with a horse and cart, axe, spade – or whatever useful thing they could bring – and ferry supplies or livestock away from the coast, or help throw up defences!

It was not until 1921 that Lord-Lieutenants finally lost the power to call on all able-bodied men of the County to fight in time of need. Nevertheless, duties connected with the Armed Forces of the Crown – and in particular the Volunteer Reserve Forces and Cadets – remain an important part of the Lieutenancy’s role today.

As Lord-Lieutenant, The Lady Colgrain continues to hold the office of Keeper of the Rolls (formerly Custos Rotulorum) and chairs the County’s Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace and their appointment, continuing the Lieutenancy’s involvement in its other original important responsibility for the maintenance of order.

Over recent years the Lieutenancy of Kent has been modernised to serve the County and its people effectively in the 21st Century.

And it is now playing its full part in the life of Kent.

Etiquette & Protocol

Uniform & Badges


The Lord-Lieutenant does not currently wear a uniform however, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and some Deputy Lieutenants will wear a uniform which is based on a General Officer in the Army’s No 1 Dress. It serves as a symbol of the role’s military origins.


In plain clothes, Deputy Lieutenants will wear a neck badge or a badge on a court bow, when representing The Lord-Lieutenant.

Address & Salutation

The Lord-Lieutenant is The King’s personal representative within Kent and should be accorded the same etiquette and protocol, as any member of the Royal Family, when she is attending any event in Kent in her official capacity.

Where the Lord-Lieutenant is unable to attend she may be represented by her Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant, where the same etiquette and protocol should be followed.

Further queries on Etiquette and Protocol should be referred to the Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy.

Form of Address

Initially, “Lord-Lieutenant” followed by “Ma’am” subsequently, unless asked to do otherwise.

Written address

The Lady Colgrain, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent


Dear Lord-Lieutenant,

Armed Forces

Lieutenancy & The Armed Forces

A Short History

Historically the Lord-Lieutenant was responsible for Local Defence and Law and Order in Kent. From the Trained Bands of Tudor England evolving into the Militia, which in turn became the Territorial Army in 1908. Direct responsibility for the Kent Territorial Units ended in 1921. Today the Lord-Lieutenant is a Deputy President of South East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (SE RFCA), and President of the County Committee the bodies, which administers the Reserve Forces and Cadets within Kent.

Commitment to Support the Armed Services

The Lieutenancy strongly supports the Regular and Reserve Forces of the Crown and encourages all Local Authorities to honour the Community Covenant. Thanks to the initiative of Allan Willett CMG CVO, links between Kent and the Local Authorities has been very much strengthened; witness the Freedom and Welcome Home Parades held across Kent.

The Lord-Lieutenants Annual Awards to Reserve Forces and Cadets

The Lord-Lieutenant holds an Awards Ceremony each autumn at which Certificates of Meritorious Service and other Awards to Local Reserve and Cadet Units are presented.

In 2012 this included the St John Cadet awards and a new award The Spitfire Award, sponsored by Shepherd Neame, honouring the top two Kent Reservists.

The Cadets

Lieutenancy & The Cadets

The Cadet Forces are Youth Organisations sponsored or supported by the Armed Services. There are many local detachments spread across Kent. For further details go to:

Sea Cadet Corps (SCC)

Kent Army Cadet Force (KACF)

Air Training Corps

Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

Lieutenancy Involvement

The Lord-Lieutenant has an overview of all Cadets in Kent, through her role as Deputy President of South-East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association and President of the County Committee. Deputy Lieutenants are asked to support their local Cadet Detachments.

Honorary Colonel of the Kent Army Cadet Force

The Honorary Colonel of the Kent Army Cadet Force has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent for a number of years; currently it is Wing Commander Peter Gilbert QVRM TD DL who took over from Colonel James Partridge TD DL.

The Kent ACF is a youth organisation with 38 Detachments County-wide providing over a thousand 12–18-year-olds, male and female, with challenging military-style and adventurous training and community activities.

Honorary Colonels, whose appointments are approved by The Queen, are outside the chain of command and they are not paid. Their voluntary role is to promote the interests of their unit or force and encourage connections with the community locally, and nationally where appropriate. They are selected for their influence, understanding and experience to provide independent, but authoritative, support and advice.

The Lieutenancy strongly supports the Regular and Reserve Forces of the Crown and encourages all Local Authorities to honour the Community Covenant.

Lord Lieutenants Cadets

Each year the four different Cadet organisations appoint a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet. Those appointed may accompany the Lord-Lieutenant on Parades and carry out other duties, as time away from their formal education allows.

How you can assist

The Cadet Forces rely on being able to recruit and retain Adult Instructors. Those who volunteer for the appointment find it very rewarding to watch young people achieve their potential. Instructors are able to advance their own personal development through the CVQO.

For further information about joining the Kent Army Cadets please visit the website:

Kent Army Cadets