Skip to main content

The Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant is the Queen’s representative in the county. The current Lord-Lieutenant is Jennifer, Lady Gretton DCVO JP.

The Lord-Lieutenant is the Queen’s representative in the county. The current Lord Lieutenant is Jennifer, Lady Gretton DCVO JP. Deputy Lieutenants and a Vice Lord-Lieutenant are also appointed to assist.

Image of the Lord-Lieutenant at an eventThe Lord-Lieutenant is non-political. She promotes working together across voluntary services, business and cultural life.

The main duties are to:

  • Arrange visits of Members of the Royal Family and escort Royal visitors
  • Present medals and awards on behalf of Her Majesty
  • Participate in civic, voluntary and social activity
  • Liaise with local units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force and their associated Cadet Forces
  • Lead the Local Magistracy as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace (Magistrates)

About the Lord-Lieutenant

Lady Gretton, as Lord-Lieutenant, is the official representative of Her Majesty The Queen for the County and City of Leicester and was appointed on 1 February 2003.

On 24 February 2003 Lady Gretton was appointed a Justice of the Peace and Keeper of the Rolls for Leicestershire. Lady Gretton is a past Chairman of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace a committee on which she is still a member.

In 2004, Lady Gretton was made a Dame of the Order of St John and she holds honorary degrees with Leicestershire's three universities. In the 2017 Birthday Honours List Lady Gretton was made a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Lady Gretton (Jennifer Ann) was born on 14th June 1943 at St Ives, Cornwall. She is the widow of the Third Baron Gretton, and has a married son (the Fourth Baron Gretton), and a married daughter. Lady Gretton has three granddaughters and three grandsons.

Lady Gretton took over the Stapleford Estate following the death of her husband in 1989. Today the estate is run by her son, The Lord Gretton, with Lady Gretton maintaining a keen interest.

Lady Gretton is a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland Country Land and Business Association, and president of the Melton Mowbray and District Model Engineering Society. She served on the Country Land and Business Association Environment and Water Committee at national level from 1994 -1998.

In 1994 she was appointed President of the Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland) and in 1999 President of LOROS (the Leicestershire and Rutland Organisation for the Relief of Suffering). In 2001 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire.

Lady Gretton has been a Member of the Committee of Somerby Parochial Church Council since 1991, Church Warden of All Saints Church Somerby 1992-1995, and was a member of the Leicester Cathedral Council from 2003-2011. She is Patron of five Parishes in Leicestershire and Staffordshire, and is patron or president of a wide range of local charities and organisations.

Lady Gretton is interested in sport, especially tennis when she has the time, and music, singing with the Oakham School Choral Society. She is interested in all aspects of steam, and restored the Stapleford Miniature Railway with the help of volunteers, and instigated the Stapleford Steam Rally in 1995.

Lord-Lieutenants biography   Opens new window

The High Sheriff of Leicestershire

The office of High Sheriff of Leicestershire is also a royal appointment, with a particular link to the judiciary, law and order, but is separate from and should not be confused with the Lord-Lieutenant. To find out more, or to contact the High Sheriff, visit

Guidance for event organisers

Because no two events are the same, there’s no standard procedure to follow when inviting the Lord Lieutenant to events. You should always seek further advice from the Lieutenancy Office.

The Lord-Lieutenant attends many social occasions in support of the local community, civic, business and cultural life of the county and city. To invite the Lord Lieutenant to an event please email the Lieutenancy Office to request a booking form.

Guidance for event organisers    Opens new window

Description of Lord-Lieutenant

Always check in advance – especially if you are ordering print or engraving something.

'Jennifer, Lady Gretton DCVO JP' should not be abbreviated.

But the title can vary. In full it is: Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire.

This can be shortened to H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, or Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire.


Normally the Lord-Lieutenant will be driven to events and event organisers should send details of where to park nearby. Refreshments should also be made available to the driver.

Please state clearly the entrance at which the Lord-Lieutenant should arrive.

The Lord-Lieutenant is usually received on arrival by the host, or a senior representative of the host.

It is appropriate to say: 'My Lord-Lieutenant welcome to ……………….'. Subsequently the Lord-Lieutenant may be addressed as Ma'am (pronounced as in jam) or Lady Gretton.

If the arrival is to a formal gathering, particularly if there is to be a procession - the Lord-Lieutenant takes precedence (as a direct representative of the Crown) and so would usually be the last to enter, subject to a few exceptions.

If the audience or congregation is seated, it is customary to stand until the Lord-Lieutenant takes her seat. At the end the Lord-Lieutenant would be the first to exit.

The event

If there’s going to be a speech it should start with 'My Lord-Lieutenant'.

Often the host will accompany the Lord-Lieutenant throughout a visit, perhaps handing over to individuals with a special role. At the end the host should escort the Lord-Lieutenant before final farewells.

The Lord-Lieutenant should never be left unattended.

On formal occasions you should consider the order of seating. The Lord-Lieutenant has precedence, subject to a few exceptions. For further advice please contact the Lieutenancy Office.

100th birthday messages and diamond anniversaries

The Lord-Lieutenant welcomes the opportunity to mark these special occasions. Lady Gretton will forward specially prepared cards to residents of Leicester and Leicestershire upon request. To submit a request please email the Lieutenancy Office.

You can also request a message of congratulations from The Queen. To find out more visit the Royal website.

Who is the Vice Lord-Lieutenant?

Lord-Lieutenant's Introduction

The Lord-Lieutenant attends many formal events throughout the year. 

Explore the Lord-Lieutenant's photo albums

As the Queen's representative, the Lord-Lieutenant attends hundreds of community, business and civic events each year.  Fancy taking a peek? Explore her extensive photo gallery from the comfort of your arm chair.

Help us improve this page Hide content
Top of page