A Lord-Lieutenant is a personal representative for the British monarch in each county of the United Kingdom. Today Lord Lieutenancy is mostly a ceremonial position, but historically they were responsible for organising the county’s militia. The Lord Lieutenant is the highest rank of the lieutenants, followed by a Vice Lord Lieutenant and then Deputy Lieutenants. The Vice Lord Lieutenant takes over duties if the Lord Lieutenant is ill or unable to attend. There are usually between 30 to 40 Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Lord Lieutenant depending on the county’s size. The main duties performed by a Lord Lieutenant are arranging visits for members of the royal family, as well as escorting royal visitors, presenting medals on behalf of the sovereign and participating in civic and social activities within the lieutenancy. The uniform worn by Lord Lieutenants is military in style and has many similarities with army uniforms. Currently Lord Lieutenants wear a dark blue uniform in the style of a General Officer’s Army No 1 dress, while the detailing, such as buttons, shoulder boards etc. are silver rather than gold. The cap badge, which is worn on the peak cap, varies depending on the Lieutenant’s country. A rose is worn in England, a shamrock in Northern Ireland, a thistle in Scotland and Prince-of-Wales feathers in Wales. To view our range of Lord Lieutenant uniform accessories click here.
Salutes are primarily used in the Armed Forces to show respect. There are numerous methods for performing the salute including: hand gestures, rifle shots, hoisting flags and the removal of headgear. The salute is to acknowledge the Queen’s commission. The subordinate salutes first and holds it until their superior has responded. It is thought that the salute originated when knights greeted each other to show friendly intention by lifting their visor to show their faces. Medieval visors were equipped with a spike which allowed the visor to be lifted in a saluting motion. A British order book in 1745 stated that ‘The men are ordered not to pull off their hats when they pass an officer, or to speak to them, but only to clap up their hands to their hats and bow as they pass.’ This, overtime, evolved into a modern salute. The naval salute is a different gesture, again, as sailors salute with their palm downwards. This is said to be because naval ratings usually had dirty hands. The British Army and Royal Air Force salute has been given with the right-hand palm facing forwards since 1917 and was given with the hand furthest from the person being saluted. View the videos below to see how a salute is done in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army.