Close to my Herts: Lady Verulam, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 11:37 12 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:27 20 February 2013
Lady Verulam, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and president of this year's Hertfordshire County Show, tells Louise McEvoy about her role representing the Queen
Tell the reader a bit about yourself.
Im married with four children. I married in 1976 and come from Sussex originally. We moved into Gorhambury House in St Albans in 1977. That was quite a daunting task, taking on a place like this as a young bride.
When and how did you become Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire?
I took it over in June 2007 and its a Prime Minister appointment approved by the Queen and its a-political. There was a vacancy because the outgoing Lord Lieutenant of the county, Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon, retired. I was suggested, along with various other people, and was approved by the Cabinet Secretary before the Prime Minister and the Queen. Its a fixed term until you are 75.
What does the role involve?
The role involves representing the Queen in the county. If there are royal visits, I arrange them and accompany the royal who is visiting. We have between five and 10 visits a year to a variety of sites.
I deal with quite a lot of awards on behalf of the Queen. Quite a lot of the honours nominations come through to me. We write a recommendation on the nominations and it goes to the Cabinet. Thats very, very interesting because you are always reading about people who are doing extraordinary work in the county.
I am also involved in anything to do with military matters. There is quite a big Territorial Army presence here. I liaise with the police and chair the group which appoints magistrates.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The really interesting thing is meeting the volunteers who are doing great work, and the presentation of awards. The royal visits give me a chance to learn more about the county.
You were president of this years Hertfordshire County Show. What did this involve?
My role was to be on the fringes of the planning, to host a presidents lunch and to present the prizes to the winners of various competitions.
Why did you decide to take on the role?
Because its such a fantastic thing to have a thriving agricultural show in a county which is no longer a rural county.