As HM The King’s representative in Surrey, the Lord-Lieutenant is responsible for all Royal visits to the county. There are formalities and customs to be followed and the particular style of the Royal visitor to be taken into account.
To save yourself time and energy, before you apply for a visit it may be helpful to consult Caroline Breckell, Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy at the Lieutenancy Office, which acts for the Lord-Lieutenant on any Royal visit. She can help with the invitation itself and the thinking behind it that might potentially lead to a successful outcome. If you hear that your invitation has been accepted, the Lieutenancy Office will then ensure that the arrangements are made in the approved manner.
These are some of the points the Lieutenancy Office will help you cover:
- a Royal Visit is CONFIDENTIAL (on a need to know basis) until Buckingham Palace has issued an official press release. In some cases it will not be confirmed until after the initial planning visit – the ‘recce’ – has taken place.
- the time which the Royal visitor can make available for the visit may be limited.
- the Royal Visitor will want to see or learn something interesting – besides meeting as many people in the organisation as possible.
- the wording on any commemorative wall plaque or invitations has to be approved by the relevant Royal Household.
- some Royal visitors prefer finger food or may not have time for refreshment at all.
- certain VIPs have to be invited – including probably the High Sheriff of Surrey and the local Mayor.
The informative Guide to Royal visits in Surrey, produced by the Lieutenancy Office, sets out all you need to know. Alternatively, you can call Caroline Breckell at the Lieutenancy Office on 0208 541 9127.