A head and shoulders shot of Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst. She wears a dark jacket with the Lord Lieutenant medal on her left breast. She wears a necklaces of two short strings of pearls, pearl stud earrings and a dark pillbox hat. Behind her is a Union Jack unfurled and stained glass windows.
HM Lord Lt of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst

The Lord-Lieutenant is supported by a team.
You can find out more about them here…


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HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst walks with various officers in front of a group of soldiers in Colchester Castle park. All are in full parade dress.
The Queen’s Birthday 21 Gun Salute at Castle Park in Colchester
HM Lord Lieutenant and Chelmsford Mayor Yvonne Spence stand either side of a young girl holding a certificate. The Mayor wears her chain of office.
North Avenue Youth Centre, Chelmsford annual meeting with Chelmsford Mayor Yvonne Spence

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex

Jennifer Tolhurst

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Essex is Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, the first woman to be appointed to the office in the county since it was established in the 1500s. She is Her Majesty the Queen’s personal representative in the county. She succeeded The Lord Petre KCVO DL, who served in the role from 2002-2017.


The main duty of the Lord-Lieutenant is to uphold the dignity of the Crown in Essex, including encouraging voluntary service and benevolent organisations, helping to create a spirit of co-operation in the county, supporting business and industry and the social life of Essex. The appointment is non-political and unpaid.

Main duties of the Lord-Lieutenant

To represent HM The Queen in the county, including duties with armed forces and presenting certain honours, medals and awards.


To arrange with the Secretariat and the relevant palace, visits by members of the Royal family, and to meet and escort Royal visitors.


To assess nominations for honour, both personal and for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, and to encourage good nominations for both.


To represent Her Majesty The Queen at ceremonies for the appointment of new citizens of the United Kingdom.


To liaise with local units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force and their associated cadet forces.


To be Chairman of the Essex branch of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee (LCAC) which is concerned with recruiting magistrates, their well-being and conduct.


To maintain regular contact and encourage links with civic authorities, armed forces and the emergency services.


To arrange invitations to Buckingham Palace garden parties and send anniversary telegrams and messages.


To participate in civic, voluntary and social activities within the Lieutenancy.


To be Patron of many county and local organisations.


The role of the Lord-Lieutenant is non-political and unpaid. Their appointment ceases when they reach the age of 75 but they may retire earlier.

Clerk to the Lieutenancy

The Clerk to the Lieutenancy of Essex is Mr Gavin Jones, Chief Executive of Essex County Council. However, much day to day work is undertaken by the deputy and assistant clerk to the Lieutenancy, who are employees of the county council. See Contacts >