Image demonstrating Duchess of Northumberland hands over Lieutenancy  

Duchess of Northumberland hands over Lieutenancy  

The Duchess has been the monarch’s ceremonial representative for Northumberland since 2009 and made history by becoming the first woman in the county to be given a centuries-old role.  

Dr Caroline Pryer has now been appointed as His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Northumberland when the Duchess of Northumberland steps down on 1st May 2024. 

Dr Pryer has made significant contributions to local life and has deep roots within the community. She has been a Deputy Lieutenant since 2010 and Vice Lord Lieutenant for the county since 2021. She supports and celebrates many good causes; she joined the Armed Forces charity SSAFA Northumberland as a caseworker in 1994; assumed the role of training officer for a few years and then Branch Secretary. She has also been chairman of Berwick RNLI twice and a local magistrate. Caroline became a headteacher in Northumberland in 2003, more recently at Ponteland Community Primary School.   

Dr Pryer lives in Ponteland with her husband, David and has  two adult sons. 

There are 98 Lord Lieutenants across the UK stretching from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall. They were first appointed in King Henry VIII's reign to take over the military duties of the High Sheriffs and control the armed forces of the Crown.  

Today, apart from acting as The King’s representative for the region and covering Royal visits, the Lord-Lieutenant has a community role to support initiatives that help the region and to recognise people and organisations that help others. The Lieutenancy also supports the Honours system.
This includes presenting of British Empire Medals and the King’s Awards for Voluntary Service. 

Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “The Duchess takes a great interest in Northumberland and its people, and we thank her sincerely for giving up her time so freely, over so many years in her role as Lord Lieutenant. 
“Representing the late Queen Elizabeth II and then King Charles III, Her Grace carried out such valuable work to cherish, thank and shine a spotlight on the many inspirational volunteers and welfare organisations who work tirelessly to help others.” 
“We extend a very warm welcome to Dr Pryer in her new role and look forward to working with her over the coming years. “ 

Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland said: 
“It has been a real honour  to hold this role which has enabled me to meet some of the most wonderful people in communities right across the county. 
“In every corner of Northumberland there are people and voluntary groups who are working selflessly to improve the lives of others. It never failed to impress me. 
“It has been hard to choose a standout moment of the Lieutenancy as there have been so many memorable moments over the years. 

“I have been honoured to have welcomed many members of the Royal Family to show them our wonderful county and communities, but the visit of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to Alnwick back in 2011 was extremely special. They attended a garden party to celebrate and thank local care givers then went on a walk around the town. Alnwick was buzzing with excitement, the sun was shining, and thousands of people turned out to give their Royal Highnesses such a warm welcome. It was a really special day for so many people.” 
Finally, I would like to thank fellow members of the Northumberland Lieutenancy for all their enduring support. They are an incredible team  

After 15 years, I feel now is the right time for me to step down and pass on the mantle to the very capable hands of Dr Caroline Pryer. She brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to serving the community and has so much to offer the county.”. 

There is so much more I want to do, and I have recently started working with a specialist team to take Lilidorei to other corners of the globe which will involve both time and travelling.” 

Dr Caroline Pryer added: “It is a real honour and privilege to succeed Her Grace in this role.   I am greatly looking forward to working with my Lieutenancy team, Deputy Lieutenants and Vice Lord-Lieutenant, continuing our work with the King’s Award for Voluntary Services and King’s Award for Enterprise and meeting local people and celebrating their valuable contribution to their communities.” 
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