Each county has a Lord-Lieutenant who is the local representative of Her Majesty The Queen in that county.
Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE
Brigadier Aitken was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent in March 2016. Previously he was a Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent and has lived in Gwent since childhood.
Following a choral scholarship to Oxford, Brigadier Aitken was commissioned in the Royal Regiment of Wales. He had a distinguished military career lasting 34 years during which time he was awarded the CBE.
Since leaving the Army, he has worked in the music and not-for-profit industries. He is currently a Development Officer for Hafal, with a particular focus on veterans’ mental health. He is married with 2 grown-up sons and lives near Cwmbran.
The County of Gwent
Gwent is a preserved county and a former local government county in south-east Wales. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, and was named after the ancient Kingdom of Gwent. The authority was a successor to both the administrative county of Monmouthshire (with minor boundary changes) and the county borough of Newport
Under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, Gwent was abolished on 1 April 1996. However, it remains one of the preserved counties of Wales for the ceremonial purposes of Lieutenancy and High Shrievalty, and its name also survives in various titles, e.g. Gwent Police,
The former administrative county was divided into several districts: Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen. The successor unitary authorities are the Blaenau Gwent County Borough, Caerphilly County Borough (part of which came from Mid Glamorgan), Monmouthshire (which covers the eastern 60% of the historic county), City of Newport and Torfaen County Borough.
In 2003 the preserved county of Gwent expanded to include the whole of Caerphilly County Borough. In 2007, the population of this enlarged area was estimated as 560,500, making it the most populous of the preserved counties of Wales.
The Role of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant
The Lord Lieutenant is Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Gwent and his first and foremost duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown.
He has pledged to involve himself in all aspects of life within the County including its civic, voluntary, business and social life,.
The Lieutenancies Act 1997 has ensured that the County of Gwent remains a preserved County, that is, one of the Counties in Wales as existed immediately before the passing of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994.
As the appointed representative of Her Majesty The Queen in the County, the Lord Lieutenant is the first citizen in the County and takes precedence on all occasions. The only exceptions are occasions of municipal business e.g. Mayoral Inauguration or Freedom ceremonies.
The Lord-Lieutenant’s role is, like the Monarch’s, essentially non-political.
The duties are many and varied but may be broadly classified under the following headings:
To arrange visits by members of the Royal Family and to escort Royal visitors.
To represent Her Majesty The Queen, including duties with the Armed Forces and presenting certain honours, medals and awards.
To assess nominations for honours, both personal and for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and to encourage good nominations for both.
To liaise with local units of Royal Navy, Army and RAF and their associated Cadet Forces.
To attend ceremonial, military and wreath laying ceremonies on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
As Keeper of the Rolls to lead the local Magistracy as Chairman of The Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace.
To be involved in the business, civic and social life in the County and the voluntary sector as President or Patron of a number of organisations.
The Lord Lieutenant appoints a number of Deputy Lieutenants to assist him in his duties and is supported by a Clerk to the Lieutenancy.
In April 2016 Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Gwent appointed Mr Andrew Tuggey CBE as his Vice Lord Lieutenant.
The role of the Vice Lord Lieutenant is to act for Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant during his absence from the County, through sickness or other inability to act.
There are currently 27 Deputy Lieutenants for Gwent who represent the Lord Lieutenant at his request when necessary.