The Lord-Lieutenant has overall responsibility for ensuring that suitable arrangements are made for Royal Visits. For this reason, he encourages the closest liaison from as early as possible between those organising such Visits and his staff.
Invitations may be extended either through the Lord-Lieutenant or direct to the Private Secretary to the member of the Royal Family concerned (contact details can be provided by the Lieutenancy Officer). Members of the Royal Family receive more invitations than they can accept. The chances of success in attracting a Royal Visitor are greater if two or more engagements can be incorporated into a day’s programme. To maximise the chance of an invitation being accepted, organisations are encouraged to let the Lord-Lieutenant know from the outset that such an invitation is being contemplated and which member of the Royal Family it is proposed to invite.
If a member of the Royal Family declines an invitation, it is permissible to extend the invitation to another member of the Royal Family, even if the second member is more senior than the first. Discretion should, however, be exercised in extending the second or subsequent invitations.
No publicity should be given to the fact that an invitation has been extended to a Royal Visitor. Even when accepted, an engagement remains confidential until a date decided by the Royal Visitor’s Private Secretary. The announcement takes the form of a short factual statement on the Buckingham Palace Website.
It would very much assist the effective coordination of Visit Programmes if all enquiries are made initially to Robin Roberts in the Lieutenancy Office.