Queen appoints new lord lieutenant

This article appeared in the Ely Ensign in August 2003 on page 8.

As you will see from my Charity pages, I have been had a close association with Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue for many years. So it was with pride that the team received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in October 2013, presented by Lord Lieutenant Hugh Duberly.

Hugh retired from his post in 2017 and was succeeded by Julie Spence, ex Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Julie became patron of Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue in April 2018.


Cambridgeshire’s new Lord Lieutenant is Hugh Duberly, CBE, a church member who has been widely involved in voluntary work for the diocese for many years. He has also supported a range of local charities and is a district councillor.

Hugh Duberly is a farmer, whose family has lived at Great Staughton, near Huntingdon, for more than 200 years.

His appointment by the Queen was announced by the Prime Minister last month, following the retirement of James Crowden, CVO.

Hugh Duberly, 61, said he was honoured by the appointment and was looking forward to acting as the Queen’s representative in the county. He has been a deputy lieutenant since 1989.

His wife, Sally, who is president of Cambridgeshire British Red Cross, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1998 and they are thought to be the only husband and wife team of Deputy Lieutenants.

“It is certainly most unusual for a couple to server together,” said Hugh Duberly.

As Lord Lieutenant he will be responsible for arranging royal visits to the county, standing in for the Queen on occasions such as medal presentations to the police and presenting the Queen’s Award to Industry.

“I shall particularly enjoy making a contribution to promoting the county and representing the county. My family has been here for a long time – for more than 200 years – and always at Staughton,” he said.

Hugh Duberly is well know across the county as a farmer. He is a past president of the Country Landowners’ Association and a councillor on Huntingdonshire District Council.

“I’ve been a councillor, always sitting as an independent, since 1979, and for Staughton ward, where I live,” he said, “But I shall be standing down at the next elections, when I’ll have served exactly 25 years.”

From 1991 to 1992 he was High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and for nine years he chaired the Huntingdonshire sub-committee of the Cambridgeshire advisory committee for the appointment of magistrates.

Hugh Duberly is chairman of the Ely Diocesan Board of Finance and the Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches. He is widely involved in voluntary work in the county, chairing the Papworth Trust, which works with and for people with disabilities. Under his leadership the Trust has expanded its services into the easter region.

He also chairs the Shuttleworth Trust, home to a unique collection of ancient flying machines in Bedfordshire.

Since 1979 he has been chairman of Great Staughton Parish Council, a governor at the village primary school for even longer, and chairman of the governors of Kimbolton School from 1992 to 2000.

He has three adult children and five grandchildren.

What is a Lord Lieutenant?

The Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire is the Queen’s personal representative in the county and usually accompanies her and other members of the Royal family on official engagements. He manages the Queen’s civic affairs, responding to requests for help and arranging Royal visits. The Lord-Lieutenant advices on honours nominations.

The Office of the Lord-Lieutenant dates from the 16th Century and has its origins in the military when the holder became responsible for local military defence and the maintenance of order.

Today the Lord-Lieutenant maintains close links with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and has responsibility for overseeing the appointment of magistrates and General Commissioners of Income Tax.

The Queen appoints the Lord-Lieutenant on the advice of the Prime Minister. As the Sovereigns representative in his county, the Lord-Lieutenant remains non-political, does not hold office in any political party, and is unpaid.

The age of retirement is 75.

Hugh Duberly is currently Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Committee and Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches.

The Lieutenancy Office is located in Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP.

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