Friday, 4 February 2011


Sir Michael Craig-Cooper,  in his capacity as Vice Lord Lieutenant presenting a log service award to Ian Cooper of the London Fire Brigade in November 2009.
Monday marked the end of an era when Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, a Past Master of the Company, was dined out by his fellow lieutenants as Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.  He was Deputy Lieutenant of Kensington and Chelsea between 1987 and 2006 and has held the important post of Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London since 2005.

For those who come across this blog, and might be a little vague on the subject, the Lord Lieutenant is the monarch's local representative.  These days the duties are essentially ceremonial and representative. It is an honorary appointment and in broad terms there is a lord lieutenant for each county.  To help him or her the lord lieutenant appoints deputies. The arrangements in Greater London are slightly different from other areas in that in addition to the vice lord lieutenant there are deputy lieutenants assigned to each of the 32 London boroughs as well as some sixty supernumary ones.

The jobs are busy ones with the deputy lieutenants having a full timetable of representational activities.  The Vice Lord Lieutenant sits in the middle of this web of activity with an important role in ensuring everything goes smoothly.

A number of other Drapers also involved in this side of Michael's activities were also present. These included Past Master Stephen Foakes and Lords Biliamoria and Boyce who are liverymen.

It was evident from the dinner that Michael is held in very high esteem for his unerring ability to make things work, with the hallmarks of great charm and courtesy, so that the London lieutenancy runs smoothly.  Sir David Brewer, a former Lord Mayor, is the current Lord Lieutenant.  In his speech he paid a warm tribute to Michael's great civic contribution that clearly not only elicited a strong response with his fellow deputy lieutenants but also from representatives of the wide range of other organisations, such as Royal Hospital Chelsea, where he plays, or has played, an essential role in their success.

It was entirely appropriate that Michael's departure from the lieutenancy could take place in 'his' Hall.  And it was just right that his departure warmly celebrated his great contribution to the life of London.

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