Lieutenancy areas of Scotland

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The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. The lord-lieutenants' titles chosen by the monarch and his legal advisers are mainly based on placenames of the traditional counties of Scotland. In 1794 permanent lieutenancies were established by Royal Warrant. By the Militia Act 1797 (37 Geo.3, C.103), the lieutenants appointed "for the Counties, Stewartries, Cities, and Places" were given powers to raise and command County Militia Units.


While in their lieutenancies, lord lieutenants are among the few individuals in Scotland officially permitted to fly a banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland, the "Lion Rampant" as it is more commonly known.

Lieutenancy areas are different from the current local government council areas and their committee areas. They also differ from other subdivisions of Scotland including sheriffdoms and former regions and districts.

The Lord Provosts of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow also act ex officio as lord-lieutenants. This is a unique right in the United Kingdom: all other lord-lieutenants are appointed by the monarch, rather than being elected politicians.


Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
  1. Aberdeen
  2. Aberdeenshire
  3. Angus
  4. Argyll and Bute
  5. Ayrshire and Arran
  6. Banffshire
  7. Berwickshire
  8. Caithness
  9. Clackmannanshire
  10. Dumfries
  11. Dunbartonshire
  12. Dundee
  13. East Lothian
  14. Edinburgh
  15. Fife
  16. Glasgow
  17. Inverness
  18. Kincardineshire
  19. Lanarkshire
  20. Midlothian
  21. Moray
  22. Nairn
  23. Perth and Kinross
  24. Renfrewshire
  25. Ross and Cromarty
  26. Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale
  27. Stirling and Falkirk
  28. Sutherland
  29. Stewartry of Kirkcudbright
  30. Tweeddale
  31. West Lothian
  32. Western Isles
  33. Wigtown

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Definition of the areas

Each Lord-Lieutenant of a county holding office immediately prior to the local government reorganisation of Scotland on 16 May 1975 was appointed to an area (usually the traditional county area or something very similar to it) within the regions and districts which were established on that date. The lieutenancy areas were not given names in the 1975 order transferring the lieutenancies. [1] When local government was reorganised again on 1 April 1996, the lieutenancy areas remained essentially the same, with minor border adjustments in some based on new council area boundaries. The order transferring the lieutenancies in 1996 gave each lieutenancy a name, usually taken from the names of the pre-1975 counties which roughly correspond to the lieutenancy areas. Some lieutenancy names differ though, with the pre-1975 county of Peeblesshire now corresponding to a lieutenancy of Tweeddale. [2]

Pre-1975 lieutenancy (County)Current Lieutenancy areaFormer regionDefinition
Aberdeenshire Aberdeenshire Grampian The County of Aberdeen as existing before 16 May 1975, except that part in the City of Aberdeen
Angus Angus Tayside District of Angus
Argyll Argyll and Bute Strathclyde District of Argyll and Bute
Ayr Ayrshire and Arran Strathclyde Districts of Cunninghame, Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Kyle and Carrick and Cumnock and Doon Valley
Banffshire Banffshire Grampian The county of Banffshire as existing before 16 May 1975
Berwick Berwickshire Borders District of Berwickshire
Caithness Caithness Highland District of Caithness
Clackmannan Clackmannanshire Central District of Clackmannan
Dumfries Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway Districts of Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale
Dunbarton Dunbartonshire [lower-alpha 1] Strathclyde Districts of Dumbarton, Clydebank, Bearsden and Milngavie, Strathkelvin and Cumbernauld and Kilsyth
East Lothian East Lothian Lothian District of East Lothian
Fife FifeFifeEntire region
Inverness Inverness Highland Districts of Lochaber, Inverness and Badenoch and Strathspey
Kincardineshire Kincardineshire Grampian The county of Kincardineshireas existing before 16 May 1975, except that part in the City of Aberdeen
Kinross (held jointly with Perth)Perth and Kinross Tayside District of Perth and Kinross
Stewartry of Kirkcudbright Stewartry of Kirkcudbright Dumfries and Galloway District of Stewartry
Lanark Lanarkshire Strathclyde Districts of Monklands, Motherwell, Hamilton, East Kilbride and Lanark
Midlothian Midlothian Lothian District of Midlothian
Moray or Elginshire Moray or Morayshire Grampian The county of Morayshire as existing before 16 May 1975
Nairn Nairn Highland District of Nairn
Orkney Orkney Orkney Islands AreaEntire area
Peebles Tweeddale Borders District of Tweeddale
Perth (held jointly with Kinross)Perth and Kinross Tayside District of Perth and Kinross
Renfrew Renfrewshire Strathclyde Districts of Eastwood, Renfrew and Inverclyde
Ross and Cromarty Ross and Cromarty Highland Districts of Ross and Cromarty and Skye and Lochalsh
Roxburgh (held jointly with Selkirk)Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale Borders District of Roxburgh
Selkirk (held jointly with Roxburgh)Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale Borders District of Ettrick and Lauderdale
Stirling Stirling and Falkirk Central Districts of Stirling and Falkirk
Sutherland Sutherland Highland District of Sutherland
West Lothian West Lothian Lothian District of West Lothian
Western Isles Western Isles Islands AreaEntire area
Wigtown Wigtown Dumfries and Galloway District of Wigtown
Zetland Shetland Shetland Islands AreaEntire area

See also

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  1. The county and lieutenancy area is spelt with "N" (Dunbartonshire) and the town with "M" (Dumbarton).
  1. "The Lord-Lieutenants Order 1975", , The National Archives, SI 1975/428, retrieved 25 November 2022
  2. "The Lord-Lieutenants (Scotland) Order 1996", , The National Archives, SI 1996/731, retrieved 25 November 2022