FORMER soldier Nigel Atkinson has been appointed Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Hampshire.

Mr Atkinson is aged 60 and he served in the Royal Green Jackets before pursuing a business career which included being the chairman of Gales Brewery.

He said: “We are fortunate in Hampshire to have so many businesses, voluntary and state sector organisations working in harmony for our common good. It will be an honour for me to serve the people of Hampshire in my new role.”

The Lord-Lieutenant’s principal duties are to represent The Queen in Hampshire; but his responsibilities will also include arranging visits for the Royal family, presenting honours and awards, Vice Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace, supporting Reserve Forces and Cadets, as well encouraging charitable giving in the County.

Lord-Lieutenants are responsible for the organisation of all official Royal visits to their county.

The Lord-Lieutenant will also represent The Queen by presenting certain honours, medals and awards including the British Empire Medal, Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service and the Elizabeth Cross.

Mr Atkinson lives near Petersfield with his wife, Christine and has one son and two daughters.

The role is non-political and unpaid. He takes over from Dame Mary Fagan who retires on 11 September.