Berwickshire has a new Lord Lieutenant, and for the first time in the 220 years of the role it has a female incumbent.
Jeanna Swan has been appointed the Queen’s representative in Berwickshire, following in the footsteps of her father-in-law, Sir William Swan who was Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1989 - 2000.
Two years ago Jeanna was appointed a deputy Lieutenant and having recently retired from her role as senior partner with Renton Swan and Partners veterinary practice she has the time to devote to being Berwickshire’s first lady.
“I have enjoyed being deputy; I like meeting people and talking to them,” said Jeanna, who feels very honoured to be the first woman appointed to the role.
“I’ve retired now which is one of the things that made me eligible for the job.
“I went to my first meeting in Holyrood last week and I was like a bee in a meadow. I now have a stack of files to make my way through!
“There do seem to be quite a number of ladies who have been appointed Lord Lieutenants now which is very encouraging.”
In Scotland, the process of appointing a new Lord Lieutenant is carried out by the Office of the Secretary of Commissions. A minimum of three names are submitted to the First Minister by the Permanent Secretary with initial recommendations. The Permanent Secretary then submits the names with the agreed recommendation on behalf of the First Minister to the Honours and Appointments Secretariat for the Prime Minister to submit to The Queen.
Jeanna is just waiting for the final approval from the Prime Minister and the Queen and that will be all the formal procedures done and dusted.
The formal suit, sword and spurs will not be part of Jeanna’s formal regalia when she is attending events representing the Queen - the Lord Lieutenant’s badge will identify her as Berwickshire’s leading lady.
“My role is to promote the county. If there are suitable events on, if people approach me or I become aware of them, then it’s my duty to put in a bid for one of the Royal family to visit, and if they do then I escort them around.”
Jeanna is also hopeful that the new British Empire Medal (BEM), which acknowledges the contribution of ‘real’ people, means she will be presenting more of these in the future: “I believe that in Edinburgh they have had more success and managed 100 last year and 120 this year.”
Jeanna and her husband Richard farm at Blackhouse Farm, Duns and with 60 cows and five horses to look after she still has plenty to keep her occupied. She also still does some veterinary work, such as riding school inspections, but at the age of 60 she is now looking forward to taking on a new responsibility - being the Queen’s representative in Berwickshire.