In the United Kingdom, a Deputy Lieutenant is one of several deputies to the Lord-Lieutenant of a lieutenancy area; an English ceremonial county, Welsh preserved county, Scottish lieutenancy area, or Northern Irish county borough or county.
In titles, the suffix DL may be added; e.g. John Brown, CBE, DL. However, it is generally omitted if the subject has many honours and titles. The relevant Act of Parliament is the Lieutenancies Act 1997. Deputy lieutenants are chosen by the local Lord-Lieutenant, to assist him with any duty that may be required of him. They receive their commission only when the appropriate Minister communicates that Her Majesty The Queen does not disapprove of the appointment. In England and Wales, since November 2001, the appropriate Minister is the Lord Chancellor. In Scotland, since July 1999 it has been the Scottish Ministers.
The maximum number of Deputy Lieutenants allowed in a county may be several dozen, and is related to the population of that county. DLs tend to be people who either have served the local community, or have a history of service in other fields. They may represent the Lord-Lieutenant in his (or her) absence. This would include local ceremonies and official events, from opening exhibitions to inductions of vicars.
One of the serving Deputy Lieutenants is appointed as Vice Lord-Lieutenant, and under most circumstances will stand in for the Lord-Lieutenant when he cannot be present. The appointment as Vice Lord-Lieutenant does, however, end when the Lord-Lieutenant who made the appointment leaves his/her post.