The Lord Lieutenant of Scotland is the title of the viceroy of Scotland. The Lord Lieutenant exercises all the powers of the monarch within Scotland. The powers of the Lord Lieutenant can be overruled by the Sovereign, though this has never occurred. The Lord Lieutenant's power is superceded by that of the Sovereign. This means that when the Sovereign is in Scotland, the Lord Lieutenant's power is transferred by default to the Crown.
The office of Lord Lieutenant predates the current system by centuries. The first modern Lord Lieutenant was appointed by virtue of the Devolution Act of 1937, which re-organised the structure of the British government to appease dissent within Scotland and Wales due to the Home Rule agreement in Ireland.
The Lord Lieutenant resides in the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh and also has the use of Edinburgh Castle and several other Royal Estates in Scotland. The Lord Lieutenant presides over the annual Opening of Parliament in Scotland, signs bills into law in the sovereign's name and has a number of ceremonial functions.
Since 1937, all Lord Lieutenants have been members of the Royal Family. This does not, technically speaking, need to be the case. A movement in Scotland has recently sprung up, alongside the independence movement, calling for a native Scot to be appointed to the post.
All Lords Lieutenants thus created have been created Duke or Duchess of Edinburgh upon their appointment. The appointment is considered a life peerage rather than hereditary.
List of Lords Lieutenant of Scotland
- HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1937-1972)
- HRH Princess Margaret, Duchess of Edinburgh (1972-2002)
- HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of Edinburgh (2002-)
The incumbent Lord Lieutenant, Prince Andrew, is fourth-in-line for the crown in his own right. His predecessor and aunt, Princess Margaret, was always referred to as the Lord Lieutenant, despite her gender.