A FORMER soldier has been appointed the Queen’s representative in Worcestershire.

Lt Col Patrick Holcroft, who has been a deputy lieutenant for the last three years, has been announced as the county’s new Lord Lieutenant.

The 64-year-old succeeds Michael Brinton, former chairman of Kidderminster’s Brinton Carpets, who died last year.

Lt Col Holcroft was brought up in Worcestershire and now lives near Tenbury Wells with his wife and three sons.

Following 19 years service in the Grenadier Guards, he pursued a career in the City of London, joining UK merchant banking group Robert Fleming in 1988.

He remained with the bank as a director of the investment management business until the bank was acquired in 2000, at which point he became chief executive of RFIB insurance group following a buyout from the new owners. He remained CEO of the group until 2009.

He is a director, trustee and/or advisor to a number of companies, trusts and charities, including The Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown, the Lloyds Patriotic, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Grenadier Guards and The Hedley Foundation.

Since being appointed a deputy lieutenant in 2009, his duties have included helping to plan the Jubilee visit of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in July 2012 and the visit of HRH The Earl of Wessex to Malvern and Worcester in September 2012.

Lt Col Holcroft said: “It is a privilege and an honour to take on this important role within the county and I much look forward to working with the county council and other important bodies to help further the interests of Worcestershire in the coming years.

“I follow in the footsteps of an outstanding man, Michael Brinton, whose work has touched many different areas of life across the County. He and his wife, Angela, carried out their duties with integrity, commitment and good humour, and I, along with many others, would like to pay tribute to that.”

The Lord Lieutenant's main duty is to represent the Queen in Worcestershire, but responsibilities also include arranging visits for the Royal family, presenting honours and awards, leading the local magistracy as Chairman of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace, supporting reserve forces and cadets, as well encouraging charitable giving in the county.

The process of finding successors to the Lord Lieutenant is set out by the Cabinet Office and involves local consultation.