Three new deputy lieutenants have been appointed to assist and support the lord-lieutenant in Somerset.

The new deputies are Suresh Ariaratnam from Bath, Jennifer Duke who lives on Exmoor, and Sheila Wheeler residing in a village on the Quantock Hills.

This increases the total number of deputies in Somerset to 41, spread over a wide geographic area.

Mr Ariatnam said: "Serving the people of Somerset, and supporting the diverse communities within our county as part of the lieutenancy is both an honour and a privilege.

"I look forward to being of assistance wherever it may be needed".

Ms Duke and Ms Wheeler are also "delighted" with their new role and responsibilities.

Welcoming the new recruits, lord-lieutenant Mohammed Saddiq said: "Jennifer, Suresh and Sheila bring wide and diverse experiences to the Lieutenancy and I am sure will do much to help the Lieutenancy celebrate all that is good in our county.”

Their appointments were sanctioned by King Charles III and have been warmly welcomed by the community.