A city pharmacist has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear.
Umesh Patel owns two pharmacies with his wife Damini: Leema, Ashbrooke, and on Southwick Green.
Lord-Lieutenants are county representatives of the Crown.
The role includes suggesting companies and groups which may be suitable for a royal visit, and commenting on honours nominations.
Mr Patel said: “I’m delighted to be appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear. It is a great honour.
“The fact that it has been conferred on me is ultimately a reflection of the contribution of community pharmacies to the health of the nation.”
He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2011 New Year Honours, recognising his services to healthcare on Wearside.
He is also a governor at Sunderland University and Sunderland High School.