Her Majesty's coroners are independent judicial officers appointed and financed by local authorities but not employed by them. Although local authorities have some control in financial matters, they have none over coroners' decisions.

In practice, coroners are accountable to the High Court and to the Lord Chancellor. Coroners and their deputies must be either lawyers or medical practitioners of at least 5 years' standing, and each has the same powers to hold inquests.

Miss Ormond-Walshe is Her Majesty's Coroner for the Southern District of Greater London, comprising the 4 London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Sutton.