Alliance eyeing High Sheriff position under new system
An Alliance councillor is poised to become the party's first High Sheriff in Belfast in almost 20 years.
And if Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle visit the city next year, Carole Howard will be the one to welcome them.
The position, one of the oldest in the council, is traditionally to act as the Queen's judicial representative in Belfast, and has been occupied solely by unionists in recent years.
Now the council is set to agree to use the d'Hondt mechanism to decide which party gets the position.
Under that system Sinn Fein would qualify to nominate one of its councillors to the role for 2018, but it has ruled that out due to the post's royal connections.
Alliance is next in line and intends to nominate Ms Howard, followed by the SDLP in 2019 - although the party said it will not be nominating anyone.
The council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee will meet to discuss how the position of High Sheriff should be decided each year today.