The new High Sheriff of Rutland has been wished good luck by her predecessor after what he called a “humbling” year.
In an ancient ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the Queen took part in the traditional ‘hand pricking’ to pick out the name of Dr Sarah Haddon Furness, of Whissendine, with a silver bodkin that is said to have once been owned and used for the same purpose by Queen Elizabeth.
Dr Furness will now take over from Andrew Brown on April 7 at the Declaration of the High Sheriff at Oakham Castle.
Mr Brown said: “It is hard to believe it is 12 months since I took the ancient role of High Sheriff of Rutland. I was certainly a little nervous about taking on a royal appointment which has been documented in the county since 1129.
“The year started with the declaration in the castle with over 100 invited guests including the Deputy Russian Ambassador who came up from the Russian Embassy to enjoy the proceedings. Over 250 events later I have now almost finished my year, and what an amazing experience it has been.”
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political royal appointment. And Mr Brown said he has many great memories from the role, including handing out awards at the Lodge Trust Open Day in Market Overton which he described as a “real tear-jerker.”
He added: “Without a doubt the best part of being High Sheriff has been meeting all the wonderful people who make our county such a wonderful place to live.
“The role allowed me to ask to look around places most are never able to see, and it is humbling to think of the amount of unpaid work which goes into making things happen.
“Many of us are not fantastically wealthy, but if you cannot be generous with money I try to urge people to be generous with their time.
“It is not oil or money which makes the world go around it is people, and I have met some of the most selfless and generous members of our society who perhaps don’t always get the recognition they sometime deserve.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to the citizens of Rutland for making my year so enjoyable and wish my successor very good luck in her year.”