TRH The Earl & Countess of Wessex


TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex will be visiting the Isle of Wight on Tuesday 24th May 2022.

They will carryout a number of engagements including visiting PAN in Newport to see the work done by the Community Centre and the Barnados Family Centre alongside Barton Primary School. They will also visit the Isle of Wight Agricultural Society Education Day as well as Independent Arts and South West Area Youth to see the work being done with young people on the Isle of Wight. They will visit the sheltered housing at Columbus House to see and join in with their preparations to celebrate HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

HM Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Susie Sheldon said “We are delighted to welcome their Royal Highnesses back to the Isle of Wight. They have both always been great supporters of the Island and maintained a close interest during the last to difficult years of Lockdown. Their interest and support of so many different aspects of our community is much appreciated.”

Graham Biss, Chairman of the Royal Isle of Wight County Show, commented “We are very excited to be welcoming the Earl and Countess to our Education Day at the County Showground. Her Royal Highness is Patron of The Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations and with our County Show newly expanded to two days this summer we are keen to showcase the charitable work we do for young people through education, and bursaries and scholarships”

80th Commemoration of the Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica

Over the weekend of 8th and 9th May 2022, the 80th Commemoration of the Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica saving Cowes & East Cowes in 1942 were held. Vice Lord-Lieutenant Brigadier Maurice Sheen CBE QVRM TD DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant.

The Polish naval vessel ORP Wodnik arrived to an evening reception. A piano recital was performed by the granddaughter of Captain Francki who led his crew to a heroic defence in 1942. The Polish Ambassador was the guest of honour at a dinner held at the Royal London Yacht Club. Lt Col Otton Hulaki (100) was also a special guest. He served with 11 Polish Brigade that took Monte Casino and opened the road to Rome in 1944. On the Sunday the new Polish Consulate was opened in Cowes and a short commemoration was held at Francki Place.

The main service of commemoration took place at the bandstand on Cowes Parade.

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Lord-Lieutenant visits Broadlea Primary School

On Friday 29th April 2022, HM Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Susie Sheldon attended the 50th Anniversary of Broadlea Primary School and opened the new school library.  Mrs Sheldon was greeted by Cllr Paul Brading, Mr Richard Priest OBE DL and  Mr Patrick Mcgrorty, all of who were original pupils of 1971.

Mrs Sheldon was given a tour of the School where she met and chatted to school pupils.

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High Sheriff Declaration 2022

On Monday 11th April 2022, the Lord-Lieutenant attended the Declaration of the new High Sheriff for the Isle of Wight, Kay Marriott JP at Northwood House, Cowes.

The new High Sheriff introduced her theme for the year: Inspire to Aspire, which aims to highlight the work of people and organisations who dedicate their time to supporting young people at risk, and to inspire others to play a part.

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Two Deputy Lieutenants Appointed

Two new Deputy Lieutenants have been appointed to serve on the Isle of Wight.

In this formal voluntary role, they will assist the Lord-Lieutenant in her work. The appointment is until retirement on their 75th birthday.

The Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Mrs Susie Sheldon, has said:

“I am delighted to welcome both Richard Priest and  Didi Nicholson to the Lieutenancy team where their in-depth knowledge of their particular sectors will be invaluable to the Lieutenancy role on the Isle of Wight.”

Richard Priest OBE

Richard was born in Lake, and met his wife Jane, when Lake Middle School was first opened in 1971. They live in Shanklin and have a Son Adam, Daughter-in-Law Jennie, and grandchildren Benjamin and Isabelle.

From 1995 to 2015 Richard managed the Riverside Centre in Newport, as well as being Chair of Medina Housing Association, a School Governor, and he is actively involved locally and nationally with Charities such as Community Action (IW) & ACRE.

Richard remains involved with town councils on the Island, as well as with Shanklin Voluntary Youth & Community Centre, and his interests include Football and Cricket, sports writing and making local history films.

The Hon. Mrs Nicholson

Didi’s family have long been linked to the Isle of Wight but Didi was born in Malta and has previously been a Freelance travel writer.

She came back to the island in 2014 after living abroad for many years. She is married to Edward  and has three children,  Alexander, Zoë  and Henrietta.

Didi has a strong background in the charitable sector and is currently a trustee of both the Royal Yacht Squadron Foundation and the Island Careers Partnership. She is also a churchwarden of Mottistone Church and was from 2015 – 2020 the Chair of Governors at Brighstone Primary School

She enjoys Singing, walking, travel, sailing and lives in Mottistone.

Evensong St Mary’s Church, Cowes

On Sunday 13th March 2022, The Vice Lord-Lieutenant Brigadier Maurice Sheen, along with Bishop Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Portsmouth elect, attended evensong at St Mary’s Church in Cowes.
Other Deputy Lieutenants were also in attendance including retired Vice Lord-lieutenant Sir Guy Acland and his wife, Lady Acland.

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Lord-Lieutenant’s Tree Planting for the Queen’s Green Canopy

On Wednesday 2nd March 2022, The Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Mrs Susie Sheldon, along with former Lord Lieutenants, Major General Sir Martin White and Mr Christopher Bland, planted a Nootka Cypress tree in the grounds of Osborne House, in celebration of the Queen’s Green Canopy.

Also attending the tree planting, were children from Queens Gate Primary School as they had been asked to design a jubilee-themed flower bed in the Walled Garden in the grounds of Osborne House.

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Farewell to the Archdeacon Peter Leonard

A service was held at All Saints’ Church Ryde on Sunday 27 February 2022, to say farewell to Archdeacon Peter Leonard and partner, Mark Pittaway

In attendance were Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Susie Sheldon, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Brigadier Maurice Sheen, Bishop Christopher Foster, recently retired Bishop of Portsmouth, Bishop Rob Wickham acting Bishop of Portsmouth and Bishop Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Portsmouth elect.  

Peter based his beautifully delivered and poignant  sermon on the Jesus’s commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. And the second: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  Peter spoke of the fully inclusive world in which he wanted to live in which all respected and celebrated our diversity.  

At the end of the service speeches of thanks were led by Bishops Foster and Wickham, and the large congregation celebrated Peter’s work and said an emotional farewell, as they wished him godspeed with his new job as Chief Executive of the charity Family Links – the Centre for Emotional Health.

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