Platinum Jubilee: Retiring Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper is honoured by the Queen

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper has been made a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (D.C.V.O.) in the Birthday Honours List.

She is due to retire as Lord-Lieutenant at the end of July 2022 after a distinguished period of 14 years holding the office as the Queen’s personal representative in the county.

Mrs Pyper studied Zoology at the University of Durham and Immunology at the University of London, before working as a forensic scientist with the Metropolitan Police. She then spent 11 years serving with the Royal Air Force.

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In 1992 she began a career in the National Health Service serving as Chairman of a number of NHS Trusts including the Western Sussex NHS Primary Care Trust and the Royal West Sussex NHS Trust. She has also held positions with the Environment Agency and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Susan Pyper

In 2006 Mrs Pyper was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant and she is also a Dame in the Order of St John.

​Mrs Pyper is married to Jonathan and they have adult children.

​She is actively involved with a number of organisations of which she is Patron, President or Vice President.

In relation to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, she told SussexWorld and its heritage weekly newspapers across Sussex last month: “The Platinum Jubilee is a great opportunity for us all to celebrate and give thanks for the 70 years of service that Her Majesty The Queen has given to our country and the Commonwealth.

"The Jubilee will be marked by a number of events between 2nd and 5th June, as well as some such as the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting project that are running throughout this year. If you are celebrating, perhaps as part of the nationwide Big Lunch on Sunday 5th June, I do hope that you have a wonderful time.

"I was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex in 2008, and when I met The Queen and Prince Philip at a reception for new Lord-Lieutenants shortly afterwards, I realised the great responsibility that comes with being her representative in the county. More than 13 years later I still find the role a great honour and just so enjoyable.

“I have been fortunate to meet the Queen several times, but the highlight was of course her visit to the county in 2017. A huge amount of effort was put into all aspects of the day, led by the Lieutenancy with the Queen’s private office, Sussex Police, her protection officers, staff at the two venues, local government, the media - it never ceases to amaze me how many people are involved in days like this.

“The visit began at Canine Partners, near Midhurst. As everyone knows the Queen is very fond of dogs, and she was genuinely impressed with the high level of training and the support that the dogs provide to their owners who depend on them so much. It is not unusual for people to be nervous when they meet a member of the Royal Family and this affected one of the dogs, who dropped the posy he was supposed to present to Her Majesty rather than handing it over. The Queen’s broad smile suggested this might have been the highlight of her day!

“The Queen then travelled to Chichester Festival Theatre where crowds of people were waiting in bitterly cold weather. Everyone was in a tremendously good mood and there was a sense of excitement as her car arrived. After chatting with several groups in the foyer she watched an inspiring performance by the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre and excerpts from the recent production of Fiddler on the Roof. After lunch and a short recitation performed by Dame Patricia Routledge the Queen left, still smiling, chatting and enjoying the company of the Youth Theatre members outside. It had been a memorable day for all of us and one that I will always treasure."

The Lord-Lieutenant is the personal representative of Her Majesty The Queen in West Sussex and is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Her role is to represent the Crown and uphold its dignity within the county by supporting activities that enhance the lives of its residents.

West Sussex is a diverse and vibrant county, and its villages, towns and cities are full of talented, dedicated and creative people and organisations covering a wide range of human experience and activity. The Lord-Lieutenant is keen to promote, encourage and celebrate all that the county has to offer.

Lady Emma Barnard will succeed Mrs Pyper as the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex on August 1, 2022.

Lady Emma Barnard, DL was High Sheriff of West Sussex in 2017-18. She lives at Parham House, near Pulborough, an Elizabethan house with award-winning gardens owned by a charitable trust, and is Chairman of Parham Park Ltd, which maintains Parham and opens it to the public.

Lady Emma is Patron of the British Evacuees Association and the Coroner’s Court Support Service, and in June 2022 will come to the end of a six year term as Chair of the Patrons of the National Gallery, London. She is a trustee for a college fund of Lincoln College, Oxford. In West Sussex, she is an Ambassador for the Sussex Community Foundation and President of the Mary How Trust. Other organisations she supports include the West Sussex Ambulance Retirement Association, The Association of Sussex Artists and Kamelia Kids Day Nursery in Goring-by-Sea.