Jubilee celebrations: Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex remembers the excitement around Queen's visit to county in 2017

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex says she will ‘always treasure’ one particularly memorable visit by The Queen to our county in 2017.
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Susan Pyper was appointed to the role in 2008, and recalled her meetings with The Queen and Prince Philip ahead of the Platinum Jubilee, which will be marked by parties and events all over the county.

She told SussexWorld:

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.

HM Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper. Pic S Robards SR2111242HM Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper. Pic S Robards SR2111242
HM Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper. Pic S Robards SR2111242
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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.

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I do hope that everyone in West Sussex has a very happy Jubilee weekend.


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