On the 11th September 2022 I was honoured to read the official Accession Proclamation in Windsor town centre.
To be honest, I was very surprised to be asked to do it. Nevertheless when the request came from the Mayor’s office I had to say yes.
On the day before the event I was sent the official wording which I practiced about 10 times at home (sorry neighbours) and then spent several hours making sure the bell was polished to perfection and that my livery (now 10 years old) was looking as good a it could.
On the Sunday morning the High Street and top of Peascod Street were both packed solid with people. It took Nicola and I ages to fight our way through the crowd and across to the Guildhall.
At 12.30 the band of the Coldstream Guard marched to the Victoria Statue where a sizeable stage had been set up.
Four trumpeters blew a fanfare and I led the Mayor and a delegation of Councillors, former Mayors, The Lord Lieutenant, the Member of Parliament for Windsor, our Police Chief etc to the stage. There was a lady already stationed there. It turned out she would provide sign language interpretation as speeches were made which was a lovely inclusive touch.
The mayor read out a short preamble and I delivered the official 200 word proclamation to the huge and silent crowd. We ended with ‘God Save the King’, a verse of the National Anthem and Three Cheers for his majesty.
This was the first time that I have been required to read out a proclamation that has come directly from St James’ Palace and had been approved by the monarch themselves.
In the following days I got quite a few ‘I saw you on Telly’ emails and calls because parts of the Windsor proclamation were shown on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and hundreds of other news channels right across the world.
It was a day I will never forget.