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News > Life After Hymers > Platinum Jubilee Stories: High Sheriff of Gloucestershire

Platinum Jubilee Stories: High Sheriff of Gloucestershire

As High Sheriff, Alfred Morris met the Queen at all events that she attended in Gloucestershire
Alfred Morris, OH 1952-57
Alfred Morris, OH 1952-57

In 2006, Alfred Morris CBE (OH 1952-57) was appointed by HM The Queen to be her personal representative in Gloucestershire as High Sheriff, which is the oldest secular office in the UK other than the Crown itself. In that role, Alfred, wearing tights and carrying his sword, was required to escort The Queen at all events held in the County of Gloucestershire.

Alfred, who had also been awarded a CBE for Services to Higher Education by The Queen, shared with us the procedure when being presented to The Queen at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony. 

The Master of the Royal Household instructed me that when called forward to meet Her Majesty, I was to take three steps forward, bow from the neck and then lower my head to make it easier for HM to place the ribbon of my decoration around my neck. I was also told to expect The Queen to engage me in a brief conversation and that when she would like me to move on, she would squeeze my hand ‘surprisingly’ tightly. Then I must take three steps backwards, and bow once more before turning away.

We were also told when speaking to HM, you first greet her as 'Your Majesty', then afterwards acknowledge her as 'Mam', to “ … rhyme with spam not smarm"!

Prior to his role as High Sheriff, Alfred was also invited to lunch with Her Majesty on The Royal Yacht Britannia during the farewell tour around the UK in 1997.

These future meetings with HM The Queen could hardly have been imagined when Alfred aged eleven sat in the bunting bedecked Main Hall for the Hymers College Coronation Banquet in 1952. Then the school and the country were still recovering after the Second World War, so it was thought to be a very grand affair with flags from all the commonwealth countries hanging from the balconies. 

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