Queen’s man in county to retire from her service

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Farmer, university governor, former Lincolnshire Probation Board chairman and ex-High Sheriff of the county Tony Worth (74) has done a lot of things in his life.

But none of them can match the honour and privilege of being, in theory at least, “the most senior person” in Lincolnshire.

On Monday, Mr Worth of Holbeach Hurn will retire on his 75th birthday from being Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire after more than six years as the Queen’s representative for the county.

Mr Worth said: “I’ve had so many lovely things to do and I’ve met so many lovely people.

“We’ve had nearly every member of the Royal Household in the county and I’ve been able to see people working in their own environment, all of whom have welcomed me and my wife graciously.”

Mr Worth was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire in October 2008 having previously served as Vice Lord-Lieutenant since 2002, Deputy Lieutenant from 1994 and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire from 1990 to 1991.

“The Prime Minister’s Office has an Honours and Appointments Secretariat, the head of which came to Lincolnshire in 2008 to talk to various people of influence in the county, including Church of England leaders and councillors.

“A shortlist of candidates was given to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown at the time, who checked with the Queen and then offered the job of Lord-Lieutenant to me.

“I was very flattered and honoured to do the job on behalf of the Queen and one of the highlights was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 when I was invited to the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.”

But for the likes of Betty Matthews of West Pinchbeck, Margaret Kenworthy of Donington, Ernest Wyer of Hanthorpe, near Bourne, and Coun Michael Booth of Sutton Bridge, all British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients, Mr Worth has been a welcome guest for their finest hour.

As Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Tony Worth has a number of duties which includes the organisation of all official Royal visits to the county.

Other duties include escorting members of the Royal Family around the visited locations, informing the Queen’s Private Office about issues relating to Lincolnshire, recommending people for honours and supporting the Armed Forces.

Mr Worth said: “On average, half of my week is given over to Lord-Lieutenant duties and it takes some organising. I might have three engagements on one day, although it’s nearly always a partnership because Jenny keeps me on the straight and narrow. Jenny goes to most of the engagements, so sometimes we’re both out and sometimes we’re both in at home.”

Married for more than 50 years, the Worths will continue their active involvement in the county with Holbeach Cemetary Chapels Limited, University Academy Holbeach and a project to create a Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial and Information Centre for RAF personnel who died during World War II.

Mr Worth said: “There were 27 Bomber Command stations in Lincolnshire and over 26,000 aircrew who flew from here died but there’s no memorial to them.

“We’re trying to put that right, to a certain extent, because they were doing their job and a lot of them came back to serve their country after World War II as well.”

In recognition of his service to the Queen, Mr Worth was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, an award made to people who have served the Queen in a personal way.