Wednesday, 22 September 2021

New deputy lieutenant for Berkshire

A FORMER investment banker from Remenham has been made a deputy lieutenant of Berkshire

A FORMER investment banker from Remenham has been made a deputy lieutenant of Berkshire.

Felicity Rutland, 67, of Remenham Lane, was formally confirmed in the role in yesterday’s (Thursday’s) London Gazette after the Queen approved her appointment in July.

She was invited to apply after meeting James Puxley, the Lord Lieutenant of the county, at a social event in the spring.

She talked to him about her voluntary commitments in the village and he felt she was a suitable candidate.

There are about 30 deputy lieutenants in the county and they report to the Lord Lieutenant, who is Her Majesty’s personal representative.

They help him carry out his duties, which can include presenting awards and welcoming royal visitors to public events.

Mrs Rutland, a mother-of-five whose husband Jim died in 2008, is a former member of Remenham Parish Council and has edited the village newsletter for the past five years.

She helped to organise Remenham’s celebrations of the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 and of her 90th birthday in June this year and every year she assembles the choir for the village’s Christmas concert at St Nicholas’ Church.

She is also a long-standing patron of the Henley Festival and a founder member and former trustee of Henley Youth Festival.

She is a member of Henley Royal Regatta’s stewards’ enclosure and regularly provides accommodation for high-profile regatta guests.

Mrs Rutland grew up in Reading and attended the Abbey School before studying for a master’s degree in engineering at Cambridge. She worked for venture capital firm 3i, which is based in Reading, from 1971 to 1985, then worked as a freelance consultant until 1994.

After that she worked in managerial roles at Abingdon School, an independent boys’ school which her sons Simon, Peter and Thomas attended, Cokethorpe School, near Witney, and The Abbey, where she sent her daughters, Lucy and Katherine.

All five children also attended Trinity Primary School in Henley, where Mrs Rutland served as a governor.

She is now semi-retired but still a governor at The Abbey School and a fund-raiser for Abingdon and St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, where she was chairman of governors in 2013.

She was appointed to the board of the Association of Governing Bodies in Independent Schools in 2014.

Mrs Rutland and her husband moved to Henley after marrying at St Mary’s Church in Hart Street in 1975 and five years later they bought the house where she now lives.

Her mother Stella Oates was a chairman of the bench at Henley Magistrates’ Court and also a deputy-lieutenant.

Mrs Rutland said: “It was lovely to receive the invitation as it came completely out of the blue. The letter said ‘this probably will not surprise you’ but it certainly did — I was flabbergasted and thrilled.

“I suppose my meeting with the Lord Lieutenant had been arranged as an informal job interview but I was totally oblivious. I just thought it was nice to chat with him.

“The formal notice of confirmation says the Queen ‘does not object’ to my appointment, which could be read as a backhanded compliment but that’s just the standard wording!

“It is a huge compliment for me as I do a lot for the Remenham community and am very interested in this kind of activity.

“I’m still waiting to hear exactly what my duties will be but I’m very excited about it.

“People have been teasing me that I’ll be opening village fetes but that’s just fine with me. It will be an honour whatever I’m asked to do.

“When Jim died I was determined not to become morose but to stay active and involved with things.

“I’ve got lots of friends and will do anything for Remenham, whether it’s putting up tents and bunting or just making teas and sandwiches.”

She added: “I’m so lucky to live here — it’s the most beautiful place in the world and has a very active community where you can put a lot in and get a lot out.”

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