It is customary for Lord-Lieutenants to appoint young people from the Cadet Forces as Lord-Lieutenant's Cadets. The Cadets are outstanding young people who have been recommended to the Lord-Lieutenant by their senior officers and are drawn from the Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, and the Air Training Corps.
When on duty, Lord-Lieutenant' Cadets wear a distinctive sash with the badge of their appointment, to denote their role. They assist the Lord-Lieutenant as required - often on parade for Royal visits - and act as ambassadors for their organisations.
The Lord-Lieutenant has appointed a Police Cadet as one of The Lord-Lieutenants Cadets and Ayse Ozkaratas becomes the first police cadet to be appointed.
17 year old Ayse is a Squad Leader in the Cheshunt group and leads a new cadet cybercrime group - meeting vulnerable people to talk about cybercrime.
Her confidence and bubbly personality stand out, and Ayse said how honoured and excited she is to become the first Police Cadet to be appointed as a Lord-Lieutenants Cadet.
Leading Cadet Rebecca Springall – my Year as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet (Oct 2017)
As a Leading Cadet within the Stevenage Sea Cadets unit, I was proud to be selected to be one of the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire’s Cadets for 2017. Over the year I had amazing opportunities to meet a wide range of people and see the brilliant events at which the Lord-Lieutenant represents Her Majesty, The Queen.
Throughout my time as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, I had the opportunity to work with two Lord-Lieutenants, The Countess of Verulam and Robert Voss CBE, as well as the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Richard Beazley. I also met several of Hertfordshire’s Deputy Lieutenants as well as the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire.
The Countess of Verulam’s farewell in July and Robert Voss’s welcome in October were each celebrated by an Evensong in St Albans Abbey, where a large congregation of dignitaries, the Armed Forces and members of the public attended. These events were beautiful and I was privileged to be asked to read part of one of the lessons (together with the other Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets) at the service for The Countess of Verulam.
In July I also attended the service to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of St Julien in All Saints’ Church in Hertford, at which the Lieutenancy was represented by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant. At this service I was asked to read the ‘Collect’.
The first event I attended as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet in March was the presentation of the British Empire Medal to six Hertfordshire residents which was held at County Hall in Hertford. My final event as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet also turned out to be the presentation of British Empire Medals in October – this time to five Hertfordshire residents. Before this last ceremony I also attended the private presentation of a Queen’s Bravery Award which was a very emotional ceremony.
During these events, I met people from all over Hertfordshire who have changed and improved the lives of other people and their communities. I discovered through these ceremonies, that these people, who are all volunteers, use their spare time and knowledge to do good for others with no thought of being rewarded for what they have achieved. When talking with these people, I found that they were all passionate about the things that they were doing and never considered that their work and efforts would result in them being given an award by The Queen.
Other events that I attended were the Presentations of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in both the Innovation and Export categories. The first Presentation I attended was to a Company who had been operating continuously for 240 years and they received the Award for the export of the world’s finest brushes. During this event, I met a number of charming people, all employees of the Company, who entertained me at lunch and invited me to take part in the celebrations with them. We were also able to see the wide range of products they make and sell around the world.
The second Company received the Award for Innovation. This engineering Company design and manufacture the machines that process and check the quality of food products. I was able to watch a demonstration of the machines in action and had a tour of the factory where I saw the design processes and assembly of the machines.
Over this year, I have found the role enjoyable and rewarding. I have come to realise how important the Queen’s representatives are and the vital job they do with their Deputies, in honouring ordinary people who have used their time for the benefit of others.
Whoever is appointed in 2018 should be greatly honoured that they have been chosen from all of Hertfordshire Sea Cadet Units to be one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets.
On Friday 26th April I attended the inauguration of the new £100 million Warner Bros. Studios Leavsden in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry. There could not have been a better way to finish what has been a fantastic twelve months as Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Hertfordshire.
My duties as Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet started before I had even been presented with my certificate or badge. With 2012 being the Diamond Jubilee year of Her Majesty The Queen it was inevitably going to be a busy one. After rapidly obtaining my brand new RAF No.1 uniform and sewing on the numerous badges it was Sunday 20th May 2012, the day of the Diamond Jubilee Service held in honour of Her Majesty at St Albans Cathedral. This being my first duty I arrived in plenty of time; a mere 45 minutes early. As Lady Verulam, Lord-Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, arrived in her car I saluted and greeted her at the doors of the Cathedral. After a quick run through, it was time for the procession where my role was to escort Lady Verulam through the Cathedral.
The Hertfordshire County Show was on 2nd June and the day I was presented, officially, with my certificate of appointment along with the other two Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets. I visited the majority of the stalls with Lady Verulam in the morning and then was invited to the president’s lunch in the members’ enclosure. My parents and my sister were invited to the presentation but being five I think my sister was more interested in the horses!
14th June 2012 was definitely the big day. It was the day of HM The Queen’s visit to Hertfordshire as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country. I arrived in Hitchin at 08:50. The crowds were building, along with the excitement, with over a thousand people in the small market square already. Our role for the day was briefly explained and then we were able to talk to the crowds and prepare for the Queen’s arrival at 10:30 am. Whilst waiting I spoke to a group of Americans who had been waiting there for four hours but were nevertheless in fantastic spirits as I told them they had chosen the exact position where the Queen would be stepping out of the Bentley. As the time drew closer the Brass band and the local church choir added to the festivities with classic marching songs and contemporary film music. Jerusalem was the chosen song for the arrival of Her Majesty and by 10:00 am the crowd, now thousands strong, had successfully rehearsed it. It was now 10:25 am and people were getting worried that the red carpet had not finished being laid but they did manage to get it done, just.
The town clock chimed 10:30, a police bike arrived around the corner, the crowd erupted into cheers, and the band started playing Jerusalem. I was ready... ready...nope, nothing. It was 10:40 when Her Majesty actually arrived with even more cheers than the "false start". My job was simple, salute her when she stepped out of the car and then follow her and the Lord Lieutenant around the square. I played a running game towards the end with the avalanche of flowers and gifts that were presented to the Queen. We collected them and ran them to either the "sweep car" or the Bentley. By 11:10 we were waving Her Majesty off and getting ready for leg number 2.
We arrived at Hatfield House, I parked, looked over my shoulder and saw the black Range Rover coming down the road! There was still a field and a 4000 strong crowd of school children separating me from the arrival point! Luckily my cross country experience came in useful as I sprinted across the field, fought my way through the crowd, dived under the fence and took my position with literally 5 seconds to spare before I was saluting the Queen as she stepped out of the Range Rover.
The Queen was then treated to a recital from a steel band and a choir before planting a new oak tree. After the Queen left I was asked by a young girl if I would present a card that she had made to the Queen on leg 3 of my day, I, of course, obliged.
The final leg was the highlight of the day. It was a reception and luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen in Hatfield House. As I made my way up to Hatfield House I was once again asked to present gifts to the Queen. When I got inside I had a look at the Luncheon seating plan and to my amazement I was seated on table one directly opposite the Queen! I saw the Chief Constable and Air Chief Marshal Peach on table two. Head of Security a Colonel and an Air Vice-Marshal on table three but on my double take I was still on table one!
After that fun filled day I had a bit of a rest from my duties. On 9th October 2012 and then in March 2013 I attended British Empire Medal presentations at County Hall. I got to talk to some very interesting and worthy people working and contributing to life in Hertfordshire. In addition, in November 2012 I was invited to attend the High Sheriff’s Justice Service where I learned how senior High Court Judges are. Even if I learnt it after I had spoken to all of them!
So, after the second British Empire Medal presentations came my final duty as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. It was not an arduous duty; my job was to shadow HRH Prince William with Lady Verulam for the duration of the four hour visit. It was a fantastic day. Not only did I get to visit ‘The Making of Harry Potter: Studio Tour’ for the first time but I got to meet the future King of England. Among others, I also spoke to JK Rowling, Helena Bonham Carter and several of the Chief Executives of Warner Bros. I got to see everything from props from the Batman trilogy to how 3D films are captured.
To summarise, I was extremely lucky to be offered the role in such a fantastic year. I cannot thank Susan Wright enough for putting in the background organisation and involving me in so many great events. And of course, Lady Verulam for putting up with me by her side for all of them! I would hold the position permanently if I could but it is only fair that I let someone else have a go. This has been the most memorable year of my seven years in the Air Training Corps. I have met so many people, from so many backgrounds. It has been incredible.