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3 DEC 2010

 New High Steward of Romsey

On 3rd December 2010, it was announced that Penelope, Lady Brabourne (b.1953) has been appointed the new High Steward of Romsey, a purely ceremonial civic office within the gift of the Town Council.  Romsey is one of only 24 local authorities which have the right to confer the status of High Steward - however most are vacant or in abeyance.  Romsey Town Council invited 'Lady Penny' (as she is commonly known in the town) to undertake the role, following the resignation of her husband in November 2010.  Norton, 8th Lord Brabourne (b.1947) decided to retire following his rather public separation from his wife.  Norton, who became High Steward in 1979 following the assassination of Mountbatten, wrote to the Mayor of Romsey saying - "It was an honour and pleasure to take on this role 30 years ago.  I have enjoyed many of the civic events over the years, but feel it is now time to retire.”

 

The arms of Romsey Town Council

 

Penelope, Lady Brabourne

in the robes of High Steward of Romsey

In March 2011, Penelope was officially inaugurated as High Steward  where she was granted her chain of office and fur-trimmed robes.  She said in her speech - "I aim to fulfill my position as High Steward to the best of my ability and I pledge to serve you well”.  Penelope said that she was attending the forthcoming wedding on 29th April 2011 of Prince William of Wales, later The Duke of Cambridge (b.1982) and commented - “I consider this occasion to be my first outing as High Steward because I am attending not only as a family member, but also as your representative at the wedding of our future King.”

Penelope, Lady Brabourne is the first woman to be appointed High Steward of Romsey and follows in a long line of her husband's noble ancestors from The Rt Hon. Sir Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865) to Edwina's father - Colonel The Rt Hon. Wilfrid William Ashley, 1st Lord Mount Temple (1867-1939) and of course Mountbatten, Norton's illustrious grandfather.

 

Following the Remembrance Sunday parade in Romsey (one of her first engagements as High Steward) Penelope  accompanied by local school­children, placed poppies on each of Romsey’s 18 war graves, a local councillor said - “Lord Brabourne’s out of the picture now, as far as we’re concerned.  Lady Brabourne has already done more for Romsey than he ever did.”

 

LEFT: Penelope, Lady Brabourne -

in the robes of High Steward of Romsey

at a local civic parade for Remembrance Sunday