New High Sheriff for Hertfordshire appointed with video conference ceremony

Henry Holland-Hibbert has been appointed the new High Sheriff for Hertfordshire. Picture: Courtesy o

Henry Holland-Hibbert has been appointed the new High Sheriff for Hertfordshire. Picture: Courtesy of Henry Holland-Hibbert - Credit: Archant

A new High Sheriff for Hertfordshire has been appointed with a ceremony conducted via video conferencing.

Henry Holland-Hibbert was given the role on Saturday at his home near Watford, owing to the current coronavirus lockdown.

The ceremony was uniquely conducted via video conference with all the necessary parties dialling in remotely from their homes.

The office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in England after the Crown, and there have been High Sheriffs for at least 1,000 years.

The High Sheriff is independent, non-political, receives no remuneration and is appointed annually by the Sovereign at a “pricking ceremony” in front of the Privy Council.

Her Majesty uses a bodkin to mark the name of each High Sheriff throughout the 52 counties.

It is believed the ceremony dates back to an occasion when the Privy Council interrupted Queen Elizabeth I while she was busy with her embroidery and, lacking a pen, she used her bodkin to mark the names instead.

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Speaking after his declaration, Henry said: “I am greatly honoured to accept the position of High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, my home county for 30 years.

“I will endeavour to highlight the best of Hertfordshire from the charity sector and work closely with all professionals who sustain the vibrant communities of our diverse county.

“I have the privilege of serving as chairman of Hertfordshire Community Foundation and a particular theme of my High Sheriff year will be promoting the work of HCF and their association with the voluntary sector.

“I am also particularly interested in issues relating to housing and homelessness (including town planning) and environmental issues including climate change, renewable energy and conservation (and how we reduce the dreadful blight of litter) and I look forward to understanding more about these matters around the county going forwards.”

Henry comes from a long-established Hertfordshire family who settled and built their home at Munden, just outside Watford in the 18th Century. He and his family live there today managing a diversified rural estate and property portfolio that has developed considerably over the last 25 years.