Welcome to the website for the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire


Statement issued by The High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire,

Willie Hartley Russell MVO DL

“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.  We extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.

The Duke of Edinburgh dedicated decades of his life to Royal Duty and became the longest serving Consort in British history. As well as supporting a wide range of interests in the armed services, he founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in 1956 which now operates in 144 countries.

The Duke had a great affinity with the Royal County of Berkshire and particularly Windsor, where he lived for nearly 70 years. He was an inspirational Ranger (Chairman) of Windsor Great Park for almost 70 years and Patron of The Prince Philip Trust which supports projects and people across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. He was also Founder and President of the Guards Polo Club.

His Royal Highness was instrumental in helping to launch and support the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) some 30 years ago and his grand-daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York, has continued that involvement and has been Patron of BCF since 2014.

He will be fondly remembered by many people across the County.”





Willie Hartley Russell was sworn in as the High Sheriff of Berkshire on Friday 26th March for this year.

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent, non-political, Royal appointment for the period of one year. It is the oldest secular office in country apart from the monarchy. Today, the role is now largely ceremonial, but carries the status of being the Queen’s highest judicial officer in the county.  The role involves a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions.

“It is a great honour to have been appointed High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire and I look forward to working with and supporting the judiciary, the police authority, local prisons, the probation service, the fire and ambulance service, local authorities and voluntary organisations.

As the Queen’s Representative for Law and Order in the County I look forward to my dual role of supporting the criminal justice system and promoting social justice, particularly in respect of understanding the problems that confront our communities and supporting the voluntary sector in their valiant work for those in need.”



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