Duke and Duchess of Sussex – ‘To me they embody West Sussex’

Here Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, reflects on Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to the county.

Well Wednesday could truly be described as Wonderful Wednesday when Sussex’s very own Duke and Duchess, Harry and Meghan, visited Chichester and Bognor.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825324 SUS-180310-125820001

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825324 SUS-180310-125820001

West Sussex certainly lived up to its reputation of being the sunniest county in the country, with blissful autumn sunshine – just right for a royal walkabout in West Street, Chichester, where young, old, and not so old, lined the street to catch a glimpse of the couple.

For West Sussex County Council staff it was a particular delight and honour when they visited our magnificent Edes House to inspect our copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Little did I think when I saw the document in the beginning of July the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be viewing it this autumn.

This exquisite document, so painstakingly and, no doubt, lovingly handwritten, exudes a sense of history that is difficult to explain. I am sure it had a particular resonance to the Duchess.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825438 SUS-180310-131048001

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825438 SUS-180310-131048001

Then off they went to open the Tech Park; Chichester University’s latest expansion on the Bognor Regis Campus.

Chichester University, West Sussex County Council, Arun District Council and the Coast to Capital LEP have all worked together on this project over the past few years, to make this cutting edge Technology Park a reality and open up so many opportunities for the creative and digital technology sector, as well as engineering and design.

It is a significant investment in the county and will attract businesses and students into the area.

As they opened the Tech Park, the royal couple spoke about how impressed they were with what they had seen, how it would benefit the students, and thanked everyone involved.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825172 PPP-180410-110307003

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825172 PPP-180410-110307003

Relaxed and smiling, this royal couple are a great partnership and will be terrific ambassadors for Sussex in so many ways.

For many of us Harry and his brother are very much part of our lives. We have seen them grow up, we shared their grief, we watched their lives transform from young men setting out into the world to settling down and marrying, and much in between. We revelled in their marriages.

Now Harry and Meghan start their public life together as man and wife, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and just five months later here they are visiting West Sussex.

Prince Harry has impressed us all in his role as a fine soldier, his support of servicemen and women and the veterans, the creation and running of the amazing Invictus Games and raising the awareness of mental health.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825013 PPP-180410-110030003

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825013 PPP-180410-110030003

His love for Meghan is there for us all to see, she is a woman of our time and together they make a great team.

To me they embody West Sussex – roots in the traditional but with heads reflecting society today and in the future.

After the first Duke of Sussex died the role became obsolete and it took 175 years for the Duke of Sussex title to be recreated, but, when it was, Sussex was truly blessed and honoured with Prince Harry and Meghan.

Certainly they had a busy day visiting lots of places across Sussex. I hope they enjoyed their day and were impressed with all they saw and hopefully they will be back to visit us very soon.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825236 PPP-180410-110351003

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825236 PPP-180410-110351003