Duchess is the new face of the Legion

Leading Cadet Cameron McGurran of Chester-le-Street Sea Cadets with The Duchess of Northumberland at the annual Lord Lieutenant's Poppy Awards.
Leading Cadet Cameron McGurran of Chester-le-Street Sea Cadets with The Duchess of Northumberland at the annual Lord Lieutenant's Poppy Awards.

THE Duchess of Northumberland has become the region’s new face of Armed Forces charity The Royal British Legion.

She said she was ‘honoured and delighted’ to take on the role with the charity, which spends more than £72million a year providing services from welfare support to immediate aid to those injured in conflicts such as Afghanistan, as well as Armed Forces families past and present.

Nearly a quarter of those helped by the Legion are under 44 years of age and half are below retirement age.

Northumbria county chairman Don Rutherford said: “We are delighted that her Grace has accepted our invitation to become county patron following Lord Barnard’s retirement from the role.

“The Legion has provided direct financial help to more than 16,000 men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq and we successfully campaigned to have the Military Covenant, the nation’s pledge to look after our Armed Forces, written into law.

“Her Grace is the ideal figurehead to take our message to a wider audience and understands the importance of the Legion’s work standing shoulder to shoulder with all who serve, past and present.”

One of the Duchess’ first roles in her capacity as county patron was attending the annual presentation evening for Cadets and other young people who contributed their time and effort to the Legion’s annual 2011 Poppy Appeal.

Encouraging young people to become involved in the Legion is one of her main aims as county patron.

The Duchess steps into the shoes of Henry Vane, Lord Barnard, as the Legion’s county patron.