A leading Norfolk landowner, Sir Nicholas Bacon, has been appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by King Charles III.
It is one of the highest awards in the 2023 New Year’s Honours and was made personally by King Charles.
Sir Nicholas was lately Lord Warden of the Stannaries, effectively the chief executive of the Duchy of Cornwall. He had been appointed in 2006 by the former Prince of Wales, now the King.
For more than four decades, Sir Nicholas who lives on the family’s Raveningham estate in south Norfolk, has served county and country in voluntary, public and community service.
His contribution to the agricultural and horticultural industry has been immense – from becoming president of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth in November 2021. Its last annual meeting took place during last summer’s Royal Norfolk Show under the presidency of the Princess Royal. Ironically, the RASC was founded on the Norfolk Showground by the late Prince Philip, when the Royal Show was held in 1957.
Sir Nicholas, also the country’s premier baronet, was treasurer of the Royal Horticultural Society between 2010 and 2013 and later president from 2013 to 2020 when membership doubled.
In his home county, he was a former chairman of the governors of Easton College at a time of rapid expansion and huge investment in buildings and staff. He even got on his bike to launch a successful fund-raising campaign for investment in sports facilities at the college.
He was High Sheriff of Norfolk in 2005.
His family has a long association with the Royal Norfolk Show and his father, Sir Edmund was one of the last to host the peripatetic (touring) shows at Raveningham in 1952 and was president of the RNAA – the year before Nicholas was born. His mother, Priscilla Lady Bacon was also president in 1967 and 40 years later, Sir Nicholas followed in her footsteps.
He started as a steward in rural activities in the sport and country craft section in 1978. In 1980 he was elected to the association council’s and became steward for forestry. In 1985, he was elected to the 23-strong RNAA’s executive. Later he became a president’s steward.
After serving as RNAA president in 2007, Sir Nicholas became chairman of council the following year and served until 2019 when Robert Alston was elected.
Show president the then Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) enjoying a light-hearted moment in 2004 on a rainy day at the show. Sir Nicholas Bacon, pictured extreme left, and the then Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, the late Sir Timothy Colman, centre.
New Year’s Honours
The Royal Victorian Order
KCVO – Sir Nicholas Hickman Ponsonby Bacon, Bt, OBE, DL, lately Lord Warden of the Stannaries and Member of The Prince’s Council, Duchy of Cornwall.
Silver medal – Jonathan David Brown, farms tractor engineer, Sandringham estate.
Congratulations also to west Norfolk farmer, John Cross, of Sedgeford, who is made OBE, for his great contribution to the livestock industry – most recently as chair of the bovine TB eradication programme.
A former Meat and Livestock Commissioner from 2007, he has held many roles with the National Farmers’ Union in his farming career over the years.