Royal servants: Sandringham driver wins royal double

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The Independent Online

Anthony Hardingham, a tractor driver on the Sandringham Estate, has now received two awards from the Queen. Mr Hardingham already holds the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver), awarded in 2004, but now holds an RVM plus bar. He is one of 38 people included in the New Year Honours List for their personal services to the Royal Family.

The Rev David Conner, who has officiated at many of the services attended by the royals since he was appointed Dean of Windsor in 1998, has been made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO). He took part in the service that blessed the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, and officiated at the wedding of Peter Phillips, the Queen's oldest grandson.

Awards under the Royal Victorian Order are made by the Queen personally, without any involvement by 10 Downing Street.

Dr Anthony Toft, former physician to the Queen in Scotland, has been made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO). Dr Kirsten Aschengreen Piacenti, director of the Stibbert Museum in Florence and co-author of the definitive book on the gems and jewels in the royal collection, has been made an honorary LVO.

The Queen has also made her fire safety officers at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, Peter Taylor and Christopher Weatherley, members of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO). In 1992, more than 100 rooms in Windsor Castle were gutted or damaged by a fire thought to have been started after a spotlight was left on too close to a curtain. It caused an intense public debate about who should pay for the £40m restoration project. In the end, the Queen paid 70 per cent of the cost.

Glen Beveridge, the executive butler at the official residence of the Governor General of Australia in Melbourne, Beverley Jones, the Queen's assistant dresser, George Main, the gamekeeper on the Balmoral estate, and Mrs Vivienne Oates, a linen room assistant at Balmoral, are among the new holders of the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver).