Clinton and Mandela Recommended for Ancient English Military Honour

Article excerpt

THE HONOURARY title of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports has been reserved for members of the country's nobility since ancient times, but that could be about to change.

Since the death of the Queen Mother, who served as the last Warden to the association of 14 ports - including the original five ports of Sandwich, Dover, Hythe, Romney and Hastings - until 2002, the position has remained vacant.

Joe Trussler, the speaker of the Cinque Ports and the mayor of Sandwich, has now asked the Queen and the Prime Minister to consider a number of public figures, including Bill Clinton, John Major and Nelson Mandela, for the post.

The Cinque Ports was originally a confederation of five harbours which were responsible for Britain's naval defence. The Domesday Book records the obligation of the ports to supply ships the king and keep the Channel free of enemy shipping. The office of the Lord Warden, which can be traced back to 1226, has been occupied by the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt, King George V and Sir Winston Churchill. These days, the role is only ceremonial.

Cllr Trussler said he recommended Bill Clinton's name for the post because of his American heritage and his love of golf. …