Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has had a long standing connection with Berkshire, in particular with Windsor as Windsor Castle is both a private home of the Queen, and an official Royal residence at which she carries out formal duties, such as hosting State Visits.
In 1947, the then HRH Princess Elizabeth, was presented with this illuminated scroll on the occasion of her being awarded the Freedom of the Borough of New Windsor (ref. WI/RF2/5).
The freedom of the Borough is the highest award that the council can bestow on an individual and is usually awarded to people who have made a significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding. It provides freemen with ceremonial roles at civic events. You can read more about the Freedom of the Borough of Windsor on their website.
The scroll reads as follows:
"Royal Borough of New Windsor"
Be it remembered that at a Meeting of the Town Council of the Royal Borough of New Windsor specially convened for the purpose and this day held at the Home Park within the said Borough and in pursuance and fulfilment of a resolution then and there duly passed as required by the statute in the behalf.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
A Member of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India was admitted to the Honorary Freedom of the said Borough, and she then and there duly made the customary declaration that she would faithfully demean herself as a true and loyal Freeman of the said Borough ought to do.
In Testimony whereof the Town Council have caused the Common Seal of the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the said Borough to be hereunto affixed this Firth day of July One thousand nine hundred and forty-seven."
It is signed by the Mayor and Town Clerk.
The scroll is contained in a presentation box with the letter E complete with miniature crown on the outside. The inside contains a cloth inlay with raised supports to hold the scroll in place.
The plaque inside the box reads: "Presented to HRH The Princess Elizabeth on her admission to the Honorary Freedom of the Royal Borough of New Windsor 5th July 1947".
We think that it really is a lovely thing created to commemorate the event. Indeed we also have a photograph of the occasion which can be seen below (ref. WI/AZ5/1) and British Pathe even have a video of the event itself on their website should you wish to view it.
In her commitment to her royal duties, Her Majesty the Queen has made many visits to the localities in the county of Berkshire where she has met many local people. 2022 marks 70 years on the throne for Queen Elizabeth II, and as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, we will have an exhibition showcasing her Berkshire connections. Entitled 'Happy and Glorious', this free exhibition will launch on 26th May 2022 and run until 26th August 2022. You can view the exhibition free of charge by visiting during our opening hours of Tues-Thurs 09:00-17:00 and Fri 09:00-16:30.