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Tributes paid following passing of former Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim

Tributes have been paid this morning, Monday 2 January 2023, following the passing of Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE, former Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim.

It is understood the widely respected Mrs Christie sadly passed away following a road traffic collision.

As The Late Queen's official representative, the public servant was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim on Saturday 21 April 2018, at the time becoming the second recipient of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim, after B (The North Irish Horse) Squadron, Scottish North Irish Yeomanry were conferred the honour in 2015.

Mrs Christie’s late husband, Col Dan Christie, served with the North Irish Horse.

Mrs Joan Christie CVO, OBE was appointed Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim in September 2008, on the retirement of The Right Honourable Lord O’Neill TD JP, and continued to serve in the position until being succeeded by Mr David McCorkell in June 2019.

His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, paid tribute to Mrs Christie on Monday morning, saying:

"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mrs Joan Christie, CVO, OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim from 2008-2019. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan’s family. May she rest in peace and rise in glory."

At the time of conferring Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim, a statement from the local authority stated Mrs Christie "approached the role with unstinting dedication," and "through her gracious nature and unwavering enthusiasm... worked to support the entire community, especially our young people."

As Lord-Lieutenant she welcomed members of the Royal Family and world leaders to Northern Ireland, including HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 and HRH Prince Henry of Wales in 2017.

A strong advocate for the Armed Forces, Mrs Christie was commended for bringing "genuine empathy, with her late husband Col. Dan Christie having served with the North Irish Horse and the Ulster Defence Regiment," and was instrumental in bringing Armed Forces Day to County Antrim on a number of occasions, giving the public the opportunity to recognise and encourage those serving in the Armed Forces and the wider Armed Forces family.

She was also a tireless supporter of the Cadet movement, honorary patron of the Army Cadet Band and was closely involved with the Sea Cadets.

Mrs Christie was also recognised for giving a lifetime of service to Northern Ireland.

Born in Castlederg, County Tyrone she began her career in the civil service as private secretary to several Secretaries of State, she went on to serve and hold significant positions on a number of public bodies and charitable committees, in the arts sector and in the business community. These included Queen’s University Belfast Senate, North Eastern Education and Library Board, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, the Royal British Legion, the District Policing Partnership, the RUC George Cross Association, the UDR Benevolent Fund, RNLI, Macmillan Cancer, the Women’s Institute and Girl Guiding.

In recognition of her personal service and dedication, Mrs Christie was awarded the private honour of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty The Queen in 2017. This followed on from an OBE for services to Education in 2005 and previously an MBE for services to Government in 1976.

Mrs Christie married her husband in 1979, and went on to make their home in the north Antrim area. The couple have three children – Joanna, Harriett and Marcus - and five grandchildren – Joe, Angus, Patrick, Ned and Rose.


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