Meeting King Charles six years on from New Year's Honours
A retired judge has become Bermuda’s first person to receive the medal as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire directly from King Charles III.
Retired Puisne Judge Norma Wade-Miller was elated after receiving the insignia this summer for her decades of service to the island’s legal community and the judiciary.
She was recognised in the 2016 New Year’s Honour’s List, but unable to undertake the journey to Britain — with the ceremony then delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was a fantastic experience,” Mrs Justice Wade-Miller said of her meeting with the King at Windsor Castle.
“The King came down and greeted me, and said ‘I am so honoured that you came all this way to accept this’. I told him the honour was mine.
“He said he had read about my background and that I had been very, very busy. He asked if I had started to relax, and I enjoyed my chat with him.”
She was accompanied by her son, Yusef Wade, who whispered to her after the ceremony: “Mom, I’m very proud.”
Mrs Justice Wade-Miller, who retired in 2016, was not only the first female Supreme Court justice in Bermuda, but also the first woman to be appointed as a permanent magistrate on the island and the first female Acting Chief Justice.
She served as a puisne judge for 25 years after serving for terms as a magistrate and as the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
Mrs Justice Wade-Miller is also one of the founders of Project 100, a charity promoting mental health awareness and raising funds to combat mental disabilities,
She created Spelldown Bermuda, a programme designed to promote spelling in schools, based on a programme operating in Jamaica, which she said she was now hoping to rekindle.
In 2019, Mrs Justice Wade-Miller was appointed to head Bermuda’s Commission of Inquiry into losses of citizen’s property through “theft of property, dispossession of property, adverse possession claims and/or such other unlawful or irregular means”.
She said the July 11 ceremony was “wonderful – a very significant experience” and all the more special with Dr Wade accompanying her, along with his close friend Calvin Minors and her niece, Silbena Johnson.
The badge bearing the insignia for the order of chivalry is traditionally worn on the left side.