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Queen's former butler fined over Belfast car crash

Royal worker ran red light injuring wife

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DECORATED: Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd has accrued an impressive list of achievements

DECORATED: Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd has accrued an impressive list of achievements

DECORATED: Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd has accrued an impressive list of achievements

A former royal butler has admitted running a red light and smashing into another vehicle, leaving his wife needing hospital treatment.

Godfrey Brock-Gadd (73), who worked as footman and butler for the Queen, admitted a single charge of driving without due care and attention over the incident which took place in east Belfast in March.

During a brief sentencing hearing at Laganside Magistrates Court last week, Hon Brock-Gadd — who now volunteers as a goodwill ambassador and holds the ceremonial title of colonel — was fined and given eight points on his driving licence.

The court heard the accident resulted in his wife Ria being taken to the Ulster Hospital for treatment.

Following the smash he told Sunday Life he was regretful over the incident, saying: “It was a few seconds I hadn’t concentrated for and I was more concerned about the other driver and my wife who were both injured, my wife had back pain afterwards.

“What also upset me was that I passed my test in 1975 and I’d never had an accident until that day in March.

“I wasn’t concerned about my record of driving though I was more concerned about the other people involved.

"I wish it never happened, I apologised to the other driver at the scene who I gather is alright now, I was apologising to everybody actually.

“It just shows how careful we must be on the road because a car can be a death trap if we don’t drive carefully.”

Brock-Gadd made an error when exiting a filter lane near his home on Sydenham Bypass, Belfast, on March 4 this year which led to a collision with an oncoming vehicle, Lagnside Magistrates Court was told last week.

His solicitor said: “This was a mistake on his part, he could see the light for the filter lane wasn’t green but he thought it was changing and made a mistake.

“As stated by the prosecution his wife was injured. Of course he is fully insured and has admitted his responsibility.

“He volunteers for community type work so his licence is very important to him and he has been driving for many, many years without incident.”

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Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd with his wife Ria

Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd with his wife Ria

Hon Godfrey Brock-Gadd with his wife Ria

District Judge Amanda Henderson fined Hon Brock-Gadd £300 and placed points on his driving licence, on which his title of colonel is used. He is a Kentucky Colonel which is the highest civilian honour bestowed by the US state of Kentucky and is awarded to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments or outstanding public service.

In 1966 he became a member of the Royal Household staff for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II where he was a footman and later served as her under butler.

Speaking about his time working for the royal family on his Facebook account previously, he said: “While I was working I had the honour of becoming a member of the Royal Household on Queen Elizabeth II staff as a Queen’s footman, instead of other Royal Families Staff.

“I have six commemorative medals from HM Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation to her 65th year on the throne.”

The same year he joined the Queen’s staff he was also invested into the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, known as The Buffs to members, which is one of the largest fraternal organisations in the United Kingdom.

Hon Brock-Gadd is now retired but works for Globcal, an international society of goodwill ambassadors, as well as volunteering for a number of Belfast charities.

His profile on the Globcal website states: “After retiring with his pension he helped to found the Ultra Rare Diseases, Disorder & Disabilities Foundation in Belfast where he worked as the director.

“He helped start the organisation because there was no support for children and adults with rare and uncommon diseases.

“To diagnose a rare disease it can take as long as five years and the organisation is there to support families and friends providing education and helping families cope with the relative challenges.

“As a senior citizen he has been very active in volunteerism also, working with the St Christopher food bank in east Belfast and as their administrator from 2015 to 2019. He has also served as a lay preacher in the URC/Methodist Church.”

 


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