THE Queen has given her official approval at a Privy Council meeting at Buckingham Palace for the new High Sheriff of Cumbria to take up office.

Julie Barton, a co-founder of Forge Europa in Ulverston, was on a list among 51 High Sheriffs who had earlier been nominated for office for the next 12 months.

Before the Sheriffs can take office, they must be officially appointed by the Queen in an ancient ceremony in which their names on the list are pricked by her using a silver bodkin said to have once been owned and used for the same purpose by Queen Elizabeth I.

The ceremony at the Palace followed in the wake of a glittering ceremony at London’s High Court last November, at which the Sheriffs were nominated.

In coming weeks the High Sheriffs will make declarations in accordance with the 1887 Sheriffs Act and take office after that.

Today the functions of the post are almost entirely ceremonial.

The only significant legal functions relate to the enforcement of High Court writs.

However, High Sheriffs are still expected to provide hospitality to High Court judges when they preside over the county’s crown courts, and they are also expected to attend at royal visits to their counties.

"I will be appointed High Sheriff of Cumbria on March 26 in an ancient ceremony in the very beautiful Barrow Town Hall," she said.

“The role of High Sheriff may be a very old one, but I hope to play a modern, proactive and positive role in today’s Cumbria and to promote my county during my year.

“It is an honour and a delight to serve as High Sheriff of Cumbria.

"Our county is a place of contrasts where many of its people face significant challenges.

“By actively supporting those in Cumbria working to help their fellow Cumbrians.

"I hope to make a positive contribution to the county I love.

“Each high sheriff has a theme for the year and mine is going to be tackling social isolation in Cumbria.

“That is something that I care about a lot.”