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Queen Mother funeral 'snub' upsets Mayor

THE Mayor of Deal, Cllr Marlene Burnham, says that Deal and Walmer have been 'snubbed' because she was not invited to the funeral of the Queen Mother.

Cllr Burnham said she felt "totally devastated" to hear that the town was not to be included on the guest list.

"It is here that the Lord Warden has been coming for years," she said. "I have been in floods of tears and felt totally devastated. I am terribly disappointed that the Mayor of Deal, whoever he or she may have been, was not given an invitation. I feel it is a slight to Deal and Walmer."

The Queen Mother, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, was buried on Tuesday after a ceremonial service at Westminster Abbey. The Mayors of Sandwich and Dover, Cllr Simon Leith and Cllr Diane Smallwood, received invitations to the funeral with their spouses. Cllr Wendy Hansell, chairman of Dover District Council was also at the abbey on Tuesday.

The Queen Mother had held the title which linked her to Kent since 1978 and was installed in a huge ceremony at Dover Castle in 1979. While she held the position she stayed each year at her official residence, Walmer Castle.

"I flew back from America on the Friday before the funeral believing that I would be going," added Cllr Burnham, who met the Queen Mother five times. "I am terribly, terribly disappointed."

Cllr Leith said that only the five original ports and two ancient towns had been asked to go to the funeral as this was the traditional way of doing things. The five original ports are Dover, Sandwich, Hythe, New Romney and Hastings and the two ancient towns are Rye and Winchelsea.

Deal, Faversham, Folkestone, Lydd, Margate, Ramsgate and Tenterden were added to the Confederation of the Cinque Ports at a later date.

Ian Gill, registrar of the Cinque Ports, was unable to comment.

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