THE FIRST female master of The Lord Leycester Hospital has been formally welcomed to the role.
Heidi Meyer has been master of the hospital for around a year after becoming the 33rd master and the first woman in its 445-year history of the position.
And after taking an oath which was first laid down by the hospital’s founder Earl of Leycester Robert Dudley, her appointment was made official.
Mrs Meyer swore to ‘govern and order this hospital, and the poor thereof, in the fear of God according to the laws, statutes, and ordinances of the founder thereof’.
She took the oath in front of The Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth, who in return gave her his blessing.
Mrs Meyer spent 35 years working abroad, including for the US Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, and the US Embassy in Afghanistan.
Her move to the Lord Leycester comes after working as a senior political advisor to the commander of NATO Land Forces in Turkey.
Mrs Meyer said: “Being the first female Master of the Lord Leycester is certainly a change in the tradition of the hospital but I think Queen Elizabeth I would have approved.
“In previous roles, I have regularly been the only female in the work environment, so this is nothing new. Our Brethren are retired military men and I think the fact I have spent five years in a war zone in Afghanistan and worked with soldiers for most of my life, gives us all common ground.”
Mrs Meyer said her main objective was to work towards a sustainable future for the Lord Leycester, which has featured in television programmes such as Pride and Prejudice and Dr Who.
Mrs Meyer added: “This place has stood for 600 years, we must provide for it to stand for another 600 years.
“The Lord Leycester is one of the jewels in Warwick’s crown. One of my challenges for the next five years, as we head towards our 450th anniversary, is to put in place an innovative and creative plan with local organisations to help it thrive.”