Prince William’s Carrickfergus title highlighted after honour award

Cllr Billy Ashe is made an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Cllr Billy Ashe is made an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A celebrated royal connection with Carrickfergus was recalled as a former first citizen was honoured at Buckingham Palace.

Mid and East Antrim Councillor Billy Ashe was presented with his MBE by Prince William.

The DUP man, who represents the Carrick Castle ward, was bestowed the prestigious accolade in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to local government in Northern Ireland.

Speaking after Thursday’s ceremony, Mr Ashe said: “I am proud and humbled by this award and it was an honour to have it presented by Prince William, Baron of my home town of Carrickfergus.

“As I said previously, I accept the MBE on behalf of all of our remarkable citizens and groups throughout Carrickfergus, and Mid and East Antrim.

“My thanks to all my family for their incredible support throughout my political career, and to those in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

“It is a privilege to serve the people of Mid and East Antrim and I look forward to doing all I can to continue to make this borough the ideal place to work, live, invest and visit.”

Mr Ashe served on the legacy Carrickfergus Council and in 2015 was elected the first Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Council following the review of local government.

The Queen made Prince William the Baron Carrickfergus ahead of his marriage to Kate Middleton in April 2011. The barony had been extinct since 1883.