LADY Morrison of Madresfield Court has been officially chosen as the new High Sheriff of Worcestershire.

She is the first person to occupy the office since 1974, when Worcestershire and Herefordshire merged to form a single county, and the two high sheriff's posts were also amalgamated.

Although the two counties regained their independence in 1998, they have been covered by one high sheriff until this year.

Lady Morrison was nominated for the post in a ceremony at London’s High Court last November.

And she has now been officially selected by the Queen in an ancient ceremony at Buckingham Palace known as "pricking". The queen used a silver bodkin to pierce Lady Morrison's name on a parchment to signify her selection, in a tradition thought to date to the reign of Elizabeth I.

Lady Morrison said: "My family has been at Madresfield Court for 1,000 years, and many members have served as high sheriffs during that time, so I'm very pleased to be able to continue the tradition.

The term sheriff comes from the title dating to the Norman Conquest of shire reeve, who had to account each year for the money collected for the Crown.

The role has changed over the years, but they must still provide hospitality for travelling high court judges on the circuit courts and attend royal visits and engagements.

* Vistors to Madresfield Court are set to witness a bumper crop of daffodils this weekend.

This year’s Daffodil Sunday takes place on March 27 and organisers say it is timed perfectly for a fine display of the popular flower.

The visitors are welcome to stroll around the gardens and historic moated court in its 65-acre arboretum.

Admission will be £5 for adults and children aged over 11, and £4 for senior citizens. All proceeds will go to Madresfield, Guarlford and Newland churches.

The gardens will be open from 2pm to 5pm. There will be cream teas available and free parking.