Julia Upton MBE
Milton Keynes Community Foundation is proud and delighted to announce that Julia Upton, the previous Chief Executive of MK Community Foundation, received her MBE from Her Majesty the Queen on Friday 7 October at Windsor Castle. Julia received her award for her services to the community of Milton Keynes. This was the first Investiture of the Queen’s Birthday Honour Awards 2016, which were announced in June this year to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Julia said, "It has been such a privilege to have led the Community Foundation which I have been involved with for 19 years. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a wonderful board of trustees, staff, and inspirational people in local charities, plus the many regular generous donors, who enabled the Community Foundation to provide £1.7million of support to the community in the last year. I have witnessed the wonderful and often challenging work of local charitable groups and seen firsthand the difference they make to our community. It has been hugely rewarding to be part of it, and I will continue to do so as my husband, Patrick, and I have our own family fund with the Foundation."
Julia attended the Investiture Ceremony at Windsor Castle with Patrick and two friends, Jill Kitchen from Wolverton, and Francesca Skelton DL from Great Linford.
Julia recalled, “The whole Investiture event was a thoroughly joyful experience. The royal household staff were so welcoming and helpful and ensured all the recipients enjoyed their day. We were shown around several stunning rooms decorated in red, gold and purple and hung with beautiful paintings. The Investiture took place in the large Waterloo Chamber created in 1831 and dedicated to the defeat of the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. Patrick, with my friends, and the family and friends of all those receiving an honour sat in the Chamber to watch. The Queen entered the Chamber, attended by two Gurkha Officers, a tradition begun in 1876 by Queen Victoria. She stood on a dais with members of The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard. The Queen was amazing, as she stood the whole time as each recipient entered the Waterloo Chamber and approached her to receive their award. When it came to my turn, she asked me about my work and remembered Milton Keynes including our road system!
It was a wonderful atmosphere and The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra played throughout – including ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, ‘Mamma Mia’ and the more traditional ‘Rondo from Abdelazar’ by Purcell.”
Julia still remains active in the community as a trustee of YMCA Milton Keynes which supports vulnerable younger people and is a board member of the Business Leaders Partnership. Also, she is part of a steering group for MK Gallery and has been appointed to the board trustees of The Cenotaph Trust. She said “I plan to remain connected and busy, and I hope to continue to make a difference, plus enjoy a lot more walking and more holidays with my husband!”
We are honoured to have worked with you for the past nineteen years and are proud of your investiture. We know that you will continue to have a positive influence on our community!