A West Wight businessman, who has raised millions of pounds for charity, has been awarded the distinction of Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by King Charles following a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
John Caulcutt has run The Towers charity party at his Yarmouth home for 58 years, as well as raising £1.3 million with a charity concert to build a new cancer hospital and delivered countless aid packages himself to disaster areas across the world.
The King was surprised to find out that the two had something in common during their five-minute chat. John said: “My stepfather owned Bloodhound, an ocean-racing yacht which was later bought by King Charles’s father, Prince Philip. It is currently on display alongside the Royal Yacht Britannia in Scotland.
“The King was a regular visitor to Cowes when he was growing up, and was taught to sail by Uffa Fox and John Terry. He was fascinated by this and asked me if I had any old photographs of Bloodhound, which I have, and will pass on to him. The whole day was one of the best organised I have ever been to, in an informal way.
“We were talked through everything we had to do in a warm and efficient manner, so nothing was left to chance. We were ushered into a large picture gallery with paintings by well-known artists on the walls.
“We were then called in order of seniority to receive our awards. There were four knights, then four CBE’s and lots of OBE’s and MBE’s.
“I went with my daughters, Sophie, Alice and Emma,5 and they said we spoke for around five minutes. It was a wonderful day and I have lots of memories.”