Portsmouth shipping boss rubs shoulders with royalty at Buckingham Palace to celebrate his MBE

A SHIPPING boss made an MBE for his role during the Covid-19 pandemic has celebrated his title during a royal bash at Buckingham Palace.

By Tom Cotterill
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 7:24 pm
Steve and Mandy Williams at Buckingham Palace
Steve and Mandy Williams at Buckingham Palace

Steve Williams, managing director for Portico at Portsmouth International Port, attended the VIP event party – rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Duchess of Cornwall.

As soon as lockdown was announced in March 2020, Steve, 60, made the decision the stay in Portsmouth and oversee operations at the city port – leaving his family 200 miles away in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

He remained solely in Portsmouth for three months, so he could manage operations safely for his employees and be available to provide hands on support.

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Steve and Mandy Williams at Buckingham Palace

His efforts helped Portico to remain operational, 24/7, allowing vital imports of fresh produce to reach the UK and fill supermarket shelves.

Steve also took on a refresher course to operate cranes to personally unload goods from ships.

Steve, who attended the garden party with his wife Mandy and port director Mike Sellers, said: ‘I have spent over 34 years in the industry, supported throughout by my beautiful wife who was by my side at the garden party, so this honour is recognition for us both.

‘No honour would be received without the support of your co-workers, and I am proud that the industry is recognised as key workers, supporting the country through these very difficult times.

‘Although it was a difficult decision to remain in Portsmouth, away from my family with no end date, being on site at Portico was my duty. It was a privilege to support the team in any way I could help, for as long as it was needed.’