Armoy Road Races Clerk of the Course Bill Kennedy never misses an opportunity to promote the event which he has been at the helm of since the inception of the ‘Race of Legends’ in 2009.
It was no different last Tuesday when he received his MBE for services to local government and to motorcycle road racing from Prince William at Buckingham Palace as Bill invited the future King of England to ‘come over to Armoy and we’ll get you a ride on a Ducati.’
Bill, a former Mayor of Ballymoney explained: “We found out that morning that it was Prince William who was presenting the awards and I knew he used to have a bike.
“When it was my turn to go up we had a lovely chat and he said it gave him a added pleasure to present my award as it was from one biker to another.
“He added that he still loved his bikes and still had his Ducati and that he had been to the TT and loved it.
“I then told him that he would be very welcome to come to Armoy anytime and we would get him a Ducati to ride.”
“There were around 80 people get presented with their awards along with me and Prince William took time to chat to everyone, however, he spent slightly longer talking to me because of our shared interest in bikes which made the day much more special.”
Bill was joined at the Palace by his partner Sandra Stirling, his daughter Diane Doak and son William Kennedy Jnr.
“The whole occasion was more than I expected,” continued Bill.
“There were a lot of great people who were being decorated for various achievments and it was great to be able to share the experience with them and my family.
“The whole event which lasted around two hours went like clockwork and it was amazing to be in Buckingham Palace and see everything. We were presented to prince William in the Ballroom which was a fantastic place with so many stunning paintings and so much to see.
“I feel very honoured to have been presented with the MBE. It was a very special day for me, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved it.
“There has never been any doubt in my mind that this MBE is not just for me but for all of those who have helped me along the way over the years in both local council and in roadracing.”