A Manxman has been awarded an MBE.

Richard Cowin, from Ramsey, was given the prestigious award which is handed out for having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.

He was listed in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2021 but since then Richard has been working at the British Embassy in Beijing.

‘I work for the UK Government, but always say my Manx conscience would only allow me to have a career in foreign affairs or defence as the Isle of Man devolves those areas to Westminster, so here I am working for the Foreign Office,’ Richard said.

Due to severe Covid-19 restrictions in China, he couldn’t travel to England to be invested with the award.

The 50-year-old completed his Beijing posting in December last year and returned to the island for Christmas with his wider family.

Following this, he attended the investiture ceremony held on January 18 at Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where he received the medal for The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Richard, who attended Ramsey Grammar School, said: ‘It’s humbling to be recognised for the part I played in British Embassy Beijing’s response to Covid in China.

‘I worked with a brilliant team of people who went above and beyond to support British nationals and procure medical supplies for the UK in challenging circumstances.

‘So many amazing Manx people demonstrated the very best in public service through their outstanding contributions to the NHS and wider community. I simply did what I could from where I was at the time.

‘I remain grateful to the Manx government, particularly the testing centre, for their support when I returned to the island to visit family.’

He received the honour from Anne, Princess Royal, who he described as ‘extremely warm, engaging and knowledgeable’.

‘She asked about my time in China, was particularly interested to hear about my Manx roots, and told me her daughter had recently enjoyed a trip to Brisbane,’ Richard said.

The following morning Richard, his wife Mihyun, and son Alex travelled to Brisbane, Australia.

‘I’m thrilled to be starting my new job as the British Consul General to Brisbane this week,’ he said.

‘I was delighted to find a Manx flag in the consulate, a legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I’ll happily fly that flag for the island and I’m also looking forward to meeting the Queensland Manx Society soon.

‘I believe the UK and Australia are two of the worlds most like-minded partners and the upcoming free trade agreement will bring a new wave of opportunities for exporters, investors, skilled workers and working holiday makers.’