In Memorium: Susie Worthy, Who Brought Bespoke Britain To The U.S.

by Maria Lisella
In Memorium: Susie Worthy, Who Brought Bespoke Britain To The U.S.

It is with incredible sadness we share the news that the beloved and innovative travel professional Susie Worthy passed away peacefully on March 14, 2017, after battling a sudden and unexpected illness.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Susie's family and many friends at this difficult time.

Wrote Nicola Butler, current owner and managing director of NoteWorthy, “Susie had a real zest for life which was infectious; she would light up the room with effortless grace wherever she went. We shall miss her enormously and we can only continue to build on her legacy: NoteWorthy, in her honour.”

From a young age, Susie knew that travel would be her professional calling. As a young child she traveled extensively with her parents and went on to study in Switzerland. These experiences formed a love of travel and adventure, but it was always Great Britain that tugged at Susie’s heart and where she would ultimately launch her own business. Prior to starting NoteWorthy in 1986, Susie worked for her father and specialist travel agency, Country Homes & Castles.

Right from the start, Susie focused on forming a deeply rooted passion for everything British and providing access to the inaccessible from the historic, to the royal, picturesque and the traditional in Great Britain.

Since conceiving the idea to offer VIP British experiences to discerning guests, Susie’s passion for Great Britain did not once falter and the success of NoteWorthy was propelled by her personal philosophy to always strive for perfection, to treat guests and colleagues with respect and openness, and to have a whole lot of fun along the way.

Many of the travel trends that exist today can be traced to an idea or a product she created and developed while growing a business that became a leading player in the U.K. luxury tourism industry.

She was the singular person, commoner, that is, who could secure the best vantage point on Royal Wedding Day so that guests saw the Duchess get out of her car (first view of the dress) and then when the couple were married they saw them exit the Abbey (first view as man and wife) was one of the most exciting. Another privileged access she could arrange for guests were private visits to Highgrove Gardens, the private garden of HRH The Prince of Wales.

She pioneered the concept of private homes opening their locked doors to visiting guests from overseas.  She encouraged public buildings to work with her to create exceptional private experiences generating them much needed income. Susie was one of the very first to take guests for a private tour of the Tower of London, Highclere Castle and The Royal Gardens At Highgrove.

Susie was responsible for leading functions and introducing her clients to such 20th century iconic figures as Diana, Princess of Wales and The Rt. Hon. Baroness Margaret Thatcher. In 2011, she set up prime viewing for clients to watch The Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and later that year, took over HMS Belfast for the day so her clients could enjoy close-up views of the Royal flotilla on the day of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

When asked what she would like to do for an entire day in London, she had this to say: “High on my list would be the Saatchi Gallery of contemporary art on King’s Road, Chelsea—besides the fascinating exhibits, I also love the space it’s in. Wandering along the South Bank of the River Thames is very rewarding—people-watching is fun too! Taking a Riverboat on the Thames to Greenwich and beyond— there are no traffic jams on our waterway—such a joy on a fine day.”

No event was too big for Susie: In 2012, she was the detailed force behind the logistics of 500 VIP guests attending the London 2012 Olympics Torch Relay.

After selling NoteWorthy to her managing director, Nicola Butler, Susie retired in October 2014.  She remained active in the business and in contact with the many clients who had become friends.

Having met her at the very start of NoteWorthy, I was always struck by her natural poise, grace and ability to make it seem as if you were the only and most important person in the room. She brought not only grace but character and sincere warmth to all who met her. And, at the time, I learned a great deal from her on her frequent press visits to the United States.

A winner of numerous awards and accolades, Susie received the esteemed Top Travel Specialist Award by Conde Nast Traveler for an astounding eight years running and the A-List Award by Travel & Leisure five years consecutively.

Susie’s love for NoteWorthy and her country saw her meeting guests and friends at Trooping the Colour in June 2016 and most recently attended the Luxury Travel Industry’s pinnacle event to see lifelong friends and colleagues at Virtuoso’s Global Travel Week in Las Vegas in August 2016.  

A private family funeral will be held in Devon followed by a "Celebration of Life" gathering in London, later this year. Susie's family have asked for anyone who wishes to send their condolences to please kindly send them to c/o NoteWorthy, 152 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to one of Susie's favorite charities: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Prince's Trust

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