HM The Queen’s contribution to RNLI celebrated during UK Charity Week
UK Charity Week (Fifth-Ninth December) – Exclusive
CHARITY Today has partnered with the RNLI to deliver you an unique report during UK Charity Week recognizing Her Majesty’s extraordinary dedication to saving lives at sea and celebrating a number of the most memorable moments they’ve had the privilege of sharing.
A lifetime of devotion
When Princess Elizabeth turned Queen in 1952, she additionally turned Patron of the RNLI, persevering with a royal legacy of life-saving – a legacy left by our first Patron King George IV 198 years in the past and carried on by each reigning British monarch ever since.
But Her Majesty’s dedication to the life-saving charity started lengthy earlier than that.
In 1947, a 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth kindly donated £180 – the equal of virtually £7,000 as we speak – which was the rest of a marriage present from Kimberley, South Africa. The donation got here “with her good wishes and those of the people of Kimberley.”
The following 12 months she made one other donation, this time from the fund of the Royal Wedding Gifts Exhibition.
First station go to
On 27 June 1949, Princess Elizabeth turned the primary of the sixth technology of royals to meet with RNLI lifeboat volunteers when she visited St Helier Lifeboat Station in Jersey. Just 3 months later, on September thirteenth, volunteers from St Helier’s Lifeboats carried out one of many bravest rescue operations because the finish of World War II in 1945.
The lifeboat crew braved harmful circumstances to get the yacht Maurice Georges and her crew of 4 to security. The rescue earned helmsman Thomas King an RNLI gold medal for bravery and his seven crew members bronze medals.
Lifeboat communities from throughout the coast joined within the coronation festivities of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Special occasions included regattas, pantomimes, exhibitions, dances and parades.
Four lifeboats attended Her Majesty’s Coronation Review of the Fleet at Spithead within the Solent on 15 June. These included two of the 19 lifeboats that took half within the Dunkirk evacuation on 30 May 1940 – Margate RNLI’s Watson class lifeboat, The Lord Southborough, Civil Service No.1, and Ramsgate’s Ramsgate class lifeboat Prudential RNLI. Two new lifeboats additionally took half – from Campbeltown and Flamborough.
The lifeboat volunteers joined the crews of greater than 200 ships in three rousing cheers for Queen Elizabeth II as Her Majesty handed her on HMS Surprise.
“I call this ship…”
The Jubilee of the Royal British Legion
On July 17, 1972, Queen Elizabeth II turned the primary reigning monarch to identify a lifeboat. Unusually, the naming ceremony for the Solent class lifeboat The Royal British Legion Jubilee didn’t happen on shore.
Held at Henley-on-Thames during the world well-known Henley Royal Regatta, it gave the general public an opportunity to see the brand new lifeboat. The new all-weather lifeboat value £70,000 to construct, of which £51,000 was raised by members of the Royal British Legion to have fun the charity’s fiftieth anniversary. The lifeboat joined the RNLI’s aid fleet and offered life-saving cowl across the coast of the UK and Ireland.
Her Majesty named one other 4 lifeboats:
The Boy Scout
On July 14, 1977 as a part of On the event of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, Her Majesty attended the naming ceremony of the Hartlepool RNLI’s Waveney Class lifeboat The Boy Scout.
Hartlepool Helmsman Robbie Maiden was simply 10 years previous on the time (image above proper).
Robbie remembers that day fondly, saying: “I had to give the Queen a thick book about the RNLI and the Royal Family. I was told she wouldn’t speak to me but she did and asked me about the lifeboat. I told her my father was a helmsman and I wanted to be one too. I was proud as punch!’
Her Majesty the Queen
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Fraserburgh Lifeboat Station on 22 June 1992 as part of the celebrations of the city’s 400th birthday, Her Majesty was presented with a check for £305,613 – the proceeds of a police appeal launched to mark the 40th throne jubilee.
The funds went towards a new Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat for the RNLI’s relief fleet, which was named Her Majesty the Queen in honor of our patron. The naming ceremony took place on July 16, 1993 in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour, where Queen Elizabeth II proudly named the special lifeboat.
On 1 May 2002, Her Majesty christened Falmouth’s Severn-class all-weather lifeboat RNLI Richard Cox-Scott as part of the Golden Jubilee Tour of Great Britain.
The lifeboat was main funded by a bequest from Ruth Marygold Dix Scott, who passed away in May 1998.
Sybil Mullen Glover
2003 was a proud year for the RNLI volunteers in Plymouth. Not only were they celebrating 200 years of saving lives at sea, Queen Elizabeth II also visited the station on July 23 to christen her Severn-class all-weather lifeboat Sybil Mullen Glover.
Her Majesty and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were in town to present a new color to the Royal Navy, adding the naming ceremony to a busy schedule.
Despite strong winds and heavy rain, the large British audience gathered at Queen Anne’s Battery where the naming ceremony took place. “It was absolutely brilliant – the highlight of my career,” recalls former helmsman David Milford. “The climate could not dampen it.”
That Sybil Mullen Glover is known as after a revered native marine artist who died in 1995 leaving virtually half the £2million value of the lifeboat as a present in her will.
A crowning moment
Wednesday 28th July 2004 was a momentous day in the history of the RNLI for three reasons.
It was lifeboat day College at Poole, now known as RNLI College, officially opened.
233 lifeboat helmsmen and senior helmsmen – one from each RNLI lifeboat station across Britain and Ireland – made RNLI history by coming together for the first time at the same time and place to celebrate the occasion. And it was the day that Queen Elizabeth II performed the official opening. Accompanied by HRH The Prince
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and RNLI President HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the royal party was given a tour of the college’s training facilities, including a capsizing demonstration at the Sea Survival Centre. They then boarded the Castletownbere RNLI Severn class lifeboat Annett Hutton for a cruise around Poole Harbour.
Her Majesty’s words at the The College’s official inauguration ceremony still holds true today: “Having just seen some of the excellent training that is already being offered, I am confident that Lifeboat College will play an important role in helping the RNLI create even more lives to rescue.”
On twenty fifth July 2012, Her Majesty inaugurated one other of the RNLI’s Life Saving Facilities – Cowes rescue station.
The crew was delighted when Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, signed the station’s lifeboat upkeep guide as helmsman and mechanic!
Queen Elizabeth II was too introduced with a framed photomontage exhibiting Her Majesty’s help of the establishment over 60 years. Her Majesty appeared genuinely touched.
Welcoming Queen Elizabeth II on the Lifeboat Station, Cowes Lifeboat Operations Manager Mark Southwell spoke of Her Majesty’s dedication: “You have demonstrated an ‘extraordinary commitment’ throughout your reign. And I would like to believe that the volunteer lifeboat crew members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are also showing an ‘extraordinary commitment’, albeit on a more modest scale.’
Honoring RNLI volunteers
During the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Her Majesty officially recognized the efforts of hundreds of RNLI volunteers to save lives at sea by awarding them with prestigious honorary degrees. But unofficially, Her Majesty recognized the efforts of hundreds of other volunteers at every RNLI event they attended.
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the milestones of the RNLI. As well as naming lifeboats, visiting lifeboat stations and opening the RNLI College, Her Majesty hosted a special Buckingham Palace Garden Party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the RNLI.
A tribute to Her Majesty
Of the RNLI people fortunate enough to meet Queen Elizabeth II, many commented on Her Majesty’s humanity, humility and warmth. Her Majesty had an extraordinary way of bringing people and communities together.
RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie pays this tribute to Her Majesty:
“For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II’s service as our Patron has been a beacon for us to follow, and embodied the RNLI’s values – selflessness, trustworthiness, dependability and courage – in Her Majesty’s unwavering service and commitment to the UK and the Commonwealth.
“Her Majesty was the longest-serving patron in the almost 200-year history of the RNLI. During this time, Her Majesty honored the RNLI on many official occasions and recognized the efforts of thousands of volunteers during the visits by awarding national honors and medals to operational personnel to mark the four anniversaries of their reign. During that time, the RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 65,979 lives.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a well-loved member of the RNLI household and her help for our lifesavers and our trigger won’t ever be forgotten.”
A royal life-saving legacy
In 1824, King George IV agreed to be the patron of the charity and graciously gave the institution’s name the royal prefix, making it the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck.
Since then, every reigning British monarch has enthusiastically taken up the baton as RNLI patron.
As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was also the longest-serving RNLI patron, dedicated 70 years to saving lives at sea.
The RNLI is waiting to hear from The Royal Household on who the charity’s next patron will be. In the meantime, they are being very well served by the RNLI President, HRH The Duke of Kent, who has campaigned steadfastly for the RNLI for the last 53 years.
After virtually 200 years, the royal household’s unwavering help for the RNLI appears stronger than ever.
This article can also be featured within the Winter 2022 difficulty of Lifeboat Magazine.