In memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was our Patron for 70 years, from her ascension to the throne when Winston Churchill was Prime Minister to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

We share the deep sadness at her passing with those in the maritime industry across the globe and extend our heartfelt sympathies to the entire Royal Family for the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother, and to the nation for the loss of their Queen.

We also give thanks for her years of tireless service.

Her Majesty’s first solo royal duty was for the Society and she supported our work from then on.

Our archives hold numerous articles and photographs of engagements Her Majesty performed with and for the Society, celebrating key moments in our history. Editions of our magazine, which date back through eight generations of the British monarchy, show how we in turn honoured notable dates over the Queen's reign.

We have picked a selection to share here to honour her memory:

October 1944

On an official tour of Scotland with her parents, Princess Elizabeth performs her first solo opening ceremony at the new Sailors' Home in Aberdeen. In declaring the building open she says it has been brought up to date through the care and enterprise of Sailors' Society, which has done so much for the welfare of seamen.

H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth chatting with some Merchant Seamen in the Sailors' Home Aberdeen
Her Royal Highness unlocking the door of the Sailors' Home.

June 1953

Queen Elizabeth II is crowned. In Arbroath, local fishermen and personnel from HMS Condor visit the Sailors' Centre during the day and the fishing fleet is bedecked with flags. Crowds turn out in gloomy weather and as many people as possible enjoy short sails around the harbour.

November 1955

The Queen unveils a memorial on Tower Hill to the 24,000 men of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who gave their lives during World War II.

The Queen celebrated her silver jubilee, marking 25 years on the throne, in 1977. We marked the occasion with her portrait on the front page of our Chart and Compass magazine, given out to seafarers across the world.

August 1993

The Queen visits Southampton Docks for an open-air televised Songs of Praise service to commemorate 175 years of Sailors' Society. A congregation of 3,500 takes part and thousands more watch from vantage points around the docks as Her Majesty pays tribute to the Society.

"It is the oldest Christian maritime charity in existence and its mission remains to serve the spiritual and welfare needs of all seafarers everywhere irrespective of their race, creed or colour. The sea has always been the lifeblood of our world; it ebbs and flows through every chapter of this island's history. Those who sail it, whether to trade between nations or to protect others 'upon their lawful occasions' are men and women of special skills and fortitude. They are above all people who must have the self-reliance to cope with solitude and the deprivation of family life. Their faith is tested much more than for most of us."

After the service, the Royal party boards HMY Britannia to review various ships of the merchant fleet, including the QE2.

Sailors' Society is among thousands celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday with a huge street party along The Mall in London. The Patron's Lunch honours the Queen's patronage of more than 600 charities and organisations worldwide.

“Sailors’ Society is here today, as it has been for the past two centuries, to care for those who work on our seas, and upon whom we all rely.”

Sailors' Society's Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - 1926-2022


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