Buckingham Palace have announced the Her Majesty will be stepping down as Patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund at the end of this year. This comes after news broke that the Queen is stepping down as patron from twenty-five of her over six hundred patronages and handing the patronages to other members of the Royal family. The fund has been providing help and assistance to children of parents who serve with the Royal Navy or Royal Marines for over one hundred years, and the Queen became patron when she was Princess Elizabeth on 27th August 1945.
On their website, the fund announced the news with immense thanks and great sadness. They said that they are so grateful for the years of support she has given them. They will be writing to her on behalf of all their beneficiaries to thank her and send her their very best wishes. They confirmed that her role as Patron will be passed to the Duke of York and looked forward to greeting him in the New Year. Prince Andrew is well placed to take over this role having had a career within the Royal Navy that took him both to a conflict zone during the Falklands War and later as a Commander of ships. He took command of the minesweeper HMS Cottesmore in the mid 1990’s. Prince Andrew finished his military career in 2001, and is now an Honorary Vice-Admiral.
The original role of the fund was to support the children of ex-service personnel, however now 80 per cent of those helped by the fund have parents who are still serving. The remit of the work they undertake has also widened, and now includes childcare, special needs education, days out and perhaps the most harrowing task, in-home support in times of crisis. Special needs is an area of growth for the fund, and amounts to nearly half of its awards to beneficiaries. They are currently helping 1500 children of a military strength of around 40,000.
We must all consider at Christmas those children whose parents will not be with them because they are protecting this nation and hope that they will soon be united.