Armed Forces and police service pay tribute to the QueenSeptember 9, 2022
We salute you, Ma’am: Emotional police officer breaks down outside Palace as heads of the Armed Forces say the Queen ‘understood the burdens and the glory of a life in uniform’
- Military and police leaders have paid tribute to the Queen’s lifetime of service
- Police officer guarding Buckingham Palace visibly broke down after her passing
- Queen had a ‘personal relationship’ with armed forces as a veteran and its leader
- Chief of the Defence Staff said it is now their privilege to wear the King’s uniform
- Sailors, soldiers and aviators will perform final duty to the Queen in coming days
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
Members of the armed forces and police have paid personal homage to the Queen following her death at the age of 96.
Tributes have poured in across the United Kingdom from service personnel, including the country’s highest ranking members of the army, navy, RAF and police force.
As the Commander-in-Chief and a veteran herself, military leaders described the ‘deeply personal relationship’ the Queen had with the armed forces.
Pictures taken outside Balmoral, where the Queen was taken ill and subsequently died yesterday, show one woman saluting the late monarch after leaving a tribute to her.
Meanwhile, at the gates of Buckingham Palace, where members of the public have paid their respects, a police officer on guard became visibly overcome with emotion.
A police officer at the gates of Buckingham Palace on Friday looks visibly emotional as members of the public laid flowers in honour of the Queen
A woman salutes after laying flowers at the gates of Balmoral in Scotland following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday
‘The relationship between the Queen and the Armed Forces was deeply personal,’ Chief of the Defence Staff said
A Chelsea pensioner also broke down as he stood outside the palace today, visibly upset after the Queen’s passing.
Archie Ferguson, a Chelsea pensioner who served 23 years with the military, said he personally knew and cherished Her Majesty.
He told MailOnline she always appeared interested and well-researched when she came to visit the Royal Chelsea Hospital, his home.
‘She’s beautiful,’ he said, through tears. ‘I think my favourite memory was coming to the garden party here. I cooked supper for her… It was good stuff.’
Archie Ferguson, a Chelsea pensioner who served 23 years with the military, said he personally knew and cherished the Queen
A young Queen being saluted by a Chelsea pensioner. Pensioner Mr Ferguson always appeared interested and well-researched when she came to visit the Royal Chelsea Hospital
Mr Ferguson was at home with his friend, Alan, when they first learned the Queen was unwell and followed the updates for hours until the announcement of her death.
He said he instantly knew the palace was where they wanted to be.
‘I’m feeling up and down,’ he said, tearing up again. ‘Sad. It’s a very precious place to come to. The nation wants to be here.’
Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said yesterday: ‘On behalf of the Armed Forces, I would like to express our condolences to His Majesty the King, and to the Royal Family.
‘The relationship between the Queen and the Armed Forces was deeply personal.
‘Through her own service in the Second World War, and as the wife, mother and grandmother of service personnel, the Queen understood better than most the burdens and glory of life in a uniform.
‘In the coming days, our sailors, soldiers and aviators must perform their final duty to a much-loved sovereign.
As a young woman, the Queen became the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945
Queen Elizabeth II, then a princess, during a visit to carry out an annual inspection of the 14th company, Grenadier Guards in 1949
Her Majesty The Queen on a visit to Royal Air Force Marham in February 2020
A guard of honour awaited the Queen’s arrival and welcomed the Queen to RAF Marham in 2020
‘We do so with admiration and gratitude. For those of us who have the privilege to now wear the King’s uniform, there remains no greater honour than to serve our Crown and Country.’
As a young woman, the Queen became the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tweeted yesterday: ‘The sad passing today of Her Majesty The Queen will be felt by every member of her Armed Forces.
‘Her Majesty was more than their Commander in Chief, she was their guardian.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace paid tribute to the Queen’s lifetime of service on Twitter yesterday
‘She was deeply involved in championing their welfare & supporting them before, during and after operations.’
He added that the Queen dedicated her life to service.
‘The motto of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is “Serve to Lead”. The Queen’s lifetime was a living embodiment of that.’
Military veterans took to social media to remember the time they met the monarch and thank the woman they called ‘the Boss’.
One simply tweeted a picture of her with a Royal Navy Engineering College class in 1982 with the words ‘farewell your majesty’.
‘To the Boss!’ Army Veterans paid tribute to the Queen on Twitter, remembering the time they met her
One army veteran wrote: ‘”Ladies and Gentlemen, The Queen!” The proudest words I’ve ever uttered at the end of my ‘Mr. Vice’ speech to the Warrant Officers & Sergeants’ Mess at my first Regimental Dinner.’
Another replied: ‘To the Boss…! It was a privilege ma’am.’
Another army veteran, now working as a train driver on the Elizabeth Line, announced her passing to passengers over the tannoy in an emotional tribute yesterday.
The driver told those on the train ‘that he had been proud to serve as an army officer for her and will serve as an Elizabeth line driver until the day he retires’.
The Ministry of Defence and UK police forces changed their social media profiles yesterday to black backgrounds in a mark of respect.
The Metropolitan Police’s acting Commissioner Sir Steve House wrote last night: ‘Tonight every member of the Metropolitan Police Service joins the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
A police officer holds his head in his hands as he stands guard in front of Buckingham Palace
‘On their behalf, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Royal Family, as well as all those who have been affected personally by Her Majesty’s death.
‘I, like every other officer in the Metropolitan Police Service, swore an oath to Her Majesty and for us all that is the greatest honour.
‘I know her Majesty’s lifetime of public service will continue to inspire generations to come.’
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