Charities have paid tribute to the Queen, who died at the age of 96 yesterday after 70 years on the throne.
Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving monarch in British history, and was patron to over 600 organisations, including Sue Ryder, RSPCA and the Royal British Legion.
Earlier this year, a survey found that 15% of people were more likely to give to a charity if the Queen was involved with it. Indeed, thousands of pounds worth of donations have been fundraised in her honour – most recently during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Tributes to the late Queen have poured out from the sector, thanking her for her services to philanthropy.
‘We celebrate Her Majesty’s service to UK civil society’
Stuart Shilson from St John Ambulance, of which the Queen was a patron, said: “The Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John and all volunteers and staff at St John Ambulance are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty the Queen today.
“Her Majesty became sovereign head of the Order of St John upon her accession in 1952 and has been a great supporter of our work.
“Our thoughts are with the royal family at this time.”
The charity will be represented at the funeral.
Matt Stringer, the chief executive of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), said the charity was “deeply saddened” by the news.
“Her Majesty became RNIB’s patron upon her accession to the throne in 1952 and during this time made a tremendous contribution to our work. Her Majesty was a passionate advocate for the rights of blind and partially sighted people and generously hosted many receptions on behalf of our organisation.
“We are immensely grateful for Her Majesty’s longstanding support which has made such a difference to the lives of people with sight loss across the UK.”
In a statement, Sue Ryder, the palliative care charity, said it “will remain extremely grateful for her steadfast support since 1993”.
Dr Priya Singh, chair of NCVO, said everyone at the organisation offered their sympathy to members of the royal family at this time.
“It is an immense source of pride for us as an organisation to have had Her Majesty the Queen serve as our royal patron since her ascension to the throne.
“We fondly remember the Queen marking our centenary in 2019 by hosting a reception at Windsor Castle to recognise volunteers and voluntary action in the UK.
“We celebrate Her Majesty’s service to UK civil society and are incredibly thankful for the support she offered to charities and volunteering throughout her lifetime.”
Singh said their thoughts were with the people who’s lived the sovereign touched, and that she would be “sorely missed”.
She added: “Her Majesty’s lifelong devotion to service and duty is a legacy which will continue to live on in the many millions of charities and volunteers dedicated to supporting communities across the UK and around the world.”
The chief executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Mark Dowie, expressed “heartfelt condolences” on the behalf of the charity.
He said: “Her Majesty has dedicated 70 years as patron of the RNLI, engaging with and recognising the efforts of thousands of our people. We place on record our sincere thanks for Her Majesty’s unwavering commitment to saving lives at sea.”
The Royal British Legion released a statement saying it was with the “deepest sorrow” that they received the news.
The Queen served as patron to the British Legion since her ascension on the throne. The charity recounted that she first attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in 1945 as the then 19-year-old Princess Elizabeth, and as Queen, that she attended every festival thereafter except for three occasions.
The statement reads: “Her Majesty has been an inspiration to us all, from her unwavering sense of duty to her devotion to a lifetime of service. Her enduring dedication to the armed forces will be deeply missed and never forgotten and we send our sincere condolences to the royal family at this time.”