This International Women’s Day we’re remembering our remarkable, late monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II. Reigning for 70 years and 214 days, she was our longest serving British monarch with the longest verified reign of any female monarch in history.
To the Officers’ Association (OABF), like her father, George VI, before her, Queen Elizabeth was the OABF’s Royal Patron and a staunch supporter of the organisation and its work. She is pictured here as a young Princess during the Second World War. She is wearing her Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform, having being appointed an honorary second subaltern with the service number 230873. She trained and worked as a driver and mechanic and was given the rank of Honorary Junior Commander (female equivalent of Captain). She was very conscious of the sacrifices and suffering of what became known as “The Greatest Generation” and gave Her Majesty’s support to many organisations and charities, including the OABF, which sought to assist the Veterans of not just one, but two world wars.
On the occasion of the OABF’s 50th anniversary in 1970, the Queen wrote to the organisation’s then Senior President, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Dermot Boyle, sending her “warmest greetings and congratulations to the Officers’ Association” and adding that “it has been a great pleasure to follow my father and grandfather as Patron of the Association which has done so much to help those who are in need as a result of the devoted Commissioned service they or their husbands or their fathers have given in the Armed Forces.” Few in 1970 would perhaps have imagined that Her Majesty would go on to witness the OABF’s centenary, and again proffer her admiration and support for our work.
HM Queen Elizabeth
21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022
Long Live the King.
Image: HRH Princess Elizabeth in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, April 1945, a 2nd Subaltern in the ATS standing in front of an ambulance.