The Queen and the Armed Forces


During Queen Elizabeth’s long reign, the Armed Forces were an integral part of her life, both as sovereign and in private. Words: John Ash

For more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II functioned as the Commander-in-Chief of the British military, and while she was only the ‘constitutional head’ of the armed forces, she nevertheless held the military in high esteem and devoted much of her time to it.

Such closeness and affection meant that, by necessity and by choice, the military echelons were an encompassing and ever-present consideration in all walks of the Queen’s public and private life, each as sovereign, commander-in-chief and as a family member to servicepersons deployed on operations.

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