October 17, 2017

The Queen attends Navy reception with Princess Anne


The Queen made a glittering return to public life tonight as she made her first appearance since arriving back in London

Looking sensational in blue, the monarch was joined by her daughter Princess Anne at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall.

The event marked the Centenary of the Women’s Royal Navy Service and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp. 

Following his retirement from public duties in July at the age of 96, the monarch was without her husband, Prince Philip. 

The Queen and Princess Anne both appeared in good spirits as they chatted to guests

The Queen and Princess Anne both appeared in good spirits as they chatted to guests

The Queen and Princess Anne both appeared in good spirits as they chatted to guests

The Queen was greeted by members of the armed forces at the glamorous event

The Queen was greeted by members of the armed forces at the glamorous event

The Queen was greeted by members of the armed forces at the glamorous event

The Queen waved to photographers and well-wishers as she left the event on Thursday night

The Queen waved to photographers and well-wishers as she left the event on Thursday night

The Queen waved to photographers and well-wishers as she left the event on Thursday night

The Queen signed a visitor's book following the celebrations at The Army and Navy Club

The Queen signed a visitor's book following the celebrations at The Army and Navy Club

The Queen signed a visitor’s book following the celebrations at The Army and Navy Club

The 91-year-old sovereign attended the reception just a few minutes drive from her official royal residence.

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 became a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945. During her service she learned to drive and maintain cars.

The ATS is now incorporated by the WRAC, of which she is patron.

Looking refreshed after three months at her Highland residence, Balmoral, during which was seen in public only a handful of times, the Queen was met on arrival by the Chairman of Army and Navy Club, Colonel Ian Paterson.

The Queen spoke to women who had Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War, just as she did

The Queen spoke to women who had Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War, just as she did

The Queen spoke to women who had Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War, just as she did

The Queen attended a reception at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall, her first public appearance since she returned to London

The Queen attended a reception at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall, her first public appearance since she returned to London

The Queen attended a reception at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall, her first public appearance since she returned to London

The Queen wore a floral blue dress with a matching blazer and carried a black handbag on her arm

The Queen wore a floral blue dress with a matching blazer and carried a black handbag on her arm

The Queen wore a floral blue dress with a matching blazer and carried a black handbag on her arm

The Queen looked deep in conversation at the event, which was just minutes from her home

The Queen looked deep in conversation at the event, which was just minutes from her home

The Queen looked deep in conversation at the event, which was just minutes from her home

Wearing a pretty turquoise dress and jacket with diamonds and aquamarines, she smiled broadly.

Inside she was greeted by Commander Rosie Wilson, Chairman of the WRNS100 Project Group and Colonel Alison K Brown, Vice-President of the WRAC Association. 

The Queen and Princess Anne are due to meet Senior Naval and Army members alongside veterans who joined the ATS in 1941 and worked at Bletchley Park until VE Day during the 45-minute engagement.

She also met three sprightly ladies – aged 90, 92 and 94 – who, like her, served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War, the Queen, 91, smiled and remarked: ‘You’re looking well on it.’ 

Princess Anne seemed to be in high spirits as she walked her mother into the event

Princess Anne seemed to be in high spirits as she walked her mother into the event

Princess Anne seemed to be in high spirits as she walked her mother into the event

Colonel Ian Paterson, chairman of the Army and Navy Club, thanked the Queen for her support over the years in his speech

Colonel Ian Paterson, chairman of the Army and Navy Club, thanked the Queen for her support over the years in his speech

Colonel Ian Paterson, chairman of the Army and Navy Club, thanked the Queen for her support over the years in his speech

‘And so, may I say, are you,’ said Joan De-Val, a truly youthful-looking 92.

Among the ladies she met was Betty Ebb, 94, from Birmingham, who worked with the legendary code breakers at Bletchley Park.

The Queen, who has taken a keen interest in the work undertaken there, exclaimed: ‘Bletchley Park!’ when they were introduced.

Mrs Ebb worked registering the messages that came in for the code breakers and only found out two years ago that her department dealt with those referring to the Holocaust.

The Queen mingled with veterans, including one guest who worked at Bletchley Park

The Queen mingled with veterans, including one guest who worked at Bletchley Park

The Queen mingled with veterans, including one guest who worked at Bletchley Park

The Queen met three ladies all in their nineties who, like her, served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

The Queen met three ladies all in their nineties who, like her, served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

The Queen met three ladies all in their nineties who, like her, served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

Princess Anne beamed for the cameras as the royal pair left the engagement

Princess Anne beamed for the cameras as the royal pair left the engagement

Princess Anne beamed for the cameras as the royal pair left the engagement

The Queen was accompanied into the building to sign the guest book

The Queen was accompanied into the building to sign the guest book

The Queen was accompanied into the building to sign the guest book

The Queen appeared fascinated and could be heard to say: ‘And yes many have only found out recently, haven’t they?’

Despite being a year older than Barbara Danter, 90, from Nottingham, who served in the ATS from 1941-44, she bent down to talk to her in her wheelchair, asking about what she did.

‘She is such a remarkable woman,’ said Mrs Danter.

‘I told her about how I used to work in the post office, getting the letters, packages and parcels to the troops abroad. She seemed very interested.’

The Queen took a moment to leave some comments in the guest book at the event

The Queen took a moment to leave some comments in the guest book at the event

The Queen took a moment to leave some comments in the guest book at the event

The Queen waved to the crowds outside the glamorous event as she left her car

The Queen waved to the crowds outside the glamorous event as she left her car

The Queen waved to the crowds outside the glamorous event as she left her car

Joan De-Val, 92, who worked with the anti aircraft troops on the south coast, said of their meeting: ‘When I told her what I had done she said ‘you were busy’. She really is fantastic. There’s not a lot of ladies who are still working in the way she is at the age of 90. Let’s be honest, there are very few of us who would swap their lives for hers.’

All three ladies said they would be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday and asked about her recent decision not to lay a wreath any more, Mrs De-Val said: ‘I really don’t blame her. She has to stand on her feet for such a long time. I think we are all very grateful for what she has done for us and is continuing to do. None of us could do it!’

In a speech, Colonel Ian Paterson, chairman of the Army and Navy Club, thanked the Queen for her support over the years.

Referring to some work that is being done on its historical Pall Mall building, he said they’ll call on her in a few more years to officially re-open it, promoting the monarch to give a comical toss of her head and a snort.

The Queen and Princess Anne are welcomed into the event on Thursday evening

The Queen and Princess Anne are welcomed into the event on Thursday evening

The Queen and Princess Anne are welcomed into the event on Thursday evening

The London event marked the Centenary of the Women's Royal Navy Service and the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp

The London event marked the Centenary of the Women's Royal Navy Service and the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp

The London event marked the Centenary of the Women’s Royal Navy Service and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp

Princess Anne looked stylish in a mid-length green dress and matching green coat

Princess Anne looked stylish in a mid-length green dress and matching green coat

Princess Anne looked stylish in a mid-length green dress and matching green coat

Before she left, the Monarch signed a visitor’s book before returning to nearby Buckingham Palace.

She also viewed a photographic display in the Wellington Room charting the progression of women serving in the Army from 1917 to the current day. The images have been chosen to reflect the changing roles and the widening of opportunities for women over the last 100 years.

WRNS 100 has been formed to celebrate the formation and history of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and to recognize the role of women in the Royal Navy today.

It will celebrate the valuable work still done by the WRNS Benevolent Trust and the Association of Wrens.

The Queen looked refreshed after spending the last three months at Balmoral for her summer break

The Queen looked refreshed after spending the last three months at Balmoral for her summer break

The Queen enters the event

The Queen enters the event

The Queen looked refreshed after spending the last three months at Balmoral for her summer break

Her majesty wore a floral blue dress and matching jacket and carried her signature handbag 

Her majesty wore a floral blue dress and matching jacket and carried her signature handbag 

Her majesty wore a floral blue dress and matching jacket and carried her signature handbag 

Buckingham Palace have confirmed that the Queen will not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Buckingham Palace have confirmed that the Queen will not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Buckingham Palace have confirmed that the Queen will not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

The Queen seemed relaxed at the event. She is expected to be attending more public appearances with her children

The Queen seemed relaxed at the event. She is expected to be attending more public appearances with her children

The Queen seemed relaxed at the event. She is expected to be attending more public appearances with her children

Some 116 National and regional events are planned culminating in a Service at Portsmouth Cathedral in November.

A Commemorative Stone marking the formation of the WRNS and all the women of the Naval Services will be dedicated as part of the Service.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is Patron and supporter of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, Patron of the Association of Wrens and is also the Patron of the WRNS100 Project. She is Admiral and Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy.

Last night Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen would not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday – and is unlikely to ever do so again.

Inside the event the royals were greeted by Commander Rosie Wilson, Chairman of the WRNS100 Project Group and Colonel Alison K Brown, Vice-President of the WRAC Association

Inside the event the royals were greeted by Commander Rosie Wilson, Chairman of the WRNS100 Project Group and Colonel Alison K Brown, Vice-President of the WRAC Association

Inside the event the royals were greeted by Commander Rosie Wilson, Chairman of the WRNS100 Project Group and Colonel Alison K Brown, Vice-President of the WRAC Association

They will meet Senior Naval and Army members alongside veterans who joined the ATS in 1941 and worked at Bletchley Park until VE Day

They will meet Senior Naval and Army members alongside veterans who joined the ATS in 1941 and worked at Bletchley Park until VE Day

They will meet Senior Naval and Army members alongside veterans who joined the ATS in 1941 and worked at Bletchley Park until VE Day

Princess Anne and the Queen view a photographic display the Wellington Room charting the progression of women serving in the Army from 1917 to the current day

Princess Anne and the Queen view a photographic display the Wellington Room charting the progression of women serving in the Army from 1917 to the current day

Princess Anne and the Queen view a photographic display the Wellington Room charting the progression of women serving in the Army from 1917 to the current day

Instead she will watch the ceremony from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building, along with her husband, Prince Philip.

Buckingham Palace said she had asked Prince Charles to lay a floral tribute to the nation’s war dead on her behalf instead.

The sovereign’s decision to take a back seat during one of the most significant dates in the nation’s calendar – and one with enormous significance to her personally – is being seen as another sign that she is scaling down her official duties.

The Queen was joined at the event by Princess Anne following Prince Philip's retirement this year

The Queen was joined at the event by Princess Anne following Prince Philip's retirement this year

The Queen was joined at the event by Princess Anne following Prince Philip’s retirement this year

The monarch was without her husband, Prince Philip following his retirement from public duties in July at the age of 96

The monarch was without her husband, Prince Philip following his retirement from public duties in July at the age of 96

The monarch was without her husband, Prince Philip following his retirement from public duties in July at the age of 96

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is Patron and supporter of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, Patron of the Association of Wrens and is also the Patron of the WRNS100 Project.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is Patron and supporter of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, Patron of the Association of Wrens and is also the Patron of the WRNS100 Project.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is Patron and supporter of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, Patron of the Association of Wrens and is also the Patron of the WRNS100 Project.

Her appearance comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen would not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Her appearance comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen would not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

Her appearance comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen would not by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday

She is already making small but significant changes to the pace of her diary, spending only three days a week at Buckingham Palace and conducting more engagements inside the royal residence. 

The elderly monarch has missed laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on only six occasions in her 65-year reign, when she was pregnant or on official visits abroad.

In 2015 the ceremony was made shorter to limit the time that she and her husband would be forced to stand. 



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