RoSPA pays tribute to our Royal Patron
We are deeply saddened at the loss of our monarch and patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
As an organisation with an enduring tie to the British Monarchy, dating as far back as 1926, RoSPA has always worked passionately to build a world free from accidental injury, motivated by the privilege of being endorsed by royal patronage.
The beginnings of RoSPA's relationship with Her Majesty the Queen can be traced back to 1949, when the then Princess Elizabeth visited a road safety training centre at RoSPA House, then based in London.
Soon after, in 1952, she ascended the throne and followed in the footsteps of her father, King George VI, by officially becoming RoSPA's Royal Patron.
At her coronation, the Queen commented: "My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over." These lasting words were a fitting start for a Royal with safety at her heart.
RoSPA’s archive contains a wonderful array of records which highlight the early days of Her Majesty’s new Royal Household, and its involvements with RoSPA.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was President of RoSPA’s World Congress on the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases in 1964 and then became President of RoSPA in 1965, a post which he held until 1968, overseeing our own Golden Jubilee year and campaign.
In 1966, when we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, both Her Majesty and Prince Philip visited our Golden Jubilee Transportable Exhibition. This was also the year in which HRH Princess Anne passed her cycling proficiency test, along with more than 150,000 other children.
We were deeply honoured to receive a yearly letter from the Queen, starting from RoSPA's 80th anniversary in 1996, which soon after became the highlight of our annual report.
More recently our Centenary Garden Party, which was hosted at Buckingham Palace in 2017, was a jubilant signifier that marked the charity's century of operations. The 100-year milestone was acknowledged by an invitation from the Royal Household to celebrate the occasion at their most renowned London residence. Enjoyed by nearly 3,500 guests from across the RoSPA family, it was noted by many as the pinnacle of what was an eventful centenary year.
Her Majesty’s strength of character was evident as far back as the outbreak of World War Two when she made her first radio broadcast before later serving as a mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. There were even rumours that a young Elizabeth and her sister Margaret celebrated with the British public on the streets of Whitehall during the initial VE Day, which she later confirmed. Her desire to help, protect and serve others is sewn into the fabric of RoSPA's ethos and her memory will be a perpetual reminder to RoSPA of its mission and objectives.
The task laid before the Royal Society now is to continue exercising its influence and promote evidence-backed protocols and advice that could prevent an accidental injury or fatality. Our Safer Stairs initiative that recently campaigned to change the Building Regulations to include British Standard 5395-1 on stair design, which aims to reduce stair falls by 60 per cent, will continue to be promoted as widely as possible. We will also continue to strengthen our partnerships and forge new enterprises with organisations that share our vision.
RoSPA will keep learning, keep moving and keep the fire burning that was lit over a hundred years ago in 1917 when wartime conditions necessitated a safety council. The wartime spirit – a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity alongside a desire to look out for one another in times of hardship – was very much shared by Her Majesty throughout her reign, and we will carry this forward as her legacy.
For over 70 years, Her Majesty was a constant presence, a devoted guardian and an emblem of Britain. As we close this new Elizabethan era, she will be sorely missed among her subjects but her memory and life's work will be immortalised by her words and our actions. We will continue our mission through our words and actions too.
Nathan is a chartered health and safety practitioner (CMIOSH) and has worked extensively across Europe in occupational and public-facing organisations for more than 20 years. Having delivered successful projects for hundreds of organisations, he understands the demands presented by managing safety in dynamic environments and the “real world” challenges that organisations face.
Nathan combines responsibility for RoSPA’s portfolio of training and consultancy services, with managing RoSPA’s policy activities across home, road, leisure, and occupational safety and health. This dual remit allows Nathan to ensure that RoSPA’s unique thought-leadership continues to drive the creation of innovative safety solutions.
His aim is to ensure that clients receive practical and pragmatic advice at all times and that the exchange of information and expertise produces beneficial outcomes.