The Queen sends heartfelt thanks to military personnel and veterans on Armed Forces Day

The royals and the military have a close association

Buckingham Palace has released a touching message from the Queen to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27 June. The 94-year-old monarch, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, expressed her gratitude to those in the military serving our nation, as well as veterans.

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WATCH: The Queen watches Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle

Her Majesty said: "The Duke of Edinburgh and I join many around the United Kingdom in celebrating Armed Forces Day, and the efforts of our military both at home and overseas.

"Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation. We also have cause to thank veterans, who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Armed Forces.

"Having had members of my family serve in each of the Armed Services, I know only too well of the pride Service personnel take in their duty. As your Commander-in-Chief, I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire Armed Forces community. Elizabeth R."

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Prince William and Prince Harry are among the royals to have served in the armed forces

In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the commemoration will mostly be celebrated virtually for the first time in history, with military bands performing via the Armed Forces Facebook and Twitter pages. On Saturday, the Red Arrows will fly over Scarborough, where official celebrations were due to be held, the British Army's Catterick Garrison, and RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.  

The Duke of Edinburgh served in the Royal Navy until July 1951 and is still very closely connected to the Armed Forces. Prince Philip was appointed Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Cadet Force and Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps in 1952. The following year he was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet and appointed Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. He is also Colonel-in-Chief, or Colonel, of a number of British and overseas regiments.

Princess Elizabeth in 1945

As a young Princess Elizabeth, the Queen also served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War. The couple's four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as their grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry have also all undertaken military training

The Queen and Prince Philip have been residing at Windsor Castle since March amid the coronavirus pandemic. A scaled-back ceremony to mark Her Majesty's official birthday took place at the Berkshire palace earlier this month, with the monarch watching the procession from the castle's quadrangle.

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