In 1952, The Royal British Legion's National Executive Council rose to their feet when told that the new monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, had agreed to become Patron of the organisation - it was a remarkable start to a very special relationship.
Since that time The Queen has been integral to many important moments in the Legion’s history and the charity is honoured to have Her Majesty as our Patron. Supported by the Royal Family since our inception in 1921, the Legion received its official "Royal" title in 1971 on our golden anniversary.
This year Her Majesty’s 90th birthday will be a momentous occasion bringing the nation together in celebration. It is an opportunity for the British and Commonwealth public to honour and thank The Queen for her extraordinary commitment to others, and the charities and organisations she is Patron of.
The festivities will culminate on Sunday 12th June at a spectacular event on The Mall, which will be transformed in to its largest ever street party for 'The Patron’s Lunch'. The event will celebrate Her Majesty's role as Patron of over 600 charities and organisations and offer a special opportunity for those whose lives have been touched by The Queen to mark the occasion and show their pride in the important work that their organisation does.
For the Legion, the occasion holds a significant cause for celebration as we look back on Her Majesty's years of support as our Patron since 1952. Each November The Queen attends The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall the evening before leading the nation at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.
The Festival of Remembrance is the longest-running live TV broadcast and since becoming monarch, Her Majesty has only been unable to attend two performances. In 2011 to mark both the Legion's 90th anniversary and The Queen's 85th birthday, Her Majesty sat for a specially commissioned portrait.
The artist painted the wristwatch to appear to read 11 o'clock as a subtle way of emphasising Her Majesty's links with the Legion.
To mark The Queen's 90th birthday and in keeping with 'The Patron's Lunch', the Legion is inviting our supporters and the readers of to host their very own Royal British Lunch, and join in the jubilant spirit of the celebrations.
Whilst providing an opportunity for friends and families to come together for a street party or picnic of their own, the Royal British Lunch will also help to raise funds for the Legion and its vital work providing support to the Armed Forces community. Approximately 6.7 million people in the UK are eligible for the Legion's support and we are proud to serve those in need today, and for the rest of their lives. We are the nation's largest Armed Forces charity, and we provide social, emotional and financial support to currently serving and ex-Service people and their families.
Register to host your own Royal British Lunch at www.britishlegion.org.uk/rblunch. You will receive a special event pack with everything you’ll need to make your Royal British Lunch a success.