On 6 February 2022, Her Majesty The Queen became the first British Monarch to mark 70 years on the throne and celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

The Seafarers’ Charity, established in 1917, was supported by Her Majesty's grandfather, King George V, who gave us our original name, King George’s Fund for Sailors (KGFS). Queen Elizabeth II has been involved with our Charity through a number of public engagements before becoming our Patron in 1952, ahead of her coronation.

From our archives, we have picked a selection of key moments in our history to celebrate our Patron’s and the Royal Family’s momentous milestones and support to our Charity.

During the First World War, thousands of lives were lost at sea – many of them young sailors – and the public wanted to support those who were fighting, as well as their dependants. A central organisation, called the Sailor’s Fund, was established to help direct the funds.

Our early fundraising activities sparked the interest of HM King George V. His supporting donation of £5,200 saw us become the King George’s Fund for Sailors on 5 July 1917.

HM King George V, the Charity’s first Patron, died at Sandringham House, aged 70. He was succeeded as Patron later that year by the Charity’s then President, who became King George VI.

Princess Elizabeth made her first public appearance at a charity ball when she attended the Royal and Merchant Navy Ball in aid of the King George’s Fund for Sailors at the Dorchester Hotel and was pictured dancing with Captain Lord Rupert Nevill.

1952

HM Queen Elizabeth II became Patron of King George’s Fund for Sailors, prior to her coronation on 2 June 1953.

HM The Queen unveiled the Second World War extension of the Tower Hill Memorial in London. It commemorated the 36,000 men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who have no grave but the sea.

1967

HM Queen Elizabeth II congratulated King George’s Fund for Sailors on our 50th anniversary with a message from Buckingham Palace wishing the charity ‘continued success in our great work’.

1967

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh attended a KGFS fundraising evening as a guest of honour, which raised a record £16,000 for the Fund.

1978

Our Patron, HM The Queen, approved the appointment of Admiral of the Fleet HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh to succeed his uncle as President of KGFS.

2011

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO became President of the Charity.

2017

The Charity celebrated its 100th anniversary with a range of commemorative events and a major conference to set a clear path for the future provision of charitable services to the maritime community.

'Despite many advances and improvements in ship design and navigational aid, the power and unpredictability of the sea are unchanged; the welfare issues which may afflict seafarers and their families are exacerbated by a harsh and dangerous working environment often far away from home and loved ones.’

- HM The Queen, on the occasion of The Seafarers’ Charity’s Centenary

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