Queen Elizabeth is sending a huge recognition to duty and veteran military service members – including those in her own family – in honor of Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom.
The tribute came in a personal statement released by the Queen and also on behalf of her husband Prince Philip on Friday.
“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,” said the monarch, 94. “Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation.”
In this image, made available November 18, 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on November 20.
(Tim Graham/Getty Images)
“We also have cause to thank veterans, who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Armed Forces.”
The Queen also took the moment to extend her gratitude to members of her own royal family who themselves elected to serve their country.
Prince Harry patrols through the deserted town of Garmisir on January 2, 2008 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
(Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)
“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,” she said. “As your Commander-in-Chief, I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire Armed Forces community.”
The family has a long line of service members and the Queen’s husband Prince Philip – whom she’s been isolating with at Windsor Castle – is a former naval officer who elected to join the Royal Navy as a cadet before the start of World War I.
Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles made his mark in the Royal Air Force before changing course and joining the Royal Navy, according to People magazine. Prince Andrew also served in the Royal Navy for 22 years. He became trained as a helicopter pilot and flew on multiple missions during the Falklands War.
Furthermore, the Queen’s grandson Prince William also cut his chops in the Royal Air Force where he served as a pilot for the Search and Rescue Force and William’s brother Prince Harry spent a decade in the Army – reaching the rank of Captain while serving two tours in Afghanistan.