The Queen praises the ‘impressive’ British Forces Broadcasting Service for their 80th birthday

Camilla marked the new year and BFBS' 80 years of service

The Queen has issued a message to the British Forces Broadcasting Service, to mark the broadcaster’s 80th anniversary this week.

Camilla has been Patron of the organisation since November 2021.

Camilla, sent her thanks to BFBS for their work connecting the Armed Forces © Victoria Howard

As the ‘proud’ Patron, Camilla opened her message by thanking the organisation ‘for eight decades of service to our nation’.  She highlights how ‘it was 80 years ago this year that your first broadcast aired from Algiers, as the Allies fought the evils of Nazism’.

The Queen, 74, states that war has changed ‘beyond recognition’ since BFBS was launched, but the aims of the broadcasting service are still the same ‘to keep our military, families and veterans in touch with home and with each other; and to overcome the separation of deployment, posting and detachment’.

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Speaking about how her father produced ‘an illicit, slightly ramshackle, radio they had managed to put together and from which they received the comfort of maintaining a link with home’ to listen to the first BFBS programme, ‘Home Mail’, when he was a prisoner of war in Germany, Camilla said that ’80 years on, BFBS remains just as crucial to sustaining morale throughout the Armed Forces’.

Major Bruce Shand was a British Army officer and received two Military Crosses in the Second World War. On 6th November 1942, whilst in Egypt, his vehicle was destroyed and two crewmen killed, while Shand himself captured as a prisoner of war to be held in Oflag IX A in Spangenberg Castle, central Germany.

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Discussing how the service’s accomplishments since its creation are ‘deeply impressive’, from ‘installing the first television channel in the Falklands, to broadcasters on the front line entertaining our troops on operations, to reaching every corner of the Earth’, the BFBS ‘have done a huge amount to foster a true and profound sense of community amongst all those connected with the military family’.

She concludes by saying: ‘For 80 years, you have lived up to your inspiring motto “serving those who serve” and for this – thank you. Allow me also to take advantage of your global reach to thank our Armed Forces for their work over the past year, both in this country and overseas, through which they have, as ever, displayed exemplary courage and adaptability’.

The Duchess of Cornwall met with 1st Battalion the Rifles in  September 2020 (@ClarenceHouse)

Her Majesty holds several military titles and patronages. She is Colonel in Chief of The Rifles, a title she took over from the Duke of Edinburgh in 2020. The passing of the Colonel in Chief title saw Prince Philip appear at Windsor Castle, where he had been isolating with The Queen during the pandemic, with the then-Duchess of Cornwall at Highgrove House for the ceremony.

Recently, Her Majesty has been announced as Colonel in Chief of Grenadier Guards, ahead of The King’s first Trooping the Colour later this year. The role that was held by The Duke of York until he stepped down from royal duties following the lawsuit from Virginia Giuffre. Previously this was Prince Philip’s colonelship.

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