Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie remembers the day he met the Queen
Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden has shared his memories of meeting the Queen in her Silver Jubilee year.
Her Majesty has the charity’s patron since 1952 and crews natiwoindwide have been sharing their meories of her as part of celebrations to mark her 90th birthday.
Robbie was just 10-years-old when he came face-to-face with the monarch in 1977.
“I was 10-years-old at the time and dressed in a small lifeboat gansey and bobble hat,” he said.
“I had to present a big book about the RNLI and the Royal Family to the Queen. I was told she wouldn’t talk to me but she did and asked me about the lifeboat.
“I told her my dad was the Coxswain and that’s what I wanted to be.
“I was proud as punch.”
RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease said: “The respect, fondness and admiration that our lifeboat crews have for our Patron is incredibly apparent.
“If you look at any photos of the Queen’s visits to our stations, all of the lifeboat crew and supporters that she meets are beaming from ear to ear.
“It is a hugely special moment to have your hard work and dedication recognised in that way.
“We are extremely appreciative of all the Queen’s support over the years.”
This Saturday marks the Queen’s official 90th birthday - her actual birthday is on April 21.
Official celebrations to mark Sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a different day, particularly when the actual anniversary is not in the summer, in order to increase the chance of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.
The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in Hyde Park, Windsor Great Park and at the Tower of London.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the UK.
Founded in 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, the RNLI was granted Royal Charter in 1860 and is a charity in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The RNLI is principally funded by legacies and donations with most lifeboat crew members being unpaid volunteers and has 237 lifeboat stations and operates 444 lifeboats.
Crews rescued on average 22 people a day in 2015.