Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

The Linnean Society is incredibly sad to learn of the passing of our esteemed Patron, Her Majesty The Queen

Published on 8th September 2022

Her Majesty The Queen had been a longstanding figure in the history of not just the UK, but also of the Linnean Society of London, and it is with deep sadness that we offer our condolences to the Royal Family at the news of her passing on 8 September 2022. Upon ascending the throne in 1952, The Queen became a Patron of the Linnean Society, but had been an Honorary Member since 1947—a relationship of over 70 years. (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, had also been a Patron of the Society for 64 years.) Something we have always appreciated was The Queen’s love of animals and her evident joy at spending time in nature.

Celebrating the Linnean Society’s Bicentenary

HM The Queen at the Linnean Society Bicentenary

Her Majesty The Queen attended the Society's Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, pictured here with Professor William Stearn PPLS and then-President Professor William Chaloner in the Society's rooms at Burlington House, Piccadilly.

HM The Queen Roll and Charter

Shown here is the page signed by Her Majesty The Queen in the Society's Roll and Charter.

In 1988, we had the pleasure of welcoming Her Majesty The Queen to the Society to be a part of its Bicentenary celebrations. On 17 March, The Queen and HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, attended a Royal Reception at our premises in Burlington House. After being received by then-President William G. Chaloner and Executive Secretary Cdr J. H. Fiddian-Green, R.N, the Royal Party was introduced to the Society’s Officers, Council and staff.

A specially-designed page in the Society’s Roll and Charter was signed by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who were joined by 232 members of the Linnean Society at the reception. (The page is illustrated with the floral badges of England, Scotland and Ireland—rose, thistle and shamrock—alongside oak leaves and acorns representing strength, wisdom and long life.)

The Royal Party was then taken to the library to see displays of the collections, both specimens and printed materials, guided by the President and previous Officers like Professor William Stearn PPLS (seen above with Her Majesty The Queen and William Chaloner PPLS).

Later, we received this kind response:

I send my thanks to you, the Foreign Members and Fellows of the Linnean Society of London, gathered together with their guests this evening, for their kind and loyal message of greetings, sent on the occasion of the Society’s Bicentenary. As your Patron, I was delighted to receive this message and send my best wishes to you all for a most enjoyable occasion. I very much enjoyed the Reception held at Burlington House last March. Elizabeth R.

An Esteemed Patron

In 2016, the Society was also incredibly appreciative to be included in the Patron’s Fund on the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. We were selected to receive £2,500 from the fund which was put towards items to bolster our education outreach.

HM The Queen at the Bicentenary

We are grateful for the long support of Her Majesty The Queen, and our sympathy goes out to the Royal Family at this very sad time.