We have the word “Royal” in the name of our association, so we surely speak for all RCSA members when we say how saddened we are by the death of Her Majesty The Queen and offer, as an association, our deepest condolences to the Royal Family. Indeed many of you may wish to use the online condolence book available via the Royal Family website.
The Queen had a long association with Imperial College, and witnessed several important College milestones not least being her first visit in 1969 to open the Sherfield Building (known back then as “the College Block”). Our favourite recollection of the Queen comes from that visit when she met Jezebel, our 1916 Dennis N type fire engine, mascot of the students of the Royal College of Science. She referred to the encounter the Queen Mother had in 1965 with a freshly painted and still wet Jezebel, and remarked, “My mother warned me about that thing. She ruined a brand new coat on it.”
We also recall our members of yesteryear recounting how, seventy years ago, they had found it so very difficult to adjust to the new loyal toast: “The Queen!” After fifty plus years of toasting the King, getting used to the new loyal toast had taken a bit of practice. Soon, it will be our turn to make a similarly difficult transition. It is hard to contemplate, but when we next meet for an Annual Dinner the loyal toast will once again be “The King!”
Queen Elizabeth II, April 21st 1926 to September 8th 2022. We thank you Ma’am for your service. Requiescat in Pace.