Queen Elizabeth Releases Personal Statement Honoring Military — Including Her Own Family Members
"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," the Queen said
Queen Elizabeth is giving a special shoutout to active and veteran military members in honor of Armed Forces Day in the U.K.
On Friday, the Queen released a personal statement on behalf of her and husband Prince Philip to mark the occasion.
"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, who has been isolating alongside Philip at Windsor Castle.
"Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation. We also have cause to thank veterans, who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Armed Forces," she continued.
She concluded her statement by mentioning her personal connection to the military.
"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. As your Commander-in-Chief, I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire Armed Forces community."
The Queen's husband is a former naval officer, and joined the Royal Navy as a cadet just before WWII broke out. The monarch's son and heir, Prince Charles, served in the Royal Air Force and, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and two of his great-grandfathers, in the Royal Navy. The Queen's grandson Prince William was a pilot with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force. And Prince Harry served in the Army for 10 years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan.
Under British constitutional law, Queen Elizabeth is Head of the Armed Forces. While she doesn't retain the right to issue orders personally, the authority to issue orders and give commands to military personnel is delegated by the Queen to her commanders in the field.
During her record-breaking 68 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth has prevailed throughout some of history's must tumultuous times — and she is now drawing upon that experience amid the current pandemic crisis.
In her recent addresses to the public in the U.K. and beyond, the 94-year-old monarch carefully captured the mood of the world, those who know her tell PEOPLE.
"She always hits the right mark. She has impeccable judgment,” a close royal source said.