It is not often we publish the editorial welcome to the monthly magazine as a separate entity, however on this occasion, we thought it apt to showcase the affinity between Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Armed Forces via the words of Pathfinder editor, Mal Robinson…

Editorial Welcome: Queen Elizabeth II April 21, 1926 – September 8, 2022 – A Life Of Service Never Forgotten

Only a few months ago I was writing a special editorial welcome to mark the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. 

I wrote at the time that “to have the opportunity to pay our own admiration as a publication to the ultimate role model is not lost on me.” 

To then have the opportunity to pen an editorial welcome to the September issue reflecting on the passing of Her Majesty is again not lost on me as a huge responsibility, but also possibly one of the hardest things I have ever written on a number of levels. 

Front cover of Left Right Left inside September’s Pathfinder Magazine

How do you add to the superlatives quite rightly lavished already this year for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and in the time since her passing, when the stream of love and outpouring for her is delightfully incessant? 

How do you put into words the mark of respect and thanks one has for someone held in such esteem, yet someone who feels so personal and close, as many people feel towards the Queen? 

How do you write about such a subject when the emotions are still raw and hit with a mind full of thoughts? 

And how do you collate copy for a Monarch who had both served her country with full time active service during World War 2, then was the wife, mother and grandmother of serving personnel in the forces as well as being our unwavering Commander-in-Chief and simply awe inspiring? 

I suppose, you can best reflect at times with personal stories and memories and for me, one of the proudest moments of my life was to pledge allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen when joining the Royal Air Force and then to serve her both in name around the globe and then personally when stationed at RAF Northolt as part of the Royal Squadron was something I will always cherish. 

I was fortunate to be “on parade” serving the Queen face to face as she boarded one of the RAF’s BAe 146 aircraft for an official overseas visit and on duty as part of the team supporting the Queen’s flight out of Northolt as part of the first visit of a UK Monarch to the Republic of Ireland since 1911. She was, of course, resplendent on both occasions as one would expect. 

Fast forward over 11 years to Thursday September 8, 2022, which was supposed to be a day of celebration (and it was with the event ending at lunchtime) of the forces community in the form of the 7th Armed Forces & Veterans Resettlement Expo in Catterick. 

As we reflected on the success of the event (which finished at 12:30), taking stock of the positive feedback and enjoying a well deserved pint, news started to filter through that Her Majesty had become unwell and senior members of the Royal Family were en route to Balmoral to be by her side. 

The good mood was instantly quashed as our party of four dispersed our separate ways to go home and stay glued to the news for any updates on Her Majesty. 

As we know, the worst case scenario came true with the Queen’s passing.  

Now is the time for the succession of the throne to King Charles III. 

As we pass on our condolences to our new King, we also pledge our full support, service and loyalty to our new Commander-in-Chief. 

We honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth the Great, by saying God Save the King. 

From a 25-year old Princess turned Queen and taking up the throne days after the untimely death of her father, through 70 years later and to Tuesday September 6, 2022 and welcoming in her 15th Prime Minister, the life of Queen Elizabeth II, was a life of service from beginning to end, never ever to be forgotten.  

Mal Robinson

Editor, Pathfinder International magazine. 

Royal Air Force 2003 – 2011.

Read the September issue of Pathfinder and further tributes to the Queen here.