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News | 21 September 2022

Meeting HM The Queen: Stories from our Scouts


HM The Queen was very special to Scouts, and we’ll remember her with huge fondness and gratitude.

We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our Patron, HM The Queen. To honour her memory, we’re looking back on some of the special moments we’ve shared with her.  

Ever since Scouts volunteered at her Coronation in 1953, The Queen’s had a remarkable impact on our movement. Not only was she our Patron, but she gave her name to the highest award in Scouts, the Queen’s Scout Award.

Her kindness inspired our members for the entirety of her reign, encouraging them to learn new things, help their communities and think of others before themselves.

Read these special stories about The Queen meeting Scouts, and see just how much she’s meant to our movement over the years.

A Scout and Beaver hand over yellow and purple flowers to HM The Queen outside Windsor Castle
Scouts hand flowers to The Queen at Windsor Castle

World Scouting Awareness Event

In 1998, seven members of the Queen’s Scout Working Party helped at a special Scout event at the Natural History Museum in London.

The young helpers had all achieved their Queen’s Scout Award and they kept busy on the evening ushering people to their seats and collecting flowers.

The Queen heard about the young people helping others and asked to meet them. The young people were asked to go into another room. To their surprise, they were shortly followed by The Queen, the King of Sweden and the King of Spain.

The three monarchs asked the young people about Scouts, chatted with them, and shared some jokes. The group of young people were bowled over to be talking to three heads of state!

The Queen’s 80th birthday

The Queen publicly celebrated her 80th birthday at Windsor Castle. At the celebrations, a Scouts volunteer and two young people presented a special card and bouquet of flowers to The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

While meeting The Queen, the young people talked with her about their Scout activities and the changes in the movement throughout her reign.

Andrew Thorp, a Scouts volunteer, remembers chatting to The Queen. He said: ‘I had the amazing opportunity to meet The Queen on her 80th birthday and represent World Scouting. It was incredibly special.

'The thing that really sticks with me is that she didn’t want the attention to be on her. She wanted it all to be about the Scout movement, to hear all about how we were growing, our membership and all the skills young people were learning.

‘She wanted to know all about what I’d done to get my Queen’s Scout Award. She also asked questions about what was happening in our community, what we’d been doing to support others, and all the skills we’d developed.

‘It really was about putting us at ease, making our movement the centre of that moment and helping to shine a spotlight on us.’


We couldn’t have a better example, as she showed for her entire reign, of service to others and really putting others first.

Andrew Thorp, Scouts volunteer

Marking the centenary of Scouts

The Queen celebrated the 100th anniversary of Scouts in 2007 and visited Baden-Powell House. While there, she unveiled a bronze bust cast of herself to mark the occasion.

She toured Baden-Powell House, not having visited since 1961. The Chief Scout at the time, Peter Duncan, spoke to everyone about the centenary celebrations. The Queen passed on her congratulations to the movement on the wonderful milestone.

Amy remembers meeting The Queen at the celebrations when she was 16 years old. She said: ‘The Queen was tiny, but had a big presence. She was genuinely interested in what everybody was doing. I never felt it was about her. She really wanted to find out about your experiences. She was cheeky – she had that kind smile, and a glint in her eye.’

Amy, an Explorer Scout, stands with former Chief Scout Peter Duncan with HM The Queen on a stage in front of flowers, smiling.
Amy stands with former Chief Scout Peter Duncan, The Queen and Tom Hylands at our centenary celebrations at Baden-Powell House in 2007

Special times at Windsor Castle

Every year, young people who earned their Queen’s Scout Award would celebrate their achievements in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle.

Over the past 55 years, The Queen has personally reviewed the parade eleven times. Young people shared stories with her and the Chief Scout about adventure, community actions and skills for life.

Scout volunteer and Vice President of Nottinghamshire Scouts, Matt Rooney, spoke with The Queen at this special occasion. He said: ‘I was very lucky to have met The Queen a few times and able to introduce her to young people and adults. She would take a genuine interest in them, in their lives and in their stories.

‘She'd ask 'How are you?' 'Where are you from?' and then I'd introduce her to maybe a dozen young people and adults. She would take the time to personalise and connect with every single one of them. Sometimes, it was difficult to move her on to the next person!'

When you see Her Majesty walking towards you, your heart races. You feel so proud, excited and a little bit nervous. But, every time I had the privilege to meet her, she put me at ease straight away.

Matt Rooney, Scouts volunteer

HM The Queen smiles at Scouts with flowers in her hand at Windsor Castle, with Scout volunteer Matt Rooney stood behind her.
Matt Rooney stands behind HM The Queen as she greets young people at our annual Day of Celebration and Achievement at Windsor Castle

Visiting Gilwell Park

In 1995, The Queen visited the Training and Skills Centre at Gilwell Park after its redevelopment. She saw Scouts taking part in adventurous activities and learning skills for life. 

She was accompanied by our Chief Scout at the time, Garth Morrison, who led everyone in renewing their Scout Promise. The Queen met staff and talked about Scouts’ plan for the future.

One member of staff, Peter Rogers, remembers one of the team asking The Queen if she came from the Palace on the North Circular of the M25. The Queen humorously replied that 'with police outriders, all roads provide a fast access!'

Remembering The Queen

We’ll certainly miss The Queen, but we’re grateful our Scouts have so many fond memories of meeting her over the years. She was a kind and calm person, who made our young people feel comfortable and took a real interest in their experiences.

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