posted on May 29th, 2024

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Marks 200 Years of Saving Lives at Sea

Volunteers from Bangor RNLI attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 23rd May in celebration of the charity’s 200th anniversary.

The RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party was held by HRH The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vic Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and HRH The Duke of Kent.

The Duke of Kent has been President of the RNLI since 1969. Sir Tim Laurence is also a Vice President of the RNLI and former Deputy Chair.

The garden party brought together around 2,500 of the RNLI’s long-serving volunteers, staff and their families and also featured an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in the palace grounds.

Among those attending from across the charity were Kevin Baird, John Bell, Captain Davy Eccles MBE, Andrew hedge, Johnny Gedge, Ewan Rathbone-Scott, Kyle Marshall and Gavin Mitchell from Bangor RNLI Station.

Speaking ahead of the garden party, RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: “We are incredibly honoured that His Majesty The King has granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea.

“Our hosts, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, have been hugely supportive of our charity over many decades and it will be a huge honour and privilege for many of our volunteers and staff to meet them.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and I am looking forward to being able to thank them personally, along with their equally dedicated families and our long-serving staff members, for their courage and commitment to saving lives.”

Head of Volunteering at the RNLI, Donna McReath, said: “I would like to thank each and every one of our incredible volunteers.

“We couldn’t do what we do without their vital support and the time and effort they generously dedicate in a wide variety of roles, from lifesaving crew to fundraisers and those who volunteer in our shops, museums or by sharing our water safety messaging.

“They are all lifesavers and this special Garden Party is a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the joy and impact of volunteering for the RNLI. We are always looking for new volunteers to join our charity to help us continue saving lives at sea.”

Since the RNLI was founded on 4th March 1824, the charity has saved more than 146,277 lives – this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.

Bangor RNLI Volunteers with their partners at Buckingham Palace.
Bangor RNLI Volunteers Kevin Baird, Johnny Gedge, John Bell, Gavin Mitchell, Ewan Rathbone-Scott and Andrew Gedge at Buckingham Palace.
Bangor RNLI Volunteer John Bell.
Bangor RNLI Volunteers Johnny Gedge, John Bell, Gavin Mitchell, Ewan Rathbone-Scott and Andrew Gedge.

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