The Queen visits MI5

Published 25 February 2020
The Queen visits MI5

This morning The Queen visited MI5, the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.

The Queen meets MI5 staff

 

MI5 carry out vital work at home and abroad to keep people safe. 

The Queen's visit to MI5

Today, Her Majesty thanked MI5 staff for their ‘tireless’ work.

Because of the nature of your work, it is without public recognition, so it is on behalf of the country that I say to you all, thank you.

The Queen makes a speech at MI5

Read The Queen's speech in full here or watch below:

During today's visit, The Queen viewed exhibits in the MI5 museum which included displays highlighting the work of WWII double agents GARBO and TATE.

GARBO and TATE were integral to the major deception operations against Germany. From convincing Hitler the D-Day landings were going to be at Calais rather than Normandy, to misreporting where German rockets were landing so they would adjust their targeting further away from populated areas - their work proved invaluable to the allied war effort.

During the war, visits to troops by members of The Royal Family were deliberately organised to distract attention from operations.

King George VI inspects troops

It is said that from 1943, King George VI actively participated in the D-Day disinformation campaign.  

King George VI

MI5’s motto ‘Regnum Defende’, can be translated as 'Defence of the Realm'.

The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Intelligence Agencies. In July last year, The Prince told GCHQ: 

The work you do is utterly essential.

Read the speech in full

In April last year, The Duke of Cambridge spent three weeks at the MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, learning more about the security services. 

The Duke of Cambridge spends three weeks at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ

The Duke saw first-hand the work MI5 are doing to protect our national security, particularly against threats from terrorism. He said:

These agencies are full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe.

The Queen visits MI5