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A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Patron's Lunch on The Mall

Published 12 June 2016

We are here to celebrate The Queen as Patron. Her commitment to the more than 600 charities to which she lends her name and support is unwavering.

The Duke of Cambridge

Your Majesty,

Good afternoon everybody. Thank you so much for showing that the Great British public doesn't let a little rain spoil a good day out. It means so much to see everybody here today.

Can I begin by thanking the organisers of this event, especially my cousin Peter for working so hard over the past year to turn his vision for this celebration into a reality.  Catherine, Harry and I and the rest our family are extremely  proud to be here today.

My family has had plenty of reason to celebrate since The Queen turned 90 in April:

The Queen's strong health and relentless energy;  her sharp wit and famous sense of humour; and the fact that The Queen remains very much at the helm of our family, our nation and the Commonwealth. 

The Queen at 90 is the one Head of State that world leaders can turn to for a first-hand perspective of the arc of history over the last six decades.

At 90, The Queen is the leader of our country, who we all look up to in good times and in challenging moments to set an example, and to guide the way ahead.

But the reason we are here today is to celebrate a role that matters just as much to The Queen as the one that she holds on the world stage.

We are here to celebrate The Queen as Patron. Her commitment to the more than 600 charities to which she lends her name and support is unwavering. 

From national military and sporting bodies, to small local associations, to charities that champion children, faith, education and arts, The Queen's pride in her role as your Patron is absolute.

Through The Queen's association with you, she is not just shining a spotlight on the individual causes you care about; she is reminding us all that being active and engaged in society has virtue in its own right. Service to those around you is what unites you all.

So on behalf of my entire family, can I say thank you. You have been partners in The Queen's service for so many years.

Before I finish, I hope you won't mind if I say a personal thank you to The Queen - and to do so on behalf of all her grandchildren - and great-grandchildren. Granny, thank you for everything you have done for your family. We could not wish you a happier birthday.

And now, it is my honour to invite here to the microphone, Her Majesty The Queen.

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A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family, and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity.