Honouring the Platinum Jubilee
This year marks 70 years since the accession to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen becomes the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June. We are incredibly proud to be a Royal Society for almost 140 years. It is an honour that Her Majesty The Queen served as our Patron for nearly 50 years from her succession, having taken on the role from her father, HM King George VI, until Patronage passed to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2002.
Prof Liz Bentley, Chief Executive, said:
"On behalf of the President, staff and Council of the Royal Meteorological Society, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to Her Majesty on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee. We express our gratitude for her selfless life of devotion and her support of our activities whilst serving as our Patron. We welcome this opportunity to express the esteem and affection felt for the Queen by Fellows and members of our Society."
On Friday 14 July 1978, at 12 noon, Her Majesty The Queen, as Patron of the Society, declared open an exhibition of the Royal Meteorological Society, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the former Head Office of the Society at James Glaisher House in Bracknell, and 'honoured the President (Prof J. T. Houghton) with her presence at luncheon in the Fellows' Room'.
In an article in our Weather journal, it was reported that 'a dense throng listened to the opening speeches'. It was also noted this was 'the first time in our history that the Sovereign has visited the Society. It is particularly gratifying that the major contributions being made by British meteorologists, climatologists, and oceanographers should be recognised in this way.'
In formally opening the Exhibition, Her Majesty commented:
"We are said as a nation to talk about the weather more than any other subject. This is hardly surprising since we probably have the most varied and uncertain weather in the world, and it affects the lives of us all. For farmers - or for cricketers - their livelihood is at stake. For holidaymakers and weekenders, anticipation is mixed with doubt. For many of us, every day, there is the problem of what clothes to wear.
"In many countries earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons bring major disasters and the world needs all the help the scientists can give… British scientists are among the foremost meteorologists in the world and play a leading part in international enterprises…This will not only bring important advances in our understanding of the behaviour of the atmosphere but will also improve relations between countries. By its very nature the study of weather crosses national barriers and co-operation between scientists of all nations is probably greater in meteorology than in any other field."
After lunch, Her Majesty was presented with a gift from the Society - an autographic rain-gauge - that would be installed at Balmoral to complement the already existing climatological station.
Finally, the article noted the weather: "quite uncharacteristically in this rather dismal summer, it was a gorgeous day."
(1978), ROYAL VISIT TO THE SOCIETY. Weather, 33: 427-430. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1978.tb04623.x
Photos below from the Royal Visit in 1978 show L-R Presentation of the autographic rain-gauge to Her Majesty and Signing the Visitor's Book
Photographs by courtesy of Corinne Cockrell