Intended for healthcare professionals


Medical royal colleges pay tribute to Queen

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 09 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2196
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

UK medical royal colleges have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after the news that the country’s longest serving monarch had died, aged 96.

The Royal College of Physicians of London was among those to pay tribute to her service over a 70 year reign. The college noted that as its “visitor”—the equivalent of a patron for other organisations—the Queen visited its Regent’s Park headquarters three times. Her first visit was for the building’s official opening in 1964, and she returned in 1986 to open the nearby medical precinct of terraced houses that were refurbished to accommodate RCP departments and other medical organisations.

Most recently the Queen visited in 2018 to mark the college’s 500th anniversary, where she stood alongside a portrait of her predecessor King Henry VIII, who agreed to the founding of the RCP in 1518 when asked by his own personal doctor Thomas Linacre.

The RCP announced that it would be replacing its own flag with the Union Flag flown at half mast until the Queen’s funeral. Books of condolence were opened at the Regent’s Park headquarters and the recently opened RCP at the Spine in Liverpool.

Andrew Goddard, RCP president, said, “This is a time of great sadness for the RCP and our members all over the world. We have been honoured to have Her Majesty the Queen as our visitor for more than 70 years. Many of our members’ work in hospitals the Queen visited during her long reign, some of which bear her name, and they will no doubt reflect on the interest she showed in their work, the support she gave to our NHS, and the joy she brought to those colleagues and patients fortunate enough to meet her. She was much loved by many in the RCP and will be greatly missed.”

Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said, “The Queen was an extraordinary woman, and we are indebted to her for the leadership and good sense she showed throughout her reign. Her concern for the health and wellbeing of all people, throughout the whole of the UK was obvious and heartfelt—not least through her patronage of many medical royal colleges, which are united in offering their condolences to the royal family as we mourn this loss.”

Clare Gerada, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said, “We are very sorry to hear of the death of Her Majesty the Queen and send our deepest condolences to King Charles and the royal family. The Queen dedicated her life to public service, and she has been the one constant in all our lives. As a GP from the Commonwealth, I, like many others, saw her as our figurehead, and we will never forget her.”

In other statements, Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said, “The BMA offers its deepest and most sincere condolences to the royal family on the death of Her Majesty the Queen. Many will not have known life without Her Majesty as our head of state, and during her 70 year reign she was a dedicated public servant and much respected figure. During her stewardship of her nation there has been substantial social and political change around the world. Her role in this will never be forgotten.”