Our Patron and President

About the RNLI's Patron and President, who help to run the charity to save lives at sea.

Queen and Duke of Kent at the College opening

Photo: Bella West

HM The Queen and the Duke of Kent at the opening of the RNLI College

Our Patron: Her Majesty The Queen

HM The Queen visiting St Peter Port Lifeboat StationHM The Queen has been Patron of the RNLI since 1952.

Since then, she has named five RNLI lifeboats: the Solent class Royal British Legion Jubilee, the Waveney class The Scout, the Mersey class Her Majesty the Queen, the Severn class Richard Cox Scott and the Severn class Sybil Mullen Glover.

In July 2004, HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh performed the official opening of RNLI College, where the charity’s lifeboat crew and lifeguards are trained to save lives at sea. In July 2012, the Queen attended the Cowes Lifeboat Station opening ceremony.

In June 2016, the RNLI joined the celebrations for our patron's birthday at the iconic Patron's Lunch which publicly thanked her for 64 years of support and to show that we are proud of the lifesaving service our charity has provided to the nation. Ten of our volunteers from Scarborough Lifeboat Station attended. Read more about the celebrations.

Our President: His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent KG

HRH The Duke of Kent visits Padstow Lifeboat StationHRH The Duke of Kent has been President of the RNLI since 1969. He succeeded both his father and his mother as President of the charity.

As President, the Duke of Kent regularly visits lifeboat stations nationwide, and has attended many RNLI events, including the official opening of RNLI College by HM The Queen in July 2004. In April 2005, at RNLI Support Centre in Dorset, he attended the naming of a new all-weather lifeboat, The Duke of Kent. 

2009 saw His Royal Highness mark 40 years as President of the RNLI. At our annual presentation of awards, we presented him with a diorama in recognition of his 4 decades of service and commitment.

The Duke has visited the vast majority of the RNLI's lifeboat stations, and has made many repeat visits. For example, in 1975 he took to the water at St Peter Port Lifeboat Station, Guernsey, with Cox Peter Bourgour. Over forty years later, the Duke returned to the station as part of his 2016 visit to the Channel Islands.

'As our president, His Royal Highness has provided unwavering support to the RNLI for 50 years. He has been a true advocate and ambassador for all RNLI volunteers and has visited almost all of the lifeboat stations around the UK and Republic of Ireland attending countless lifeboat naming and station opening events and meeting crew members, fundraisers, supporters and staff. Our President's warmth, generosity and understanding of our lifesaving work is incredibly valued by this charity and the time HRH spends with each volunteer is greatly appreciated by the Institution.' – Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive