St Ives RNLI welcomes Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla
St Ives RNLI Lifeboat Station was incredibly honoured to welcome Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla today (Thursday 13 July) as part of their first official visit to Cornwall since the Coronation.
Their Majesties met RNLI volunteers and staff from across a range of roles during their visit to the town.
RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Dickon Berriman presented eight volunteers, two lifeguards and St Ives’ full-time Coxswain Mechanic, Rob Cocking, who comes from a long-line of Cocking family members who have served at the station, including Thomas Cocking who received numerous awards for meritorious service.
Highlighting the heritage of RNLI family connections were grandmother Emileen Williams, who is the Shop Manager and Chair of the Fundraising Team, and her grandson Ant Stewart, who is a RNLI Senior Lifeguard at Portmeor Beach.
Also present were Senior Helm George Deacon, the longest-serving seagoing volunteer at St Ives Lifeboat Station, and members of the local RNLI water safety team Tom Bolt and Mic Poynter.
It was a wonderful occasion for the RNLI’s three frontline lifesaving services – lifeboats, lifeguards and water safety – to come together alongside volunteers from the shop, fundraising and visits teams to showcase the charity’s one crew ethos to the Royal party.
The King and Queen spent some time talking to RNLI volunteers and staff, asking questions about their roles and showing great interest in their lifesaving work and the work of the RNLI in St Ives.
The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and D class inshore lifeboat were proudly on display on the slipway for the duration of the visit.
St Ives’ volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager James Perkin said: ‘We are extremely privileged that our station was chosen for Their Majesties’ first RNLI visit since becoming King Charles III and Queen Camilla. It is especially poignant as St Ives RNLI Lifeboat Station was Queen Elizabeth II’s last RNLI station visit.
‘Our volunteers are very proud of what they do, and meeting Their Majesties was a real honour. The atmosphere in St Ives was jubilant today and it will certainly be a day we will never forget.’
On 17 May 2013, just over 10 years ago, Queen Elizabeth II visited St Ives Lifeboat Station with The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, where Her Majesty unveiled a plaque at the station and met volunteer crew and fundraisers. This was Her Majesty’s last official engagement with the RNLI as the charity’s longest serving Patron of 70 years.
Rob Cocking, St Ives RNLI Coxswain Mechanic, met Queen Elizabeth II during this visit in 2013 and said it was a proud moment to be meeting her son, King Charles III, a decade later. His daughters Violet and Ada also presented Queen Camilla with a posy of flowers during the visit.
Rob said: ‘It was an absolute privilege to welcome King Charles III and Queen Camilla to St Ives RNLI and an honour to have met them. They both showed a genuine and passionate interest in the work of the RNLI and spent a long time chatting to many of us about our individual roles and the part we play in saving lives at sea.’
The King and Queen also visited other locations in the town as part of their visit, with thousands of people lining the streets to catch a glimpse.
Notes to editors
- Photos are available to download here: https://source.rnli.org.uk/transfer/2680427b439150a18a3b630a68133973f2ad52dc2a440c2e312f65ee0d055ef3
- Interviews can be arranged on request with crew members who met Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
- The RNLI flag at St Ives Lifeboat Station was flying at half-mast during the Royal visit in honour of former RNLI Chairman, Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, who died on 6 November 2022. A Service of Thanksgiving took place today, at Westminster Abbey.
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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