We celebrate her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee - YMCA DownsLink Group

We celebrate her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee

Photograph album of a visit to the London Central YMCA on the occasion of the Centenary of the National Council 2 crop C

As we get ready to celebrate 70 years of her Majesty the Queen on the throne, we reflect on how immensely proud we are to have the Queen as our Patron of the National Council of YMCAs. Running parallel to her Platinum Jubilee, this year also marks the 70th anniversary of her Majesty as our YMCA Patron. To commemorate the Platinum Jubilee we wanted to share with you the history of YMCA and the Royal Family.

YMCA and the Royal Family

  • 1894: YMCA’s Founder Sir George Williams is knighted by Queen Victoria in her Birthday Honours, YMCA’s silver jubilee year, as well as receiving the Freedom of the City of London
  • 1905: following his death, Sir George Williams is commemorated by a stained-glass window in the nave of Westminster Abbey
  • 1910: King George V grants Royal Patronage to YMCA
  • 1936: King Edward VIII succeeds the throne and inherits Royal Patronage
  • 1936: after King Edward VIII’s abdication, King George VI succeeds the throne and inherits Royal Patronage
  • 1952: Queen Elizabeth II succeeds the throne and inherits Royal Patronage
  • 1968: The Queen Mother opens Stockton YMCA
  • 1969: The Queen Mother opens YMCA South Devon
  • 1978: Prince Phillip opens Redditch YMCA
  • 1982: Queen Elizabeth II attends a service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate YMCA’s 150th anniversary

YMCA has received an annual gift from the Privy Purse for almost 40 years

YMCA and Queen Elizabeth II

All photos are courtesy of YMCA Archive, Cadbury Research Library and University of Birmingham.

We leave you with a quote from her Majesty:

“It is far from easy to be cheerful and constructive when things around us suggest the opposite,” she said. “But to give up the effort would mean, as it were, to switch off hope for a better tomorrow. Even if the problems seem overwhelming, there is always room for optimism.”

Her Majesty the Queen


YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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