Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was our Patron for almost 70 years, one of the numerous roles that she held with such distinction.

When Her Majesty The Queen succeeded King George VI in 1952, she also agreed to inherit her father’s mantle as Patron of the Fauna Preservation Society (which later became FFI). She held that position for the majority of her long and distinguished reign, before handing over the role to her grandson, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in October 2020.

During her tenure as Patron, she was witness to a complete transformation in the nature and scope of the organisation, and to the development of today’s global conservation infrastructure, which FFI was instrumental in creating.

In fact, The Queen’s association with FFI pre-dates her official involvement as Patron. As long ago as 1946, the then Princess Elizabeth attended our annual general meeting with her sister Princess Margaret, in order to watch a film about Kruger National Park, which they were scheduled to visit the following year. The image above was taken during that very same South Africa trip.

The Queen was guest of honour at FFI’s 90th birthday celebrations, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, back in December 1993 – an event held, appositely, at London’s Royal Geographical Society.

Mark Rose, Chief Executive of FFI, said: “Her Majesty The Queen held a deep appreciation of the wonders of the natural world. In her role as our Patron, she helped to galvanise international efforts to safeguard those treasures for future generations; an endeavour that today has expanded into a global movement to protect and restore nature.

“The importance of the support and encouragement of Her Majesty the Queen, in her role as patron, during a formative period for FFI and for the wider conservation movement, cannot be overstated.

“Our thoughts are with The Queen’s immediate family and with all those, the world over, who will share our profound sense of sorrow and also our gratitude for her lifetime of unstinting devotion.”