In today’s IBA blog, we pay our own tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch whose reign has been longer than any other and whose presence has spanned generations. Much like our blog to mark the passing of her husband HRH Prince Philip, we wanted to pay our respects in our own way.

It’s so often said that The Queen touches all our lives but little did we realize how true this was, as it transpires almost everyone in IBA has had their own interactions with the Queen down the years. Here’s a quick Vox Pop from the IBA team.

All eyes on the coronation 1953

“The Queen’s coronation was the world’s first live global broadcast and my family had one of the few TVs – a small polished wooden box. Friends asked to come and I remember everyone was crammed together on stools and chairs as we peered at the tiny, tiny black & white screen in silence to see history made.” – Judith

“As a young national serviceman, on coronation day I was on guard duty at the entrance to my training camp. I was feeling left out of all the festivities because all the other recruits were given leave to celebrate in the town. As they came back, I swapped my rifle with one of my chums, and headed for the bar in the officer’s mess where I was able to share a toast to “The Queen” with the unit’s adjutant before returning to my post.” – Donald

Local connections – official visit to Oakham Castle: 1967

Yes not only is Oakham in Rutland the HQ of IBA, it has a 12th Century castle (pictured) complete with moat (motte and bailey to be accurate).

“Almost one year to the day since our company was set up, the Queen made her first official visit to Rutland in 1967, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

“It’s a centuries-old tradition in our local town that dictates royalty and nobility donate a horseshoe on their first visit to the Rutland town. The Queen donated a ceremonial horseshoe, made by the Queen’s farrier, and typically she added a very personal touch – at its centrepiece is a real horseshoe from her horse Aureole, who came second in the Derby the year of her coronation. It still remains fixed to the Great Hall.” – Hannah

A Jubilee picnic and procession at Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire 2012

Present was a young girl aged 11, Caitlin, now an IBA staffer and mother of two Mary, who for 30 years has looked after IBA.

“In June 2012 we were lucky enough to have a fleeting view of the Queen, alongside her lady in waiting, Lady Susan Hussey with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shortly following her through the idyllic Georgian town of Stamford as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour, and a town where many of IBA employees live, including myself.” – Mary

“A crowd of more than 8,000 Stamfordians congregated to welcome her as she arrived at Burghley Park in a helicopter, where she had followed in her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria’s footsteps by planting a lime tree at the south entrance to Burghley House. Local schools had closed, so I had the chance to see the Queen. For all of those who waved their flags and donned their patriotic red, white and blue, it certainly was a day to never be forgotten.” ­– Caitlin

Horses are a fantastic leveller:  2004

“My best memory is standing side by side with the Queen in the paddock on the day of the Epsom Derby 2004. We both had horses running in the same race. She was completely unaware of who she was, she just wanted to speak to the jockey and trainer for their thoughts before the race – just like we did.” – Judith

Three cheers for HM everyone together 2019

“I remember attending the Royal Ascot meeting in 2019. There was much anticipation for the Queen’s arrival, not to mention the betting on the color of her hat (a Royal Ascot “special market”). It felt an honor to see the royal carriage procession make its way down the middle of the racecourse, watch her leave the carriage and ascend the steps of the Royal Enclosure to kick-off the day’s racing. The national anthem played, we all raised our hats and everyone from all walks of life bellowed out three cheers to Her Majesty – even if her blue headgear did not match the selection on my bet slip!” – Jamie

One scout’s meeting with the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee Tour 2012

Tom presents the Duchess of Cambridge with a neckerchief from the 4th Melton Scout Group

“In 2012, aged 11, I gained the fortunate opportunity to meet Her Majesty and the then Duchess of Cambridge (now Princess of Wales) on the Diamond Jubilee tour in Leicester. A mixture of nerves and excitement, I stepped out as the Royal party emerged from their lunch in St Martin’s House and offered the Duchess a neckerchief belonging to the 4th Melton Scout Group – a much deserved accolade in view of her work as a Scout leader in North Wales, and now reflected in her Presidency of the Scouting association.

“She remarked on how sweet the gesture was and popped a hand on my shoulder in an act of real warmth, but what struck me was Her Majesty’s reaction – standing back, observing quietly and allowing Catherine to experience interactions with the general public on her own terms.” – Tom

A collection of memories from our team of all ages, reflecting the true cross-generational appeal of Her Majesty. The IBA team will be observing the U.K. Bank Holiday on Monday 19th September to watch the Queen’s funeral.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, RIP – 1926-2022

From all the team at IBA International

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