The Queen’s visit to St Ives lifeboat station yesterday launched the start of a new appeal by the charity.
Wearing an elegant lavender wool crepe coat and matching hat, the Queen looked younger than her 87 years when she was met by volunteers and their families at the St Ives RNLI station.
The Queen was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and together the royal couple viewed the current lifeboats, the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat The Princess Royal and the D class inshore lifeboat Colin Bramley Parker.
The occasion coincided with the start of an appeal to raise funds towards the £1million cost of the launch and recovery vehicle for the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat that it is hoped will arrive in the town in late 2014.
Derek Hall is the volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at St Ives, said: “We’re extremely honoured to have welcomed Her Majesty The Queen to our lifeboat station, especially as she is the RNLI’s patron, and to be able to introduce her to the many volunteers who maintain the charity’s lifesaving tradition around the coast of St Ives.
“It’s a truly wonderful way of thanking the families of our volunteers too for their support and commitment.”
The station needs to raise £1million ahead of the arrival a new 25-knot Shannon class all-weather lifeboat for St Ives to the Princess Royal.
Paul Whiston, volunteer coxswain at the station, said: “To me it’s very fitting that our present Mersey class all-weather lifeboat is The Princess Royal and today we presented Her Majesty The Queen with a framed picture of the lifeboat in action at sea.
“This lifeboat has already given us 22 years of service and we are very proud of her.
“However, the new Shannon class will offer improved speed and manoeuvrability thanks to updated design techniques and water jet propulsion. “We just need to help raise the funds needed now for the launch and recovery vehicle.”