Queen Consort Camilla has praised the "exemplary courage and adaptability" of Armed Forces personnel.
The 75-year-old royal has celebrated the 80th anniversary of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) with a message highlighting its goal of keeping “our military, families and veterans in touch with home and with each other; and to overcome the separation of deployment, posting and detachment" and crediting the service for establishing a "profound sense of community" within the forces.
Reflecting on the "deeply impressive" accomplishments of the BFBS since its first broadcast from Algiers in 1943, she said: “From installing the first television channel in the Falklands, to broadcasters on the front line entertaining our troops on operations, to reaching every corner of the Earth – you have done a huge amount to foster a true and profound sense of community amongst all those connected with the military family.
“For 80 years, you have lived up to your inspiring motto 'serving those who serve' and for this – thank you. Allow me also to take advantage of your global reach to thank our Armed Forces for their work over the past year, both in this country and overseas, through which they have, as ever, displayed exemplary courage and adaptability.“
In her message, Camilla - who is patron of the BFBS - also recalled the experiences of her own father, Bruce Shand, when he was taken to Germany as a prisoner of war in November 1942 and held for the duration of World War II, and how important the broadcasting service was to him.
She said: “The first-ever BFBS programme was ‘Home Mail’, in which family and friends sent requests for musical messages for their loved ones to be played over the airwaves. At that time, my father was a prisoner of war in Germany.
“He and his fellow prisoners were heavily reliant on an illicit, slightly ramshackle, radio they had managed to put together and from which they received the comfort of maintaining a link with home. 80 years on, BFBS remains just as crucial to sustaining morale throughout the Armed Forces.”