On 20 February 2018, I had the honour and privilege to meet Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II when I was President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine on her visit to the Royal College of Physicians, London to mark and celebrate their 500th Anniversary. The Queen was the Patron of the College and known as ‘The Visitor’ and she came to the College to sign a new Royal Charter, which had originally been signed by King Henry VIII, when the College was first founded in 1518.
When she arrived, I was one of the first people to be introduced to the Queen, along with other Presidents from the various Faculties that are part of the College. We were given instructions that when we met her Majesty, we should introduce ourselves, tell her which Faculty we represented and what our role was. This I did at the appropriate moment and there then followed a short conversation between us about the importance of medicines and some of the recent advances that had been made. Her final words to me were ‘Well we all need medicines don’t we, thank you’.
The conversation we had, although brief, has had a lasting impression on me and I often think about it and more so recently. Many photographs were taken that day during her visit to the College of Physicians and I now particularly treasure the ones that were taken of me in conversation with the Queen. An unforgettable event and day, which I am very proud of.
Professor Alan Boyd served as President of FPM from 2015-2018.