Brunssum, The Netherlands – On 1st June 2022, British and Canadian staff at Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) took part in a parade in honour of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In an uncertain world, British and Canadian service personnel are on-call at all times to fulfil their operational commitments – this includes our vital contributions to NATO
Amongst the fifteen realms and their territories of which she is Sovereign, Elizabeth II is Queen of two out of NATO's 30 members: Canada and the United Kingdom. She is also Head of the Commonwealth, and thus the symbol of free association of 54 independent member states.
This year marks seventy years since Her Majesty – aged just 25 – ascended the throne of what was then seven independent realms. This makes her the world's longest-reigning monarch alive today. By way of comparison, there have been 14 U.S. Presidents over the course of her reign (and Her Majesty has met 13 of them).
Throughout her reign, the 96-year old monarch has proven herself a unifying figure in the countries of the Commonwealth, and provided a sense of continuity in a changing world. It is in this spirit that sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines of the two NATO Commonwealth Realms came together to mark the occasion.
The Guest of Honour at the parade was the Mayor of Brunssum, Ms Wilma van der Rijt, who gave a speech and handed out medals to a selection of personnel. Following the parade, the British and Canadian communities hosted a Jubilee Street Party – a tradition that dates back to the Queen's coronation in 1952.
Commodore Gordon Ruddock Royal Navy, Senior British Officer at JFCBS, said:
"In an uncertain world, British and Canadian service personnel are on-call at all times to fulfil their operational commitments – this includes our vital contributions to NATO. Her Majesty the Queen has been a lifelong supporter of both our nations' Armed Forces, and on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee it is right that we get together and celebrate her incredible seventy years on the throne. She has been an example of service, duty and selflessness to us all."