Thursday 8 September, 2022: 

The Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John and all volunteers and staff at St John Ambulance are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty The Queen today. 

“Her Majesty became Sovereign Head of the Order of St John upon her accession in 1952 and has been a great supporter of our work. 

Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time. 

Details of the funeral and the major activities leading up to it, are expected to be made to the nation, and indeed around the world, in the near future. 

I am humbled that St John has the honour and privilege of providing first aid services throughout this significant event and will also be represented at the funeral ceremony. More information about this will be available shortly.” 

Stuart Shilson LVO GCStJ DL 

The Prior of the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John and Chair of St John Ambulance


The Queen and St John 

The modern Order of St John is a British Royal Order of Chivalry constituted in 1888 by Royal Charter from Queen Victoria. The Sovereign Head of the Order of St John honours individuals with admission to or promotion within the Order in recognition of their outstanding achievement. The Queen has approved each recipient invested into the Order since her accession to the throne in 1952.   

St John has been privileged to have The Queen attend a number of formal engagements over many decades, including the opening of the Nigel Mobbs St John Ambulance Centre in Greenleys, Milton Keynes, in 2007, and a visit to Chapter Hall, St John's Gate, London, in 1999, where she unveiled a commemorative plaque for the Nonacentenary (900 years) of the Order of St John. 

The Queen also opened celebrations of the Great St John Party in the park in 1987, to mark the charity’s centenary. Accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Queen took the opportunity to tour the party and meet some of those attending the event in Hyde Park.   

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The Order of St John is one of the world’s longest established charities and traces its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller and the first Hospital of St John in Jerusalem in 1078.

The Order is a major international charity, accredited at the United Nations, which provides first aid, health care and support services in over 40 countries around the world through a dedicated team of around 400,000 volunteers and staff. The Order delivers these services in England through the national first aid and health response charity St John Ambulance 

The Royal Family continues to support the charitable work of the Order of St John and its service organisations. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was appointed Commandment in Chief (Nursing) in 1928 and served in this role until her death in 2002. HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal has been Commandment Chief of the Ambulance and Nursing Cadets since 1970. The Countess of Wessex became the Grand President in 2004, overseeing the St John Country Presidents who provide support for local volunteers.