Her Majesty The Queen during a visit to the Epilepsy Society in 1985
For seven decades, we have been proud and privileged to have Her Majesty The Queen as Patron of the Epilepsy Society.
We know that epilepsy was a cause that was very close to her heart. The Queen’s uncle, Prince John lived with seizures during his short life and is believed to have died of his epilepsy at the age of 13. As anyone who has lost a loved one to epilepsy knows, the impact on a family can live on for generations to come. The loss, the heartache and the need to stop others living through the same unimaginable grief are unending.
During her lifetime the Queen supported over 600 charities in the UK, recognizing the invaluable role they play in making a difference to the lives of people both at home and abroad. Following her 90th birthday, Her Majesty began to relinquish some of her patronages. We are proud that she remained, until her death on 8 September 2022, our much loved patron.
A true inspiration
Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of the Epilepsy Society said: “Her Majesty The Queen has been an inspiration to people around the world. Everyone, in nations far and wide, will have cherished memories of what she meant to them. That is what makes it so special for us at the Epilepsy Society, that throughout her reign, in spite of all the demands on her time as monarch, the Queen remained a loyal and constant supporter of our charity and of the 600,000 people in the UK with epilepsy.
“Epilepsy is often considered something of a Cinderella condition, slightly in the shadows and often overlooked. But the Queen’s stalwart position as our patron meant royal recognition for the condition. It meant solidarity, empathy and understanding.
“We often say that epilepsy has no respect for kings and castles. It can affect anyone of any race, faith, age or gender. The Queen’s patronage of the Epilepsy Society was a great testimony to this.”
How the Queen’s charity has changed lives
During Christmas 2020, with the nation in lockdown, we sent a special festive message to Her Majesty at Windsor Castle via Zoom. Many people whose lives have been changed by the Epilepsy Society joined us on the call to tell the Queen just what a gamechanger her charity has been.
Well-wishers included a young mum who had undergone brain surgery to stop her seizures and who is now a nurse in the NHS with two young boys; there was a GB judo fighter whose dreams of representing Great Britain in the next Paralympics have been made possible by treatment at the Chalfont Centre; and there was a couple whose whole family have been helped through genomic sequencing.
Clare Pelham continued: “They all had a simple message for the Queen, which I believe says it all, from all of us at the Epilepsy Society: ‘Thank you.’ ”
Source: epilepsysociety.org.uk, Nicola Swanborough