QE ‘old boys’ stunned at chance to meet the Queen in Portsmouth

The Queen talks to veterans Vic Merry and Leonard Chivers   Picture: Habibur Rahman
The Queen talks to veterans Vic Merry and Leonard Chivers Picture: Habibur Rahman
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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TWO veterans who served in the original HMS Queen Elizabeth have said meeting the Queen was the icing on top of an ‘incredible year’.

Leonard Chivers and Vic Merry, both 93, who live in Portsmouth, served together as teens in 1941 in the original HMS Queen Elizabeth, which at the time was a modern battleship.

They were invited on board the new Queen Elizabeth by the ships’s captain, Commodore Jerry Kyd, after he was contacted by their friend Rod Edwards, of Portsmouth, earlier this year.

The lucky duo had a chance to chat with the monarch at the end of the ceremony and told her tales of serving with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, when he was a young naval officer.

Len said: ‘I have waited 93 years to speak to the Queen. It was amazing.

‘Strangely enough, talking to the Queen came quite easily, she was lovely. I was surprised. I told the Queen that I was thinking about her father and Prince Philip because in my time I have piped both of them on board ships.

‘I first piped the King on board HMS Dauntless in Scapa Flow in 1944.’

Vic spoke to the Queen about how he and Len met while travelling up from Portsmouth to Rosyth during the war on their first draft together in HMS Queen Elizabeth.

He added: ‘Today has been so special, I can’t describe it in words. This isn’t the first time I met her. The last time I saw her was in British Ghana when I was an escort on the Royal Yacht.’