An intimate dinner attended by HRH The Princess Royal has officially marked the launch of a year-long 10th birthday celebration for the Royal Navy’s national charity, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). 

The dinner, held on HMS Victory in Portsmouth on Wednesday (25 January), was hosted by the Second Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE, who spoke of the special relationship between the Royal Navy and its charity.

Guests at the event, which included Trustees, Vice-Patrons and friends of the RNRMC, such as Mr Nigel Atkinson, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire; Mr Lance Batchelor, Vice-Patron, RNRMC and Sir Michael Hintze AM, Vice-Patron, RNRMC, gathered in Nelson’s Cabin to hear about the charity’s legacy of work – and the imperative to support the Naval Service into the next decade. 

Bill Thomas, RNRMC Chairman, said: “The Royal Navy has been central to Britain’s past and is critical to our future. In war and in peace, the remarkable men and women of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines work tirelessly to protect us and the freedom we enjoy.

“We know that longer nine-month deployments place additional strain on family life. Social isolation and the need for residential care in old age affect almost 50 per cent of veterans, compared to 28 per cent a decade ago; a growing number of all ages are being assessed for mental health problems. 

“We enter our tenth year with a greater understanding of the need and with renewed determination to raise the funds - £10 million over the next three years - to ensure that every member of our extended family knows that we value their service and that we are there for them to provide practical support.”

Renewed patronage

The event was especially poignant for the Charity as HRH The Princess Royal confirmed the renewal of her Patronage of the charity for another three years.

Photo (left to right): RNRMC Vice-Patron Honorary Commander Lance Batchelor RNR with RNRMC Patron HRH The Princess Royal

The birthday launch marks a year-long calendar of events and fundraising campaigns planned by The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, which can be found on the charity’s website ( and social media channels.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity was officially registered with Companies House as an incorporated company limited by guarantee on 10 January 2007 and on 2 February 2007 as an Incorporated Charity with the Charity Commission.

In partnership with the Charity Commission, the RNRMC was able to identify over 60 existing Royal Navy and Royal Marines funds for merger. While some of these funds were small, such as prize funds, others were extremely large, due to a long history of saturation and investment.

Legacy and future

Since its formation the charity has distributed over £45 million in grants to those in uniform, to their families waiting at home for their safe return and to service veterans. The charity estimates it has approximately 700,000 members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines family in its beneficiary pool.

Some of the charity’s recent grantmaking projects include funding a family accommodation block of flats at HMNB Portsmouth for families to enable time together; nationwide funding for relationship counselling for families through Relate Counselling; subsidising Kings Camp activity holidays for children at naval bases; and support for veterans and families transitioning from Service to civilian life.