Fields in Trust

HM Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

Posted on 8th September 2022

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, aged 96. Her Majesty served as our Patron for 70 years and we are extremely grateful for her decades of support.

The Queen was an active supporter of our work throughout her life, becoming Patron in 1952 upon her accession to the throne. Her Majesty’s involvement followed in the footsteps of her father, King George VI, who founded Fields in Trust (then known as the National Playing Fields Association) in 1925 and became our first Patron and President.

The Queen’s husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, was also a loyal supporter of ours, taking over the Presidency in 1947, just a day after they married. Alongside The Queen, The Duke took an active role in our work throughout his incredible 64 years of service.

Even during the early years of The Duke’s Presidency, the then Princess Elizabeth joined her husband at numerous fundraising events and field unveilings for Fields in Trust. In 1951 alone, The Princess attended the opening of the new King George V playing field at Carnwadric in Glasgow; joined a star-studded Matinee at the London Coliseum alongside Orson Welles and Frank Sinatra and enjoyed our National Playing Fields Ball, which featured an indoor cricket match between the Lord’s Taverners and a Rest of the World side.

As Queen, she continued to take an active role our work, attending King George V Playing Field openings throughout the 1950s, followed by further visits to protected green spaces over the decades since. Her Majesty's final engagement for Fields in Trust came in 2012 when she joined The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Vernon Park in Nottingham to unveil a Queen Elizabeth II Fields plaque, celebrating the protection of these special spaces across the UK.

Creating a lasting legacy

In 2010, the Duke of Cambridge took over as Patron of Fields in Trust and played a central role in establishing the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge. This groundbreaking initiative led to the protection of 1,388 parks and green spaces between 2011 and 2016, covering over 8,500 hectares across the UK. This vast programme of protections was a personal tribute to The Queen, celebrating her 60-year-reign and providing a lasting legacy of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Launching the programme in 2010 The Duke said: "The year 2012 marks the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to my grandmother’s 60 glorious years on The Throne than to dedicate to The Queen this programme that will save playing fields for future generations... I sincerely hope that these fields will become a living reminder to all of The Queen's steadfast duty, dedication and love for this country."

The 1,388 spaces protected as Queen Elizabeth II Fields (Queen Elizabeth Fields in Scotland), stretch the length and breadth of the UK - from Gilbertson Park up in Shetland, to Breage Playing Field on the tip of Cornwall. These protected spaces include everything from vast country parks in rural Dorset to small play areas in inner London. Together, the Queen Elizabeth II Fields create a legacy of green spaces that will be there for communities across Britain to enjoy forever.

The efforts of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His late Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh live on through these protected places and through Fields in Trust's continued commitment to protect, support and champion green spaces for good.

 A donation to Fields in Trust in memory of The Queen will support our ongoing work and help secure the green space legacy. of Her late Majesty.