01:53PM, Wednesday 15 July 2020
A 22-year-old sailor from Windsor spoke to the Queen on a video call yesterday about her role as an aircraft handler with the Royal Navy.
Sophie Levy is currently on her first operational deployment aboard RFA Argus in the Caribbean and spoke to the Queen with other members of the Armed Forces about the vital work members are doing at home and overseas.
The Queen heard about the increased pressures that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the Armed Forces families, many of who have not been able to see their loves ones due to travel restrictions.
Sophie told the Queen: "It’s been absolutely incredible seeing all these different places.
“Even though we cannot go ashore, I have never had the chance to visit anywhere like the Caribbean before and to sail past and see so many islands, to see the sunsets at sea."
During the call the Queen said: “It is very interesting to hear how far spread everybody is in different places. Everybody has been doing a wonderful job and I am very glad to have been able to meet you – and the best of luck.”
Speaking after the call, Sophie added: "It was really exciting, a bit nerve-racking for the build-up. Overall it was a great experience and lovely to speak to Her Majesty."
During the call Sophie revealed to the Queen she had previously met her in 2014 at the opening of Holyport College when she was a sea cadet.
She said: “Back in 2014 at the college’s opening I met the Queen’s car, opened the door and saluted. As a cadet I was the only person from the military there. I remember The Queen gave me such a big smile and told me I looked very smart.”
Joining the eight-minute video call were Britain’s leading military figures, Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter, Army Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry deployed with a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, and Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens of the RAF Queen’s Colour Squadron currently isolating at home in Peterborough while he trains full-time as a Olympic-level bobsleigh competitor for Jamaica.
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