A Royal Tribute

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, October 2022, Volume 46, Issue 10

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe pays tribute to the role Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had in promoting innovation within life sciences.

On 8 Sep. 2022, an announcement was made that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at Balmoral peacefully at the age of 96 years (1). The Queen had reigned as monarch of the United Kingdom for 70 years, making her the longest-serving monarch for the country throughout its history.

Although not necessarily commonly associated with the pharmaceutical industry or life sciences, the Queen had played her part well in helping the nation get to grips with scientific innovation. A prime example of her Majesty’s role in promoting innovation came through her prestigious Awards for Enterprise. With these awards, the Queen provided a royal seal of approval for numerous life science businesses—most recent awardees include SGS’s Quay Pharma, CatSci, Momentum Pharma, and OncImmune—raising each company’s profile on a global scale, boosting staff morale, and increasing commercial value (2).

Additionally, her Majesty was a patron of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a role she accepted following the death of her father, King George VI (3). And, in fact, it was the Queen who had granted the society with the title of ‘Royal’ in 1988.

As pointed out by Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the BioIndustry Association, in a blog post, the Queen’s 70-year reign had encompassed swathes of change and innovation within the biotechnology field (4), such as the advancements that have occurred over the years in genomics. When Elizabeth II began her reign in the 1950s, Francis Crick and James Watson had just realised their ground-breaking conclusion that the DNA molecule exists in a double helix three-dimensional structure (5). Six decades later, in 2016, her Majesty officially opened the Francis Crick Institute, which is the largest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe and is where researchers investigate the fundamental biology of human health and disease (6).


Richard Torbett, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, neatly summed up the sentiment of the country’s pharma sector in a press release (7). “The Queen led a life of duty and service to the people of the UK and Commonwealth and was an inspirational figurehead for the UK around the world,” he said. “She leaves behind an unmatched legacy of dignified leadership and our industry joins with the rest of the nation in mourning at this sad time.”


1. BBC, “Queen Elizabeth II has Died,” News Release, 8 Sep. 2022.
2. UK Gov., The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise available from gov.uk [Accessed 23 Sep. 2022].
3. Royal Pharmaceutical Society, “The Death of Queen Elizabeth II,” News Release, 8 Sep. 2022.
4. S. Bates, “Queen Elizabeth II A Life Sciences Perspective,” BIA Blog, 9 Sep. 2022.
5. L.A. Pray, Nature Education, 1 (1) 100 (2008).
6. The Francis Crick Institute, “The Queen Opens New Francis Crick Institute Building,” News Release, 9 Nov. 2016.
7. ABPI, “ABPI Statement on the Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Press Release, 8 Sep. 2022.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 34, No. 10
October 2022
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as F. Thomas, “A Royal Tribute,” Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 34 (10) 2022.