In recognition of NAAFI’s close links to Royalty and the military, the organisation has been granted permission to use the title ‘Royal’.
The prestigious title is very sparingly granted and to qualify to receive the honour, organisations must be able to show a genuine royal connection as well as evidence of a close personal interest with members of the Royal Family.
NAAFI was established in 1920 when the then Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, set up a committee to oversee organisation of the Armed Forces’ canteens following World War 1. King George VI was the original patron until his death in 1952 at which point Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took over the role. The NAAFI also provided service onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia throughout its commission.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Ellis said: “NAAFI has played an important part in supporting our Armed Forces for more than 100 years, throughout a number of overseas conflicts. Receiving the Royal title is a truly significant honour and it clearly demonstrates how seriously this country takes NAAFI’s continued support for those who serve and have served this country.”
NAAFI CEO Steve Marshall said: “We are truly thankful to receive the Royal title and we aim to repay this honour by continuing our excellent support to our Armed Forces as we begin our second century of operation. Everyone within NAAFI will take pride in this recognition and it will act as a timely boost to all our employees and loyal customers as they serve across the world today.”