The Royal Family and Space

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are longstanding supporters of science, technology,  engineering and endeavour. Over the years, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness have marked key  scientific milestones, particularly in space exploration.

1961

The first man in space

In 1961, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin at Buckingham Palace following his return to Earth as the first man in space.
1966

Gemini 7

In 1966, The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Houston Manned Space Centre, where he was presented with a Union Jack that was taken into space on ‘Gemini 7’ in December 1965.
1969 14th October

The Royal Family welcome Apollo 11 astronauts

In 1969, The Queen and the Royal Family welcomed astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to Buckingham Palace, after the successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
2007 8th May

The Queen at NASA

In 2007, as part of a State Visit to the United States of America, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited NASA, where Her Majesty spoke to three astronauts on board the International Space Station from Mission Control.
2011 8th December

The Queen meets first British astronaut in space

In 2011, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave a Reception at Buckingham Palace to recognise Exploration and Adventure in the UK, where Her Majesty and His Royal Highness met Dr Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut in space.
2013 25th June

First Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

In 2013, the first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was awarded to the five engineers responsible for the creation of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
2015 15th December

A message for Major Timothy Peake

In December 2015, The Queen sent a good luck message to British astronaut Major Timothy Peake, as he joined the International Space Station.