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Video chat with the Queen for sailor Sophie

Video chat with the Queen for sailor Sophie
15 July 2020
SAILOR Sophie Levy was reunited with the Queen as Her Majesty made a unique video call with military personnel on the front line.

The monarch was connected with Forces personnel around the globe – as she was keen to speak to deployed men and women amid the pandemic.

Support ship RFA Argus deployed at the height of the crisis in April to provide assistance to British territories in the Caribbean in the event of a hurricane – and extra help should coronavirus hit those communities hard.

Naval Airman Sophie, aged 22 from Windsor, deployed with Argus with 1700 Naval Air Squadron, normally based at Culdrose, to ensure safe operations by Merlin and Wildcat helicopters on the flight deck.

Six years ago, the former Sea Cadet met the Queen, chosen to escort the monarch as the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet when she opened Holyport College near Windsor – a subject raised when the two chatted over the video call.

It was really exciting, a bit nerve-racking for the buildup. Overall it was a great experience and lovely to speak to Her Majesty.

Naval Airman Sophie Levy

“It was really exciting, a bit nerve-racking for the buildup,” said Sophie who ‘virtually invited’ the Queen into her cabin on Argus.

“Overall it was a great experience and lovely to speak to Her Majesty.”

She continued: “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.”

The Queen found the video link experience fascinating.

“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.”

Sophie used the conversation to explain her work on board as an airman: moving the helicopters around on deck using a tractor and as a member of the fire party, donning the heavy and hot firesuit under the relentless Caribbean sun ready to deal with any emergencies.

The 22-year-old is on her first deployment – “it’s been absolutely incredible seeing all these different places” she told the Queen of her Caribbean experience, although Covid restrictions have limited her opportunities to explore the region more fully.

“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.

“I even got to go up in a Merlin Helicopter when we flew over Montserrat, and that was an amazing experience. On board we also are able to go to the gym, and we have film nights, so morale is good.”

Joining the eight-minute video call were Britain’s leading military figure, 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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