The Queen praises gay rights charity’s ‘special anniversary’ in royal surprise

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Queen Elizabeth II has congratulated one of Britain’s oldest LGBT charities in a rare moment of acknowledgement for LGBT people.

In her 62-year reign of the UK and the Commonwealth, the 87-year-old monarch has never once visited or become a patron of an LGBT charity.

She is a patron of over 600 charities – but none of them are for LGBT rights and the monarch has never publicly voiced her support of equal rights.

However, the Queen appeared to break with her own self-imposed protocol after it was revealed last night that she had congratulated the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard as part of its 40th anniversary.

In her message the Queen said: “Best wishes and congratulations to all concerned on this most special anniversary.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard on reaching its 40th anniversary.

“Since 1974 there has been real progress towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Voluntary organisations, such as the Switchboard, have made a vital contribution to that progress. The government continues to work to create a fairer and more equal society by removing the barriers to equality that LGBT people face.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also congratulated the Switchboard along with London Mayor Johnson and Labour leader Ed Miliband.