A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (summer issue)

I’m just back from what I must admit was one of our sexiest photoshoots yet. What a way to celebrate our one year birthday.

Can it really be a year since I sat down to write my first editor’s letter in preparation for the launch of Queen & Country magazine? In that time I’ve had what can only be considered as a whirlwind baptism of fire in not only being a first time editor-in-chief, but also as a business development manager, editorial coordinator, journalist, art director, PR chief, photographer, and every other role it requires to keep a well-oiled publishing entity like Q&C constantly evolving and interesting for all our readers.

Regardless of our team’s hard work over the last 12 months, I’ve had an amazing time, not only meeting the many great people who have helped me bring my vision to life, but to everyone who has provided terrific and often humbling feedback, as well as the odd fair bit of criticism along the way. It’s surprising just how opinionated people can get about a creative project and how they would do things. But that’s publishing for you!

I want to especially thank all our brilliant contributors and writers and their excellent work. Their consistent high-quality features have really helped make Q&C what it is and I believe this is just the start. There are big plans afoot for the site and the business in the months to come and hope you are all with me on it.

To celebrate our first birthday I’m delighted to bring you an exclusive photo cover spread and interview with the gorgeous Dr James Greenwood, the so-called ‘vet who pots’ who you might’ve seen on telly. I spent a day with James and his adorable Labrador Oliver in Clevedon. He was happy to be part of our first birthday fashion spread in collaboration with Centrefront Menswear, as well as discussing the importance in projects like Q&C providing a platform and voice for young gay people living in rural communities.

Our birthday is also a perfect opportunity to revisit some of our various cover photo shoots over the last 12 months, and the many unique experiences including standing knee-deep in mud in a farm in Hertfordshire capturing the dazzling handsomeness of underkeeper Jamie Field, and trying to tame wayward drag queen Cheddar Gorgeous on the rainy back roads of East Kennet in Wiltshire. The things we do for Queen and Country!

We have certainly travelled far in just a year, and look forward to meeting many more LGBTQ+ people who want to share their passion for rural living and spread the word of inclusiveness and diversity.

Speaking of which, look out over the next few weeks for our feature about the launch of a pioneering new network to unite and celebrate LGBT+ people living and working in rural communities. We also have a new food writer coming on board. We are still in talks with him so are keeping details firmly under wraps – but there’s nothing he doesn’t know about great food and his recipes will be ideal for your winter feasts ahead.

Our one and only Major Fit, Glenn Mainwaring is back to put us through our paces with some new workouts to help us show off our bodies ready for those late summer holidays. Check out his HIIT workout videos coming to our social media channels over the next few weeks.

I also had a blast at this year’s BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace. We got to mingle with the programme’s presenters, including Matt Baker and got a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a weather presenter with Carol Kirkwood. Check out my video from the day below.

Finally, move aside Mystic Meg, as Q&C has a new astrologer. Wade Craves will be providing us with monthly horoscopes to guide us through the darker days and nights that will soon be upon us. He’ll be writing about what’s in store for us in terms of careers, finances and our love life.

Go and have a drink on us for our first birthday and thanks for coming along on the journey. Rural LGBTQ+ Britannia has never looked so good.