The Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Today it is my sad duty to pen some lines in remembrance of our Patron, Head of The Commonwealth, and Lady Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a colossus who strode the international stage, but whose true heart was in the country with her Corgis and horses.
She embodied the true spirit of St. George. Strong, honest, brave, determined, ready to put country or service before self. Ever ready to slay a dragon or two.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was more than a Monarch. She was a presence in all of our lives. She gave her name to the new Elizabethan age, one every bit as storied as that of the Faerie Queen!
From the coins in your pocket to the stamps on your letters to the portrait in the schools and the Post Offices, Her Majesty the Queen was all around us from small up.
I have been very fortunate to be touched by and work with organisations where the Sovereign has had a connection. The Law—the Queen’s Peace—the military, and of course the Loyal Societies have all been a part of my life from an early age. Working with the Queen’s institutions is in my bones, and in my blood, as it is for many of you.
Those of you lucky enough to have received Royal Honours have been touched in this way by the Queen as well.
Her Majesty led by example. She was a role model. She had regal elegance with the common touch. She was ever the Queen but most down to earth and unassuming—not for her the diva-esque Hollywood starlet persona—hers was true nobility.
Her Majesty fulfilled many milestones in her life. She was the first lady member of our Royal family to serve in wartime, hers was the first coronation televised, she logged more miles on tour than anyone else, she visited almost all corners of the Commonwealth, she rode or traveled in more kinds of vehicles than any other Monarch, she handed out more awards than anyone in history. She sent the first email, and dropped the first hockey puck, of any of our Monarchs.
“Famous have been the reigns of our Queens!” As Sir Winston Churchill, her first of 15 Prime Ministers remarked. Famous and storied indeed!
Her Majesty loved the Commonwealth which she justifiably referred to as “Her Commonwealth,” and spent a great deal of time working with and building up the nations and peoples of the Commonwealth. She is respected and beloved throughout it. Her passing leaves a great void in our hearts throughout the Commonwealth.
Our dear Queen loved us and served us, as she signed her letter to us during her Platinum Jubilee—“Your Servant”—how many other public figures would be so humble?
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”.
Her Majesty’s speech upon her Birthday in 1947 pretty much laid out her life’s agenda and personal manifesto. She did indeed serve us all for her entire life.
Looking back on a life of service, of example, achievement, warmth, elegance, and above all, duty and stability—one thing shines through: Her Majesty was the consummate professional. She was ever the Queen, but also ever interested in the human condition and all of those whom she met—be they on one leg, two legs, or four!
As we begin to draw the curtain on what is the storied New Elizabethan Age, we pause and reflect upon her life and this most amazing of individuals. Most of us have never known any other Monarch, she has become an iconic presence to us all. New challenges, opportunities, and adventures lie ahead, as the new reign unfolds. However, we will never forget this special individual who touched our lives in so many ways who was always there, and whose reign and presence was a beacon of stability in an ever-changing world.
From Corgis to Coronets, from Ponies to Prime Ministers from her Coronation to her viewing of Coronation Street, the Queen was at once, a Royal and a member of the world’s elite (arguably at the top of that glittering list for some 70 years!) but also someone with both the common touch and above all a love for the real world of people, and particularly creatures. Besides sturdy homes up and down the width and breadth of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty’s passing is mourned in Stable Yards and Kennels—Commonwealth-wide! Bakers, Bankers, Poets, Policemen, Politicians, Priests, and people from all other walks of life honour the memory of the most amazing, historic, and beloved of people—forever our Queen!
I know that from some part of a Foreign field that is Forever England to the Heather fields of Scotland, the moors, the Welsh Valleys, St. Patrick’s Rock, from Birmingham to Bristol, we all join in mourning our Lady Sovereign the Queen and feel a giant void in her passing.
I’m sure St. George is welcoming another devoted St. Georgian into heaven today, but for those of us left behind it is a very sad day and time.
May God keep the Soul of your servant, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in his kind repose. May she Rest in Peace and on occasion poke her nose in from on high to see how we are doing.
We wish His Majesty King Charles III all the best in this difficult time and offer him our total loyalty. May God bless him, guide him and preserve him.
England for St. George!
God Save the King!