Today, Charles III is to be proclaimed King following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. My thoughts are with His Majesty The King and his family.
The Queen has shown us how statecraft is done. With exceptional charm, dedication, and wisdom, she brought together the people of many nations. Her example will shine bright for eons to come. Now, a new era will begin. The monarchy will continue to be at the centre of British life but it’s a world, a family of nations, a Britain that is so different from the one of 70-years ago.
There are three thoughts of recollections I’d like to highlight. One is the late Queen’s love of the countryside and rural life, and another is her celebration of public service and the third is truly being an internationalist.
The Queen didn’t take sides. That contrasted so acutely with the partisan nature of political debate.
Rural communities saw The Queen as a knowledgeable, interested and concerned countrywoman. She spoke up at times of hardship especially for those living and working in rural societies not just in the UK but worldwide.
At a time when the whole idea of public service has been under attack The Queen stood four-square in support of those who give up their time and energies to work for a better society, helping others and upholding the role of those who serve their community.
Having travelled the world and experienced the horrors of war, The Queen was prominent in bringing together peoples of all faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds. The Queen at the Council of Europe in 1992, talking about the European Convention on Human Rights, Magna Carta and changing times is well worth a listen.
The Queen’s death does raise fundamental questions over future of monarchy, but they are not for now. There will be time enough to explore the future.
May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace.