Thank you Ma’am

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.

Princess Elizabeth – 21st April 1947 in Radio Broadcast from Cape Town

Eleven years before I was born, and just over a year before my parent’s got married a young Princess took to the radio to broadcast a message to the People of Britian, The Commonwealth and Empire, on her 21st birthday.

Where many of us, would have been getting our glad rags on and celebrating our coming of age, this beautiful young Princess vowed to dedicate her whole life, to us, the people.

Just over Seventy-Five years on from that radio broadcast, she never faulted, floundered, and maintained her vow to us and our beautiful Country. Throughout her life she made sacrifices, in order to keep her vow, that vow she made on the day of her 21st Birthday.

Little did she know that in less than 5 years’ time, she herself, would be announced as The Queen.

As her father took his final breath, those haunting words of ‘The King is Dead, Long live the Queen, would be heard.

At the time of her father’s death, she was in Kenya and was due to Tour Australia and New Zealand and the Commonwealth, on behalf of her father who was too ill to travel. Her father had waved her and Philip off from the airport on the 31st January 1952. That was the last time she saw her father alive.

Princess Elizabeth knew her father’s health was declining and still knowing how ill he was, she continued in her duty to represent her father abroad. It was only when her father’s death was announced that the new Queen returned to England.

The sad news of her father’s passing, after a delay due to their remote location, was broken to her by her beloved Philip, who she had married in November 1947. Our beautiful Queen returned to the UK and she was proclaimed Queen and from that day forth, she has dedicated her life, heart and soul to Great Britain, Northern Island and the Commonwealth as our Queen Elizabeth II.

Her family have suffered personal grief with loss of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister and the Queen’s mum as well as the murder of Lord Mountbatten. As well as having to deal with divorces from three of her children, she had to deal with the death of Princess Diana, who had been killed in a car accident in a Paris Tunnel. And then in 2021 she said goodbye to her rock, her confidante, her best friend, her husband Philip.

Prince Philip’s Funeral

Our Queen, has been the one constant in many of our lives, she has been the anchor of the Royal Family and this Country. The heart and soul of what being British is all about. She never waned in her duties, daily she would deal with her despatch box. She worked tirelessly for her charities, and our Nation. She has hosted President’s, Queens, Kings in her reign. She has welcomed dignitaries with warmth and understanding.

In the height of Covid, she sat alone at her husband’s funeral, with no family by her side to comfort her. This lonely woman sitting there having to endure the burial of her husband on her own, is haunting.

Even though I’ve never met her, shook her hand or spent time in her company, she has been a constant and stable part of my life. She has taught us many lessons and through her guidance we’ve seen the back of dark times and lived another day.

For me, I’ve celebrated her Silver Jubilee, Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee, and of course her Platinum Jubilee held in June 2022. Her humour, shone through, her charm graced us all. In 2012, when our nation held the Olympics, our Queen joined in the joys of hosting the Olympics by doing a sketch with 007, played by Daniel Craig. She opened the Olympics with style, grace, charm and above all with fun as she supposed to have arrived at the Olympics by jumping out of a helicopter. By all accounts, she was persistent in having a line in that sketch.

And then, at the Platinum Jubilee we saw our beautiful Queen pull a marmalade sandwich from her famous handbag in a jovial sketch of her and Paddington Bear, taking tea, at the start of the open-air concert at Buckingham Palace with her and Paddington tapping the bone-china cups with silver spoons, to We will rock you.

September the 8th will never be the same again, because on September the 8th 2022, our beautiful Queen, died. Two days, prior to her death, in her frailty she still continued her duties, in asking our now Prime Minister Liz Truss to form a government. Who would think that 48 hours later, we would be mourning a lady who was loved by many and who we thought was eternal.

Like many, my heart breaks for this beautiful soul and her family. My tears have flowed. There are no words to express the grief I/we feel as a nation. No words to convey to a family mourning the loss of Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Aunt, Cousin, who are having to grieve in private.

When we need our family and friends in order to grieve for a lost loved one, they are having to show stoicism and courage in order to fulfil their duties to this Country. Their grieving takes backstage, with their duties coming first, with Charles’s speech to the nation on Friday, the Proclamation on Saturday. Then on Sunday morning at 10am Her Majesty left Balmoral for the last time and headed to Hollyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, following the Queen’s Coffin on that 6-hour journey to Edinburgh.

I’ve followed both of my parent’s coffins, and believe me, that ride behind a coffin, is one of the most gut-wrenching things ever. Her strength and courage is a credit to her mother.

Our Princess Royal showed dignity and grace, and as the pall-bearers carried her Majesty into the Palace our Princess Royal showed the deepest of respects to our Queen… she curtsied to her mother.

On the 19th September, we as a nation, will say our final farewells to our Queen, we will honour her life, we will cherish her memory. We may never see her again, but she will always be a part of us.

There are no words that can comfort a family, there are no words that can express how we feel, so I will repeat what Paddington Bear said to her Majesty. And using Paddington’s words, I say:

Thank you, Ma’am.

May she rest in peace with her Philip and may the 8th of September from hereon in, be known as Queen Elizabeth Day.

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