So, it has come to pass – something we all knew was coming, in our heart of hearts, but wished would stay for another day, just another day. For her selflessness, her sacrifice, and her devotion to duty, we owe Her Majesty a quite extraordinary debt.
There will be many words written over the coming days about the Queen’s character, her life, the moments that made her the woman she was. None of those will be wasted. But perhaps the greatest tribute we could pay is to reflect simply on the country that she has guided, in her gentle, understated but resolute way, through seven decades. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth (1926-2022)
At its best, Britain today looks like the Queen: quietly determined, tolerant, open. For all the tumult the Queen has seen, the UK has held together – still confident, still purposeful. Our country may look vastly different than it did in 1952 but it is all the better for it – and Queen Elizabeth has been there throughout, celebrating every step forward, steeling us when we’ve faltered or when that path looked unsteady.
We should be proud of what we are – as proud, indeed, as the Queen was of being our Monarch.
It is quite a thing for a woman many of us have never seen – let alone spoken to – to be held in such regard. But in a world that has moved so fast across those seventy years of her reign, her permanence has been – to borrow a phrase she used about her beloved Duke of Edinburgh – a nation’s strength and stay.
But for all that permanence, it was her embrace of the changes happening to this country that made her as relevant at her passing as she was those seventy years ago.
We now must adapt to changes – a new Monarch. But the sun will come up today, and the day after, and perhaps as the UK moves forward into a new era we may do it with more of her resolve, her purpose, and above all else her decency. For now, though, all we can say is rest well, Ma’am. And God Save The King.