Like many, I have only ever known a single monarch until now. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant presence in my lifetime.
I never met her, although I have heard that 31% of the British public had. I watched her broadcasts every Christmas Day and was both moved and heartened by her speeches in times of trouble – most recently during lockdown when she reassured us that “we would meet again”.
I’m sure we all are endlessly grateful for her devotion to our country, her sense of duty, her wise counsel to 15 Prime Ministers, and, as we saw at the Olympic Games and the Platinum Jubilee, her sense of humour. She represented us all to the world with grace and dignity. As President Macron so eloquently said in his moving tribute: to us she was our queen, but to others she was simply THE queen.
She will be greatly missed. I wish His Majesty King Charles III all the best as he takes up his new duties.
On behalf of all the residents of Willingham, I would like to say most sincerely:
Thank you, Ma’am.