The Queen was born before both my parents and died after they had both passed on. She was here when they migrated to the UK 50 years ago. She was their Queen. They liked her, admired her and, were they alive today, would have mourned her passing.
I was born here. For me, she’s always been there, a part of the fabric of the UK and of our lives, a constant reassuring presence. Many people are born into privilege. It’s what you do with it, that matters. She spent her life serving in the best way she could, with dignity and, I believe, compassion. She’s seen incredible change in the country and weathered good times and bad. Now, at a time that is difficult for so many, I would have loved for her to been with us, calmness personified, delivering a reassuring Xmas message.
One of my earliest memories of her came with Roald Dahl’s BFG, where she made an appearance as ‘Your Majester’… Later, while working in India in my twenties, I became aware of how well she was regarded there, by so many.
When I think of her now, I simply think of a good person who did the best she could, bound by tradition and protocol, a consummate stateswoman, and a warm, intelligent individual whose life will be judged by the absence many of us will feel now that she is no longer there.
So yes, I am sad. And I don’t mind admitting I’ve had a lump in my throat since the news came through yesterday. We can debate the monarchy as much as we wish. But this isn’t about the monarchy. This is about an individual who made a promise to serve when she was crowned Queen and fulfilled that promise beyond all expectation.
I will miss her. It’s that simple, really.