It is with a heavy heart that I write this, not merely because of the number of clichés, just like that one, that I’ll be forced to tip-toe around before the concluding crescendo of super-platitudes, but because it’s a desolate day.
This tribute doesn’t matter more than any of the others, it’s simply proud to supplement the reverence we are seeing poured out across the world.
The second-longest-reigning monarch of European and world history, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, leaves us all feeling like we’ve lost a guardian, someone who helped shape and build a world that came before us. Most of us cannot remember a time when she was not on the throne, and there will be almost nobody who can remember a time before she was born.
For me, there is a very faint sense of dread in the air. Elizabeth II typified a postwar consensus of European peace and, above all, duty. It was this commitment to fortitude and decency that has generally declined across British civil society in the seven decades that comprised her reign, despite her own resolve never faltering.
That link has been broken. Whither our nation? Some may now look to her son and inheritor King Charles III as being more in-step with the issues of our time, more reflective of a socially relaxed, emotionally open people. We will see in the coming years if he reigns via his differences to his mother or their similarities. I hope it’s the latter.
Between the coronation of Elizabeth I and the passing of Elizabeth II, my country achieved the apotheosis of civilisational power, one it weilded confidently and mightily but also not entirely judicially. For part of that epoch, the sun never set on my monarchy’s lands and subjects. That era ended, but what will always burn high and bright is our love and pride, one we feel most poignantly today.
Thank you Your Majesty Elizabeth II, and may God Save The King.