The loss of Her Majesty The Queen, an enduring figure in our lives, was impossible to contemplate until 8th September brought the day that I somehow thought would never come.
I was unprepared for the news, and deeply saddened by the loss of our selfless and determined leader. Our beloved Queen dedicated her life to serving her country for over 70 years, providing unity and stability during turbulent times. I admired her steadfastness and reserve, and I will miss the comfort that she brought.
To me, HM Queen Elizabeth II was the very essence of Britain and an example to all. Whatever one’s outlook may be, I personally feel lucky that as a schoolgirl I had a female Head of State and a female Prime Minister as role models to aspire to. From juxtaposed backgrounds, these were erudite women with the capacity to dazzle, as opposed to this vapid age of synthetic celebrity that we find ourselves in.
I joined the queue to pay my respects to Her Majesty lying in state, and felt uplifted by the spirit of the queue families I formed in spite of our shared sadness. I curtsied as I filed past the catafalque, bleary eyed, and sorrowful. I peeked through the railings of Buckingham Palace, laid some lilies in Green Park, and tried to adjust to the world without her.
The raw emotion that I felt was perhaps combined personal grief for my own losses in recent years that bubbled to the surface.
Thank you ma’am for being our strength and stay.