Regular readers of my South Bristol Voice column will know that I normally would take this opportunity to highlight differences of opinion between myself and the Government. It’s usually a time when I will sing the praises of a south Bristol charity, business or school. But the events of recent weeks mean it is only right that we reflect on the life and service of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A monarch who will have touched so many Bristolians lives and has had such a vast impact on our city’s history.
When we look back over Queen Elizabeth II’s seventy-year reign we see a person who took their duty and vow to the nation with a quiet dignity.
Service of this length means that Her late Majesty has been a steward during times of sorrow and joy. This stability has no doubt brought much comfort to many. But that stability was more than just a comfort blanket to our nation, it was a constant that amplified moments of joy. We think of the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Glasgow or the Platinum Jubilee as key shared celebratory periods in our history.
As a Member of Parliament, the twelve days of national mourning has seen us having to perform activities to mark the passing of the monarch and welcoming of the new Head of State, His Majesty King Charles III. This started with the House of Commons meeting for two days to share our collective memories of Her late Majesty. This was followed by His Majesty King Charles III addressing both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall – the very hall Her late Majesty then laid in state for four days and four nights before her state funeral. His speech was gracious and demonstrated how he will continue to emulate Queen Elizabeth II’s quiet dignified duty.
People will be reflecting on the death of Her late Majesty for a variety of reasons. Some will be reminiscing on a moment they spent with Queen Elizabeth II, others will be reminded of their own family members they have lost. It is undoubtedly a time of dramatic change and that impacts us all.