Reflections on Queen Elizabeth II
At a Remembrance ceremony at the Preston Legion, I sang “God Save the King” for the very first time in my life. The world feels slightly different with the passing of an iconic figure on the world stage. During these past few days, I have reflected on the impact Queen Elizabeth II had internationally, nationally and personally.
Queen Elizabeth II was an inspiration for her composure, dedication to duty and her ability to provide steady leadership throughout world crises as well as personal ones. Her entire life - public and private - was played out on the front pages of the tabloids and subject to public scrutiny. She was a dedicated daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Like all family, the Royals are not perfect. However, clearly she loved each of them. She provided an example to working mothers at a time when this was not common practice.
For 70 years, the Queen has guided Canada, not merely through ceremony but with warmth and interest in our democracy, our culture and our unique attributes as a nation. Her last communique was to express solidarity and sympathy to loved ones for the tragic loss of life on James Smith Cree reserve in Saskatchewan. She clearly understood our complexity as a nation. She loved our country.
Her last official duties were welcoming in a new Prime Minister British Liz Truss and bidding farewell to the former PM Boris Johnson. The Queen was a role model for generations of leaders both global and local. Having the opportunity to meet the Queen and Prince Philip on four occasions, I was always impressed with her authentic engagement with people and her personal warmth. Her dedication to public service has defined the role of royals during her tenure.
At state dinners, I observed glimpses of her engaging personality and genuine interest in others. Personally, for me, the video of the Queen and Paddington Bear celebrating the occasion of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, epitomizes the sense of fun and humour that defined her as a person. While I am not a fan of marmalade sandwiches, it did address the long-standing question of what the Queen carried in her purse on these endless state occasions.