As someone who’s never been particularly interested in the goings-on of the Royal Family, I was surprised to feel a profound sadness after hearing the news of Queen Elizabeth’s passing last Thursday. Whether you like the monarchy or not – or if you’re like me and have no opinion on the subject – there’s no denying that the Queen, who served this country faithfully for 70 years, was a constant positive influence in this world which is everchanging and, at times, a scary place to be. Not only was she the longest reigning monarch, but she was also a loving mother and, in my opinion, a feminist icon. After hearing the news of her death, I found myself reflecting on what the Queen meant to me and to others who so greatly admired her, and I wanted to pay tribute to her in any way that I could.
On Monday, I was lucky enough to attend an official proclamation of His Majesty the King Charles III, a ceremony in which the new sovereign’s accession to the throne is formally announced to the public – a tradition which has been upheld since the beginning of the British monarchy. Although I possess no particular affinity to the Royal Family, the death of the Queen had still shocked me, and I saw this event as not only a chance to be part of such a rare and historical moment, but also as an opportunity to show my gratitude to the monarchy and to the Queen especially.
The proclamation ceremony – which was one of the many other ceremonies also occurring across Britain that day – took place at our local council building. I attended with my Grandma who is an ex-councillor herself, myself being her plus-one guest, and we were required to wear mourning clothes in commemoration of the late Queen’s passing. Guests were also able to pay their respects by writing heartfelt messages in a condolence book, an opportunity which allowed me to give thanks to the Queen who has done so much for our country in her years of service.
The ceremony itself was kept short and simple- an official proclamation was read out before we all partook in a collective sing-song of the national anthem, followed by a few ‘hip-hip-hoorays’ and exclamations of ‘God Save the King’. While the ceremony was over in what seemed like a heartbeat, it felt like a very poignant moment in not only British history but in my own life as well – and what an honour it was to be given the opportunity to commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth at such an historic event.
Ultimately, the official proclamation of the new King has been a nationwide event that has bought the people of this country together in a moment of reflection and celebration – although the death of Queen Elizabeth II has bought immense sadness to our country and to the world, her life and achievements should also be celebrated, and continue to be remembered fondly for the rest of time.
As King Charles III takes her place as sovereign, Queen Elizabeth continues to live forever in our minds and in our hearts, and she will be sorely missed by everyone.